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What is the State of SAP Workflow – Wherefore art thou SAP Workflow?

Where I work, there is heavy use of workflow: invoice approval, service entry approval, timesheet approval, refund approval, etc.  However, SAP appears not to be enhancing SAP Workflow; the move is toward a BPM/BPMN solution.  In fact, I haven’t seen any upcoming enhancements coming in enhancement packages.

And yet, the latest edition of the SAP Workflow book (see is one of the top-selling books on SAP Press and been in the top 5 since it was released.  The 2003 edition of the book never went out of print.

Additionally, the ASUG Workflow user group is one of the largest user groups in ASUG.  The ASUG workflow webcasts have been well-attended and well-received.  

However, SAP no longer offers a workflow certification.  They haven’t enhanced the ABAP side of workflow – it is continues to be an old interface without the new snazzy ABAP 7.0 editor.  

What are everyone else’s plans for SAP workflow?  What do they think of the state of workflow?  How many other companies, who are small and do not have an expanded portal footprint still use Workflow? 

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  • Hi Tammy

    You can now call class methods from Wokflow instead of the BOR methods. That means you have your nice new snazzy editor back.

    I do agree that Workflow is not progressing at the same rate as other SAP products and I would like to see a change there.


    • Corne:
      Thank you for the tip/response; I am still surprised at the lack of enhancements in workflow given that it is such a core part of the ECC (and with UWL portal) solutions.


  • My workaround is to have an ABAP class that mirrors the BOR object, and each method in the BOR objects calls the equivalent method in the class.

    Not having the new editor in workflow (the editor is still at 3.0 level) is just sour grapes on the part of SAP. They don’t want people to use the BOR objects any more, even though the full functionality of these is not yet there in other methods (e.g. redefining a standard SAP object system wide).
    If something new was good enough there would be no need to force people to use it. They would on their own. The same argument applies to Solution Manager.
    I think workflow is one of the strongest parts of SAP but needs a lot of enhancements, which I have programmed myself in my company e.g. some sort of error handling, a search mechanism by business object etc. SAP would say those things are there already but what there is in those two areas currently is just laughable.
    Having said that if you do an internet search for presentations by Jocelyn Dart you will see that several new features are still getting added in workflow in each SAP release, so I do not think they have abdnadoned it totally.

    • Paul,
      Thank you for your response; it reminds me that I forgot to include that there is no existing “SAP Workflow” influence council, where SAP hears customer pain points.

      Will do on the Joceyln Dart presentations.


  • Hi Tammy,
    Since we are working together to try to get an International group of Workflow Developers to collaborate, my response here is obviously self-serving – BUT –
    1. The ‘old’ technical log should be made available in systems higher than ECC (rather than pushing CTRL-P each time you visit the log).
    2. The Event Log should be re-enabled – in SRM (and I assume CRM) it is no longer useful.
    3. The ABAP Editor?  For goodness sake, even if we *are* old school enough to need to work in the BOR, give us the nice editor, please??

    ASUG and VNSG and other user groups are trying to produce a survey for all interested developers to identify all these pain-points, among other things.  Please stay tuned for details.


  • I’m wondering what this all really means? 
    Does SAP have a new path they are not disclosing?
    Do they think Workflow is mature enough not to change?
    Are they not aware how workflow is consistently in use and requires continued development and updating?
    Have they just moved on and forgotten Workflow?
    I think this is probably one of the most important tools in SAP for it’s customers.
    Where are you on all of this SAP?
  • Hello,

    I attended the SAPInsider Workflow seminar last October in Las Vegas and asked Ginger Gatling if SAP is ever going to change the BOR editor. She said something like: SAP considers that tool a fully mature tool and will not enhance it any further. I know it is not convenient, but the fact that we can use classes in workflow is a step forward.

    I definitely wish SAP brings back the WF certification.

    • Abdullah,
      Thank you for your feedback; I agree re: certification; the minute I felt comfortable with the possibility of taking the test it was no longer offered.


    • Abap Classes are, in my opinion, the way to write Wf Methods.  The BOR has limitations and should be left behind as a legacy now. 

      This was highlighted to me recently when in a multiple project environment I wanted to delegate a BOR Object only to find another project had already done so.  The BOR only supports 1 delegation and I cannot start to change the delegated object of another project.

      I chose to create an Abap Class for all my Methods.  That way I can maintain all of my projects code, independantly of the other project.