Since its release in August 2014, the 3rd edition of ‘Practical Workflow for SAP’ has been storming up the bestseller charts. In this blog we will examine why it’s been so successful and why YOU need to go out and buy one!

Bestseller

Did you know that the first edition of this book was, at the time, the best-selling book in the whole SAP Press catalogue*? Neither did I. But it makes sense; it was surprisingly well written (not google-translated from Tcherman like quite a few others) and in just 500 pages it completely demystified – for me – the brilliant but sometimes infuriating workflow engine. It’s anything but a dry teutonic technical tome, full of real-life anecdotes and practical tips.

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Read it to me again?

Value for Money

Weighing in at over 1000 pages, Workflow 3 is 10% bigger than the second edition, and 100% bigger than the original(!)

This weighty tome will not only teach you everything you need to know about workflow, it can also be used in self-defence or to dispatch large insects.

If you’re worried about the trees, remember that Workflow 3 is also available as a bundle of sustainable electrons.

Nuggets of Pure Gold

What should I do if my workflow fails to start? It’s covered on page 271. Do you need to make your deadlines sensitive to public holidays? See page 1043. What’s the deal with integrating SAP Fiori and workflow?  It’s all in chapter 33. Ever wondered how Alan Rickayzen earns money on the weekends? Turn to page 1061.

Workflows Fourteen

The book condenses the combined wisdom of over thirteen well-known Workflow luminaries; that has to be over two centuries of Workflow experience right there. The authors include experts such as the Godfather of Workflow (Alan Rickayzen), the Goddess of Workflow (Jocelyn Dart) and The Workflow Whisperer (Susan Keohan), as well as the usual SCN suspects.

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What’s that Skip? You’ve already got the 2nd Edition?

This Just In

Workflow 3 is busting out with new content. There’s a chapter on SAP Fiori and Mobility, CRM Workflows (finally!), SAP UI5, GRC, and a great piece by Jocelyn on how to integrate workflow and BRF Plus. As well, Alan’s chapter on Operational Process Intelligence demonstrates a powerful new way to analyse, visualize and optimize your workflow processes.

Certifiable

Yes, it is now possible to become certified in SAP Workflow. To pass the certification exam, this book is a definite must-have. If you’re comfortable with all the stuff that’s covered in here, I personally guarantee that you won’t have any trouble with the exam.

Mise à Jour

You might think you can still ‘make do’ with the 2nd edition. Although this was a classic in its day, it was published in 2009 and so is now over 5 years old.  BRFPlus didn’t even exist back then, HANA was still Japanese for ‘flower’ (as well as ‘nose’), and ‘the Cloud’ was still just vaporware.

Of course, errors are inevitable in large bodies of work like this. Did you spot all of them in the 2nd Edition? They were all rooted out and replaced by shiny new ones.

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Lulu. auditioning to be the official SAP Workflow mascot.

Career Move

If you’re passionate about workflow, buying this book could be a canny career move. If you can find errors in it, or think of new exciting content (e.g., HANA-based workflows floating in the Cloud), you may well find yourself on the author list for the next edition. You don’t even have to be a great writer – after all, they even let me manhandle the manuscript.

Scourge

Finally, just like the 2nd edition, all author proceeds from this book go to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). These folks are currently in the frontline of the fight against Ebola, so they need every cent / euro / yen we can send them. If we can organize the money, they will find the people with the skill (and the bravery) to fight this scourge. Take that, Ebola!

So please be sure to “check out” the book at SAP Press, or your local bookstore, it’s cheaper than you might think. At the time of writing, it was positioned at 206,019 on an online bestseller list; surely together we can get it into the Hot 200,000.

* And it still is (the best-selling SAP Press book of all time)

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34 Comments

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  1. Modak Gupta

    Definitely an encouraging blog to buy the latest edition ….. A lot of new things to learn!

    Loved the lines “The authors include experts such as the Godfather of Workflow (Alan Rickayzen), the Goddess of Workflow (Jocelyn Dart) and The Workflow Whisperer (Susan Keohan), as well as the usual SCN suspects.”

    Regards,

    Modak

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      1. Jocelyn Dart

        Susan Keohan

        and I call each other the “Workflow Goddess” – so there are multiple Goddesses 🙂

        And better the Godfather than the Grandfather perhaps? 😉

        I think I speak for all of us when I say … all contributions to the excellent work of MSF gratefully received and if we have managed to help you along the way then we are doubly blessed!

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          1. Paul Bakker Post author

            January? Anjan, I am shocked. Is it really so hard to get up-to-date books in India? That would be a real impediment to professionals who want to learn.

            cheers

            Paul

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            1. Anjan Paul

              Actually thats not the real case 🙂 . I already  bought as friend is in US now. He is travelling to India in Dec end, thants the reason.

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  2. Murali Krishna

    Dear Paul,

    I’m eagerly waiting for this book in INDIA, ( in LinkedIn there is a list of people who are in Queue to buy this ).

    I agree with Modak words that you are describing about the authors, ( I think, they are TEACHERS of workflow for everyone )

    Regards,

    Murali Krishna.

