HCM Processes & Forms: Making sense of the new SAP tutorial using FPM
Being “new” to HCM Processes and Forms (HCM P&F) can be daunting enough. Coming in at a time where we now have Adobe Interactive Forms, ABAP Floor Plan Manager (FPM) forms and possibly anything else (since it is pretty “open” now to any 3rd party to build “whatever” as the “data gathering”/form layer) all as possible solutions might qualify you as insane…or at the very least a masochist! (haha) Even those (of us) who might be versed in HCM P&F of the past and have experience with the “old” ways do need to keep up-to-date or be at risk of going the way of the dinosaurs.
With the “new” HR Renewal release with specific content and changes to HCM P&F, the most notable and exciting change in “our world” has to be the additional out-of-the-box/standard possibility of using ABAP WebDynpro forms (views) instead of Adobe Interactive Forms. This does not allow us to just create any old WDA view we like, however. We must do so using the FPM (Floor Plan Manager) framework. If you are use to WebDynpro ABAP programming and have used the FPM framework like some of us, this might come fairly easy. However, if you are not (or you just want to see how the “new” option is incorporated), you will most likely follow SAP’s newer HCM P&F tutorial….
“Tutorial: Create a Process Based on FPM Forms“
As you work through the tutorial however, some things are not completely spelled out for you or immediately obvious. I put together this blog to serve as a companion/expansion to the tutorial to hopefully help those working through it to overcome some of the headaches.
First off, if you are wondering why SAP uses the names they do for this tutorial, it is actually quite simple. In this tutorial, you will be instructed to define a form scenario called ZTFSWD and then attach this to a process you define as ZTPRWD. If you look at the naming, it is simply…”Z” for our custom namespace…”T” for tutorial…”FS” for form scenario or “PR” for process…and then “WD” for WebDynpro (you will notice many of the “old” sample processes do not have the “WD” at the end but do have the same naming)…..so, yeh…naming is pretty much up to you. (haha)
So now, let’s address some of the more confusing steps in the tutorial. From the first tutorial steps in,
Configuring a Form Scenario
In the section at the bottom….
Create the Form for a Form Scenario
- In the object hierarchy area, double-click Form. A blank FPM configuration table will appear.
There are four types of FPM configuration, which are as follows:
- Form – Display data using
a form. For details, see Creating a Form
- List – Display or perform
operations on repeat fields of a single infotype record. For details, see Creating a List
- List Complex – Display or
perform operations on multiple records of a single infotype. For details, see Creating a List Complex Layout.
- Composite – Group
multiple UIBBs within a single UIBB. For details, see Creating a
- Form – Display data using
- Choose an appropriate FPM configuration type from the FPM configuration table. Enter a configuration ID and description and choose Create.
Step 2 here does not really tell you a whole lot or give you easy to follow instructions. The tutorial tells you all the FPM configuration options available but never says which one to pick or how to do it in order to move on in the tutorial, so try this….
2b. In the first column of the “FPM configuration table”, select: FORM (since we just need a simple form for this).
2c. In the second column (“Configuration ID”), enter your own “key ID” for you configuration. Now, you will find that for HCM P&F, SAP uses the following
For your own, you must name yours in the customer namespace, so start with “Z” or “Y”. For ease, I adopt SAP’s naming
convention and simply add a “Z” to the front.
2d. Add a description in the final column.
2e. click the “create” icon which will then create your actual FPM configuration (you might receive a pop-up window asking if you want to save your form scenario…if so, click the “YES” button). It will open a new browser window (since all FPM config work Is done in your browser and NOT in the SAP GUI).
EDIT: You may receive an error like “error “Configuration (YOUR CONFIG NAME) does not exist”. I do not know why SAP changed this but you can not easily create a configuration directly from here as you could when I originally wrote this (even on the version I am working with now, it throws this error). So here is the alternate steps….
- Go to SE80.
- From the “Repository Browser”, select “Web Dynpro Comp. / Intf.
