It’s no secret that having a strong data management strategy that can withstand change is an important key to success. Luckily for you, Workday’s functional ecosystem offers the Enterprise Interface Builder tool to help you keep your data organized and up-to-date so nothing slips through the cracks. Workday EIBs allow users to mass load data and extract it from your Workday system to be transferred elsewhere in your organization and beyond.

Read on to learn more about Workday EIBs and how you can use them to maximize your business processes.

What is an EIB in Workday?

Workday Enterprise Interface Builder is a guided and graphical no-code interface that’s great for inbound and outbound integrations. An outbound EIB extracts data from a specific source, using FTPs to transfer data, while inbound EIBs export data directly. Using Workday EIB, you can transport information through SFTP, email, WebDav, SOAP, and REST (among other options). If you do decide to use SFTP, you can secure your EIB data in Workday with digital signatures and PGP encryption.

Using EIB to feed data through the Web Service allows you to access different security settings than that of the browser-based inputs.

  • NOTE: Not all data objects are web-service enabled, but those with high volume (and where timeliness is of the essence) will be.

In addition to its other benefits, Workday EIB can also generate filenames in sequence for multi-file jobs, saving you a lot of time and effort (not to mention reducing the chance of misnaming an important file). This Workday EIB guide covers all of the basics of getting started with Workday enterprise interface builder. For further assistance on complex integration solutions, check out our Workday Studio guide.

What’s the Difference Between Inbound EIBs and Outbound EIBs?

The Workday Enterprise Interface Builder can be an important tool to have in your data management toolbox. But, how do you know whether inbound or outbound EIBs will be more beneficial in fulfilling your organizational needs? Let’s dive into the differences.

Outbound Integrations with Workday EIB

Outbound EIBs are most commonly used within organizations to send data from your Workday system to external endpoints elsewhere by using Workday’s integration capabilities. They are typically used for more simple integrations with only one data source that can be extracted from custom reports in Workday and transformed with a single custom transformation before being exported.

Some cases where you might use an outbound EIB include:

  • Sending salary information to payroll processors
  • Safely transfer data to benefits providers
  • Generating and developing custom reports
  • Outbound interfacing with vendors and other third-party systems

 Inbound Integrations with Workday EIB

Inbound EIBs are a little more complex, and their increased functionality can be used to load large amounts of data into your system without using up too much of your time and effort. Your data will be loaded into your Workday system by using the custom EIB template, making it a simpler process to add and transform larger amounts of data from an external point, like an FTP or SFTP.

You should consider using inbound EIBs if you need to:

  • System migrations and conversions
  • Updating over 100 employee profiles
  • Implementing new benefit plans
  • Importing a large number of new hires into the system

What is XML?

The EIB tool works by generating an XML Excel template from your Workday system that includes all the data information necessary for extraction and/or transfer.

XML stands for “eXtensible Markup Language.” A data type that’s used by EIB, XML describes data and looks a bit like this:

  • What is this thing in column 1? We call it “Employee ID”.
  • What kind of data is it? It’s a text field.
  • What is the data value for this record? The value is “1050234”.
  • What is this thing in column 2? We call it “Legal First Name”.
  • What kind of data is it? It’s a text field.
  • What is the data value for this record? The value is “Elizabeth”.
  • What’s this next thing in column 3? We call it “Preferred First Name”.
  • What kind of data is it? It’s a text field.
  • What is the data value for this record?” The value is “Beth”.

Of course, that’s not actually what an XML file looks like, but that is what it’s doing. It essentially “self-describes” the data source, and then shows the data value itself.

The XML standard is a flexible way to create information formats and electronically share structured data via the public internet, as well as through corporate networks. Technically speaking, EIB files are text files formatted to follow the XML rules. Most often, those XML files are used as inputs to a Workday-delivered web service that updates the database object (for example, Insert, Update, and sometimes Delete).

What Can Workday EIB Be Used for?

There are plenty of ways to use Workday EIBs to save yourself time and effort and optimize your business process. Here’s one: if you need to pay commissions to hundreds of salespeople on a monthly or maybe even a quarterly basis, there’s no need to have Sales Operations enter each commission to each salesperson separately. You could simply create an EIB module using the “Create EIB” command in Workday and then create the XML file that goes with the newly created Workday EIB module. Salesforce management plays a big role in the retail business, if you’re in the industry and looking for a solution, consider Surety Systems.

Here are a few more examples of ways to use EIB in Workday:

  • Importing one-off payments like commissions, annual bonuses, or spot-bonuses.
  • Mass creating job requisitions and hires, such as for a corporate acquisition or seasonal mass hires (holiday season temp workers, start of the school year, etc.)
  • Mass compensation increases (such as annual merit increases)—although these won’t be necessary if you’ve implemented Workday’s “Advanced Compensation” module.

An important thing to remember about building EIB XML files: while they’re similar to creating a file in Excel, the process isn’t quite as easy. So if there are 20 or fewer records to add/change or delete in Workday, you’ll probably find it faster to just do those updates manually. And, that’s just a taste of what Workday EIB can do for you

For an even closer look at how to make the most of everything Workday has to offer, our senior-level Workday consultants have the experience, advice, and Workday EIB tutorials you need to succeed. To help give you a better idea of how our consultants can help you with all of your EIB or integration needs, we’ve included an example profile of one of our top Workday EIB consultants.

Surety Senior EIB Consultant

  • 10+ years of Workday experience
  • Extensive EIB and Reporting experience
  • Previous experience with CCBs, Studio, and HCM integrations
  • Considered an expert with data conversion/mapping

Get in touch with us today!

Questions about Workday EIB

Why Use Workday EIB?

As a supplemental development tool, Workday EIB can load data into Workday without the hassle of writing complex programs.

How is Workday EIB different from other integration tools?

Workday EIB can be used without having to make major changes to the code.

How can Surety Systems help with Workday EIB implementation?

Surety can provide senior level Workday integration consultants to assist with any Workday EIB project requests you have.