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Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon

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

http://help.sap.com/erp_hcm_ias_2013_01/helpdata/en/d4/602508d5084ee2909ff6b96d9d8905/content.htm?frameset=/en/2f/d9c3e4c7264bb491aa8f5261019ec8/frameset.htm

     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

http://help.sap.com/erp_hcm_ias_2013_01/helpdata/en/2f/d9c3e4c7264bb491aa8f5261019ec8/content.htm

In the section at the bottom….

Create the Form for a Form Scenario

  1. 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
      Layout
      .
    • List – Display or perform
      operations on repeat fields of a single infotype record. For details, see Creating a List
      Layout
      .
    • 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
      Composite Layout
      .
  2. Choose an appropriate FPM configuration type from the FPM configuration table. Enter a configuration ID and description and choose Create.

FPM_std.jpg

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

naming convention:

                                

          WD_HRASR_<form id>

std_FPM_configs.jpg 

           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.

                               ZWD_HRASR_<form id>

      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

http://help.sap.com/erp_hcm_ias_2013_01/helpdata/en/d2/4a93399862467282539abe1995d98d/content.htm?frameset=/en/2f/d9c3e4c7264bb491aa8f5261019ec8/frameset.htm

In the section….

Adding Fields to the Form
  1.   Add a header to the form:
    1. Select
      the FPM text view field from Repositories and drag and drop it on
      to the form.
    2. Enter
      the text Request
      Relocation Benefit
      .
    3. Save
      your entries.

     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”):

FPM_1.jpg

Then from the repositories shown, you can locate the “FPM text view” field to add to the form as instructed.

FPM_2.jpg

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.

FPM_3.jpg

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”).

FPM_4.jpg

So in my version of the tutorial, I made a separate configuration for comments:

FPM_6.jpg

FPM_5.jpg

Finally, we create the process in the last tutorial section:

Creating a Process

http://help.sap.com/erp_hcm_ias_2013_01/helpdata/en/10/8505d3b1e34cce858782ca25cbf04d/content.htm?frameset=/en/2f/d9c3e4c7264bb491aa8f5261019ec8/frameset.htm

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.PROC_1.jpg
  3. 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.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/test_1_233198.jpg

    • Fill in the initial information and make sure to
      select the option for the “Web Dynpro Screen” at the bottom.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/test_2_233199.jpg

    • Execute your test and view your nice new FPM form.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/test_3_233200.jpg

     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….

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      Author's profile photo Philip Johnston
      Philip Johnston

      Hey Chris..   Thanks for sharing.  I'm sure this will come in handy once we get HR Renewal installed (should be very soon).  Question:  Does this mean all that work we did enabling "Real Time" form field validation and lookups will be obsolete?  (:->

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      First off, THANKS for the thanks. Second....as a good little consultant, I will answer with the consultant's motto..."It depends.". haha There are positive and negative reasons for using an Adobe form over WDA FPM. One that immediately comes to mind is that Adobe forms allow more "responsiveness" via JavaScript (not to mention some creative use of "user events" like we did together). Some of this is not possible with WDA FPM or has to be done in other ways...which opens up LOTS more blog topics for me! haha

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Chris a.k.a "the godfather of forms"-

      Thanks for another great blog.

      Keep up the good work.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks! I will keep going till people stop showing up...just like a true rock star eh? haha

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great work Chris, keep it up.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Jarret Pazahanick
      Jarret Pazahanick

      Nice job (as always) and have always enjoyed your blogging style. Keep up the great work.

      On a side for folks that dont know....it was Chris that convinced me to start blogging on SCN many moons ago and so glad he did 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Excellent job, Chris. Really appreciate your attention to detail. Keep it coming!

      Author's profile photo Carrie Lande
      Carrie Lande

      Thanks, Chris - what a great contribution!!

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Awww shucks. Thanks for the kind words. I will keep putting out more as long as nice folks like you keep reading them.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Chris for nice blog again, Thank you very much!!!

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank for your sharing on new tech.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks YOU!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Chris for another good blog.

      Author's profile photo Monica Borden-Ooley
      Monica Borden-Ooley

      Hi Chris, Thanks for the great information. Is the tutorial relevant only to EhP 6 with HR Renewal 1.0? You might have said that somewhere and I missed it.

      Many thanks! Monica

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, Monica...this is the newer HR Renewal based HCM P&F.....I thought I did say it, but really it is the FPM part that is important (as an option instead of Adobe). Thanks for checking it out!

