Latest Update: Links updated for SAP S/4HANA 1809 and Embedded Mode as per latest Fiori Deployment Recommendations. Also to note that there are other notification providers available such as SAP CoPilot as of SAP S/4HANA 1709 FPS01 and subscribed SAP Smart Business threshold violation alerts as of SAP S/4HANA 1809.
Latest Update: Some people have reported difficulty in setting up the connections on the backend side… a couple of extra tips:
- The step “Enter the Notification Hub RFC Destination” below requires the Fiori Frontend Server to have a RFC Destination defined in transaction SM59 of the S/4HANA core server
- Also this connection from S/4HANA core server to Fiori Frontend Server is a Trusted-Trusting connection and must therefore be listed in transaction SMT1
In Leading S/4HANA UX – Notification Center – Part 1 – Activation we covered how to enable the Notification Center in the Fiori Launchpad and how to activate the Notification Channel in the S/4HANA Fiori Frontend Server, i.e. the SAP Gateway Foundation. In Part 2 we move to the S/4HANA Core system where we activate the first notification provider delivered by SAP, notifications from SAP Business Workflow.
We’ll finish by pointing out what users need to know to work with notifications and where to find user guides and personalization settings that let users adjust notification center behaviour.
So at this point we assume you have already completed 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
Note: Notifications can also be provided from:
- SAP CoPilot as of SAP S/4HANA 1709 FPS01 – follow the configuration section on Configure Fiori 2.0 Notifications in the SAP CoPilot Configuration Guide
- Subscribed SAP Smart Business threshold violation alerts as of SAP S/4HANA 1809 – follow the section Subscribe/Unsubscribe Alerts in Smart Business Runtime Environment
And these are still our assumptions:
- We will assume that we are running S/4HANA 1610 or above with Fiori Frontend Server in Hub mode or SAP S/4HANA 1709 or above with Fiori Frontend Server in embedded mode.
- Note that the recommendations for embedded vs hub mode were changed as of December 2017. You can find more information on the latest Fiori Deployment Recommendations and Options.
- In practice, the configuration is much the same – the only difference is the target of your RFC destination behind your System Alias.
- Note: Personally I find it useful to use a well defined logical system alias name so that the direction of information flow is always clear.
- Because we are using SAP Business Workflow as an example, 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.
NOTE: Just as in part 1 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. Find the latest available S/4HANA trial systems on the S/4HANA Trial landing page.
IMPORTANT: While in part 1 all of the activities applied to the Fiori Frontend Server, in part 2 all of the configuration activities are completed in the S/4HANA Core Server.
Activating the Notification Provider
The Notification Provider needs to be activated so that it will push the notifications to the Notification Hub.
The Notification Provider may also have its own configuration to adjust which and how often notifications are pushed to the hub; and how the notifications will appear in the Notification Center.
When using notifications from SAP Business Workflow, these need to be activated in the S/4HANA Core system. The main steps are as follows:
- Register the Notification Provider System with the Notification Hub System
- Activate the Task Provider for Push Notifications in the IMG
- Define which workflow Tasks will generate notifications
- Check job SAP_WORKFLOW_PUSH_NOTIFICATION is scheduled
Tip: As always we need to make sure our system is in the best possible state by applying any relevant support notes. In particular, make sure the following SAP Notes are applied to your S/4HANA Core server or you are at an equivalent support pack:
- 2350717 – Push notification: No navigation to work item
- 2376272 – Push notification: Behavior for required reason
- 2370445 – Push notification is not sent
- 2388427 – Push notification: Set DESCRIPTION for filtering using settings dialog
- 2417986 – Notifications not displayed
Register the Notification Provider System with the Notification Hub System
Registering the Notification Provider System For SAP Business Workflow this happens in the S/4HANA Core System in the IMG (transaction SPRO). You can see the main menu path to the Notification Channel Provider Enablement section here:
The notification provider needs to register it’s system alias with the notification hub, so that when a user selects a notification in the Notification Center knows which system to call.
You do this in the IMG in Notification Channel Provider Enablement > Configuration > Connection Settings > Enter the Backend System Alias.
Tip: Enter LOCAL if you are using a sandbox system in with Fiori in embedded mode.
Enter the alias and press Execute.
You should then see a success message:
Update to the backend system's SAP Origin (Alias) complete
Similarly you need to Enter the Notification Hub RFC Destination so that the Notification Provider knows how to reach the Hub.
Tip: Enter NONE if you are using a sandbox system in with Fiori in embedded mode.
Finally you need to set up a background RFC connection to push the notifications from the Notification Provider system – i.e. S/4HANA Core System – to the Notification Hub system – i.e. the Fiori Frontend Server.
