In this blog, we will explore the differences between employees, service agents, and business users, as well as how to create, manage, and deactivate each of them in SAP Business ByDesign.

First, let’s look at each of the account types and when to use them.

If your company is directly hiring a new employee, they should be entered as an Employee. In SAP Business ByDesign, Employees are exactly what they sound like: a company’s employees.

If there is an individual providing a service for your company, but not directly employed by it, then they should be entered into the system as a Service Agent. An example of this would be a subcontractor assisting with a project or a consultant providing support. You also might want them to have a Group Policy so there are guidelines in place for them to follow. There are loads of other things that you can get to help you with your business. For example, if you use a third party, then you should consider getting a security risk management system in place.

Business Users are accounts associated with Employees and Service Agents that are used to log into ByDesign tenants. Employees’ Business Users are automatically created when Employees are added to the system, since it is very likely that they will be using it. Service Agents, however, may or may not be using the tenant, even though they need to be tracked and managed in it. This is why Service Agents must be manually given a Business User if you would like to allow them access to ByDesign tenants. It’s important to note that the more users you have the more efficient your internet service provider needs to be, so you should try

It should be noted that Business Users can only access the ByDesign tenant in which they were created. Businesses with SAP Business ByDesign will have at least two tenants: Test and Production. In addition to providing a second environment to use for change projects, it is also why administration and support need multiple Business Users: they need a separate user to access each tenant a company has.

Note for developers: Be aware that the phrase “Business User” is also used in a slightly different context than explained above. Typically, we create separate users for SDK (Development) usage and front-end transactional usage. Once a user is used in a development capacity certain function are lost in the front-end.


Let’s say your company has just hired a new employee, and they need to be added to the existing SAP Business ByDesign system.

Start by logging into the appropriate ByDesign tenant and navigating to the “Regular Tasks” view in the “Personnel Administration” work center. From there, select “Hire Employee”.

hire employee - sap business bydesign

A lot of data can be entered about the new employee on the next screen, but there are only three mandatory fields: Employee ID, First Name, and Last Name.

Note: The Employee ID will have a mandatory format (ex. A letter followed by four numbers), which can be specified during implementation. There is also a configuration option to automatically generate an employee ID based on the specified format when this screen is opened.

personal data - sap business bydesign

More employment information will need to be entered on the next few screens. On the Confirmation page, there will be links to add more important information about the new employee on other screens.

sap business bydesign

On opening the employee’s Personnel File, we can see information such as their employment contract terms and personal contact information from the General tab. There is also a reminder to complete the employee’s payroll data near the top of the page.

Clicking the “You Can Also” button near the upper-right corner will open the option to access the employee’s Time File or Compensation File, as well.

manage account types sap business bydesign

Clicking the “You Can Also” button near the upper-right corner will open the option to access the employee’s Time File or Compensation File, as well.

business users sap business bydesign

The employee can be found most easily by searching for their name in Basic Search. Once they have been found and selected, click “Edit > Attributes”.

attributes - sap business bydesign

Start with changing the business user’s User ID. This is automatically generated, but the default format makes it somewhat unwieldy to use as a regular login. A common naming convention for User IDs is the first initial of their first name and followed by their entire last name. This ID is what the employee will use to log into this ByDesign tenant.

user data sap business bydesign

The employee will also need a password. They can be given one by entering it into the “Password” field in the lower right. Again, it is helpful to use a standard convention for passwords, such as “Password123” or “FEpass123”. Once the password has been activated by clicking the “Save” button, the “Password” field will clear, the “Password Changed On” button will update, and a success message will appear at the bottom of the screen.

manage account types SAP business bydesign

Note: Business Users with an e-mail address recorded in their information can reset their password by clicking “Forgot Your Password?” on the login screen, then entering their e-mail address on the screen that follows.

“Password Locked” will be checked for a Business User if they have been locked out of the ByDesign tenant. This will happen when they unsuccessfully try to log in too many times. Users with access to Business User management screen can re-enable tenant access for the locked user by unchecking “Password Locked” for their account. The formerly-locked user will then be able to log back in with the proper credentials.

user data - sap business bydesign

While on this page, it is also helpful to update the employee’s “Decimal Notation” and “Time Zone” settings from the defaults.

manage account types bydesign

Next, we will need to assign work centers to the Business User. We can navigate to the appropriate screen by clicking the “Edit Access Rights” button.

business user - sap business bydesign

If the company uses Business Roles (see this post), Business Users can be given their work centers automatically by assigning them to their Business Role. A list of available Business Roles will be on the tab that has just loaded. A role can be added by checking the “Assigned to User” box in the rightmost column of the list.

