Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Workflow FAQ - Administration and Troubleshooting

Administering the workflow system and finding those annoying little bugs

Administration & Troubleshooting

Answers Administration & Troubleshooting

I have updated the agent assignment, but the agents still don't receive the work items.

The organization buffers must be refreshed. This occurs daily at midnight by default - and you can't change that time. Transaction SWU_OBUF lets you refresh the buffers immediately.
Also, check and make sure that the agents you have assigned are possible agents of the task.
back to top

Help! Why am I getting the error 'No Administrator found'?

This is another symptom of the org buffers being out of sync. Basically you have made an organizational change that is incompatible with the previous state. When executing the work item it gets confused with the old (buffered) and new org data. As above, SWU_OBUF should reset all buffers.
back to top

How can I temporarily disable a workflow in production?

Event linkage is a transportable object, thus there is no way to simply 'switch off' a workflow. Simply switching off a Workflow may even have legal implications since Workflow provides an important audit function, and being able to disable it defeats that purpose.
All is not lost however: If you have a workflow that requires this feature, you could include a start condition that always fails and only enable it when you want to disable the workflow.
back to top

Help! A runaway workitem has gone to all users for approval!

This usually occurs if the set of 'possible agents' is very large - usually because the task has been classified as a 'General Task'. In general, if no 'responsible' agents can be found, the workitem is automatically sent to all 'possible' agents.
To solve this problem, reconsider whether using the 'General Task' classificiation is a good idea. Try to restrict the set of 'possible' agents to a sensible subset for all tasks.
See this thread for a discussion on the topic.
back to top

How do I delete workflows?

Firstly: DON'T. OK, if you're in a development/QA system, there is a deletion report which you can find in the help. You didn't expect this FAQ to tell you what it is? No, it won't, just to make sure you read the SAP doco advisory on using this in production. Use archiving object WORKITEM instead. The report does exactly what you tell it to without question and will happily delete WI's out of the middle of a log and create other inconsistencies if don't know EXACTLY what you're doing. There's also the potential legal aspect: In these days of Sarbanes-Oxley and massive corporate scandals, finding such reports in the ABAP log will not make make any auditors happy.
back to top

Why is my mail not sent?

Symptom: You have a send mail step to send a mail to an internet address. It executes but the mail, never reaches it's destination. There are two areas where the problem can lie:
The first is that mails are sent using the WF-BATCH user. SAP will not send anything without a FROM address, so make sure that WF-BATCH has an email address maintained.
The other is a problem within SapConnect, maintained by Basis. An easy way to test is to send yourself an email (to your internet address) from the SAP Business Workplace. If you receive it then there's a problem with workflow, if not then contact your Basis team.
back to top

How can I forward another user's work item?

SWIA lets you perform and administrative forward on a dialog item if you have sufficient authorization. The forwarding action is recorded in the log.

How can I execute another user's work item?

As a user: The user who has the item in the inbox has to set up a substitute. The substitute can then process the other user's work items.
As an administrator: Transaction SWIA
Programatically: Function module SAP_WAPI_EXECUTE_WORKITEM
back to top

How can I maintain a rule with responsibilities in production?

Use OOCU_RESP to maintain individual responsibilities in non-development systems.
back to top

Why does my background task remain in status STARTED/'In Process'?

The most likely cause is that the step doesn't complete. Check for short dumps (ST22) or test your method manually to investigate further.
back to top

Why is the number/date formatting different in emails sent from workflow?

For regular sendmail steps, emails are usually sent in background using userID WF-BATCH. Therefore you may see decimal commas instead of points or vice versa. Modify the user profile for WF-BATCH to adjust this.
back to top

Why is my event linkage being deactivated?


  • In your event linkage in transaction SWE2 you use the default system behaviour regarding handling errors. 
  • Incorrect or corrupt data being passed from the triggering object event container to the event receiver/workflow template container. OR
  • No data being passed from the an object event container element to a mandatory workflow container element. If a container element is flagged as mandatory then it must receive data when the workflow is being triggered.


  • Change the default behaviour of the event linkage in transaction SWE2

The default settings in SWE2 for the linkage between an object event and a workflow template are as follows:

You can see the Linkage Activated checkbox which shows if the event linkage is active or not. If a problem (mentioned in the Cause section) occurs this checkbox is deactivated when the Behaviour Upon Error Feedback = System defaults.
Set the Behaviour Upon Error Feedback = Do not change linkage and Receiver Status = No errors.

Establish the reason for the error in the first place

Carrying out the steps above will prevent the event linkage from being deactivated. However, it does not resolve the error that occurred in the first place so you must now troubleshoot this issue in order to stop the error and redeliver any events in error.

  • When the event linkage gets deactivated, a mail is sent to the SBWP of the WF administrator, detailing the cause of the error. Ususlly this is due to incorrect data being passed from the Object event to the event receiver/workflow template. Please check the inbox (Documents - not workflow inbox) of the Wf admin for mails/notifications around the time of the deactivation and it will detail what error has occurred.


  • Activate the Event log (transaction SWELS). As soon as the linkage gets deactivated again, please check the event log with transaction SWEL and it should have an entry for all successful entries but will also have entry for the one that deactivated the linkage. If you double click on this it should give some information on why this is happening. (It is not advised to leave the Event log switched on in Production for long periods as it may cause performance issues. Switch off once the linkage is deactivated).

Related Notes 

SAP Note: 1509503: Deactivation of event linkage

back to top

1 Comment

  1. Unknown User (xpi10et)


    You have written:

    "How can I maintain a rule with responsibilities in production?

    Use OOCU_RESP to maintain individual responsibilities in non-development systems."

    After Upgrade to ECC6 we can not use OOCU_RESP for maintainance.

    "Error in Object Editing" dialog box appears with "Changes to Repository or cross-client Customizing are not permitted. Choose 'Display object' or 'Cancel'" text in it.

    The trx. remains in Display and we can not maintain the responcibilities.

    Any idea?

    Thank you.

         A. Aner,

                   IAI  SAP WF developement team leader