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SAP Business Workflow can be used to define business processes.

Workflow is used in most of SAP business transactions.

Business processes that involve a workflow often require that corresponding documents be created or processed

This can occur, for example, when an application (for a loan, an insurance policy etc.)  Has been approved or rejected during the workflow process.

Open XML documents are most suited for this scenario of adding documents

To a workflow and I will explain why.

With open XML we can tag each part of the document, so in run time

We can show/hide this part.

For example let’s take an example.

We will create a demo workflow for a Vacation Request

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We will create a template  that contains 2 paragraphs:

employee information and  manager approval.

all the variable fields will be used with content controls in MS-word.

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                 and here is the template we will use

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    We have a little problem with the templates paragraphs.

    we would like that the Employee will not see the manger part.

    to solve that we have to find a method to “mark” the manager part and show/hide it depends on

    the entity witch gets the document.

    we will use Building Blocks method, and in this way we can tag all the paragraph and by that control it’s visibility

     the same way as we use Content Control or any other tagging method.

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Create  a new Building Block for later use.

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     Insert the building block to the template.

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   the building block should be tagged as we do with Content Controls

   and than it could be found using it’s tag and be deleted from the document.xml  part of the OPC ( the Zip container ).

   the quick parts will be tagged “MangerAPP”.

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   after creating the template, we will upload  the file to the application server or any server directory witch the SAP identifies.

   during the Workflow task, the template  will  create a new document using Open  XML standards

   the document will be merged with it’s contents, and will be sent to the workflow participant.

    each workflow participant will add it’s data to  the document ( the document is interactive )

    and the document will be sent to SAP where it’s contents will be derived.

     by using Open XML technology with SAP business workflow  we can take up Workflow capabilities

     and give the users a known infrastructure for documents.

    and that’s for this time

     Ronen Almog

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4 Comments

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  1. rina spector

    It  would  be  nice to enhance with  this new functionality any  request for approval  .

    WE are   working very hard issuing  nice  formats to approvers  usually  using ugly html  or  programmed applications (that the user needs to login to  see the data  )  instead of sending a mail with  nice  attachments.

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    1. Ronen Almog Post author

      Hi Rina.

      thanks for your reply.

      can you tell what’s the issue with the current attachments

      you are using with workflow environment?

      Ronen

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      1. rina spector

        Hi Ronen ,

        Thanks for your   reply . actually there is no   built in  tool to generate attachments .

        the only  tool  is   ( simple e -mails  with some   sap office )  .

        this is very  old fashion   . in conclusion     there no  formatting  tool  for data . unless  one uses  other’s  programmers  work   that issue  pdfs from  form  builder  editors .

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        1. Ronen Almog Post author

          Hi Rina.

          You’ve mentioned a  painful problem.

          indeed  SAP formatting tools are very old fashioned and  in  some cases

          do not give an  answer for more state of the art scenarios.

          with Open  XML there is a lot of openness and  flexibility with documents manipulation

          and the big advantage is that the document processing is  done on  the server,

          with out any interfaces.

          I will expand on Open XML and workflow  in the next blog.

          tanks

          Ronen Almog

          (0) 

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