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All that is needed for configuring Substitution in MSS

A lot of you would be aware that with HR Renewal 1.0 feature pack 1, new substitution functionality is available in MSS. A very good overview of all the features offered with this functionality can be found here. Important thing to note is that substitution is now enabled not only for workflow based approvals but also for non-workflow based approvals (like – CATS approval) and MSS applications (like – homepage, team page, process and form applications etc.). Also a new Substitution Overview page is available which makes it easy for a substitute to work on behalf of substituting manager. It offers the view of team of the substituting manager and the delegated applications that could be launched on behalf.

In this blog I would like to outline all the steps needed to configure/setup the substitution functionality in MSS. I also hope that it helps comprehend all the aspects of substitution functionality in MSS.

First Things First

In order to use the this functionality in MSS, some of the basic things that you need to carry out are as follows: 

  1. Activate the business function HCM_MSS_WDA_2. You can read the documentation of business function here.
  2. With HR Renewal 1.0 a new PFCG role is available for manager user SAP_MANAGER_MSS_NWBC_3. In addition to all MSS applications this role has the new “Substitution Overview” page and also an application for managing substitution rules. The home page of MSS has a new application configuration which now includes a UI block to provide quick information about Substitutions.
  3. A new PFCG role is available SAP_MANAGER_MSS_SUBST_SR_NWBC. This is a light weight role which has only few MSS applications which are required by a Substitute to work on behalf like – POWL Inbox,Substitution Overview. This role can be assigned to users in the organization who are not managers (no MSS role assigned), but could be possible substitutes for managers like – assistants or secretaries.


Configurations for setting up Substitution

All the configuration steps for setting up Substitution functionality can be found under following path in IMG:

IMG -> Personnel Management -> Manager Self-Service(WDA) -> Substitution

  1. Preliminary step is to define task classes, substitution profiles and then assign task classes to one or more substitution profiles. In the next step we will see that task classes could be used for classifying the MSS applications, workflow/non-workflow tasks.


          The substitution profiles defined here are available to the user while creating a substitution rule in “Manage Substitution Rules” application as seen in screenshot below. So when a user creates a substitution rule to another user with a specific substitution profile, all the workflow tasks/MSS applications classified using corresponding task classes get delegated to the substitute.  


2.  In the next step configure a repository of MSS applications which could be delegated in your organization. This is done in launchpad customizing under role MSS and instance SUBSTITUTION. Classify these MSS application by assigning task classes as defined in above step. Example – If the “Process Browser” application in process and forms area is one of the applications which could be delegated then put this as part of this Launchpad. Set the parameter “SUBST_CLASSIFICATION” to appropriate task class defined before.


Note –

  1. For workflow tasks, task classification can be assigned in transaction PFTC.
  2. For non-worflow approvals, task classes have to be defined with id as set in the corresponding POWL. You can find more information in the IMG documentation.

   3. Activate the default implementation of BAdI HRMSS_SUBSTITUTION. The “Substitution Overview” application calls this BAdI to get the active substitution rules and list of applications substituted by user. You can read the IMG documentation and BAdI documentation to know more about this step.

   4. Optionally implement and activate BAdI WF_SUBSTITUTE. This BAdI is called when substitution rules are created or deleted by user in the “Manage Substitution Rules” application. In this BAdI implementation,for example, you could write code for sending email notifications.

   5. Last but not the least, define authorizations with regard to substitution. You can consider assigning the light weight MSS role SAP_MANAGER_MSS_SUBST_SR_NWBC to substitute users who are not managers. Define appropriate values for authorization objects in this role. Additionally if you use structural authorization then a new structural profile could be created for substitute users. The profile could be configured with function module HRMSS_SUBST_GET_ORG_ASSIGNMENT which reads the active substitution rules and determines the root organization units.

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  • Another great blog Sagar !! . Thanks for sharing the viral bit of information to leverage this solution.

    Just this morning, we were discussing about these solution. And clients were so impressed that they had a look on there face.. and why can’t all other modules be like HCM and have this awesome substitution features to manage their workflows 🙂

    Not sure if this already in developments, but surely will be awesome to experience same flexibility in other modules.



      • The substitution is available for workflows in general. Substitution of workitems is there in Inbox/UWL.

        But with HR renewal 1.0 FP1, substitution is now enabled for MSS applications and non -workflow based requests. Also a substitution overview page is newly available.

    • Hello Sagar,

      Thanks for sharing the information with us. I have one query about the substitution authorisations. I mean to ask if we one manager has appointed his subordinate as a substitution in the system and that subordinate (substituted employee) is applying few leaves which will automatically go to his line manager(he himself substituted as a mgr as of now) then how to restrict the leaves to get approved as either it will go to the another workflow which may not need any approval or the request will automatically get approved and processed.

      so I want to ask if there is any specific thing to activate/enable for this.

      many Thanks



      • You have to design the workflow as per your requirement for this case. So if your requirement is that workflow goes one level up then it has to be designed accordingly

  • Hi Sagar,

    Many thanks for the information. May I ask, for the structural authorization, does it require manual assignment by an administrator every time a substitution is activated and to be removed manually when the substitution ends ? Can I confirm this step, please ..

    Thank you and regards,

    Kir Chern

    • For structural authorization to work without manual steps, create a profile with the function module HRMSS_SUBST_GET_ORG_ASSIGNMENT. This function reads active substitution rules for user and determines the root objects at runtime. Keep this profile assigned to substitute users.

