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Workday EIB – Everything You Need to Know

by | Feb 12, 2019

Home » Workday » Workday EIB – Everything You Need to Know

For all their many benefits, no HCM solution is completely self-contained, and Workday is no different. There are a variety of types of information you’ll need to send to Workday to make the most of all it has to offer, which means you’ll need to set up integrations. For complicated integrations, there’s Workday Studio but for everything else, there’s the Enterprise Interface Builder, also known as EIB.

Let’s take a closer look at Workday EIB together.

What is EIB and What is It Good For?

Simply put, EIB stands for Enterprise Interface Builder, and it’s a guided and graphical no-code interface that’s great for inbound and outbound integrations. Using 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 with digital signatures and PGP encryption.

Speaking of security, 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, 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).

What is XML?

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, 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).

Common Ways to Use EIB

There are plenty of ways to use EIB to save yourself time and effort. Here’s one: if you need to pay commissions to hundreds of salespeople on a monthly or maybe 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 using Excel that goes with the EIB module just created.

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

  • 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.

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 and the advice you’re looking for. Get in touch with us today!

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