Modify a Mendix Questionnaire for SAP SuccessFactors

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1 Introduction

In this tutorial, you will build a Mendix questionnaire app that extends SAP SuccessFactors.

You want to launch a questionnaire for your employees, with job-related questions. When the employees complete the questionnaire, they get a score, and their profile in SAP SuccessFactors is updated with the score. You can then track your employees’ performance and identify topics that needs improvement.

The score property in the Employee entity of SAP SuccessFactors was created in advance using the SAP SuccessFactors Extension Framework (MDF).

You will create the app using pre-built components, and use the SAP OData Connector to connect to the SAP SuccessFactors system. More specifically, you will learn how to:

  • Enhance the data-model
  • Build a page
  • Implement logic to retrieve the score from SAP SuccessFactors and update it with the new score
  • Deploy the app to SAP Cloud Platform from the Mendix modeler

2 Prerequisites

You are provided with all the information and software which you need to perform this tutorial.

3 Creating the Mendix App

Firstly, you need to create a new Mendix app and an SAP environment where you can run it.

  1. Click Create App in the top-right of the Mendix Developer Portal.

  2. Click SAP Apps.

  3. Click the picture of the Blank App (with Atlas UI).

  4. Click Use this app.

  5. Enter Employee Questionnaire and click Create App.

4 Setting Up SAP Cloud Platform

Now you need to tell SAP where the app will run.

  1. Select your SAP region and click Next.

  2. Select your Organization and Space from the selection offered.

  3. Leave the database options on their default and click Create.

An environment (SAP Cloud Platform application) will be created on SAP Cloud Platform. This will attach all the services needed to run the Mendix application (database, route, user authentication and so forth).

5 Modeling the Mendix App

Now you are ready to start implementing the app using visual modeling.

5.1 Importing Required Modules into the Mendix App

Some of the app has been written already, so you need to import those pieces into your app.

  1. Click the arrow on the Edit App button on the top-right corner of the Developer Portal and click Edit in Desktop Modeler.

    This makes a local copy of your app and loads it into the Mendix Desktop Modeler.

  2. Click Open VersionSelector when asked.

  3. Click Open with selected Modeler version to confirm that you want to edit the app in your current version of the Desktop Modeler (version 7.17.2).

  4. Click Or sign in with… SAP and sign in with your SAP credentials.

    Before you start, you need to make one configuration change to allow Mendix to run on your TechEd computer:

  5. Click the menu item Edit > Preferences…

  6. Paste or type the following path into Deployment > JDK directory

  7. Click OK to confirm the change

  8. Click the App Store icon (the shopping basket) in the Desktop Modeler.

  9. Enter Questionnaire in the search box and click the magnifying glass.

  10. Click Read more.

  11. Click Download to add the module to your project.

  12. Click Import to confirm that you want to import the module.

  13. Repeat steps 8 through 12 to find and download the SAP Teched 2018 - SuccessFactors Employee module.

  14. You can see the two modules you have imported, along with other modules, by expanding the tree structure in the Project Explorer.

The Questionnaire module allows you to design questionnaires and allows users to run them. The Employee module supports the SAP SuccessFactors employee object with a Domain Model, app Pages, and logic. You will now extend this to link the questionnaires to the employees and use SAP SuccessFactors to record the results.

5.2 Modifying App Navigation

Mendix apps work by showing pages to the user. You can define which page should be the Home page: the first page the user sees. Each page in your Mendix app can also have a menu bar. You define which pages appear in this menu.

  1. Right-click Project ‘Employee Questionnaire’ > Navigation and click Open.

  2. Click Select… next to Default home page.

  3. Enter login in the Filter.

  4. Select App Store modules > Employee > Login as the new home page.

  5. Click Select.

  6. Click the Home page in the Menu section of the Navigation.

  7. Click Edit.

  8. Click Select next to Page.

  9. Select the Login page using the filter.

  10. Click Select.

  11. Click OK to confirm the change.

    Currently, the user can take a questionnaire, but there is no way that anyone can set up new questionnaires. While you are changing the navigation, you can add new items to the app’s menu. The instructions below add a menu item which will allow an administrator to login and create a new questionnaire.

  12. Click Menu > New item.

  13. Enter Config as the Caption.

  14. Select cog as the Icon.

  15. Select Show a page as On click.

  16. Select Employee.AdminLogin as Page.

The Navigation will now look like this:

5.3 Updating the Domain Model

The Employee entity in the employee module represents the employee stored in SAP SuccessFactors. To link the Employee to a Questionnaire we need to create a relation between the Questionnaire entity and the Employee entity.

