HR Renewal 1.0: HCM P&F – Creating a Basic FPM Form
HCM Processes and Forms have gotten some major new improvements in the much promoted HR Renewal 1.0 Add-On. After huge demand from customers, SAP has finally released a whole new Web Dynpro UI for HCM P&F using Floorplan Manager (FPM). This provides an alternative to costly Adobe licenses and skills. For more information on HR Renewal you can check out this FAQ.
Having recently been involved in a pilot project using this exciting new technology, I thought it would be a great opportunity to take a peek under the hood at how easy it is to set up a basic form with the new FPM UI.
Although editing is done in FPM you don’t have to be a FPM guru to create a form and the interface is quite intuitive. So don’t be alarmed if this sounds way too technical! The FPM editor is much easier and faster to develop in than Adobe Lifecycle Designer, but the trade-off is that it is a lot more restrictive in terms of layout and scripting.
For this example we’ll create a form which changes the address of an employee.
Design Time Configuration
Configuration is done in the Design Time (Transaction HRASR_DT) to utilize the SAP PA service fields for Infotype 6 – assuming you already know the basics of the HCM P&F Framework.
In order to create the FPM Layout one has to navigate to the Form Node in the HCM P&F Form Scenario Design time. A form can consist of multiple FPM configurations and these are stored in a table within the node. The order in the table is the order in which they will be displayed. A dropdown allows users to choose the type of user-interface building blocks (UIBBs) for the FPM configuration.
Currently there are four different types: Form (basic layout), List (used for Infotype repeat fields eg. Infotype 8), List Complex (multiple records on an infotype) and Composite (UIBB grouping).
Since this is an introduction to basic form layouts we’ll be using the Form FPM Configuration type and exploring the other options at a later stage.
Floorplan Manager (FPM) Configuration – Form Layout
Adding Fields to the Layout
The FPM Form Layout editor displays all the Form Scenario fields and buttons within the Repositories area. Buttons are analogous to HCM P&F Events which include the standard User Event Intialize and User Event Check.
In addition to the fields from the Form Scenario three decorative element fields are available in the editor: Formatted Text View, Text View and Explanation.
The Preview area is arranged as a grid of columns and rows and the Layout Type dropdown allows one to divide the Preview area grid. In order to add a field to the Form one simply has to drag and drop it from the Repositories panel to the Preview area or alternatively add it directly from the Form UIBB Schema Area.
In the UIBB Schema the option exists to add Fields to a Group, and it is important to take note that if all Fields in a Group are invisible then the Group will disappear from the layout which allows for the heading of the Group to appear dynamically. This helps you out a bit if you’re used to being able to script text visibilities in Adobe forms with other dependancies.
Formatting Fields and Layout
Once a field has been added to the Preview area it can be moved around using drag and drop or reordered using the Form UIBB Schema table.
Clicking on a Field allows the user to fine-tune the Field attributes, labels and output format. If you’ve selected the Attributes button then you’ll see this at the bottom panel of the editor.
The Display Type allows you to change the field to a dropdown, checkbox, etc. Other important settings to note, is the ability to calibrate the exact starting Rows and Columns of the field on the Preview grid area instead of dragging and dropping. Rows and Columns may span multiples which is useful for text box areas such as your Previous and Current Comments.
Developers who are using the Adobe editor may be wondering, “Where do you set the field visibility and mandatory settings?” Well the good news is that these settings are now fully integrated with the Design Time configuration settings on a Field Attribute and will display appropriately even if you select step dependence – something Adobe forms didn’t quite manage to leverage from the framework.
If you’re used to controlling the Field Attributes dynamically with scripting in Adobe Forms depending on user events there is a new parameter which has been added to the Generic Service BAdI method DO_OPERATION and INITIALIZE to try and compensate for this. This is only available from HR Renewal Feature Pack 2 onwards.
Adding headings, guidance texts and decorative elements is simple to do by dragging a Formatted Text View onto the Preview area. This element can be formatted by using traditional Web Dynpro for ABAP Text View tags or, as of Feature Pack 2, the mini editor in the Attributes of the element.
User Events and Buttons
Adding a button to the form is accomplished by dragging and dropping a Button from the Repositories area onto the Preview. In this example it would allow the users of the form to refresh the default address data based on the Effective Date entered.
