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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

And these are still 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.

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.

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:

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:

Menu path in the IMG to Notification Channel Provider Enablement

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.

Backend System Alias entry example

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 version 7.51 under Notification Channel.

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:

Top of transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1 showing not activate red circle icon for the Task Provider

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

Registration entry for the SAP_BUSINESS_WORKFLOW notification 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.

Activation entry for the SAP_BUSINESS_WORKFLOW notification provider with Active checkbox checked

Lastly, go to transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1 to confirm that the Task Provider button is now a green square icon.

Top of transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1 showing not activate green square icon for the Task Provider

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.

Examples in transaction SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1 showing workflow ID, step id, Active checkbox, Groupable checkbox, icon buttons for Actions and Texts

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 SAP Help in 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.

Transaction SJOBREPO highlighting the activated entry for job SAP_WORKFLOW_PUSH_NOTIFICATION

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.

Example notifications as they appear in the Notification Preview Panel

When you move to the Notification Center viewport you will see the full details of the notification.

Example notifications as they appear in the Notification Viewport

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:

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

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

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 an End User Guide to Working with Notifications in the Fiori Launchpad version 7.51 documentation.

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 inthe Fiori Launchpad version 7.51 documentation section Setting Notification Preferences.

So that’s it for now for the Notification Center.  Enjoy!

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You’ll find much more on our SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA wiki

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19 Comments

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  1. Qiang Xiao

    Hello Dart,

    Thanks for the great post.

    As for the “Notification Channel Provider Enablement”, I am not clear about some steps as follows

    1. step 3, in RFC destination IWNGW_BGRFC, the target host is the gateway host or just blank? for logon user, any limitation or just current checked?
    2. the same confusion for BGRFC_SUPERVISOR destination

    Really thanks for your clarification.

     

    Best regards,

    Qiang

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  2. Ibrahim Khan

    Hi Jocelyn,

    I have an issue with Notification Center/My Inbox. I have a scenario specific tile for My Inbox in my Fiori launchpad, when a new work item arrives, the My Inbox tile shows 1 item and also the notification badge shows 1 item. When I approve this work item using the notification center the work-item gets completed but the My Inbox tile still shows 1 item. If I refresh the webpage or click the my inbox tile then it changes to 0 item, could you please advice what could be the issue?

     

    Regards

    Ibrahim

    (0) 
    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Ibrahim,

      So it sounds like there’s nothing wrong… it’s just a side effect of the refresh rate of your Fiori Launchpad.

      Rgds,

      Jocelyn

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      1. Ibrahim Khan

        Hi Jocelyn,

        Thanks for the reply. Is it possible to increase the refresh rate of the Launchpad?

        Also one more issue – I have done all the configurations as per your document but I am still not able to see the “Notifications” option in the Me Area settings in Launchpad. Any clue about this?

         

        Regards

        Ik

        (0) 
        1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

          Hi Ibrahim,

          Please refer to Part 1 blog Leading S/4HANA UX – Notification Center – Part 1 – Activation .  In there is the reference to Notification Channel User Roles and Authorizations

          Your users will require these authorizations to use the Me Area settings.  They would at least need to be a consumer user.

          Also check you are on at least NetWeaver 7.50 SP01 – the personalization settings were some of the newest additions.

          Rgds

          Jocelyn

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          1. Ibrahim Khan

            Hi Jocelyn,

            We are on S/4HANA 1610 with NW751 and the user has Producer and Consumer Authorization.

            Once strange thing I noticed was  – our notifications are working fine even though the notification parameter in the BSP application /UI2/USHELL is “enabled”: false. I hope this parameter value should be true as default as you have mentioned in your blog. The only thing missing is the notification button in the personalization settings. Do we need to modify the launchpad configuration files  to enable the notification button in  the personalization settings? Please advice.

             

            Regards

            IK

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  3. Andreas Rahe

    Hello,

    any idea, what could be the reason that there are no texts displayed?

    I also did use the standard “Workflow verification” to test it.

    Regards,

    Andreas

    (0) 
    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Andreas,

      Please check it with the sample notification demo provider first. That would narrow down whether its a general issue or specific to the workflow notifications.

      If notifications are generally ok, and it’s specific to the workflow you have used, you will need to check that some texts are configured for that particular system verification workflow step – i..e. WS30100051 step 4 – in SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1.

      Rgds,

      Jocelyn

      (0) 
  4. Ibrahim Khan

    Hi Jocelyn,

    Does these notifications appear in the Fiori client App icon in the mobile device(same as whatsapp) or do we need to have SAP Mobile Platform for enabling this feature. Please advice.

     

    Rgds

    IK

    (0) 
    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi IK,

      Ok so the good news is yes I’m told that the notifications are sent through to the Fiori Client Launchpad  on the mobile device. You might want to check your system meets prerequisites if you are not on S/4HANA 1610 or above – refer to SAP Note 2564178

      However if you want the notification to become a true Push Notification on mobile It used to only be possible with SAP Mobile Platform, however like most of SMP, equivalent features are now available through SAP Cloud Platform mobile services.  And push notifications can be applied to your own apps using via Kapsel / Cordova plug-ins.

      Rgds,

      Jocelyn

      (0) 
      1. Ibrahim Khan

        Hi Jocelyn,

        Thanks for the update. We are already in S/4HANA 1610 and our notifications are appearing in launchpad. Can you please let us know what setting we need to do in order to get the notifications in the Fiori client App icon in the mobile device(same as whatsapp).

         

        Regards

        IK

        (0) 
  5. Hannes Ladstätter

    Hi Jocelyn,

    is it possible to launch the matching task after click on a notification in a scenario specific inbox instead of the allitems inbox?

    The navigation URL includes always …Fiorilaunchpad.html#WorkflowTask-displayInbox?allItems=true&showAdditionalAttributes=true

    Can this be changed that the parameter scenarioId=MY_SCENARIO is used instead of allItems=true?

    Regards,

    Hannes

     

     

    (0) 
    1. Jocelyn Dart Post author

      Hi Hannes,

      Well if you have users that use a Scenario inbox only instead of All Items you could try assigning them up a specific catalog for the notification redirection to your Scenario as per Alan Rickayzen’s blog.

      You just need to make sure that they can reach any work item sent to them this way.

      Rgds

      Jocelyn

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  6. Thomas Kaess

    Hi Jocelyn,

    I’ve two questions:

    Number one:

    When I create my own workflow I use customer variables / expressions in the title of my step. Something like this: “credit limit block in order &1”. The parameter1 is: &GV_ORDER&.

    In the notification area i see the following message: “credit limit block in order {GV_ORDER}”.

    When I use the verification workflow the info comes with the expression: “Erster Schritt in Workflow-Verifizierung gestartet von USFISKAESS”. When I use the demo-programm there are entries in the table: /IWNGW/NPROP, /IWNGW/NNAV_PARA

    Is there a badi, a view, a transaction or something else for transfering such data?

    Number two:

    Is the notification area only for workflows with a “user decision”.

    I tried to use the standard approval workflows for purchase orders. In the transaction swf_push_notif1 I add the entry WS20000075 with step 93. For those steps I can’t use the button actions / notification texts. When I test the workflow I see the red number in the right corner on the notification icon. When I go to the area – there is no entry. In the database table of the gateway / of the notification hub I see the entry. When I add a decision step to the standard workflow it works. Can the standard approval workflow work without modifications? Have you any ideas?

    The gateway is on 751 SP 0004. The backend is on 751 SP 0002 with S4CORE 101 0002 (S/4HANA 1610).

    Best regards

    Thomas

     

    (0) 

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