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The newest and for some people the most long-awaited features of S/4HANA and Fiori 2.0 is the Notification Center.  The ability to immediately notify someone of an action requiring their attention goes to the heart of typical Digital Transformation Goals for User Experience, such as Insight to Action and Processing by Exception.

This blog explains how to turn on the Notification Center, explains some general principles, and shows how to configure Workflow Notifications to appear in the Notification Center – SAP Business Workflow being the first Notification Provider released with S/4HANA 1610 . Finally we introduce how end users can work with and personalize the Notification Center.

Every time I’ve talked to customers and partners about Fiori 2.0, people always ask me about notifications.  It’s been consistently one of the top long-awaited features of Fiori 2.0. So when you are on S/4HANA 1610 – and therefore Fiori 2.0 – of course you want to turn it on and try it out.

Notifications as they appear in the Notification viewport of the Fiori Launchpad

Image Source: SAP

What we will cover in Part 1 – Activation:

  • Notification Concepts
  • Prerequisites for Fiori Notification Center
  • Enabling Notifications in the Fiori Launchpad
  • Enabling the Notification Hub

What we will cover in Part 2 – Providing Notifications:

  • Enabling the Notification Provider – using SAP Business Workflow as our example
  • Making the most of Notifications – what your end users need to know

Our assumptions:

  • We will assume that we are running S/4HANA 1610 with Fiori Frontend Server in Hub mode – which is the default recommendation for S/4HANA as explained in the SAP Enterprise Architecture Explorer > Landscape Deployment Options for Fiori Frontend Server > Landscape Scenario IV (FES and S/4HANA)
  • We will assume that Fiori My Inbox is already activated including any Task-Specific extensions. Note: We need this because when we click on a notification we want it to take us to the matching task in Fiori My Inbox.

Tip: If you haven’t yet set up Fiori My Inbox you might like to try these blogs:

Leading S/4HANA UX – Fiori My Inbox – Part 1 – Activation

Leading S/4HANA UX – Fiori My Inbox – Part 2 – Task-Specific Options

And out of scope items:

We will use SAP Business Workflow examples in this blog as that is the more common scenario for customers transitioning to S/4HANA from predecessor SAP platforms, and is the default workflow environment provided in the S/4HANA core server.

NOTE: The screenshots in this blog are based on a S/4HANA 1610, Fully Activated Appliance trial system in the Cloud Appliance Library.  You can create your own trial system if you want to try activating the Notification Center for yourself.

Let’s begin.

Notification Concepts

There are only a few concepts to understand when activating notifications. These are:

  • Notification Center – the area in the Fiori Launchpad where notifications are displayed
  • Notification Hub – Collects notifications to be shown in the Notification Center
  • Notification Provider – Provides notification content to the Notification Hub

While you only need one Notification Center and one Notification Hub, there can be many providers. SAP Business Workflow can provide notifications. You can expect that providing notifications is in the roadmap of several Cloud and On-Premise SAP solutions.

To enable notifications you need to:

  • Enable the Notification Center in the Fiori Launchpad
  • Activate the Notification Hub, i.e. the SAP Gateway Notification Channel
  • Activate notifications from a Notification Provider – we’ll use SAP Business Workflow as an example

Lastly you want to make sure your users know how to make the most of the Notification Center so we’ll point to the user guides that will explain general notification behaviour and personalization options.

Prerequisites for Notification Center

The Notification Center is part of the Fiori Launchpad in Fiori 2.0.

This means you must have Fiori Launchpad that supports Fiori 2.0,  such as Fiori Frontend Server 3.0.   Note: Fiori Frontend Server 3.0 is required for S/4HANA 1610 and not available for S/4HANA 1511.

NOTE: Fiori 2.0 is also available from S/4HANA Cloud 1608.

If you are using an on-premise SAP Gateway you must be on SAP NetWeaver version 7.51.

The SAP Gateway provides:

  • Fiori Launchpad
  • Notification Hub

You also need a Notification Provider. For example, the S/4HANA 1610 Core system acts as a Notification Provider, e.g. for SAP Business Workflow Notifications.

