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What are advantages of SAP Business Workflows?

A business process can consist of several steps. Historically, the
tasks have been coordinated manually or by some informal means
of communication (sticky note, e-mail, shouting, and so on).
The common problem in these approaches is :

  • Inefficiency
  • Each lacks a way to trace where a task is
  • Who executed(or is executing it),
  • How much time it required.

In contrast, the workflow ensures that the right work is sent to right person at the right time in the right sequence with the right information.

  • Workflow is a tool for automizing business processes
  • Not tied up to any particular application
  • Operates uniformly across applications
  • Coordinate all participating tasks
  • Provide users with active support
  • Deadline Management is possible

Workflows are very useful for business processes that:

  • Contain a sequence of activities.
  • Reoccur in the same or similar forms.
  • Involve several people or groups of people.
  • Require considerable coordination.

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What are the layers in Workflow Architecture?

There are 3 layers in the Workflow Architecture:

  • Business Object
  • Business Process
  • Organization Model

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How Process, Business Logic and People are linked in Workflows?

  • The business processes are defined in Workflow builder. Each and every small work process is called as an activity in the workflow builder. Each activity consists of a single step task, which can be a standard task or a workflow template.
  • Associated Business Logic is built in Business Objects. i.e. ABAP code will be in Business Object. Business Objects consist of attributes, methods and events. Methods consist of ABAP code. Each and every standard task is associated with a Business Object and a method.
  • People / Group of people responsible for taking actions are defined in organization structure. Person responsible for taking an action is called actual agent\. It is defined in the workflow activity.

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What is a Business Object?

Business object (BO) is basically collection of Attributes, Methods and Events for a particular business entity. Example of BO: Sale Order, Vendor, Customer, Material etc.
BOs wrap around backend tables, application code, change document and other technical information and expose them as Attributes, Methods and Events. Usually methods of BOs refer to BAPIs.

The following diagram explains BO much better:

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What is an Agent and what are different types of Agent?

Agents are a person or a group of persons who can take an action during workflow runtime. Action can be approval of some business document, creation of some document or sending email.

There are basically two types of Agents:

  • Actual Agent: One who actually takes the action. This is provided in the workflow Activity.
  • Possible Agent: All possible persons/entities that can execute a task during runtime. Defines either in Org Structure or task

System checks Actual agent defined in workflow runtime with the possible agents defined in the task. Actual Agent should be a subset of possible agent, else Agent resolution fails.

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What are the capabilities of Workflow Builder?

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What are Events?

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How can an Event be linked with a Workflow ?

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What are containers, Binding and Binding Editor?

A basic common data structure of the various definition components and execution components of SAP Business Workflow. A Container contains Value ,and can be initialized with default values

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What are important Transactions and Reports?

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Where can I find more details about workflows?

SAP Help - Business Workflows
SDN Forums
SDN Blogs for Workflows
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