      Author's profile photo Carrie Lande
      Carrie Lande

      Hi Monica,

      The Floor Plan Manager (FPM) is an SAP view-editing tool which is the basis for the "form" editing part of the P&F Design-TIme (/HRASR_DT) in the backend.  These FPM forms were introduces with HR Renewal 1.0.  My thanks to Robert Moeller for his help in answering your question!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks very much Chris, I was just waiting for this blog because I need implement for the first time WDA, this is new to me after working for years on Adobe Forms.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      If you worked with the "old" way, you will be just fine. It really isn't much different....just a different "data gathering" UI. haha

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Chris,

      Did you figure out a way to add a picture in the form. I dont see any option in WD forms like it used to be in Adobe forms.

      Regards,

      Raghavendra Prabhu

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Sorry. Did you figure this out? There is an "image" element you can add. Past that, you could make your own component and include it in the form (like my "Google" blog example you can find on here)

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks. Very nice!

      Author's profile photo Luke Marson
      Luke Marson

      A  top blog post. I've just tweeting your SCN blog list as it's the must-have SCN resource for HCM Processes and Forms.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks, Luke! I know it is a bit of a niche, but HCM P&F actually does touch a lot of the trickier technical side of HCM these days (decoupled infotypes, FPM framework, OADP, etc.). So even in some of my HCM P&F blogs, there are some nuggets of wisdom (?) that can and do apply to a broader crowd. =)

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Chris,

      Great tips.  I am on a project where they are looking to replace their Adobe P&F with the new FPM forms and I am wondering how much of the existing config and workflow can be re-used.  Would you say the Adobe form can be replaced and the existing Workflow and P&F config be re-used?

      Regards

      Rob Greenway

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      That is kinda the idea....just replace the "form" portion (UI) and all else remains the same. However, the devil is in the details...there will be some considerations to handle. For instance, if your Adobe forms are really JavaScript heavy, that kind of functionality had to be handled other ways in FPM-based forms. But for the most part, workflow (aside from changing binding names), backend services, and HCM P&F config should not change very much in most cases. I mean the "process" is still the same process after all, I would think. It is just presented in a different way now.

      Author's profile photo Siddharth Rajora
      Siddharth Rajora

      Excellent work as usual, what a good read Chris! So much to learn, I ll keep coming to your shows 🙂 .

      Author's profile photo Hafizul Mollah
      Hafizul Mollah

      Hi Chris,

      This is a very good blog for the beginners in HCM Process and Forms using FPM form.All these points are basic but very useful and helpful.Thanks a lot for putting them together,Appreciate you effort!!!Carry on the good work!!!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Chris,

      We have Adobe forms on the portal and we now have FPM forms and NWBC.  Are they fully interchangeable?  i.e. Can you run Adobe forms on NWBC and FPM forms on Enterprise Portal?  In all of the SAP documentation it doesnt say you can't but I wondered if there is some technical reason this cant be done?

      Rob.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      When you say "interchangeable" how do you mean? It is not as simple as "replace one with the other". There are considerations for each. BUT ....yes, they can be ported over and yes, they both can run in the portal and NWBC. Furthermore, keep in mind that with the release of the FPM option, SAP has now also "left the door open" for ANY other kind of form UI interface (ie. others from 3rd parties for example). I HIGHLY speculate that a HTML5 option will be coming soon as well since SAP is pushing it so much in other areas.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Chris,

      indeed it is a great post that helped  a lot. the only thing I could not do is, increase the size of current and previous comments fields in the form. even dragging to make it bigger dont help at all. Wonder how would you make it big like a box. Currently it is like a regular input field.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      In the "attributes" for your element, look for the Position section. You can set the "start row of element" and "end row of element" to set the HEIGHT and "start column of element" and "end column of element" to set the LENGTH. This allows you to adjust the "box" size of your comments fields.

      Author's profile photo Laxman Chittepu
      Laxman Chittepu

      Thanks Christopher,

      Can you please help me in the below issue:

      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).

      In my case the browser doen't open but I get an error "Configuration ZWD_HRASR_XXX does not exist". Do I need to create it before this step. Please guide me.

      Regards,

      Laxman

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Updated blog to reference this.

      Author's profile photo Laxman Chittepu
      Laxman Chittepu

      Thanks Christopher.

      Author's profile photo Ashish Shah
      Ashish Shah

      Hello Chris.

      Very nice and useful blog. I am stuck on your step 2e where you have added an EDIT (in the year 2015) to the original blog. Perhaps system setup has changed today versus when you had your blog posted.

      My challenge is that we have two SAP clients; one for development and one for customizing. The Dev client can create the SE80 FPM Configurations and the Customizing client can create the HRASR_DT Form Scenarios.

