Workflow Recipe for Passionate Starters – Part I (Spice up!!)
This is PART I of 4 part blog series drafted keeping passionate Workflow beginners in mind to give a better picture
& right start about SAP Business Workflows.
What is Workflow?
Workflow is an automation tool wherein we can map the existing business process and automate it end to end.
- User initiating the process need not bother about next level approvers involved in the process. Workflow will take
care of finding the right approver and sending the workitem/Mail for his action/information
- Deadline monitoring is a workflow feature which helps to attach a timeline for approver to take action. Cases where
no action is taken after deadline expiry can be handled by escalating the workitem superior or notify someone that
deadline has expired. This aids for better & faster business progress
- Workflow ensures that the right work is brought in the right sequence at the right time to the right people
- SAP Business Workflow can also be used to respond to errors and exceptions – it can start when predefined events
Automatic Workflow Customizing:
Purpose: Before jumpstarting with Workflow development we need to ensure that workflow customizing settings are in
place. These settings are prerequisite for proper triggering & execution of workflow.
Fig: SWU3 Tcode
Mostly this customizing activity is done by Basis team. Reason being that SAP user id used for this activity
should have SAP_ALL & SAP_NEW authorization.
Fig: Maintain Runtime Environment
Configure RFC Destination:
The workflow runtime system always executes its tRFC (transactional RFC) calls on the logical destination
WORKFLOW_LOCAL_xxx (xxx stands for the three-digit number of the client). The workflow runtime system
only operates within one client. The naming for the logical destination guarantees that these names are unique
across the system. Executing this activity will create the logical RFC destination WORKFLOW_LOCAL_xxx if
it does not yet exist. The user WF-BATCH is assigned to this destination.
WF-BATCH is a background system user which should have SAP_ALL authorization. All background activities
related to workflow are executed using this user id. Perform automatic customizing will create this user id if it
does not exist in system.
Fig: Maintain Workflow System Administrator
We can maintain Workflow admin either as a Role/Org Unit/ Job/Position/Workcenter/User as seen above.
Whoever is maintained as WF Admin will get a notification mail in their business workplace (SBWP Tcode)
whenever a workflow runs into an error. Based on this notification mail relevant troubleshooting can be done.
An example error notification mail sent to WF Admin will look as below,
From above mail we can understand that for workflow WS92000001 triggering event TRIGGERWF
of business object ZBUS2012 is not maintained. Troubleshooting for this case will be to enable the
Linkage Activated checkbox in SWE2 Tcode. This checkbox enabling means that workflow is correctly
linked to the event & will look as below,
Fig: Event Linkage activation in SWE2 Tcode
Maintain Active Plan Version:
Only one of the plan versions created in the system can be active. This plan version (with its contents) is
seen by the workflow system as the only valid plan version. 01 is set as the active plan version.
Classify Decision Task as General:
TS00008267 – Standard SAP Task for User Decision step in workflow. This task has to be made
as General task since it does not have any possible agents as standard.
Note: While maintaining agents for tasks in workflow either we need to make it as
General Task or assign possible agents for the task. General Task means that all users in
the SAP System are allowed as possible agents of these tasks. The agent restriction must
be performed by selecting Responsible Agents in the step definition.
Document Generation/Form Integration:
SAP Tasks (TS70008298, TS71007944, TS71007945, TS71007946 and TS71007954) are
used for Document from Template step & Tasks (TS70008112, TS70008113, TS70008114
and TS70008115) are used for Form step in workflow. These tasks are made as General Task.
Maintain Time Units:
Units of measurement and time that are used by the SAP System can be maintained here.
Schedule Background Job for Missed Deadlines:
Background Job SWWDHEX is executed regularly as per the time interval maintained in this
activity to check whether new deadlines have been missed since the last time it ran.
Schedule Background Job for Work Items with Errors
There are 3 possible error types in Workflow namely Temporary error, Application error and
Error that occurs when certain system resources are not available. For e.g. Personnel no to be
processed by approver is already being processed by another user.
Error that occurs when an error exists in the called application. For e.g. There is no authorization
to edit the object.