- Now you will need to selected the correct Webdynpro component based on what time of UIBB type you need. Use the following:
- (C) Composite: FPM_COMPOSITE_UIBB
- (F) Form: FPM_FORM_UIBB_GL2
- (L) List: FPM_LIST_UIBB_ATS (you may only have FPM_LIST_UIBB. This is considered the newer version…ATS stands for ABAP Table Services)
- (M) List Complex: same as list (actually not used in any standard sample processes nor I have I had to use it)
To check these, you can look at standard class CL_HRASR00_DT_FSCN_DATA method CHECK_FORM_SCENARIO_FPM_CONF. You can also
see these defined as constants in IF_HRASR00_DT_CONSTANTS.
- After you select the one you need, look at the nodes/folders under it and find “Component Configurations”.
- Right click on that folder and select “Create”.
- This will launch the FLUID application in your web browser.
- Enter your new configuration ID in the right side input box and then click “new” icon.
- This will popup a window asking for the “Description” (just like you saw in the Design Time/HRASR_DT). Enter it and click “OK”.
- You will be asked for the “package” and such as normal for objects and transports.
- Next you will be asked for the feeder class. Enter the standard one used for HCM P&F…. CL_HRASR00_FPM_FEEDER.
- Click “Edit parameters” and enter/select your Form Scenario (and version if needed).
- Click “OK” and click “save” at the top. (You can close the browser now)
- Now, back over to HRASR_DT, you can put in your config ID for the form type selected.
Gee, SAP, thanks for making this soooo much harder now! haha
2f. You now have your FPM configuration to begin “building” your new form/page/screen/thingy.
Now, in the next part from the steps in,
Creating a Form and Editing the Layout
In the section….
Adding Fields to the Form
- Add a header to the form:
the FPM text view field from Repositories and drag and drop it on
to the form.
the text Request
You might not have the Repositories view visible. To make them visible, click the icon that looks like vertical split panes in the menu bar (shown in the image below and if you hover over the icon, the tooltip reads “Navigation & Repositories”):
Then from the repositories shown, you can locate the “FPM text view” field to add to the form as instructed.
Drag the field onto your form (ie. the “Preview” window). Then make sure you have your Attributes pane open (if not, click the icon in the menu bar to show attributes). Finally, you can enter the text “Request Relocation Benefit” into the attribute for the element.
You will follow similar steps to add the other fields as the guide instructs.
In the tutorial, you will see that they ask you to add the comments fields (new and previous comments) directly into your configuration, however, you will
see in SAP’s own examples (and is a better practice) that they put the comments into a separate configuration that is part of your FPM form configuration table. This is a better way to keep your comments fields consistent across forms as well as adding extra “nice” features (such as checking if “previous” comments are empty, and is so, simply hiding the field to clear of page space (ie. “screen real estate”).
So in my version of the tutorial, I made a separate configuration for comments:
Finally, we create the process in the last tutorial section:
Creating a Process
I will give you a little tip/hint here. You can follow the tutorial exactly as instructed. For the most part, you will be either reusing the workflow you defined if you did the “Non-FPM” tutorial or creating a new one to use for your process (note: you will have to chance some of the tasks as the FPM tasks are slightly different, but it is really just switching the “old” standard tasks for the “new” ones). This is very nicely laid out in the tutorial. However, if you want to bypass these steps and get right to testing your new process and FPM form immediately, you can do the following:
- Follow the steps in the tutorial to create the process, assign your form scenario to it and “start step”, assign imitator(s) and other “Start” information.
- In the step where you define the “workflow template” to use, instead of putting in an actual workflow ID, simply put in NO_WORKFLOW. This is an undocumented “feature” that will allow you to immediately launch (and save) a process/form. Keep in mind, this is only useful for testing single form scenario steps and will attempt to change data upon completion based on your configuration.
- Now, you can execute your “start” application, select your process, and test immediately.
- From the Design Time, you can select your
process and click the “test” icon.
- From the Design Time, you can select your
- Fill in the initial information and make sure to
select the option for the “Web Dynpro Screen” at the bottom.
- Execute your test and view your nice new FPM form.
Hope this helps and eases people into HCM P&F a little more comfortably. As always….more blogs to come! You keep reading them, and I will keep churning them out. (haha) Till next time….