Tip: You can also create your own custom Notification Provider using the Notification API – For that try the SAP Gateway Foundation version 7.51 documentation re Develop a Notification Provider

Enabling the Notification Center in the Fiori Launchpad

The Notification Center needs to be enabled in the Fiori Launchpad in your Fiori Frontend Server.  When you install S/4HANA 1610, the Fiori Launchpad is configured to show the Notification Center by default.

If for any reason you want to defer turning on Notifications until a later time, you will need to know how to find this configuration and change it.  The configuration sits in the FioriLaunchpad.html file which is part of the BSP Application /UI2/USHELL that controls the Fiori Launchpad. You can find the BSP application using transaction SE80.

The snippet that contains the parameters for Notifications looks like this.

"Notifications": {
    "config": {
        "enabled": true,
        "serviceUrl": "/sap/opu/odata4/iwngw/notification/default/iwngw/notification_srv/0001",
        "webSocketUrl": "/sap/bc/apc/iwngw/notification_push_apc",
        "pollingIntervalInSeconds": 30
               }

Usually the only parameter you will ever need to change is:
Parameter Value
enabled true (Notification Center is shown) or false (hide the Notification Center)

Tip: The FioriLaunchpad.html file is delivered by SAP. You should avoid changing this file directly, your changes might be overwritten when you upgrade or update your system to a new release or support package. During the upgrade or update, you will need to adjust it again. Instead create your own Launchpad configuration file to override the default settings.

You can find more information on the other parameters in the official SAP documentation for the Fiori Launchpad – Enabling Notifications in the Launchpad.

Enabling the Notification Hub

The Notification Hub for S/4HANA 1610 is the SAP Gateway Notification Channel sited in the Fiori Frontend Server. Activating the SAP Gateway Notification Channel includes:

  • Activate the Notification OData Service
  • Configure the Web Socket channel

Tip: Even though the Notification Center is turned on by default in S/4HANA 1610, nothing terrible happens if you haven’t yet activated the Notification Channel.  However you might notice some rather repetitive error messages in the Console of their Web Browser Developer Tools complaining that the notification OData service is not available.

The SAP Help documentation for setting up the Notification Channel is found in the SAP Gateway Foundation version 7.51 documentation in the section Notification Channel.

You find all the steps you need in the IMG (transaction SPRO) under SAP NetWeaver > Notification Channel Hub.

Menu path to Notification Channel Hub configuration in the IMG

Activate the Notification OData Service

This is one of the first OData version 4 services to be released. You activate this service in the new OData version 4 transaction /IWFND/V4_ADMIN – and not the predecessor transaction /IWFND/MAINT_SERVICE that you use to activate OData version 2 services.

You can also activate the service in the IMG (transaction SPRO) section Publish the Notification OData Service in the Configuration section for the Notification Channel Hub.

Publish the service group /IWNGW/NOTIFICATION in System Alias LOCAL – i.e. the service will run in the SAP Gateway. You should then see the OData version 4 service /IWNGW/NOTIFICATION_SRV is active in the Available Services section.

Your activated service should look like this:

Activated OData version 4 Notification Service

Activate the ABAP Push Channel

Notifications use an ABAP Push Channel to push notifications to the Fiori Launchpad.  The recommended approach is to use a Web Socket connection for this purpose.

You can also activate the Web Socket in the IMG (transaction SPRO) section Manage Web Socket Endpoint in the Configuration section for the Notification Channel Hub, or just go directly to transaction SICF.

The service name is /default_host/sap/bc/apc/iwngw/notification_push_apc

Add the SAP_WEBSOCKET channel to the list of Push Channels supported by in the IMG section Activate and Maintain Push Channels.

Activated SAP_WEBSOCKET channel

As always after changing configuration settings, make sure you clear the cache using IMG section Clean Up MetaData and Data Cache or transaction /IWNGW/H_CLEAR_CACHE.

Tip:  To regularly clear the notification data cache, check the notification clean-up utility job /IWFND/NOTIFICATION_CLEANUP is active in transaction SJOBREPO.

Testing the Notification Hub

Your notification users and administrators need certain permissions. The Notification Channel User Roles and Authorizations are listed in the SAP Gateway Foundation version 7.51 documentation.

To check your notification hub is working you can use the Demo Content provided for this purposes.  Follow the instructions and then run transaction /IWNGW/BEP_DEMO to send a demonstration notification.