  1. Use the Go To function of the Mendix Desktop Modeler by pressing Ctrl+G or using the menu option Edit > Go to ….

  2. Select the Questionnaire (Questionnaire) entity and click Go to.

  3. Right-click the Questionnaire entity (on the entity name).

  4. Click Add > Association.

  5. Select App Store modules > Employee > Employee and click Select.

You can see the new association (Questionnaire_Employee) represented in the Domain Model:

5.4 Modifying Logic

Now that you have an association between Questionnaire and Employee you can set a relation between a questionnaire and the current user. You do this when the user starts a new questionnaire.

The business logic of the app is recorded in microflows. When a user starts a new questionnaire the SUB_ConductConfiguration in the Employee module is initiated. You are going to extend this microflow so that it sets the relation between the current Employee and the new Questionnaire.

  1. Use the Go To function (see above) to find the SUB_ConductConfiguration microflow.

  2. Click Go to.

  3. Click the Toolbox tab in the right-hand panel to open the toolbox.

  4. Drag a Change object action between Create Questionnaire and Retrieve Page from database.

  5. Double-click the Change action you have just created.

  6. Select the Variable NewQuestionnaire (Questionnaire.Questionnaire). This is the new questionnaire which has been created.

  7. Click New.

  8. Select the Member Questionnaire.Questionnaire_Employee (Employee.Employee). This is the association between the questionnaire and an employee.

  9. Set the Value to $Employee. This is the employee who is currently taking the questionnaire.

  10. Click OK to confirm the changes, then OK again.

The result looks like this:

5.5 Working with Pages

You will now create a page which is shown when the user has finished a questionnaire. It will show the score received and allow the employee to update this in the SAP SuccessFactors system.

  1. Right-click on the Employee module and select Add page… to add a page to the Employee module.

  2. Enter QuestionnaireSummary as Page name.

  3. Select Atlas_Default (Atlas_UI_Resources) as Navigation layout.

  4. Select Blank in the left-hand pane.

  5. Select the Blank Page Template.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Click the Properties tab in the right-hand panel to open the properties of the page. (You switched to the toolbox in the previous section, 5.4).

  8. Enter Questionnaire Summary as the Title of the page.

  9. Click the Toolbox tab to return to the toolbox.

  10. Drag a Data view widget from the Toolbox > Widgets onto the page.

  11. Double-click on the top of the Data view (currently labeled (Unknown)).

  12. Click Select… next to Data source > Entity (path).

  13. Select App Store modules > Questionnaire > Questionnaire.

  14. Click Select.

  15. Click OK.

  16. Click No in response to Do you want to automatically fill the contents of the data view?.

  17. Drag a Text widget into the data view.

  18. Enter “Congratulations: you finished the questionnaire! “ in the text widget.

  19. Drag another text widget and enter “You have earned {1} point(s).”.

    The page now shows this:

  20. Double-click the text containing Missing Parameter.

  21. Click Edit… next to the Caption.

  22. Click New in Parameters.

  23. Click Select… for Attribute (path).

  24. Select Questionnaire > TotalScore.

  25. Click Select.

  26. Click OK on each of the open dialog boxes until you return to the text.

  27. Drag a Button widget to the bottom section of the Data view.

  28. Double-click the button to open the button properties.

  29. Enter Update Score for the Caption.

  30. Change Events > On click to Call a microflow.

  31. Click New to create a new microflow.

  32. Enter ACT_UpdateEmployeeScore as the microflow name.

  33. Click Edit… for Microflow settings.

  34. Select Blocking for Show Progress Bar.

  35. Click OK to close each of the dialog boxes.

5.6 Building a New Microflow

Microflows are the business logic of your application. You will build a microflow to:

  • retrieve the employee object associated with this questionnaire
  • use an existing microflow (SUB_GetEmployeeScore) to get the employee score from SAP SuccessFactors
  • update the employee’s quiz score with the total from the questionnaire
  • use the SAP OData Connector to update the employee record on SAP SuccessFactors
  1. Double-click ACT_UpdateEmployeeScore in the Project Explorer to open the microflow.

    The Microflow has had a parameter Questionnaire added automatically. This is the object being displayed in the data view in which the button invoking the microflow was created. The microflow will begin by retrieving the employee who is associated with the questionnaire.

