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Duet Enterprise Workflow Approval – Project Planning and Development Experience

Authors:

Edward Lu – Duet Enterprise Solution Manager at SAP

Mikael Löwgren – SAP NetWeaver Architect at Avega Group AB. Mikael was involved as a solution partner in the Duet Enterprise RDP/Ramp-up project for a Swedish client

Introduction

Duet Enterprise is a highly anticipated product that blends SAP applications with Microsoft SharePoint to empower information workers with unified and simplified access to data. Mikael and I have been working on a Duet Enterprise RDP/Ramp-up customer and the project went live at end of Nov. 2010. In this blog series we are going to share some of our experience gained in the RDP/Ramp-up project. Hopefully the blog series will give you some technical and business insight into the Duet Enterprise product.

For more detailed information on Duet Enterprise register to attend the Duet Enterprise Virtual Launch Summit on Feb 1, 2011.

One of the core capabilities in Duet Enterprise 1.0 is Duet Enterprise workflow. The core capability allows exposing of SAP user decision workflow to Microsoft SharePoint and Outlook 2010. There are two types of work required for exposing a SAP user decision workflow task to SharePoint – configuration and custom development. The configuration steps have been covered in the release implementation document. But custom development, which accounts for the exposing of SAP business information to SharePoint task in assisting the decision making process, has not been covered in the official configuration document. The purpose of this blog is to fill the gap and explain how to do custom development to transfer data from SAP ERP workflow to Duet Enterprise SharePoint and Outlook 2010. This blog consists of three parts:

 

  • Part I: Introduction to the setup of Duet Enterprise custom development project.
  • Part II: Highlights on custom development on SAP to expose workflow approval steps
  • Part III: Highlights on custom development on Microsoft to present workflow approval UI

Project Scope

The project scope includes exposing of invoice approval process to Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Introduction of workflow approval steps in SharePoint does not change existing workflow processing in SAP.  Users can approve invoice either from SharePoint or SAP. The decision will be synced two ways between SharePoint and SAP.

Business Value

With the implementation of invoice approval process using Duet Enterprise, we are able to provide business users seamless access from SharePoint to SAP ECC 6.0. The solution streamlines invoice approval processing, introduce to end users with a more intuitive UI, and improve business productivity. It also helps company to capitalize on their existing investment on SAP and Microsoft products with ready access to SAP business information together with the collaboration capability of Microsoft SharePoint 2010.  The built-in platform functionalities of Duet Enterprise solves some common challenges when integrating Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and SAP, which comprises ready SSO/SAML and a SCL layer for synchronization of data and data structure flattening.

Project Resources and Timeline

Typical Duet Enterprise development project resources include an ABAP developer, a Microsoft developer who knows SharePoint Designer (Visual Studio skill would be a plus but not required for this workflow project), a Duet Enterprise subject expert, and business process functional experts.

The invoice approval project took around 6 weeks but expect more time if you have a more complex business process and complex SharePoint UI requirements.

Lessons Learned

  • Define clearly at the start of the project what are the business steps you want to expose to SharePoint front end. Put those entire requirements into spec.
  • Close collaboration between SAP and MSFT developers.
  • Allocate more time on end to end round trip testing (SAP to SharePoint and vice versa)
  • Get an understanding of how the users work in their daily tasks, and find a group of users who only access SAP GUI in rare occasions and therefore would benefit from an easy to use solution in SharePoint.

 

This concludes part I the introduction section. We will release part II and III the next two weeks with the launch of Duet Enterprise summit. Again, for more information on Duet Enterprise please check out the Duet Enterprise Virtual Launch Summit on Feb. 1 to hear from Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, and Kurt Delbene, President of the Business Division at Microsoft as they start the day with a keynote on the vision of Duet Enterprise. Then hear from other SAP and Microsoft experts on topics such as technical capabilities, workflow, SAP tools, Project “Gateway” (link to agenda). In this online only event you will have an opportunity to connect directly with the teams behind the product and support in locating solution partners in your region.  

Related Content

Duet Enterprise Home Site

Duet Enterprise Virtual Launch Summit

How to decide if my workflow fits Duet Workflow Template?

1 Comment
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  • Hi Edward,

    Just hapenned to check this Blog towards my interest in this area. Have you already published parts 2 and 3 already, if yes can you reply with the links.

    Thanks,
    Avishek.