IMPORTANT: You need to use the exact names given. These names tell the Fiori Frontend Server that this is content for the Notification Center. The Fiori Frontend Server will then place the notifications in the ABAP Push Channel of the Notification Hub to deliver it to the Notification Center. We set up the Notification Center and the ABAP Push Channel in Part 1:
- Create an RFC destination name IWNGW_BGRFC with transfer protocol Classic with bgRFC
- Create an RFC destination IWNGW_BEP_OUT_BGRFC for the background RFC queue with queue prefix set to Q
- Register the IWNGW_BEP_OUT_BGRFC destination for background processing by creating a queue
- Create a bgRFC supervisor destination BGRFC_SUPERVISOR assigned to a technical user id with specific authorizations that acts as the supervisor
You’ll find detailed instructions on how to do this in the SAP Help Documentation for the SAP Gateway Foundation in the section Notification Channel
Always refer to the correct version of the documentation for your SAP S/4HANA version, or if not using SAP S/4HANA your ABAP Platform or NetWeaver version (from version 7.51 or above).
Activate the Task Provider
You can check if the Task Provider for SAP Business Workflow notifications has been activated in transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1. If it has NOT been activated, you will see a red circle icon at the top like this:
You activate the task provider in the IMG (transaction SPRO) in Notification Channel Provider Enablement > Administration > Notification Provider Settings > Register Notification Providers.
You can give it a description. The critical details are:
- Notification Provider ID SAP_BUSINESS_WORKFLOW
- Provider Class CL_SWF_PUSH_NOTIF_PROVIDER
Return to the IMG and complete the next step Manage Notification Providers
Create a new entry, select the notification provider id SAP_BUSINESS_WORKFLOW and mark it as active.
Lastly, go to transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1 to confirm that the Task Provider button is now a green square icon.
Define which Tasks will generate notifications
Define which workflow steps will generate notifications in transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1
Transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1 is delivered with several examples.
Use the Display/Change icon button to toggle to Change mode.
Create a new entry in the table by entering your workflow id and step. Make sure the Active flag is checked.
NOTE: Currently Action buttons to be shown in the notification itself can be defined for user decision steps only. For other notifications, selecting the notification will take the user to the relevant task-specific detail in Fiori My Inbox where they can complete the task.
Optionally you can allow multiple notifications of the same workflow id and step to be grouped by setting the Groupable flag.
Adjust the Texts to be shown if you wish. You can use the Insert Expression icon button to add values from the workflow container.
Find more information here in the documentation for your SAP S/4HANA version – section SAP Business Workflow – Enabling Push Notifications.
Always make sure you refer to the correct help for your SAP S/4HANA version!
SAP NetWeaver AS for ABAP 7.51, section SAP Business Workflow: Enabling Push Notifications
Check jobs are scheduled
Job SAP_WORKFLOW_PUSH_NOTIFICATION is automatically scheduled in your S/4HANA 1610 system. You can check this in transaction SJOBREPO.
Testing Workflow Notifications
An easy way to test notifications is to use the System Verification workflow WS30100051 step 4 to generate a work item. The System Verification workflow is the standard workflow provided for checking your workflow environment is activated correctly. Just trigger it using the System Verification icon button in transaction SWU3.
In the Fiori Launchpad when you click on the Notification Count you will see a brief preview in the Notification Preview Panel of the Home Page viewport.
When you move to the Notification Center viewport you will see the full details of the notification.
Finally when you click on a workflow notification it will take you directly into the My Inbox on that task. You need this option particularly when you have tasks that are not User Decisions, and therefore won’t have action buttons to complete the task in the notification itself.
Tip: Make sure the workflow you are testing with is included in your Fiori My Inbox configuration. Alternatively you can deactivate the Task Filter in your Fiori My Inbox Configuration. If you need a reminder on how to do that it’s covered in these blogs:
Making the most of Notifications
Notifications are intuitive to use. Mostly your users will simply need to know where to see the new Notifications alert; where to find the Notification Center in the Launchpad; and see a few examples of how to work with notifications.
SAP provides a section on Working With Notifications in the Fiori Launchpad User Guide for your SAP S/4HANA version, or if not using SAP S/4HANA your ABAP Platform or NetWeaver version (from NetWeaver 7.51 or above).
Make sure you refer to the correct version for your system!
End users can adjust Notification Center behaviour in their Personalization Settings in the Me viewport. You can use the personalization settings to:
- Choose the notification types you want to see in your Notifications area. For example, if you prefer not see any leave requests in the notifications area, you can turn them off.
- Choose whether or not to be notified by a popup alert whenever you receive a high-priority notification.
- Set specific notification types to always be flagged as high priority notifications, regardless of the default priority level determined by the backend system.
- Turn on or off the notification preview panel in the home page (if enabled by your administrator).
- Specify which notification types trigger native notifications on your mobile device.
These options are explained further in the Fiori Launchpad User Guide section on Setting Notification Preferences.
Again always make sure you refer to the correct Fiori Launchpad guide for your SAP S/4HANA version, or if not using SAP S/4HANA, your ABAP Platform or NetWeaver version (from NetWeaver 7.51 or above).
So that’s it for now for the Notification Center. Enjoy!
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