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One of the core features of Alloy is the ability to expose SAP Business Workflow decision steps to Lotus Notes. This is what is called Workflow Decision Management in Alloy.

By doing this the objective is not to replace the Business Workplace, the Universal Worklist or any other existing access method, but rather to offer another access channel for managers via their well known Lotus Notes environment to act on their workitems. Online as well as offline.

There are just a few configuration steps necessary in order to expose an existing Workflow to Alloy. Depending on how far you want to go with your workflow setup, there are of course more sophisticated options possible, that e.g. can also include coding and modelling on SAP as well as on Notes side. In this blog we just look at an easy setup where we stick to the default outbound / inbound handling, as well as the default Notes Form that is used for displaying the workitem on the Lotus Notes client.

The assumption is that there is an existing workflow with at least one User Decision step. In this example we re-use the easy Material Master creation Workflow that was introduced in my previous blog  (How to set up an easy Material Master creation Workflow for Duet or Alloy). In order to expose this workflow to Alloy, the following steps are necessary:

    • Create Workflow Application Entry on the Domino Server

    • Perform Role assignment to the new Workflow Application

Another assumption as that the core configuration (e.g. definition of Workflow Filter Settings, setup of periodical jobs, etc.) has already been defined according to the available documentation (see Alloy Configuration Guide).

Perform Workflow Pattern Customizing

Open the SAP IMG and navigate to the Information Worker Implementation Guide. Execute the Workflow Pattern Customization:

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Create a new application. This will be the “application” for the Workflow that we are going to expose to the client:

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Navigate to Workflow, and create one entry for the outbound handling, and one for the inbound handling. You need to specify the Workflow ID of the Workflow you want to expose, as well as the function module S_OSP_WF_PAT_DEFAULT_CH_OB for the outbound processing and S_OSP_WF_PAT_DEFAULT_CH_IB for the inbound processing:

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Select one of the two Workflow entries and navigate to Tasks. Create a new entry. In our example we have no sub-workflow, so we put the same workflow ID as before. Workflow Task ID is the Task ID of the decision step that we want to expose. By default this is TS00008267. Workflow step is the step number of the Decision Task in the Workflow that we have defined. Groupware Object Type is Task, as Alloy is only sending Tasks to the Domino Server. Recipient Role is APPROVER. Sub-Workflow Type is Standard Workflow in our case. Task Agent’s Role type is also APPROVER as before. Groupware Bound Item Type is very important as it lets the Alloy Add-On server find the right application on the Domino server when sending workitems from the backend to the IBM world. In our example we put MaterialMasterCreationWorkflow.ApproverTask:

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As the last step of the workflow pattern customizing we navigate to Action. In the Action overview the recommendation is use the Copy actions from Workflow Management button, which copies the default actions into our workflow application.

As mentioned before, Alloy only deals with Tasks. Therefore activate only the entries with Object Type = Task. The entries with Object Type = Email can be deleted.

The remaining entries have to be unique. Depending on the backend Service Pack it is possible that some duplicate entries exist. Please delete (or de-activate) the duplicate ones. As a result you have the following 32 entries:

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Create Workflow Application Entry on the Domino Server

Open the NDERP Web Service Application on your Domino Server, and navigate to Applications. Press the New Application button to create a new entry. Select Customized Decisions from the Application dropdown. In Application key put the same value that you have defined as Application ID on the R/3 Backend (in this case ZMATCR). Application Name is the name that will be used as Description for the delivered Workitems, as well as for the Role Assignment in the Alloy Admin UI.

Bound Item Type needs to be the same value that you defined for Groupware Bound Item Type before. And finally the Form name needs to be (ERPApprovalWorkflow) (with brackets) in order to use the default Workflow form for displaying the workitem on the Lotus Notes client:

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Now press Save & Close and wait until you get the “The application was saved successfully.” popup.

Perform Role assignment to the new Workflow Application

Saving the new Workflow application on the Domino Server has created a new application entry on the Alloy Administration UI. Open up the Alloy Admin UI via the default URL: http://<j2ee-engine>:<port>/alloy

The new My Material Creation Workflow entry is marked with a yellow triangle, because there is currently no user / role assignment:

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The Content Group IW.APP.ZMATCR.Manager has been created automatically. Use the UME to assign the User Group(s) that shall receive such workitems:

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This also turns the yellow triangle on the Alloy Admin UI into a green traffic light.

That’s it. Now we can initiate a workitem on the R/3 Backend and after a short while the new workitem should appear in our Lotus Notes inbox:

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