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We will be discussing how to create a custom MDF Object that allows us to create multiple records with effective dates.


Understanding Metadata Frameworks

Let’s break down metadata framework to see what it means. Meta is a prefix that is used to mean “an underlying definition or description.” Metadata provides basic information about the data, making it easier to locate, use and reuse a particular dataset.

MDF provides a set of features that enable you to build end-to-end applications. Using MDF, you can also add objects to the MDF data model or modify the behavior of existing objects to suit your client’s needs.

An object definition contains information about fields (properties of an object), associations (relationship to other objects), workflows, business rules, and security configuration for an object. Using the Configure Object Definitions interface, you can create new objects or customize your applications by modifying existing object definitions to suit your need.


Need of creating Custom MDF

The alternative way to maintain the Training Data is by using the Training Planner. But the drawback of using Training Planner is that one must maintain too much information which might not be required for the client.

So there comes the need of Custom MDF wherein the client can have 4-5 specific fields of the trainings.

It is also important to carefully plan and design the custom fields to ensure that they meet the needs of the business and do not negatively impact the overall performance of the SAP system.


Creation of MDF Object

Since the Background element doesn’t provide the functionality to attach attachments which we require, so there was a need to create a Custom MDF. We will also be able to now leverage workflows and apply rules on every step.

In this case, TWO custom MDF objects are needed. One parent custom MDF {let’s call it as TrainingNeeds1}, that basically acts as a holder for the multiple child records, which is the second custom MDF {let’s call it as Training Details} with the various fields and picklists that make up the entry.


Step 1: Search for ‘Configure Object Definitions’ in the ‘Search for actions or people’ Search bar. This is the transaction that is used to create, configure and manage the objects and their object definitions.

Step 2: Create New > Click on Object Definitions

Step 3: Fill in all the details as per the Fig.1.

In our example, we select “Object Definition” in the “Create New” field and then create a new Object Definition. As shown in Fig.1, you can see some basic data about the object in general such as choosing the effective dating from the dropdown, whether it is active or not, whether version history is kept on the MDF definition, etc. Below that begins a list of fields within the object and associated attributes of each field such as its technical identifier, length, the type of field it is, etc.

NOTE: It is important to fill the Associations to link both Parent and Child Custom MDF

Fig.1 - Object Definition: Training Needs1


Scrolling further down we can even set rules for what happens when a new object is created (such as pre-populating fields) or validation rules to help with data integrity to check fields before the object is saved. For example, on the click event a new picklist will pop up depending upon the previous selection if you have applied the rules on it. We can edit this definition of the overall object and the fields within the object by clicking “Take Action” and then “Make Correction”.

Step 4: Similarly Create a New custom Child mdf by filling the details as shown in Fig.2.

On selecting the data type as “Auto Number” in any field will generate automated numbering.


Fig.2 - Object Definition: Training Details


Step 5: Go to Manage Configuration UI

Create New  > Mention the ID and Select the Base Object as the Parent Custom MDF (In our Case: TrainingNeeds1)

Fig.3 - Manage Configuration UI


Step 6: Go to Manage People Profile

Add a New Section
Add the new field in “Learning” block
Drag and drop the Live profile MDF Information block in the Learning Portlet
Enter the MDF Screen ID created in the above steps and save it.

Fig.4 - Configure people Profile



Fig.5 - Configure people Profile



Step 7: Go to Manage Permission Roles

Select a permission role >permission.. >Employee Views  >grant Learning(Block) permission


Fig.6 - Permission settings


Select Miscellaneous Permissions  >go to TrainingNeeds1  > Check (tick) all the required permissions


Fig.7 - Permission settings



Step 8: Go to My Employee File >search for the Custom MDF

The intended consequence is that I can now add multiple trainings on different effective dates to an employee’s profile. Each new effective dated record will also have a unique number, since I have set the externalCode as “Auto Number” Data Type on my child entity.


Fig.8 - UI 



The SuccessFactors Metadata Framework (MDF) is swiftly becoming a very sought-after area of configuration within SuccessFactors. It empowers one to configure custom MDF objects for People Profile, permitting modifications and adaptation of the system to display important data on an employee’s record. The simple way of using MDF Objects can lead to better decisions, and it can improve quality, eliminate costs, and build trust, besides fostering innovation in products, services and processes.



2484161 - SuccessFactors Metadata Framework (MDF) Guide (

2553102 - Employee Central - Manage Configuration UI (MDF object UI) (
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