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Author's profile photo vidyasagar panchaxarimath

ABAP Workflow For Beginners: Working with Container Operation and Loop (Until) Steps-PART1

Working with Container Operation and Loop (Until) Steps

Introduction:This document will help one to understand the use of Container Operation

                         and Loop (Until) step in Workflow Builder.

Note: 1) This document will help us to learn how to create a workflow using step types

               and workflow container.

           2) The execution of the workflow will be discussed in Part 2 of the below document.


1) Go to Transaction code ‘SWDD’ and we can see the following screen.

   a) SWDD is the Transaction code where we can build a workflow.


2) Click on the ‘create new workflow’ button which is on the top left of the screen as shown below.

New Workflow.PNG

3) Now our workflow builder screen looks as shown below.

   a) By clicking on ‘create new workflow’ button the workflow step layout will be reset to the initial stage.

new workflow screen.PNG

4) Now we have to right click on ‘undefined for new step’ as shown below and click on

    create or double click on it.

    a) ‘Undefined- Double-click for new step’ allows us to create required steps in sequence.

    b) This decides the flow of processes in our workflow.

selecting step.PNG

5) Now a popup window will appear as shown below consisting of different step types for selection.

   a) In ‘step selection’ window we get steps to select depending on our business logic.

   b) For Example: If we want to send a mail then, we have to select ‘Send Mail’ step.    

step types.PNG

6) First Select the Loop (Until) step. 

    a) If we want to process a step more than once then, we can use Loop(Until) step.

     b) This step loop, until the condition given in loop step is true.

loop step select.PNG

7) Screen of the loop(until) looks as shown below.

Loop screen.PNG

8) Now on the left hand side of the screen we can see a button choice,we have to choose

     ‘Workflow Container’ and double click on the blue space highlighted below.

   a) Container element contains 4 tabs.

          i)  D.type(Data Type).

         ii)  Properties.

         iii) Initial Value.

         iv) Change Data.


9) Now below screen shows the pop-up to create container element.

    a) ‘D.type’ tab provides of three options for data type declaration.

         i) Object type:                    Here we can choose Business object or Class as data type.

        ii) ABAP Dict.Reference:  Here we can use ABAP Dictionary structure along with

                                                    required field as data type.

        iii) ABAP Dict. Data Type: Here we can use ABAP dictionary data elements or

                                                      datatypes for data types declaration.


10) Now we have to click on ‘Properties’ tab in the pop-up and fill it as shown below.

      Check on both importing and exporting check boxes.

       a) Here we can set the property of the parameter(Container Element) being created.

       b) Properties like:     Importing, Exporting, Mandatory can be applied.

       c) Multiline property: This property if checked allows to insert multiple entries

                                           (Internal table like) into the element create.


11) Now we have to click on ‘Initial Value’ tab and fill the counter as ‘5’.

        a) Initial value tab allows us to initialise the element.


12) Now click on the OK button and an element will be created as shown below.

        a) Here double arrow marks in the front ‘LV_COUNTER’ element created means,

            it has both import and export parameter checked.



13) Now we have to give the step name of the Loop(Until) screen and click on

      ‘Click here to create a new condition’ to create a ‘loop end condition’.

condition click.PNG

14) The popup window of the loop condition looks as shown below.

        a) In this popup we have sections of

           i) Operators:Here we choose the ‘Relational operator’ applicable for our


                         Example: = , >= etc.

           ii) Logic       :Here we choose the ‘Logical operator’ applicable for our


               Example: AND ,OR  etc.

          iii) Constant :This section provides space to enter numeric or alphabetical

                                  values as applicable for our expression.

               Example: 1,2,3,a ,b,c etc.

           iv) Parentheses: Adding Parentheses(After comment) to the expression

                                        created is done using this section.


           v) Expression 1 and Description section: Here we can choose system fields

                                                                                   and Workflow container elements

                                                                                   for our expression.

           vi) Condition: This is the space provided to prepare condition expression/s

                                      for our loop.


loop Condition popup.PNG

15) Now we have to give the condition and click on ok.

loop Condition popup_expression.PNG

16) Now the loop step screen looks as follows.

        a) Below condition means this loop step will complete(End) once the variable

           LV_COUNTER’s value is ‘0’.

loop Condition_first screen.PNG

17) Now go back to the first screen and save workflow builder.


18) Now right click on loop branch and click on ‘create…’ option.

       a) Here we can create and include the steps in loop branch as shown below.

       b) Steps included inside the loop branch will be processed in loops until loop ends. 