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    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      Murali,

         Still not available in India? I’m shocked. But on the other hand, couldn’t you just order it from Amazon?

      Edit: It’s better if you buy it from SAP PRESS or from a bookstore. Apparently the discounting on Amazon means that less money goes to the good doctors.

      cheers

      Paul

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  3. Andy Silvey

    something I have been wondering, speaking from experience and having a large library of SAP Press books built up over the last ten years, isn’t it time that SAP Press books were in soft format with a possibility of existing owners to pay a smaller fee for the latest edition of a book they already hold in their library ?

    Best regards,

    Andy.

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    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      Andy, I’d love that too! But I fear that the resulting drop in profits would make new editions unviable.


      Maybe someone with more industry knowledge could comment on that idea?


      cheers

      Paul

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      1. Andy Silvey

        Hi Paul,

        why would ebooks result in a drop in profits ?

        Personally, I don’t buy the second/third/fourth/fifth editions. And when I see different common books, are not in some cases in their seventh edition, I wonder if we’re all doing something wrong, spending 90$ each time on the next edition.

        I remember the old days, when all of the books were sold at the ticket price, these days we see SAP Press discounting and doing other offers, obviously market economics are affecting SAP Press too.

        Back to the first point, ebooks and delta’s doesn’t not have to mean lower profits.

        Best regards,

        Andy.

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        1. Paul Bakker Post author

          Andy, Sorry for the confusion, I was talking about your idea of (reduced-price) delta’s only.

          As for e-books, I’m guessing that they make quite a bit more profit. They don’t seem to be much cheaper than hardcopies! And of course you know that SAP Press books are already sold as e-books…

          cheers

          Paul

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          1. Andy Silvey

            Hi Paul,

            thanks, I didn’t know that they’re selling ebooks, shows when I last bought a book from SAP Press.

            Regarding loss of profit on Delta’s or purchase of the next edition by existing customers who bought the previous edition. I would imagine SAP Press have the statistics and can see which customers, how many customers who buy a book subsequently buy the next and the next and the next editions. My guess it is a very small percentage. Therefore, if my guess is right, then converting existing book owners into buyers of the next edition with a discounted ebook would be a revenue earner.

            What do you think ?

            Best regards,

            Andy.

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            1. Paul Bakker Post author

              That might be true for individuals like us, but many companies (like my current employer) buy every new edition the second it rolls off the e-presses. Ker-ching.

              cheers

              Paul B

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    2. Alan Rickayzen

      Andy,
      I like your idea of a subscription.
      Trouble is that you can’t find who bought a new first edition book (I did create a yahoo group at the time to keep people informed about typos – disbanding because we only found 1 worth mentioning), so your idea couldn’t be put into practice until now.

      BTW: I personally really like having the book in paper and electronic form. That is a huge improvement on the first edition.

      Alan

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  4. Pavel Duchac

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for a nice post.

    I wish I could just update (for a fee) the electronic copy of the 2nd edition in my SAP Press Library. 🙂 Well, what can you do. At least we have Cyber Monday Sale ahead.

    Funny fact: Skippy was kangaroo. On your picture is a wallaby. Different marsupial, but is from the same family.

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        1. Rick Bakker

          SAP Press has a 20%-off-everything sale on now, till the end of December.

          Just in time for Christmas! Use code WNTSL20.


          As always, royalties for Workflow 3 (“This Time It’s Business”) go to Doctors Without Borders.

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  5. Sai Gopal

    Hi Paul,

    It seems to be interesting with 3rd edition …

    I already bought 2nd Edition for 100$ last year… Again to invest another 90+$ to upgrade to next version is making me think twice…

    Is there any editions which are only concentrated on Cloud, Fiori and BRFPlus workflows which all are not covered in 2nd edition, So that it may reduce my cost to some extent …

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    1. Paul Bakker Post author

      Hi Sai,

      Yes, it’s a bummer when that happens. Same thing with IPhones – but Apple brings out a new one almost every year!

      The good news is that SAP Press has lately been offering pretty big discounts – 30 to 50% off, I saw in a recent email. Does that ease the pain?

      cheers

      Paul

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    1. Alan Rickayzen

      Hi Safeer.

      Good on you 🙂 A couple of $ go to Doctors without Borders.

      If you have already had practical experience of doing a workflow project then you’ll probably be okay with the content of the book alone (but no guarantee)

      All the best,

      Alan

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      1. Safeer Shah

        Hi Alan,

        I have around 7 years experience of Workflow, my question was that book is enough for certification or I need SAP Course material also ?

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          1. Safeer Shah

            I never thought that Goddess of workflow replied to me 🙂 its just like blessing to me 🙂 I will for sure try the certification .thanks

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            1. Susan Keohan

              Hi Safeer,

              Ha, there is a long story behind that which is really silly and has more to do with authorizations than with any actual skill.  But you brought a smile to my day, and for that I thank you.

              Make sure you blog about your experience, of course without revealing any of the actual questions.

              Cheers,
              Sue

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