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I have been working on a project wherein we are using the all new SAP Netweaver BPM for designing the complex workflow in conjunction with Web Dynpro which is used for the user interface design and MDM Java APIs for performing operations in MDM. I wonder what would we have done if SAP Netweaver BPM wouldn’t have been there because our workflow needs cannot be satisfied with MDM Workflows since it is very complex in nature and required dynamic decision making along with escalations and tracking.

 

It was a gamble when we started as Netweaver BPM was in ramp-up and we didn’t even had any major expertise in it. We faced several issues in the beginning but all of them got sorted out and the implementation moved on smoothly. Now we feel that how easy it is to design the complex workflows with dynamic decision making capabilities, automatic mail notifications and runtime responsibility determination using Netweaver BPM. If we would have used GP instead of Netweaver BPM then I think that the time taken for implementation would have doubled since GP involves lot of coding. One of the best features that I like is the graphical mapping: Just Drag and drop the elements and you are all done (Cool… isn’t it) and the ease of understanding for the Business as well as Technical guys (You can sit with a Business guy and design the process as required since the notation used is easily understood to all). Apart from the ease of use, SAP Netweaver BPM helps the companies to move towards SOA and benefit from it.

 

Changes to the business process can be made easily and the process can be extended as required without making any significant effort. The workflow can span across multiple systems: be it SAP or a non SAP system.

 

Although there are some limitations in the current version but I think that it will evolve over a period of time and these limitations will definitely be addressed in forthcoming releases. Overall I am very positive regarding future of Netweaver BPM and definitely it would continue to be a buzzword in coming time.

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7 Comments

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    1. Arafat Farooqui Post author
      Hi Richard,

      Some of the learnings:
      – BPM workflow are best suited for complex workflows that spans accross systems( In our case we had MDM & ECC)
      – We should design the WDP components first and try to freeze on the Context structure since its painful to do the mappings (between tasks) again once you change the context.
      – There are some limitations in current version (like standard notifications text, cant create custom KPI reports, etc)
      – We didn’t encounter any specific issues on MDM side but had an issue with MDM PI adapter which didnt work properly till recently

      Regards,
      Arafat

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    2. Arafat Farooqui Post author
      Apart from this I think the process design plays the most important role in achieving the desired results. Process should be designed so that it is flexible enough that it can acommodate changes easily and bottlenecks can be identified and fixed.

      ~Arafat

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  1. Prasad Nutalapati
    Hello Arafat:
    It is nice to know that some one has already tried
    what you are about to attempt. I am about to start
    on a project where we are trying to do exactly
    what your team has been doing.

    I hope your valuable experience is going to immens
    -ely lot many others. I am going to send you an
    email private.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Prasad Nutalapati

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  2. Pravin Bhute
    Hi Arafat,
    In my current projecy we had pretty complex integration of MDM with Portal, Adobe, several webservices like BODS for Address standardization, VAT validation, D&B enrichment and then consuming system was ECC throggh PI. All this is done using GP.From your experience, it looks like BPM way was worth trying. Though BPM was new that time. Anyways, thanks for sharing your experience. Will try next time.

    Regards
    Pravin

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  3. Girish Nair
    Hi Arafat,

    The article is a good learning for many of us. Thanks for the posting. I will drop an email to you on few questions for help on BPM and MDM integration.

    I hope I will be benefitted with your expertize.

    Regards

    Girish

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