19) Now we have to choose ‘Container operation’ step from the step types pop-up.

       a) Container operation step is used to do Arithmetic operations and storing results in



20) First view of ‘Container operation’ step looks as follows.

        a) In this step we have to fill step name, outcome name etc.

        b) There is a check box to include or exclude this step in workflow log(After execution),

             this will be discussed in Part-2 of this document.


21) Now we have to fill the decrement expression in ‘Operation’ section

       as shown below.

        a) Here we are decrementing the value count of the variable ‘LV_COUNTER’

            (Initial value is ‘5’).

        b) Result Element:Result Element is the variable or Parameter in which

                                         result is stored after calculation.

        c) Assignment:This section provides  ‘=’ and ‘<-‘ symbols to assign to result.

        d) Expression Section: Here we can provide an ‘Workflow Container’ element

                                                 or we can directly assign numeric values.

       e) Operator Section: This section consists of ‘Arithmetic Operators’ which we

                                            can assign to the expression.

                                            Examples: +,-,/,*.    


22) Now click on OK and go back to the initial screen.


23) Now we have to create a send mail step as shown below.


select ‘Send mail’ step type.

a) Send mail step is for sending mail to required recipient.


24) The first screen of  ‘Send mail’ looks as shown below.

      a) In mail step there is a tab named ‘Mail’.

       b) Here we have Recipients section:

            i) Recipient types: Recipient type will allow us to choose recipients

                                            depending on Organisation Unit,job,position,

                                            work center or user.

            ii) We can also choose recipients as ‘WF initiator’ 

                (Workflow initiator- the user who starts the workflow).

            iii) Expression:Here we can browse the workflow container element

                                      which will hold email addresses of the valid recipients

                                      during runtime.


25) Fill receiver,subject and body as shown below.

       a) Subject: Here we must fill subject of the mail.

                         We can also use workflow container element for dynamic subject.

     b) Mail Body: In the mail body we can write hard coded body or can use workflow container

                            element for dynamic body.


26) Now we have to click on OK and save the workflow built.


27) Now check and Activate the workflow.



28) Now workflow is ready to execute.

Conclusion:Now we know how to create a workflow using step types: loop(until) ,Container operation and Send Mail.

Execution:Let us learn how to execute the created workflow in my next document.

My Next document will be:ABAP Workflow For Beginners:Working with Container Operation and Loop(Untill) Steps-PART2.

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      Author's profile photo vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for your review Sir.

      I have one query.

      If I post this document in WORKFLOW space will this document be approved ?

      Please guide me on this.

      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      I don't know. I've asked the moderator here to make a judgement.

      Author's profile photo Jocelyn Dart
      Jocelyn Dart

      Hi Vidyasagar,

      Thanks for creating beginner material - as a workflow moderator I have allowed it as we don't have a lot of beginner workflow tutorials on the SCN site. But I would recommend that you look to edit your blog and improve it.

      Firstly - a simple check is always a good idea - particularly if English is not your first language.  Native English speakers will work it out, but it makes it harder for non-native speakers if there are too many obvious spelling mistakes.

      Secondly - try and give more context.  Screenshots are great - but without explaining what and why they don't really help you learn.   Your brief comments at the top need expanding, and it would help to have a sentence or two for each screenshot - for a beginner blog I feel you have made a lot of assumptions about their level of knowledge. 

      A beginner blog really needs to be more explanatory.

      By all means keep going but please keep working to improve the quality of your content - and you will find these sorts of improvements will be very much appreciated by the community.

      Hope that helps guide you further in your blogging journey


      Author's profile photo vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Jocelyn,

      Thank you for valuable advice,I will definitely work to improve my quality in Documentation and English.

      I am happy that you liked my screenshots presentation.

      Author's profile photo Gaurang Gujar
      Gaurang Gujar

      Hi Vidyasagar,

      Really Nice Blog for Workflow Beginners.

      Keep up the Good work.



      Author's profile photo vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Gaurang,

      Thank you for liking it.

      Please refer my Part-2 document also it is published

      Author's profile photo vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      vidyasagar panchaxarimath
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Ramesh,

      Thank you for liking it.

      Please refer my Part-2 document also it is published

      Author's profile photo Pavan Golesar
      Pavan Golesar

      Just one word:


      Thank you for your effort 😎

      One more thing. Please add a hyperlink to sequel of this doc i.e  Part 2. Would make help.