Error that occurs if there are inconsistencies between the business object type definition and
the method call.
For e.g. Mandatory method parameters for the method call have not been set.
Background Job SWWERRE is executed regularly as per time interval maintained in this activity to,
- Notify workflow system administrator in the event of application errors and system errors
- Restart background workitems with temporary errors
Schedule Background Job for Condition Evaluation:
Conditions for work item start and work item end is checked via a background job. Background job
SWWCOND is scheduled with the standard parameters in this activity.
Schedule Background Job for Event Queue:
Events used to trigger workflow are managed via Event queues. The background job for the event
queue is scheduled with the standard parameters in this activity.
Schedule background job for clearing report:
Background job SWWCLEAR is used to deletes all job logs of the following background job:
SWWCOND Work item rule monitoring
SWWDHEX Work item deadline monitoring
SWWERRE Work item error monitoring
After scheduling, the background is executed once a day at 00:00 hours.
Maintain Prefix Numbers:
An example WF template id will look as WS92100001. WS is the prefix which refers to Workflow
template id. Remaining 8 digits are made up of 2 parts. First 3 digits should be maintained manually
in this activity. Remaining 5 digits are generated automatically by SAP which is a running no. We can
define one prefix number per system (DEV/QAS/PRD) and client (100/200 etc…).
Check Number Ranges:
This check routine determines whether there is a number range for workflow tasks and customer tasks.
If the status of this check has the status error, we can correct the error as follows:
- Use the report RSCLTCOP to copy all the content of the T77* tables from the client 000 into the
- Carry out the Customizing for personnel planning and workflow again.
Check Entries from HR Control Tables:
This check routine determines whether the Organizational Management control tables are complete
which is necessary for the workflow system to be functional. Report RHTTCP77 is executed for the
same. If there are errors in the output of report RHTTCP77 regarding the transport objects PDST or
PDWS, it means that the relevant entries are not maintained in table SOBJ. Report RHSOBJCH
can be used to rectify these errors. Note that with these errors the workflow is executable in the
current system, but crucial information is not transported in the event of transports into other
Maintain Additional Settings and Services:
Maintain Web Server:
If we want to execute workflows that use WebFlow functions (separate step type Web Activity
is available in workflow), we have to define a Web Server for the SAP System. This step has to be
maintained manually and cannot be executed automatically using Perform automatic customizing.
Maintain Standard Domain for Internet Mail:
Questions can be created with respect to work items within the workflow system. These questions
can be answered using an e-mail to the relevant work item. The answers are added to the work item’s
attachments automatically. A standard domain for the current system is required for this function.
This step has to be maintained manually and cannot be executed automatically using Perform automatic
Activate Send to Objects and HR Objects:
If the workflow system is to send work items and mails to business objects and organizational
objects (positions, organizational units, etc.) in the Business Workplace, the relevant functions
must be activated.
Maintain Demo and Verification Environment:
Verification workflow in SWU3 Tcode and all demo workflows are declared as general.
Classify Tasks as General:
Tasks in task groups related to above scenarios like Test Workflows etc are made as General Task.
Once Perform Automatic Customizing button is clicked, SAP system will maintain the customizing
If a particular activity has been executed successfully the icon colour changes from RED to GREEN.
Later user can go to each activity & reset the default value to a different value. For e.g. 3 minutes is
default value for the background job for missed deadlines as below,
Based on our requirement we can manually change this value. Note that it’s MANDATORY to ensure
that Maintain Runtime Environment activity & Maintain Definition Environment are GREEN in colour for
proper functioning of Workflows.
To perform automatic customizing for Maintain Additional Settings and Services, single click
on it and then click on perform automatic customizing button. Excluding manual activities
“Maintain Web Server” & “Maintain Standard Domain for Internet Mail” other activities will be
maintained automatically. In case of Classify Tasks as General all 7 sub-activities under this
activity will be maintained automatically.
Verify automatic customization settings:
To verify the customization settings click on Start verification workflow icon as highlighted below,
This will start a verification workflow which will finally send a mail to our inbox (SBWP Tcode)
to inform whether customizations are correct or not.
Thanks for reading. Please share your valuable comments.