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Approvers of documents can process workitems without logging on to the SRM system. The system can send workitems by e-mail so that users can process them in their e-mail client.

The following diagram depicts the working of the offline approval (for SRM 7 and above):

The steps in detail:

  1. The report /SAPSRM/OFFLINEAPPROVALSEND sends the offline approval e-mail to the e-mail address of the approver. It contains the information about the approval process and also about the document, which is necessary to make the approval decision. The report can be scheduled in a job to send the e-mail for the latest workitems periodically.
  2. The e-mail appears in transaction SOST. The system sends the e-mail to the SMTP server.
  3. The e-mail client of the approver receives the offline e-mail with the title like 'Approve document 12345'
  4. The approver can choose to click the approve/reject button/link or can use the 'logon link'.
  5. If the decision button/link is clicked, the approver sends back an answer e-mail (title 'EBP_GEN_REPLY') to SRM, which appears in the transaction SOIN.
  6. If the logon link is clicked, the approver makes the decision online.
  7. There are two ways to process the answer e-mail: Synchronously and Asynchronously.
  8. Asynchronous processing means that the answer e-mail, which was received in transaction SOIN is not processed immediately. These e-mails are forwarded to the inbox of the user who was customized in the offline e-mail sending report. The report /SAPSRM/OFFLINEAPPROVALGET reads the e-mail from this inbox and processes the workitem. The report can be scheduled in a job for periodically running.
  9. Synchronous processing means that the e-mail is processed immediately by the exit class /SAPSRM/CL_OFFLINEAPP_INBOUD.

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