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SAP Business Workflow has been around for a long time. It is a proven tool that is used by many of our customers. Normally new customers, or those who have not used workflow, want to see a demo on how it works. I still get lots of questions of how workflow works and how to get started.

Here is a demo on how to create your first workflow. It walks you through creating a workflow and linking the workflow to the ERP application. The result is a workflow starting whenever a material is created. The demo is 10 minutes and includes a voice explanation.

So, start by viewing the video. .

Then, if you want to build it on your own development or sandbox system, and you have never used workflow on your SAP system, do the following steps:

  1. Go to transction code SWU3.
  2. Select Perform Automatic Customizing. It is the red and white button normally called the ‘generate’ button.
  3. Drill into Maintain Definition Environment.  Select Maintain Prefix Numbers.  Here you must enter a number range for workflow.  When workflows get created, they are assigned WS and a unique number.

That’s it, now you are ready to build your own workflow!!   (Of course, in order to do this you also need security access and a development key may be required, so a sandbox is a good place to start!)

Happy workflowing!

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    1. Ginger Gatling Post author
      Hi Dany Dan
      What are the types of things you’d like to see – are you creating workflows now?  Or perhaps you just know you’d like to see more for doing cool things in workflow?
      Best regards
  1. Former Member
    Hello Ginger
    I realize that this space is for weblog commenting but I have a question and no one at the foruns could help me. Nore have I seen any helpful documentation or threads. My issue is: I’m using EP 7.0, ECC 5.0, ESS and MSS BP 60.2 and 60.1. I developed a custom WF for travel expenses, based on the standard WS20000040 (Approve Trip). For an Employee or Manager to send the trip back for correction, I need to use the standard task TS20000139 (enter and send message), or something alike. Problem is that I have 2 tasks, the first TS20000189 (change trip) and TS20000139 (enter and send message), which doesn’t work for me because this is all done one task at a time (remember that I’m using the UWL). Furthermore, the TS20000139 doesn’t seem to have a “normal” behaviour while used in the Portal. What I would need is a way to capture a message from the user in the “Change trip” task and then pass it on to a Send Mail background task.
    Any idea?
    Thanks a lot in advance…
    Antonio (
    1. Jocelyn Dart
      Hi Anotonio,
      If you are using EP7.0 UWL the easiest approach is to use the AddMemo feature for any task which does not itself provide a means of entering a comment. 

      You’ll find some details on this feature and how to turn it on in note 932966 and 888457.

      The Add Memo option will appear in the “You Can Also Do” section of the work item.  The user is presented with a simple text box and a submit button. On submission a simple attachment is created which will automatically be passed to subsequent steps of the workflow – there is no need to send an email.

      On subsequent steps the user can use the View Memos option in the “You Can Also Do” section of their work item.  You can also include the memoCount column in your UWL view via the appropriate XML configuration.

      Please address any subsequent issues to the relevant forum.  If you need to direct the issue to a certain person who you believe is not currently on the forum there is a forum option to email your forum question directly to your chosen person.   This would avoid misuse of the weblog comment area and of course the answer would be kept on the forum for other customers.

  2. Former Member
    Ginger, this is great work.  This video would have saved a tremendous amount of time when I was first learning the WF builder. 

    After seeing you explain it, the concepts of what the different features do really do make more sense.

    I was wondering if you could do one, at a more advanced level.  I know it would be helpful to provide specifics instead of just being general, so I will throw out an example scenario w/o getting too specific hopefully.  Tell me what you think.

    Let’s say you want to create a WF to handle IDOC errors.  Say IDoc of type MATMAS (since you used material) that come in with an error. (Could be anything, bad unit of measure etc).

    Let’s say your organization wanted to have 3 levels of people to work through these errors.  First it triggers the WF to a business user, who tries to fix the error.  If they do it reprocesses the IDOC, if not sends it to the next person say an IDOC Administrator.  Same thing, if they fix resubmit, if not send to a product or material guru.

    Something like this that is quite extensive yet easy to understand, and really shows the power of WF would be a nice example of how to take a WF tutorial to the next level.

    Other ideas:
    How to handle multiple end-points in a WF.
    How to handle different position level assignments in a WF.

    Or if you feel there is a better way to handle IDoc errors, maybe an IDoc Error Handling Best Practice for WF tutorial….

    1. Ginger Gatling Post author
      Hi Tim,
      Those are great ideas.   Would you be interested in recording the scenario and putting it on SDN?   That would be AWESOME!  I will do a more advanced one either later this year or next year – but I’d love to have other workflow folks do some as well!  

      I could use your help!

    2. Ginger Gatling Post author
      hi Tim
      Your proposed example with the MATMAS error is a good one.  I wonder if you’ve had a chance to record it?   We are currently working to update the workflow book and I still haven’t made any recordings.  I can try for the MATMAS one and see how it goes, but it’s been a long time since I’ve worked with IDOCS -but something along those lines does make the point weel!
      Best regards
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  4. Former Member

    I follow the vedio and generated the same WF, but when I execute the WF, the message shows: Task started under work item ID829657(current status: In Process).

    Is there somthing wrong?


    1. Ginger Gatling Post author
      Perhaps you are not a ‘possible’ agent.  There is a place in the TS task where you have to make it a ‘general task’ so you are assigned to do the work. If you go to your inbox and you do not see the item, then return to the workflow and make yourself a possible agent. 
      Regards Ginger
  5. Former Member
    Thanks Ginger Gatling ,
      Your tutorial is a nice awesome one for getting 
      introduced to workflow . This helped me a lot .
    You really had done a nice job .
  6. Former Member

    Thanks for sharing. I’m not familiar with workflows and this really gives me an idea on how workflows work..

    We have workflows to make and it involves approvers list. We don’t know yet how to set up a workflow like this. The design is this:
    The workflow will be triggered upon creation of a certain sales order, for example YWRO order type in VA01. Then the user will receive a mail on his/her inbox asking her/him to choose an approver of the order created.The user will have the option to choose who will be the approver of the order on the list that will appear on the pop up box. The approvers should be group base on what sales organization the order belongs to. omething like that, as of now, we’re having aproblem on how are we going to make that list of approvers appear on a pop up box.. hope you can have time to teach us about this too.. thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge.. 

    1. Ginger Gatling Post author
      There are a couple of options for this.  The 5 day BIT601 class covers these.  There is a workflow wizard, in NW 7.0 it’s in the ‘modeling support’ wizards called include select editor.  In previous releases it’s called choose agent at runtime.  Anyway, this wizard creates a step where a user choses the agent.  The agent list comes from the possible agents of the task.  The only issue is could couldn’t show just agents for a sales org.  However, you could start with the wizard.  Normally, after users pick a agent a few times, they realize they would rather have a rule do it for them. 
      So,the second option would be to create a custom screen that displays agents, you then insert a task to call your screen, and use a routing rule to only bring up the agents for the sales org.
      If you are new to workflow, startwith the first option, and you may can find a way to customize it.  I couldn’t find this discussed online help – I know it’s in the 5 day class.  You can also try posting this to the forum to get examples of usage. 
  7. Former Member
    Thanks to your tutorial I was able to get my standard workflow template to work in our DEV environment! You are the bomb! If you present at ASUG let me know. I will be attending the conference in Orlando.
  8. Former Member
    Hi Ginger Gatling,

    I have just started workflowing and that too after reading chain of all your contributions here in SDN. Thanks so much…


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