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Edit and Search SAP SuccessFactors External Objects

Use the API Server to securely provide OData feeds of SAP SuccessFactors data to smart devices and cloud-based applications. Use the API Server and Salesforce Connect to create SAP SuccessFactors objects that you can access from apps and the dashboard.

The CData API Server, when paired with the ADO.NET Provider for SAP SuccessFactors (or any of 200+ other ADO.NET Providers), enables you to access SAP SuccessFactors data from cloud-based applications like the Salesforce console and mobile applications like the Salesforce1 Mobile App. In this article, you will use the API Server and Salesforce Connect to access SAP SuccessFactors external objects alongside standard Salesforce objects.

Set Up the API Server

Follow the steps below to begin producing secure SAP SuccessFactors OData services:

Deploy

The API Server runs on your own server. On Windows, you can deploy using the stand-alone server or IIS. On a Java servlet container, drop in the API Server WAR file. See the help documentation for more information and how-tos. You can find guides to deploying the API Server on Azure, Amazon EC2, and Heroku in the CData KB.

Connect to SAP SuccessFactors

After you deploy the API Server and the ADO.NET Provider for SAP SuccessFactors, provide authentication values and other connection properties needed to connect to SAP SuccessFactors by clicking Settings -> Connection and adding a new connection in the API Server administration console.

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.

You can then choose the SAP SuccessFactors entities you want to allow the API Server access to by clicking Settings -> Resources.

Authorize API Server Users

After determining the OData services you want to produce, authorize users by clicking Settings -> Users. The API Server uses authtoken-based authentication and supports the major authentication schemes. Access can also be restricted based on IP address; by default, only connections to the local machine are allowed. You can authenticate as well as encrypt connections with SSL.

Connect to SAP SuccessFactors Data as an External Data Source

Follow the steps below to connect to the feed produced by the API Server.

  1. Log into Salesforce and click Setup -> Develop -> External Data Sources.
  2. Click New External Data Source.
  3. Enter values for the following properties:
    • External Data Source: Enter a label to be used in list views and reports.
    • Name: Enter a unique identifier.
    • Type: Select the option "Salesforce Connect: OData 4.0".
    • URL: Enter the URL to the OData endpoint of the API Server. The format of the OData URL is https://your-server:your-port.rsc.

      Note that plain-text is suitable for only testing; for production, use TLS.

  4. Select the Writable External Objects option.
  5. Select JSON in the Format menu.

  6. In the Authentication section, set the following properties:
    • Identity Type: If all members of your organization will use the same credentials to access the API Server, select "Named Principal". If the members of your organization will connect with their own credentials, select "Per User".
    • Authentication Protocol: Select Password Authentication to use basic authentication.
    • Certificate: Enter or browse to the certificate to be used to encrypt and authenticate communications from Salesforce to your server.
    • Username: Enter the username for a user known to the API Server.
    • Password: Enter the user's authtoken.

Synchronize SAP SuccessFactors Objects

After you have created the external data source, follow the steps below to create SAP SuccessFactors external objects that reflect any changes in the data source. You will synchronize the definitions for the SAP SuccessFactors external objects with the definitions for SAP SuccessFactors tables.

  1. Click the link for the external data source you created.
  2. Click Validate and Sync.
  3. Select the SAP SuccessFactors tables you want to work with as external objects.

Access SAP SuccessFactors Data as Salesforce Objects

After adding SAP SuccessFactors data as an external data source and syncing SAP SuccessFactors tables with SAP SuccessFactors external objects, you can use the external objects just as you would standard Salesforce objects.

  • Create a new tab with a filter list view:

  • Display related lists of SAP SuccessFactors external objects alongside standard Salesforce objects:

  • Create, read, update, and delete SAP SuccessFactors objects from tabs on the Salesforce dashboard:

Troubleshooting

You can use the following checklist to avoid typical connection problems:

  • Ensure that your server has a publicly accessible IP address. Related to this check, but one layer up, at the operating system layer, you will also need to ensure that your firewall has an opening for the port the API Server is running on. At the application layer, ensure that you have added trusted IP addresses on the Settings -> Security tab of the administration console.
  • Ensure that you are using a connection secured by an SSL certificate from a commercial, trusted CA. Salesforce does not currently accept self-signed certificates or internal CAs.
  • Ensure that the server you are hosting the API Server on is using TLS 1.1 or above. If you are using the .NET API Server, you can accomplish this by using the .NET API Server's embedded server.

    If you are using IIS, TLS 1.1 and 1.2 are supported but not enabled by default. To enable these protocols, refer to the how-to on MSDN and the Microsoft technical reference.

    If you are using the Java edition, note that TLS 1.2 is enabled by default in Java 8 but not in Java 6 or 7. If you are using these earlier versions, you can refer to this this Oracle how-to.