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Access SAP SuccessFactors Data with Entity Framework 6

This article shows how to access SAP SuccessFactors data using an Entity Framework code-first approach. Entity Framework 6 is available in .NET 4.5 and above.

Entity Framework is an object-relational mapping framework that can be used to work with data as objects. While you can run the ADO.NET Entity Data Model wizard in Visual Studio to handle generating the Entity Model, this approach, the model-first approach, can put you at a disadvantage if there are changes in your data source or if you want more control over how the entities operate. In this article you will complete the code-first approach to accessing SAP SuccessFactors data using the CData ADO.NET Provider.

  1. Open Visual Studio and create a new Windows Form Application. This article uses a C# project with .NET 4.5.
  2. Run the command 'Install-Package EntityFramework' in the Package Manger Console in Visual Studio to install the latest release of Entity Framework.
  3. Modify the App.config file in the project to add a reference to the SAP SuccessFactors Entity Framework 6 assembly and the connection string.

    You can authenticate to SAP Success Factors using Basic authentication or OAuth with SAML assertion.

    Basic Authentication

    You must provide values for the following properties to successfully authenticate to SAP Success Factors. Note that the provider will reuse the session opened by SAP Success Factors using cookies. Which means that your credentials will be used only on the first request to open the session. After that, cookies returned from SAP Success Factors will be used for authentication.

    • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
    • User: set this to the username of your account.
    • Password: set this to the password of your account.
    • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.

    OAuth Authentication

    You must provide values for the following properties, which will be used to get the access token.

    • Url: set this to the URL of the server hosting Success Factors. Some of the servers are listed in the SAP support documentation (external link).
    • User: set this to the username of your account.
    • CompanyId: set this to the unique identifier of your company.
    • OAuthClientId: set this to the API Key that was generated in API Center.
    • OAuthClientSecret: the X.509 private key used to sign SAML assertion. The private key can be found in the certificate you downloaded in Registering your OAuth Client Application.
    • InitiateOAuth: set this to GETANDREFRESH.
    <configuration> ... <connectionStrings> <add name="SAPSuccessFactorsContext" connectionString="Offline=False;User=username;Password=password;CompanyId=CompanyId;Url=https://api4.successfactors.com;" providerName="System.Data.CData.SAPSuccessFactors" /> </connectionStrings> <entityFramework> <providers> ... <provider invariantName="System.Data.CData.SAPSuccessFactors" type="System.Data.CData.SAPSuccessFactors.SAPSuccessFactorsProviderServices, System.Data.CData.SAPSuccessFactors.Entities.EF6" /> </providers> <entityFramework> </configuration> </code>
  4. Add a reference to System.Data.CData.SAPSuccessFactors.Entities.EF6.dll, located in the lib -> 4.0 subfolder in the installation directory.
  5. Build the project at this point to ensure everything is working correctly. Once that's done, you can start coding using Entity Framework.
  6. Add a new .cs file to the project and add a class to it. This will be your database context, and it will extend the DbContext class. In the example, this class is named SAPSuccessFactorsContext. The following code example overrides the OnModelCreating method to make the following changes:
    • Remove PluralizingTableNameConvention from the ModelBuilder Conventions.
    • Remove requests to the MigrationHistory table.
    using System.Data.Entity; using System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure; using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration.Conventions; class SAPSuccessFactorsContext : DbContext { public SAPSuccessFactorsContext() { } protected override void OnModelCreating(DbModelBuilder modelBuilder) { // To remove the requests to the Migration History table Database.SetInitializer<SAPSuccessFactorsContext>(null); // To remove the plural names modelBuilder.Conventions.Remove<PluralizingTableNameConvention>(); } }
  7. Create another .cs file and name it after the SAP SuccessFactors entity you are retrieving, for example, ExtAddressInfo. In this file, define both the Entity and the Entity Configuration, which will resemble the example below: using System.Data.Entity.ModelConfiguration; using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema; [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Schema.Table("ExtAddressInfo")] public class ExtAddressInfo { [System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.Key] public System.String address1 { get; set; } public System.String zipCode { get; set; } }
  8. Now that you have created an entity, add the entity to your context class: public DbSet<ExtAddressInfo> ExtAddressInfo { set; get; }
  9. With the context and entity finished, you are now ready to query the data in a separate class. For example: SAPSuccessFactorsContext context = new SAPSuccessFactorsContext(); context.Configuration.UseDatabaseNullSemantics = true; var query = from line in context.ExtAddressInfo select line;