Following Adobe’s decision to deprecate Flash, SAP SuccessFactors’ Learning Administration has been redesigned using HTML5 and will feature a more intuitive and streamlined administrative interface. It also means that all customer-owned Flash-based Learning materials, like videos and other content, should be identified and updated by your company. Customers running on the Learning solution will find in this article details about this important change and how to prepare it in the best manner.
SuccessFactors Learning – Details
Adobe Flash is a multimedia software platform used for production of animations, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, mobile games and embedded web browser video players. Flash can display text, vector graphics and raster graphics to provide animations, video games and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video, and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone and camera input.
Although Flash was previously a dominant platform for online multimedia content, it is slowly being abandoned as Adobe favours a transition to HTML5. Flash Player has been deprecated and has an official end-of-life on December 31, 2020.
The SAP SuccessFactors Learning Administration (which runs on a different platform than BIZX one) currently depends highly on Flash for menus, navigational elements and managing core entities. Below is the list of Flash components in SAP SuccessFactors Learning:
Administration application pages containing Flash:
- Top Primary Navigation Menu (see figure 1)
- Utility Bar (see figure 1)
- Bookmarks and Recents Panel
- Learning Administration Home
- Left Secondary Navigation Menu (all secondary menus throughout the application)
- Left Tertiary Navigation Menu (all tertiary menus throughout the application)
- Assignment Profile
- Scheduled Offering
- Purchase Orders
- Add New Item Wizard
- Record Configuration (see figure 2)
User application page containing Flash:
- Organization Dashboard
Anticipating the Flash deprecation, the SAP SuccessFactors Learning team started back in 2018 the project to re-engineer the Learning administration, using HTML5. The idea was to align with other SuccessFactors modules administrative look and feel while making the UI more intuitive and streamlined. For example, some of the drivers for redesigning the user interface regarding Online Content settings were:
- Configurations aka settings in multiple places
- Lack of content ID
- Inability to navigate to content from content structure
- Unintuitive configurations
The printscreens below (figure 3 and figure 4) provides some indications about the depth of the UI redesign.
The redesign will also impact look and feel including terminology changes. Here below (figure 5) is given as examples such modifications:
Some fields will be deprecated as related to features transferred to platform or simply deprecated to platform evolutions. The table below (figure 6)
An important point is that this complete redesign of the Learning administrative will not have any impact at all on the Learning User interface which is already HTML5 based.
The functionality necessary to maintain core data will be delivered in a Generally Available (GA) release. Additional functionality may be delivered in subsequent releases. This new HTML5 will be released for the Q2 2020 release while the Flash based old UI will only be deprecated in Q4 2020. This will allow SAP Learning customers to have a period of transition (6 months for the VSaaS customers) to get used to the new UI. It will also allow them to ensure all learning content are reviewed and updated if needed to remove flash based content. Please note that the new admin UI will be universal and will be available to all administrators with Learning Administration permission in the platform without any special configurations. The new admin UI is not an opt in feature.
The Flash UI will remain available (limited to 2 releases as explained above) through Admin Tools / Learning administration Link while and access to new UI will be available through a new tile on the platform home page.
There are basically 2 main phases in 2020 during which the transition between the Flash-based UI and the HTML-based one. They are described hereafter:
First Half 2020
The new HTML-based Learning Administration interface will be automatically applied to Preview environments in 1H 2020 and to Production environments in a subsequent release to be announced.
Validated Learning Customers will have the new Learning Administration interface automatically applied to Preview environments in 2H 2020.
Second half 2020
The new HTML-based Learning Administration interface will become the default interface. The legacy flash-based interface will no longer be available in Preview and Production environments in 2H 2020.
Validated Learning Customers will have the Flash based Learning Administration interface automatically removed from Preview environments with the last patch before the Production upgrade. The new Learning Administration interface will be applied to Production with the upgrade to the 2020 VSaaS release.
Key milestones and dates are as follows:
* access to Flash-based LMS will be allowed through BIZX until Q42020.
Conclusion / What is next SuccessFactors Learning
Assuming that, because Learning end users will not be impacted by this solution redesign, the impact should be minimised would be clearly a risk, especially for VSaaS customers for which the Learning solution falls under GxP regulations. Indeed, core UI concepts will be redesigned impacting navigational components while some other functions will be deprecated. Additionally, some labelling will change. It is therefore important for Learning solution owners to plan ahead and give their administrators the time to understand and master the new solution. Besides, the possible revision of eLearning content still containing Flash-based components could also be time consuming especially for internally designed courses (External content providers have already started a few years back removing their flash-based components).
 In the world of software development, “deprecated” refers to functions or elements that are in the process of being replaced by newer ones
► If you have questions or you want to get in contact with us, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Here below are some useful links regarding this topic
Flash & The Future of Interactive Content https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-flash-update/
2773617 – Learning Administration Interface Flash Replacement