An alternative for this exists by directly linking a Design Time configured event or standard check / intialize event to the field on the attributes. This event will then trigger when the user hits Enter on the field. Although not as robust as the Adobe scriptingevents which allows for mouse focusing or exiting events, this is still a useful option to keep in mind.
The End Result
Once you’ve done all your customization and layout settings this would be what a very elementary address change form would look like. Not bad for fifteen minutes!
Of course live forms will always be more complicated than this example, but the intention is to showcase how effortless it is to create a form using the Flexible User Interface Designer (FLUID) editor in FPM.
Stay tuned for more blogs on this exciting new HCM P&F functionality which I plan to cover. Don’t be shy to add your comments!
Thanks, nice overview of the new FPM. Now we wait to see if any customers copy their old forms over from adobe!
Thanks Nick! 🙂 That gives me a good idea for a blog post - steps to convert an Adobe form over to FPM.
It's interesting to see how integrated HCM P&F is though in the new HR Renewal. SAP doesn't exclusively use it for Processes anymore but also for their "Actions" lane which was created to mirror PA40 actions. It looks like Web Dynpro applications, but it's just HCM P&F with the workflow which has been removed from them. This was done to create a direct update when submitted and also retain the Save as Draft functionality. Quite a clever way for customers to leverage HCM P&F to modify their own actions without having to enhance Web Dynpros.
That magic is done using the "NO_WORKFLOW" setting in configuration of the process. 😉
That's right - that's how they implement it. Great to see you've started doing a very nice comprehensive series on the FPM forms too!
Am new to this HCM P&F with FPM .Require some information on :
If we want to hide fields based on user actions and different scenario steps
a) do we do this in the custom backend service OR
b) do we do it in the feeder class ? if so do we need to copy the feeder class to Z class and make changes ?
What are the possible changes that could done using a feeder class ?. I do not have a complete idea of the feeder class.Would be really helpful to get some info.
Any Tips would be great .
Thanks in advance,
I would advise you to keep UI related control handling in your generic service. Moreso because a lot of your UI settings are now in the Design Time workbench configuration as well. In my mind, the feeder class is more to handle our context/interface (as the old ISR interface did for us before). I keep customization of the feeder class to a minimum if possible.
That's just my $0.02 though. 😉
When trying to execute process HRPAO_CREATE_ORGUNIT everything works fine until i try to save. Result is error "Rule MASTER_CC_CREATE is invalid"
But where to find this rule? Neither google or SDN gives any clou.
What is to be done to activate/edit the rule to make the process work?
You can create/edit the Rules in HRASR_DT for the form scenarios.
Expand the Other Attributes Node for the form scenario SHRPAO_CREATE_ORGUNIT & you will notice that the Rule MASTER_CC_CREATE is delivered empty.
Hi Michael, the rule most likely didn't copy properly from your source client 000. I had a look in ours and the logic for it is:
"Historical record = 'X' AND Cost Center <> ''
So you can manually try and recreate it or attempt to reconcile the form scenario from your source client again. Incidentally there are two other rules also on the form scenario which you might need to recreate or reconcile.
I have just tried to look at 000, you hint is perferct. Thank you.
This is an excellent blog, well crafted in content and flow. It got me excited to work on Processes and Forms. Please continue to share with the Community.
Thanks for the compliments and encouragement - very much appreciated Jyoti!
This is good stuff thanks Dino!
Good info Dino. Keep up the good work...
HI Dino thanks for an informative blog. We are facing a strange issue where the FPM forms dont show up in the process overview and shows only adobe forms. do you know how we can overcome this error.
Great info dino....
Thanks for sharing.
Dino..Great Job! Really helpful!
Dino ... That is really a helpful blog! Thanks for providing!!
I tried this same scenario by following the sap help document.
Creating a Form and Editing the Layout - HR Administrative Services (PA-AS) - SAP Library
I struck with Header text view option. I didn't see Attributes of element option to add Headings or change the properties of any element.
haha I wrote a blog about this for that EXACT reason ("attributes" is not so obvious). Go here....
HCM Processes & Forms: Making sense of the new SAP tutorial using FPM
....and enjoy! 😛
I find it by checking each button in that screen. Thanks for your reply and it's nice explanation.