This will let you create some simple example notifications like these:

Demo Content examples of Leave Request and Purchase Order Approval notifications

If you haven’t used ABAP Channels before, you can find more information on ABAP Channels in the blog Introduction to ABAP Channels.

And so to Part 2 – Providing Notifications

In Part 2 – Providing Notifications we’ll look at how to turn on notifications for SAP Business Workflow and give a brief summary what your users will need to know to make the most out of Notifications.

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22 Comments

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  1. Mike Doyle

    Thanks Jocelyn for another awesome blog. It will make a great reference to get people started. Now I just need to work out how to turn notifications on in the cloud portal launchpad (HCP). I’m guessing they will add something to the configuration cockpit, but I don’t see it yet…

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      1. Mike Doyle

        Mystery solved, Jocelyn.  If you set the UI5 version to 1.44 then the ‘Notifications Area’ option is enabled (in the Fiori Configuration Cockpit).  With 1.42 you get a ‘2.0’ launchpad but no option to include notifications.

         

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    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Ankur

      I notice in the thread you have already been through a lot of diagnosis and adjusted a lot of config… and reached a point where you have been asked to raise a Support Message.

      I did all of the above against a S/4HANA 1610 Fully Activated Appliance trial system and it worked perfectly.

      One thing I could suggest – I notice you have used a test user ABCUSER in some of your screenshots.  When you are setting up new functionality its always a good idea to use a user id that has the SAP_ALL and SAP_NEW profiles assigned. This prevents you from hitting authorization issues.

      I notice in the thread you were asked to check the authorization on your test user but you did not confirm this? It would be a good idea to check there are no errors be raised in the authorization trace transaction STAUTHTRACE as well

      In the section Testing the Notification Hub above I included the link to the authorizations documentation.

      If its not authorizations then please go ahead and create a SAP support message.

      Rgds,

      Jocelyn

       

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  2. Sascha Kiefer

    Hi Jocelyn,

    great blog. Thanks for sharing it.

    I have one comment: You don’t necessarily need to change the launchpad config file to enable the notifications. This can also be done via a Target Mapping. Alan recently wrote a blog post how to do that. The documentation about the parameters can be found here.

    Best regards,

    Sascha

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  3. Oliver Russinger

    hello,

    does someone know if this is also possible – and how – when using Fiori 2.0 and ERP Backend. We did some customizing , are able to subscribe to an Entity, but have problems when it comes to den rest-client SEND method.

    or in other words, is is already possible to receive these notifictions than in the launchpad ???

    best regards

    oliver

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    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Oliver

      I’m not quite sure what you are asking?

      I take it you are using Fiori 2.0 on a Fiori Frontend Server 3.0 (i.e. SAP Gateway 7.51 with SAP_UI 7.51) in a hub mode with a backend SAP Business Suite or Suite on HANA?

      In that case you would have the Notification Center in the Fiori Launchpad – although you will need to explicitly enable it. You will also have the Notification Hub as your Fiori Frontend Server 3.0 can act as that and you should be able to run the demos.

      However you will need to create your own custom Notification Provider as you will not have one in your backend system.

      Does that answer your question?

      Rgds

      Jocelyn

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      1. Oliver Russinger

        Hello Jocelyn,

        we are on SAP UI 7.51, backend ERP EHP7

        we have activated the Notification-Button in der Launchpad.

        We also subscribed to one entity successfully.

        But when i click on the Notification-Button in the launchpad, system makes an oData-Call to a service we do not have:

        /sap/opu/odata4/iwngw/notification/default/iwngw/notification_srv/0001/Notifications

         

        We have our gateway on the ERP EHP7 system.

        Does this only works with a system > Netweaver 7.50 (ERP ehp7 is NW 7.40) ??

        regrads

        oliver

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        1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

          Hi Oliver

          As per the steps in section Activate the Notification OData Service above that OData Service should be run against the LOCAL system alias in your Fiori Frontend Server 3.0.

          Your system needs to support the minimum prerequisites for OData version 4, i.e. SAP Gateway 7.50 SP04.

          You can find more details in SAP Note 2323678 SAP Gateway SAP_GWFND OData v4 Protocol

          Just reminding also that this blog was aimed at S/4HANA 1610 sites – which would already be on Fiori Frontend Server 3.0 i.e. SAP Gateway 7.51.  So you may find some other differences when running against Business Suite or Suite on HANA.

