Becoming a Fusion Data Specialist
Next up in the ‘hit list’ of topics on the way to specialisation is the Data Specialist. (I’ve been temporarily scared off by the amount of course content for the Sales and Presales specialisms!) This covers getting data in and out of Fusion.
As you would expect with a fully-featured system like Fusion, there are an array of options.
File Based Loader
FBL allows you to load data in bulk into Fusion from any external source. Once the core configuration has been entered (eg. common lookups, enterprise, legal entity, person types, setids) you extract this config and use it to ensure that the inbound data is transformed/mapped correctly.
Once you have your source files uploaded the import process is managed within the Fusion front-end. The data goes from flat-file to staging tables, and from there into the application tables. One thing that is particularly neat is the ability to edit the data in the staging tables from online pages if some of the inbound data failed to import and needs a final tweak.
Spreadsheet Data Loader
Fusion dynamically generates the spreadsheets in the Data Exchange Work Area for the project team to enter the data into. The data is loaded into staging tables, and from there into application tables. Any data that errors can be re-extracted as a spreadsheet to enable only the invalid rows to be corrected and re-uploaded.
Which to use?
In terms of which technique to select, it largely depends on volume and complexity. Spreadsheet upload is more suited for small-to-medium sized data sets where the data isn’t hugely hierarchical, whereas FBL will be the better choice for large volumes of data or where the relationships are much more complex.
(Note: for each data object it is best practice to use either the File Based Loader or the Spreadsheet Data Loader, and not a combination of both.)
There are also delivered Specialised Loaders for common and challenging areas such as Payroll, Benefits, Compensation, Talent., Absence History or Work Patterns.
Additionally there is – of course – web service integration, however that is more often used in integration, whereas the above technologies are more about data migration.
Outputting data from Fusion is achieved via HCM Extract:
HCM Extract for Outbound Interfaces
This functionality enables you to get formatted data out from Fusion HCM for outbound interfaces and 3rd party integration. It can also add to Fusion’s Document of Record (eg. payslips, review statements). HCM Extract creates the data, typically in XML format which can then be used as source data by BI Publisher for manipulation into the format desired. It is capable of high-volume extracts (it’s multi-threaded) and can be scheduled or triggered by end-users.
Data can also be exported using OTBI and sent on to 3rd party services.
There is also a section on the pre-built integrations that come with Fusion, including various ADP services, Benefits XML and PDI 9th House, covering competency, tax, payroll and benefits integrations.