Note: The use of Business Roles for maintaining user access rights is highly encouraged. With Business Roles, every user assigned a particular role can have their access rights simultaneously updated. Updating them this way removes the possibility of making errors from individual updates, and it makes the entire process much faster and easier.

available business roles - sap business bydesign

It is also possible to copy the employee’s access rights from a pre-existing Business User. This can be done by clicking the “Actions” button, then selecting “Copy from User” in the drop-down menu that appears.

In the pop-up that appears, find and select the user that you would like to copy Access Rights from, then click “OK”.

copy access rights - sap business bydesign

Then click “Save” to activate all the changes.

edit access rights - sap business bydesign

Now the employee can begin using SAP Business ByDesign.

Service Agents:

Let’s say that you have just engaged a subcontractor, and you need to create a user to log in with.

For Service Agents, begin creating their user by selecting the task “New Service Agent” in the “Business Partner Data” work center.

service agents - sap business bydesign

In the screen that appears, information about the new Service Agent such as their position and company can be filled in, or just the mandatory fields: Service Agent ID, First Name, and Last Name. Like Employee IDs, Service Agent IDs must follow a specific format, which is specified during implementation. There is also a configuration setting to fill this field automatically.

manage account types in ByDesign

Once those have been filled in, click “Save” and then “Request User”, which will create a Business User account for them.

Note: Remember that Employees have a Business User account generated for them automatically because it is likely that they are going to need access to your SAP Business ByDesign system. Service Agents, on the other hand, may only be in a system for tracking purposes. This is why, if we want to grant Service Agents access to a system, we must manually create Business User accounts for them.

manage account types in ByDesign

Once the Business User has been created, the “Request User” button will fade out, and a success message will appear at the bottom of the screen.

manage account types in ByDesign

Now, we can set up the Service Agent’s Business User account using almost identical steps from setting up the Employee’s account.

First, navigate to the “Business Users” View in the “Application and User Management” work center.

manage account types in ByDesign

Then search for and select the newly-created Business User before clicking “Edit”, then “Attributes”.

business users - sap business bydesign

Next, give the Business User a username and password according to the decided-upon convention. Remember, when the entered password disappears and “Password Changed On” updates after “Save” has been, that is just a sign that the password has been activated. Remember to update their regional setting as well.

manage account types bydesign

After that, give them access to their appropriate work centers by clicking “Edit Access Rights”.

Business User - SAP Business ByDesign

Let’s say that this will be a Development user. Select the appropriate work centers (Application and User Management, Business Analytics, and Partner Development) then click “Save”. Now the new Service Agent can log into SAP Business ByDesign.

manage account types ByDesign

Note: People who customize SAP Business ByDesign need two users (and therefore Service Agents) for any tenant that they develop in. We call these the “development” user (which is used for development) and the “business” user (which is used for testing and actually refers a Service Agent account). For an account to be a “development” user, they will need access to the “Application and User Management”, “Business Analytics”, and “Partner Development” work centers. Business users are typically given access to every work center except “Partner Development”. This is because accounts that have had access to “Partner Development”, current or not, are permanently marked by SAP ByDesign as developer accounts. These users have additional capabilities, but they also have certain restrictions placed on them.

Employee Account Deactivation:

Let’s say that an employee is moving on from your company, so their user(s) needs to be deactivated.

Begin deactivating their Employee by navigating to the “Employees” View of the “Personnel Administration work center”.

After finding the Employee using the search bar, select “Actions”, then “Terminate Relationship with Employee”.

manage account types in ByDesign

Enter information about their termination such as their last working day and termination reason.

manage account types in ByDesign

Clicking “Save” will update the work agreement to end on the last working day specified, and the employee will not be able to log into the tenant after that date. However, the data related to the Employee account will still be archived in SAP Business ByDesign, even after the account has been deactivated.

Deactivating Service Agents:

To deactivate a Service Agent, start by navigating to the “Service Agents” view of the “Business Partner Data” work center.

service agents - SAP Business ByDesign

After finding and selecting the Service Agent, click the “Change Status” button and select either “Blocked” or “Obsolete”. Selecting “Blocked” will only prevent financial transactions involving the Service Agent from taking place. Making them “Obsolete” will archive the Service Agent, removing them from places where a list of Service Agents can be found. Either option will also lock the user, preventing them from logging into the tenant.

manage account types in ByDesign

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