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Undocumented feature: How to use a Function Module as action handler in the POWL Inbox IBO_WDA_INBOX (CA-EPT-IBO)


With the POWL Inbox (Web Dynpro Component name IBO_WDA_INBOX) customers can define custom tasks, actions and action properties just like with Business Workflow Workplace and UWL. SAP provides configuration at least for the most common ESS and MSS tasks. The POWL Inbox has two sets of configuration tables, SAP provided configuration and customer configuration tables. The most commonly used action handlers of the POWL Inbox are the Object Based Navigation (OBN) and Launchpad ones, OBJECTNAVIGATIONLAUNCHER and LAUNCHPADHANDLER respectively. There is a third one, the FUNCTIONMODULEACTIONHANDLER one. The last one isn’t documented and I don’t think that it is that apparent how to use it so this blog tries to address that.


When defining actions, use FUNCTIONMODULEACTIONHANDLER as action type. When defining action properties use FUNCTIONMODULE as name and the function module you would like to invoke as value. Now this far most would have gotten just by reading the official documentation and using their gray cells, the tricky parts are to follow.

First thing you should know is that the function module to be used has to have generic (e.g. simple) import, export, tables and exceptions. For example LIKE isn’t supported (only TYPE is) nor are complex types such as references (TYPE REF). The next thing to take notice of is that other action properties (besides FUNCTIONMODULE) that you define are considered as parameters of the function module. Let’s say you define an action property named WI_ID with a value of WI_ID=${ITEM.EXTERNALID}. Doing so means your function module should have WI_ID as an import parameter (preferably of type SWW_WIID) to have the work item ID automatically passed to it. Another hard coded feature of the function module action handler is that it assumes to get error messages in a table named MESSAGE_LINES, similar to most SAP_WAPI function modules.

If you want to understand it in detail, have a look at the ABAP class CL_IBO_CH_WD_INB_ACTHDL_FM.


The function module action handler can be very useful. I used it myself to call a wrapper function module for SAP_WAPI_WORKITEM_COMPLETE in order to complete a work item just by clicking it. It’s a shame that this feature might remain unnoticed by the masses if only relying on official documentation.


The official documentation for the POWL Inbox can be found here. In order to learn more about the POWL Inbox, read POWL Inbox configurations for Manager Self-Service EhP5 and above and How to enable the existing Webdynpro based workflow inboxes to execute ALL tasks without config!.

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