Alerting Users for Critical SAP Business Workflow Approvals through SMS using Extended Notifications
The workflow approval is done either directly in the SAP R/3 Business workplace or in a central access point like Universal work-list. In either case, approvers are informed regarding the arrival of new work items. The time gap between the arrival of the workflow item in the inbox and the time of execution is known as wait time. The lesser the wait time, the faster will be the overall workflow processing time. The wait time can be reduced by having a mechanism to inform the approvers as soon as a workflow item is created. SAP has already provided programs such as RSWUWFML and RSWUWFML2 in earlier versions to inform approvers through mails. Extended notification which is available since WAS 6.40 has the facility of sending SMS along with mails for informing approvers regarding new work items.
· Workflow configured for the application document (for example, purchase requisition) and is active.
· Mobile service (SMS) activated in the system.
Different ways of informing users regarding arrival of new work items
1) Activate the following services in the SICF transaction (HTTP Service Hierarchy Maintenance).
· Service to invoke the administration application:
default_host > sap > bc > bsp > sap > swn_config
· Service to create message contents:
default_host > sap > bc > bsp > sap > swn_message1
· Service to execute a user decision:
default_host > sap > bc > bsp > sap > swn_wiexecute
· Services to display or execute work items or to display the Workflow inbox by using executable attachments:
default_host > sap > bc > workflow > shortcut
default_host > sap > public > bc > workflow > shortcut
2) SWNADMIN-> Enter the logon details for the system where configuration is made.
Maintain the required details for each step as follows.
A category is used to group work items from one or more single-step tasks for a user. It is the basis for the definition of a subscription, which has been mentioned subsequently.
Figure 2: Creating Category for the workflow message.
A selection schedule is used to define work items that are selected and when it is selected. The actual selection process is performed by the SWN_SELSEN report, which is scheduled in a job.
Figure 3: Creating Selection (basic data)
Figure 4: Creating Selection (Tasks)
Figure 5: Creating Selection (Schedule)
Subscription is used to define who receives messages for work items belonging to a particular category and when, as well as how these messages are structured. At least one subscription for each delivery schedule is required.
Figure 6: Creating Subscription (Basic data)
Delivery type should be:- SMS
Figure 7: Creating Subscription (Message)
Figure 8: Creating Subscription (Schedule)
Figure 9: Creating Subscription (Recipient)
d) General Settings:
General settings are used to define the attributes of delivery such as text of the message, link to inbox or UWL.
Figure 10: Maintaining General settings
3) The program SWN_SELSEN is now scheduled such that work items are collected and sent through an SMS to the desired recipients (agents of workflow items).
This configuration can also be maintained in the SWNCONFIG transaction and can be saved in a transport request and transported across landscape.
Figure 11: Alternative configuration by SWNCONFIG
There are several other mobility applications (like Sybase) that enable users to approve work items using the mobile device itself. However such mechanisms are expensive and companies do not tend to invest much, if the frequency of work item generation is not high. This particular solution which provides a means of triggering alerts through an SMS ensures that the arrival of work item is informed.