  • Is there anything special that needs to be done to get the extended notification process to read the substitution profiles and send notifications about substituted task to the substituted users? Doesn’t seem to be working for profiles which combine multiple classifications.



    • Hi Chris,

      Email notifications can be sent to the substitute when a substitution rule is created/deleted by implementing BAdI WF_SUBSTITUTE. An example implementation is available that you can check – HRMSS_SUBSTITUTION_BADI_IMPL with the implementing class as CL_HRMSS_IM_SUBSTITUTE_MANAGE. You would probably have to get the substituted tasks from the subst profile by reading the db table and incorporate in the notification text.

  • G’day Sagar,

    Nice one thank you for the blog. I have a small question though can you help me with that please?

    here goes:

    Let us say a manager decides to make one of the guys reporting to him as a delegate. He creates the rule say for a period of 1 month. Then

    1. Is there something in sap that automatically assigns bot the regular as well as structural role to the employee for that period of 1 month automatically?

    2. or should someone fromt he say security team do it explicitly?

    If we extrapolate the point 1 to a large organisation, there could potentially be a several ‘delgations’ happening on any day,…

    The badi you mentioned HRMSS_SUBSTITUTION looks like it determines the active substitutions per delegate, and then the function module for str auths dynamically determines the root org object and defines the limitations of a user withint he org structure…

    Is there any thing else similar tot he above that actually assign the regular/str roles to the delegate user automatically for the period of substitution?

    My assumption (and to be honest I do not have access to hr-renewal right now) after going through documentation is this (vital?) bit is missing, still.

    And I am more than happy to be proved wrong.


    shree ganti.

    • Hi Shree,

      As mentioned in the blog, there is a light weight MSS role SAP_MANAGER_MSS_SUBST_SR_NWBC available precisely to do this. The role can be kept assigned to all the possible substitutes in the organization. When there is no active substitution to the user having this role, he gets a blank substitution overview application. Only when a manager creates a substitution rule to this user, that he gets to work on behalf in the application.

      Also with regard to structural authorization, this user could be kept assigned structural profile created as described in blog. When there are no active substitutions to this user, he gets no authoirzations. Only when manager creates substitution rules he gets the authorizations to the managers objects(it does dynamically).

      Assigning roles to possible substitutes in the organization would be one time activity.

      Hope it is clear now.

      • Sagar, thanks for the info  mate,.. so does it mean that once we have a set of predetermined substitutes for all mss users in the system, the role assignment is a one time activity and then the standard badi hrms_substitution will ensure that these substitutes’ authorisations are active only  when there is a corresponding substitution rule against any user, in the system?

        and the ability for a manager to dynamically select any employee (other than the pre-determined subsitutes) as a substituew will still require the  roles assignment to be done manually, right?

        thanks for your time again Sagar. appreciate it.


  • Sagar, thanks for a wonderful blog related to substitutions in MSS.

    I am working on HCM forms and processes (FPM form) for changing personal data like Title,First Name etc.

    As of now, when I click the FPM form, from MSS -> Employee on behalf of services, I see the personal data of the Manager, but not the employee.

    Can we use these substitutions configuration, to call the FPM form to change the personal data of an Emplpyee by a Manager from

    My Staff > Overview > Team Viewer -> “Employee on behalf of services”

    Please suggest.



    • Hello Dina,

      I guess you have issue with Employee on behalf service and you should debug or try to resolve that issue. MSS substitution should be used when one manager is substituting another employee for his/her day to day tasks.



  • Thanks for the helpful blog, Sagar!

    Do you know: does SAP_MANAGER_MSS_SUBST_SR_NWBC role require MSS license? Or ESS one is enough for substitutes?


    • Hi Vasiliy,

      Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to guide you on this aspect. You have to contact solution management in SAP.



  • Sagar,

    Thank you for your helpful blog. One question about the substitute receiving the email notifications for the work items.

    We are EHP7 HR Renewal FP4 no portal NWBC for HTML and we use POWL.

    We have the workflows set for standard items like Leave request, Clock-In/Out and those work good the Manager always is getting the email notifications when expected. But when the Manager assigns a Substitute they are not getting the email notifications and have to rely on being told they have a work item to approve or constantly checking the work overview.  Should the Substitute get the notification’s by default or is there another area to configure that feature?



  • Perhaps I am nitpicking but the inability to specify substitution profiles that will be allowed introduces some level of risk especially when other access paths to data exist. Am I missing something? This is in respect to HRMSS_SUBST_GET_ORG_ASSIGNMENT

    what I mean is that I would like the function module to only return orgs to a substitute within the scope of a particular substitution profile..

  • i know this is a very old blog but can you please help. How can one restrict the applications that the substituted user gets? For example we have Time Managemement and Travel activated and as a manager I just want to substitute Travel so that the substituted user only sees travel work items and not Time management, how can I do that? Another manager could want to substitute only time management requests.

    Thank you

    • Task Classes can be used to classify applications/workflow tasks(you could create Travel, Time etc). Assign them to separate profiles which would be avaialable to manager to substitute what he wants. Hope that helps.

  • Hi,

    Many thanks for a great but  i have a question regarding substitution

    Is it possible to limit substitution to applications? Ie ensure that a manager can only substitute certain applications and that the substitute himself/herself get only receive relevant work items.

  • Hi guys,

    Thanks for this blog.

    Do you think possible to customize the overview part of this report :

    Sans titre.png

    I try to remove Work overview”.

    Thanks for your help!


    Sans titre.png