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SAP Business Workflow - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the relation between SAP Business Workflow and SAP Webflow?

They are identical. There was a time, in the early days of the Web, when some of the Internet capabilities of SAP Business Workflow were highlighted as WebFlow and the name was adopted as a sort of abbreviation. But the official SAP terminology is SAP Business Workflow.

Normally the prefix "SAP"  identifies a product or component that is stand-alone and requires licensing but SAP Business Workflow is an anachronism in that it is simply part of SAP NetWeaver (and before that the Basis) and so standard developer licenses can be used to develop workflows, too. The workflow users are included in the standard SAP licensing (such as an ESS license for an employee involved in workflow processes) and do not require additional licensing.

What skills are required to develop and maintain SAP Business Worklows?

You need someone who can understand the business process, understand the workflow requirements, and implement the workflow. If the functions the workflow needs to call already exist, little (or sometimes zero) programming will be involved. You can have workflow developers who build the workflow, but who are not true developers.

However, most customers have a workflow developer who knows ABAP since, at some point, you maybe need some development for your workflow.

Someone who is strong in application knowledge, like the person who did the IMG configuration, and who has technical tendencies, is a great start for a workflow developer.

How many workflows does SAP provide?

A bunch. The best way to see workflows provided is to look for each application what is delivered. Most delivered workflows have some type of documentation provided. The best place to start to look is online help - the list won't be complete, but it's a good start.

Documented workflows delivered in ERP

Document workflows delivered in SRM

Background: In the days when R/3 was the only product that SAP delivered, this was simple to answer. However now that SAP has diversified there is no central place to go to count the workflow templates. The best approach is to look at the online help of the product you are interested in. Bear in mind, that some processes are supported by several workflows either working together (sub-processes or as alternatives) so a count of workflows is not very useful. The ability to copy and adapt workflow templates or create your own is more significant.

Can I get my workflow items in Outlook?

Yes, you can. Your release of ERP depends on how this is done. If you are on at least R/3 4.6c you can use report RSWUWFML2. This report will email the person that there is an item in their inbox. It includes a link back to the workitem. If you are on ERP2004 and above, you can use Extended Notifications . Extended notfications enable you to send one email per work item, or you can send one email for a group of work items. You can also determine how often the emails should appear.

How does workflow work with Duet?

Currently Duet delivers on a scenario-by-scenario basis rather than providing a generic framework. Scenarios that use workflow will use the MS Outlook user interface. As is the case with mySAP SRM you cannot assume that all the workflow capabilities are available from MS Outlook. If you change the process definition too much on the server this cannot be reflected in the Outlook user interface. This restriction is more than compensated for by the simplicity of the user interface.

How do I decide if I should use workflow or guided procedures?

This decision should be driven by the business process itself. As a general rule of thumb, if the process happens primarily in one SAP system - for example, most of the steps are in a PLM system, then use SAP Business Workflow. Also, if you need strict reporting on the process - if the process itself is used for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, then use SAP Business Workflow.
If the process is more light-weight - perhaps the results of the process are what matters, not how often or how long, then use guided procedures. Also, if the process makes high use of non-SAP systems, or if you want to integrate offline interactive forms, then guided procedures is a good choice.

What is task?

Task is defined as an activity that is executed on trigger of event

Where to maintain task in SAP?

Transaction Code - PFTC
Easy Access Menu ? SAP Menu ? Tools ? Business Workflow ? Development ? Definition Tools ? Tasks/Task Groups ? Create / Change / Display / Copy / Delete

What is implementation logic behind Task?

Tasks are implemented as method of business object. Use transaction SWO1 to maintain business objects.

What is the underlying processing logic?

The processing logic is very simple. When the event defined in the 'triggering events'  tab of task definition is raised the business object method assigned in the 'Basic Data' tab is executed.

How does application data flow in the workflow process?

The application data flows due to the binding that exist between different containers. This binding is defined during the task definition. Data flows as follow

Application ? Event Container ? Task Container ? Rule Container

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