          Rgds,

          Jocelyn

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  4. Rehan Sayed

    Hi Joceyln,

    I have configured Notifications as per your steps in our S4Hana 1610(Embedded Architecture) Landscape.

    But while checking bgRFC Monitor (Transaction sbgrfcmon), it is showing Data Not Available (PFB for the same)

    Although I have

    • Created an RFC destination name IWNGW_BGRFC with transfer protocol Classic with bgRFC
    • Created an RFC destination IWNGW_BEP_OUT_BGRFC for the background RFC queue with queue prefix set to Q
    • Registered the IWNGW_BEP_OUT_BGRFC destination for background processing by creating a queue
    • Supervisor destination BGRFC_SUPERVISOR already existed in the system.

     

    Please guide.

    Regards,

    Rehan Sayed

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    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Rehan

      Please post your question as a question…blog comments are not a good place to resolve specific issues.  That said I would not concern yourself with the bgrfc monitor for notifications.  The monitor is not something you need for this & I excluded it because it does not show anything useful re notifications. Please continue with the rest of the setup.

      Rgds

      Jocelyn

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  5. Smriti Gupta

    Hello Jocelyn,

    Thanks for the grat blog, however I am getting stuck at the step /IWNGW/BEP_DEMO. WHen I execute this transaction, I get Test Create Notifiation as not active.

    Provider with ID : /IWNGW/DEMO                      not active

     

    Can you pls suggest what is missing here

     

    Thanks

    Smriti

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    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Smriti

      Check you have registered and activated the demo notification provider using transaction /IWNGW/BEP_NPREG and activated it in transaction SM30 /IWNGW/VB_REG_P as described in the Demo Content .

      Rgds,

      Jocelyn

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  6. Tejas Chouhan

    Hey Jocelyn,

    Some pretty confusing statements. Above you said that as part of Fiori 2.0 with business suite setting up notification is possible. But as part of SAP fiori 2.0 guide, they say that its not possible. Could you help validate this statement ?

    Source : https://experience.sap.com/documents/sap-fiori-2-0-welcome-pack-master-document.pdf

    Section 2.3 :

    2.3 The Fiori 2.0 User Experience for SAP Business Suite SAP Fiori 2.0 technology is also available as an option for the SAP Business Suite, via Front-End Server 3.0.

    “Note that the SAP Business Suite systems do not provide integration with SAP Fiori notifications “

    Regards,

    Tejas

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    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Tejas

      Everything is provided with Fiori 2.0 on S/4HANA – Notification Hub, Notification Center, and Notification Provider.

      However when you use Fiori 2.0 and Business Suite or Suite on HANA you need to be more careful… some of these features depend on the release/support pack level of your Fiori Frontend Server.  So you want to be on NetWeaver 7.51.  Also you do not get any provided notifications – so you must build your own. That is what is meant by the above statement “do not provide integration with Fiori notifications”.

      Also you want to take note of Alan Rickayzen’s blog https://blogs.sap.com/2017/02/15/configuring-fiori-launchpad-for-push-notifications-loose-ends/ to add in those loose ends..

      Rgds,

      Jocelyn

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      1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

        Meant to say.. NetWeaver 7.51 is preferred – as that is what we use for S/4HANA. You can go down as far as NetWeaver 7.50 SP04 as per my previous answer.  However I generally advise going to 7.51 if at all possible as there are other benefits for Fiori Launchpad and Fiori apps performance.

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        1. Team ABAP

          Hi Jocelyn,

           

          I think there are some confusion caused by the welcome pack master document as it does not really say what is the required front-end/back-end requirement to do the Fiori Launchpad push notification.

           

          We upgraded our front-end gateway to Netweaver 7.5 and our backend system to SAP ECC 6.0 EHP8 to have this feature. So if i understand correctly, the default notification feature from SAP inbox is not available on SAP Business Suite, but only available at SAP S4/HANA? So if the inbox integration is required, then it is something we have to develop on our own?

           

          Another thing that I’m not clear is the front-end gateway requirement to enable push notification, based on the thread, I think we’d need our gateway to run on Netweaver 7.51?

           

          Rgds,

          Suwardi

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