  2. Drag a Retrieve action to the microflow.

  3. Double-click the Retrieve action to open the properties.

  4. Click Select… for Association.

  5. Select Variables > Questionnaire (Questionnaire.Questionnaire) > Questionnaire_Employee (Employee.Employee).

  6. Click Select to select this association.

  7. Click OK to accept the default name of the retrieved employee object.

  8. Drag a Microflow call action as the next action in the microflow.

  9. Double-click the Call microflow action to open the properties.

  10. Select the SUB_GetEmployeeScore microflow.

  11. Select the EmployeeId parameter which has been filled in for you.

  12. Click Edit parameter value.

  13. Enter $Employee/EmployeeID as the argument.

  14. Click OK.

  15. Enter SFEmployeeScore for Output > Name.

    While you are here, you can see how the score is obtained from SAP SuccessFactors.

  16. Click Show next to the SUB_GetEmployeeScore microflow.

  17. Click OK to close the Call Microflow dialog.

  18. Double-click the Get Entry action in the Sub_GetEmployeeScore to open the properties.

  19. Click Edit… next to the Url.

  20. Make the dialog box bigger and you will see the OData endpoint to get the quiz score for the current EmployeeId: ‘''' + $EmployeeId + “‘)’.

  21. Click OK twice to close all the dialog boxes.

  22. Click the ACT_UpdateEmployeeScore tab to return to the microflow you are working on.

  23. Drag a Change object action into the microflow after the call microflow action.

  24. Double-click the Change object action.

  25. Select SFEmployeeScore (Employee.cust_quizScore) in the Input > Variable drop-down.

  26. Click New to add an attribute which you are changing.

  27. Select cust_score (Long) as Member.

  28. Enter $SFEmployeeScore/cust_score + $Questionnaire/TotalScore as the Value. (This adds the TotalScore value on the Questionnaire to the value of the attribute cust_score of the SuccessFactors SFEmployeeScore object.)

  29. Click OK.

  30. Click OK to close the dialog box.

  31. Drag a Microflow call action as the next action in the microflow.

  32. Double-click the Call microflow action to open the properties.

  33. Select the Employee > Success Factors > SUB_SetupAuthentication microflow.

  34. Click OK, leaving the name of the output variable as RequestParams.

  35. Drag an SAP OData Connector > Update action as the next action in the microflow.

  36. Double-click the Update action to open the properties.

  37. Select $SFEmployeeScore as the Odata object.

  38. Select $RequestParams for Request parameters.

  39. Select false for Use SAP cloud connector. (The SAP Cloud Connector is not needed as the SAP SuccessFactors system is open to the internet)

  40. Select No for Use return variable.

  41. Click OK.

  42. Drag a Close page action as the last action in the microflow.

    The microflow is now complete.

5.7 Showing the New Page

When the Questionnaire is completed, the new summary page that you created can be shown by adding an activity in an existing microflow.

  1. Click Ctrl+G to open the Go To dialog box.

  2. Search for the SubmitQuestionnaire microflow.

  3. Click Go to to open the microflow.

  4. Drag a Show page action before the Close page action in the microflow.

  5. Double-click the Show page activity to open the properties.

  6. Select Questionnaire (Questionnaire.Questionnaire) as the Object to pass.

  7. Select App Store modules > Employee > QuestionnaireSummary as the Page.

  8. Click OK to close the dialog box.

6 Testing the App

You have now made all the changes to the app. You can test it by first running it locally.

  1. Click the down arrow on the Run button in the Desktop Modeler.

  2. Click Run Locally.

  3. Click Save and continue if any documents have unsaved changes.

    The app will be built and deployed locally on your machine.

  4. Click Yes if you are asked to create the database.

  5. Wait until the runtime has started. The View button will then become clickable.

  6. Click the View button.

    The app will start in a new browser tab. Note that the URL is for localhost.

  7. Sign in to the app with your student credentials.

    The app now needs to get the employee’s current score from SAP SuccessFactors. You can see the score on the upper-right corner.

  8. Complete the questionnaire which is offered.

  9. Choose to update the score in SAP SuccessFactors.

  10. Now you can see the updated score on the upper-right corner!

7 Deploying the app to SAP Cloud Platform

  1. Return to the Desktop Modeler.

  2. Click the arrow next to Run Locally.

  3. Click Run.

    The application will be deployed to SAP Cloud Platform.

  4. Wait until you are notified that the app has been deployed.

  5. Click the View button.

The app will start in a new browser tab. You can see from the URL that the app is now running on SAP Cloud Platform.

8 Congratulations

You have now created and tested your Mendix Questionnaire app.