      So after I create FPM configuration in Dev client, I need to link the Feeder Class' parameters to the Form Scenario.  Correct?  Well, the challenge is that the Form Scenarios are only found in Customizing client, not DEV client. I also cannot go into Customizing client to edit the FPM configuration to do the linking.

      So how to link the Form Scenario to the Feeder Class' parameter together when there are two separate clients being used?  Without this step, I cannot continue to the Form Layout steps.

      Thanks,
      Ashish.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      You would usually move the transport from one client to other (depending on your own company rules) WITHIN the same "box" using SC01 / SCC1.

      Author's profile photo Ashish Shah
      Ashish Shah

      Ok, I'll check with Basis if they allow this as we developers don't have access to SCC1.  Maybe there is a table that I can search for where the Feeder Class Parameter is linked to the Form Scenario, and then update it directly in the Customizing client through SM30.  But surprised that other folks don't have this problem as there isn't much written on this difficulty.

      Thanks Chris for the tip.

      Ashish.

      Author's profile photo Dhruvin Mehta
      Dhruvin Mehta

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks a lot for he document.

      We have SSF system for HR and we want to integrate the Process and Forms in Service Requests for example we want to load process and form int o CRM (SSF) system based on catefgorization, I tied check some docs but could not find any concreate solution for the same.

      Can you please help us on the same! that would great!

      Regards,

      Dhruvin

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      This is not related to this blog. Please ask elsewhere (forum discussion?) and what is SSF?

      Author's profile photo Dhruvin Mehta
      Dhruvin Mehta

      hi Christopher.. apologies 🙂

      SSF is shared service framework with which one can access  HR , FI , Logistic and can create service tickets and everything in CRM.. so SSF is basically a CRM 7.0 system with HR or FI or logistic.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      Ah yeh...got ya now....know what it is.....some many three letter acronyms (TLA) haha

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Christopher

      Thanks so much for the document and keeping it up to date!  I just got through running into the error message on "Object Component Configuration does not exist" and was following the SAP tutorial which does not address this.  I really appreciate the fact that you updated your instructions to include how to get past this.

      Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      very welcome...Thank you for reading it!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Chris ,

      We created a form process and accessing the form using the application ASR_PROCESS_EXECUTE_OVP and the application configuration ASR_PROCESS_EXECUTE_OVP_CFG .I created a new application configuration copied the component configuration ASR_PROCESS_EXECUTE_OVP_CFG into a 'Z' configuration because we wanted some custom buttons in the application .

      When i add a button to the global tool bar that button is not appearing in the screen .When i debugged the core webdynpro component HRASR00_PROCESS_EXEC_ALT and found out that except 3 buttons all the rest are disabled and invisible . Eventhough i have enabled the button using code enhancement i am still not getting the button on the UI . Is there anything i am missing ?

      Thanks , Ravi .

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello, someone could suggest to me a book or ebook on ABAP HCM?

      Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Dhruvin Mehta
      Dhruvin Mehta

      Google.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Dhruvin Mehta!

      It seems to me, the label says that we should first search on Google for questioning after the forum, but I have done, if this is a concern.

      Well, Google gave me more consistent answers to this.

      However, thanks.

      Author's profile photo Russell Hergott
      Russell Hergott

      Hi Christopher,

      I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from your HCM Processes and Forms blogs and appreciate you investing the time and effort to prepare them.  Just starting to look at the FPM option and ran into an issue developing my form.  I added an Explanation field (FPM_FGL2_EXPLANATION) to my form.  I can maintain the field’s Text attribute or its Text Document attribute, and the text will appear in the Preview pane in FLUID.  But when I test my process, the Explanation field does not appear.  Any idea what might be causing this behavior?  There are no attributes for visibility.

      Thanks!

      Russell
       

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      First...THANKS!....Second....sorry, but I can't be much help. I don't use those texts much/often for much the very reason you said. If I want "static" text, but want to control it, I tend to make it a field on my HCM P&F form fields config, then I can set its visibility (as well as text) as I like in a generic service. I think I used the ones like you mention a while back and hit similar issues....don't remember.....deep into a global ESS project so my head has not been in HCM P&F in a while. haha
       

      Author's profile photo Russell Hergott
      Russell Hergott

       

      Thanks for the quick response.  I will try the generic service approach.

      Author's profile photo Adam Trickett
      Adam Trickett

      Sadly all your links now fail to resolve, it looks like SAP have updated their site, so your links are no longer valid...! It's a shame as the official tutorials that SAP produce as opaque and not very helpful at all.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      Blog Post Author

      They are just the links to the exact spot in the tutorial in the SAP "help" documentation. You should be able to figure out where they go based on the section in the blog and description. .....and yes, agreed....SAP has problems with breaking links with a "redirect" backup plan. =)