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Universal Worklist – when you only need a single tab

I just talked with a customer who only wants alerts in the Universal Worklist. Some customers end up with a Universal Worklist with only alerts and another Universal Worklist with only workflow items. There are many things you can do. However, for this blog we will assume you need Universal Worklist, but only for alerts.
What exactly do I mean?

Well, normally when you go to Universal Worklist it looks like the following graphic.


There are four tabs: Tasks, Alerts, Notifications, and Tracking. In my case, I only want Alerts. So, in the end it should look like the following graphic:


So, how do we do this?

Start by reading the online help. Here you can find out how to customize actions, tabs, create custom views, and all kinds of good stuff!

There are a few basic steps to removing tabs from UWL:

  1. Download uwl.standard xml configuration.
  2. Remove everything but the navigation nodes.
  3. Remove all navigation nodes except for the ones you want (example Alerts)
  4. Upload to portal.
  5. Clear cache
  6. Update the UWL configuration useNavigationID to point to your uploaded XML. At this point you may have more than one copy of the UWL iView. The one with the navigationID Main will be the one with all tabs. The one with navigationID you set in your XML will be the one with the alerts.

OK – let’s get a bit more specific.

1. Download uwl.standard xml configuration

For this just navigate to System Administration – System Configuration – Universal Worklist & Workflow. Once you are in the UWL configuration page, look for Click to Administrate Item Types and View Definitions. If you click on this you will see all the UWL configuration files, including the uwl.standard.

Select uwl.standard and just select download.

2. Remove everything but the navigation nodes then 3. Remove all navigation nodes except for the ones you want.

I removed everything until my file looked like this:


Everything in this XML was in the standard xml. The only change I made was change the name of “alerts2” to “ALERTS_ONLY”.

4. Upload to the portal and 5. Clear the cache These two steps are very easy. Just go to the UWL admininstration page and click on the same link where we did the download, this time select the tab, “Upload New Configuration”. I named my file ALERTS_ONLY, uploaded the xml file I just created, set it as high priority. In the end I now have my own configuration file.


If you’ve already done some XML customizing for UWL, please, please BLOG what you’ve done and share your XML configuration. This is discussed in online help and I’ve covered it in previous years TechED sessions, but your experience would be GREAT to share with others!!!

6. Update UWL configuration.
I’m writing this blog because of this last step. It is easy to do, but if you have not done it before it can be the trickest because you may not know where to go. We need to tell the UWL navigation ID to use our XML to get the tabs, so we have to change the configuration of the iView. To do this navigate to the following:
Content Administration – Portal Content.
Then navigate to Portal Content- Content Provided by SAP – End User Content – Standard Portal Users – Standard User Role.


Click on the “Standard User Role” then Home-Work-Overview. Now page down and you can select “Edit”. image

Then select “Universal Worklist” and “Open”.
For the “Property Category” select “Show All”.
Look for the property useNavigationId.


This property value defaults to main. I changed it to ALERTS_ONLY, the same value in my XML file.


Now when I go to Universal Worklist, I only see the Alerts tab!


Gotta love UWL!!

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  • Ginger, this is outstanding.  We want to be able to roll out UWL piece by piece.  Having a user start out with all the options when they do not need all of them was overwhelming — made it look more complex than it really is.

    Great tip!

  • Ginger, is it possible to setup the uwl to handle both abap webdyn/java webdyn task?

    Currently, in our system configuration in the portal: system admin->system config->system landscape, we have the backend system’s WAS host set to xxx:50000. With this setting we got Java Webdyn like leave request/approval running fine.  However, when we try to launch our custom “ABAP” webdynpro application.  It still refers to the java uwl connecter which then link to java stacks (:50000) and not the abap stack (:8000). If we change the WAS host setting to xxx:8000, we can launch our custom ABAP Webdynpros but not the standard Java ones.

    We try to setup multiple connecter in the UWL but it doesnt work if the application server(where the work items reside) is identical. 

