How to learn aBPM (accelerated implementation for SAP NetWeaver BPM) – A training approach
For both customers and implementation partners, such as CDI AG, the question arises: How can I train new employees in a goal-oriented and efficient way on a special topic such as aBPM to be prepared for upcoming implementation projects. In this blog, we would like to introduce a 2-week training and address the necessary preliminary and basic conditions from a team lead or management point of view.
In order to classify the topic, the following overall curriculum is assumed to be a typical training path:
The current blog focuses solely on the introduction into the topic aBPM and thus on the step from the “SAP Process Orchestration Developer” to the “aBPM developer”.
Our description is based on the structure of a typical SAP training (see training.sap.com).
- Becoming familiar with aBPM
- Developing composite business processes using SAP Process Orchestration accelerated by the aBPM framework
BPM Process Engineers (Developers, Developer Consultants, Technology Consultants, Business Process Architects)
- Basic knowledge of developing IT solutions based on SAP Process Orchestration
- Basic knowledge of developing composite business processes based on BPMN and BPM process engines
Course based on software release
You need access to a development system based on SAP Process Orchestration 7.31 (or higher) with the relevant software components for aBPM framework 3.0 (or higher) already installed. For developing you need an appropriate NetWeaver Developer Studio (NWDS) and access to the relevant aBPM artefacts (e.g. software components (SCs), configuration files, documentation). To benefit of the full power of aBPM when integrating SAP Business Suite components, it is also necessary to have access from this development infrastructure to an existing SAP ERP system for instance.
Within 2 weeks you should get a good understanding of the concepts and tools of aBPM. You will develop your first aBPM process.
Sample process: Create Customer Workflow
A sales representative will create a new customer “on the road” by entering the basic master data to start the central process. Within this process the next step will be triggered for the internal financials department to enrich this data. After an approval step for a manager the data will automatically be stored in a central ERP system.
W1.1: Introduction to aBPM (2 days)
- aBPM Community
- aBPM Cookbook
Just read all the information and learn from all the experiences of the development and consulting team of SAP and aBPM Partners. You will get a first understanding of what aBPM is and how you can benefit when implementing business processes. In addition you will get a good understanding of the key concepts and tools of aBPM:
- the central excel file for the definition of the business data model and all the specification stuff that is necessary to generate e.g. UI components based on existing business objects e.g. from SAP ERP
- the development tool chain (xml configuration files, generator scripts, …) for developing aBPM solutions
- the concepts of UI-eventing, value helps, data validation and so on
- the required configuration to start processes and participate by using out-of-the-box aBPM-components
- the generic features built in the aBPM framework (e.g. process cockpit/monitoring, PDF generation, email service)
W1.2: Develop a first start UI for your aBPM process (3 days)
In this first practical step you should be able to implement your first start UI for the sample process (customer entry screen for the sales representative). The main tasks will be the definition of the data model for persistency and UI in the excel document and the usage of the development tools to generate and deploy the solution artefacts. After your first successful development cycle you can play around with all UI components and the attributes that affect the layout and functionality of the generated UI. In addition you will get to know some of the powerful generic UI functionalities of aBPM (value helps, eventing, validation, …).
W2.1: Develop your first simple process with aBPM (3 days)
The generation of a SAPUI5 user interface from the meta model is a main part of the solution but the integration into a full blown business process makes aBPM to an even more powerful solution for a developer. After creating the start UI you will learn how to integrate the aBPM artefacts into a SAP BPM process (data types, event triggers, task UIs, context mappings, …). Additionally you will learn more about implementing actions for the UI which will affect the process flow, make use of different visibility settings to implement different process roles and further more.
W2.2: Learn how to benefit from generic aBPM features (2 days)
Most BPM solutions will face very similar business requirements. Therefore the aBPM solution will provide a lot of generic functionality for implementing such requirements. At the end of week 2 you will learn how to benefit e.g. from the built-in process cockpit feature for monitoring processes and implementing simple analytics functionality or from generic email, PDF generation or attachment functionalities.
Within this second week you will also get more familiar with the complete development cycle of an aBPM solution (developing and maintaining).
After these 2 weeks you should be able to implement a full blown aBPM process on your own. Although we tried to setup our aBPM training at CDI AG as a self-paced and self-educated training we recommend to select a more integrated approach by setting up a coaching model. We find out that it is not necessary but a lot more efficient to have an aBPM expert by your side and train the solution e.g. during a prototype or a well-defined proof-of-concept project supported by aBPM consulting services from SAP or an implementation partner.