    Is there any way to peacefully launch these 2 types of webdynpros in harmony?

    • Hello Nat,
      I do no know the answer to this question  – I think you can, but I’m not sure how.  I’m sending this question to colleagues who will know.   You might also want to post this in the java forum.  I’ll let you know when I get an answer from my colleagues.
    • Hello,
      My colleague Tom Jung has provided this answer for you:

      For double stack installations they should configure their system so that the J2EE engine is the default root access handler.  The ICM will service all request that come in through the J2EE http ports.  The ICM will then look at the URL Prefix table to determine if the request should be routed to the J2EE or ABAP engines.  This allows you to only have one entry in the portal system application server entry but request can still be properly redirected to the individual engine.

      You can view these settings in SMICM; menu Goto->HTTP Server->Display Data.  The settings are controlled by the Instance Profile of the ABAP application server since in a double stack, the ABAP message server and ICM are the master listeners.

      I hope this helps.

  • Just had a chance to come back and see your replies. 

    Appreciate all the effort being made Ginger. 

    Tom Jung way of fixing this problem is very helpful (and to me feel more civilized :D) .  I think we’ll use it on the next implementation since for now, our SWIVISU setup at the application level works and we just want to keep it that way :).

    Thanks a million^2 time.  Both of you

  • Hi Ginger,

    is it possible to have different UWLs for different groups in your portal?
    I need to present some workitems for one group a very simple view (e.g. no “See also”) and another one with the default view.
    Is that possible ? See my forum question in case you have an idea….

    Keep blogging ! The UWL is really underrated and underutilized; Every blog of yours shines a little more light onto the nice features…


  • Arun asked: I did make the changes you have said step by step. Now i see only the alerts tab but do not recieve any alerts.

    I too had this problem – You also need to set the property sap_uwl_viewname to AlertView from DefaultView.

    Great blog – thanks Ginger!


  • Hi Ginger,

    I just read this blog and it is great. In the comment section, you mentioned that some company has done customization of UWL tabs by groups of users. The application I am working on doesn’t need Tracking tab. First I thought I could control this by limiting the backend system. I found the spot where I could eliminate Outbox folder in SAP GUI business workplace. The Outbox folder doesn’t show up in SAP GUI business workplace, but continue to show up in UWL. So I can’t do anything in backend. It has to be done in UWL configuration.

    Is it possible to customize tabs by applications? Our portal hosts several applications, such as HR, eRecruiting, etc., and UWL is available to everyone. Our application doesn’t need Tracking tab, but some applications need all tabs, including Tracking tab.


  • Hi Ginger,

    Great blog!! I’ve followed most of your blogs and they are very useful for beginners like me. I have a question though. Why aren’t the items in my SWBP = contents in UWL?. Basically, all workitems are present in UWL. However, all mail notification in SBWP are not in UWL. For example, our workflow is set that once a manager approves/rejects a leave application, the requestor will get its mail notification in SBWP Inbox. How can i get these mail notification in UWL? Thanks


    • Hello Nahoj,
      Email steps do not appear in UWL.  Once the manager approves it, if the next step in the workflow is an email, it will not appear in UWL.  However, if you have a task where you used the ‘notification’ feature – to notify when a task is done, that will appear in the “notifications” tab in UWL.   For a long time there has been a request for email steps to also appear in UWL.  It has been a debate since UWL is meant to hold ‘tasks’ or ‘actions’ people should take, where as email is just informing someone of something, but no action is required.  So, those still go to regular email.
  • Dear Ginger,

    Thanks for a exellent blog, I have a requirement to change the name of action button “Launch Webdynpro”.
    Request you to kindly suggest.

    Warm Regards,

    Upendra Agrawal

  • Hi,

    I followed the steps above to remove ALERT, but after I finished the steps.  The alert still shows up.  Please advise what to check.


  • Great blog, I have a question how do i move the approval, rejection, resubmit buttons from the bottom of the screen to underneath the task, alert, notification i do it on the xml file or on the backend using Tcode PFTC. Thank you