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Features and Limitations – Flexible workflow For PR and PO in S4 HANA on premise


With S4 HANA on premise version 1709 SAP has been bringing lots of innovations in Sourcing and procurement line of business. One of the most notable of them is Flexible workflow for Purchase requisition , Supplier invoice and Purchase order.

Note: This blog is created with S4 HANA On premise version 1709 FPS01 in mind, If SAP releases more features in further release then i will update this blog with more details.

Updated with additional Features in 1809 & 1909:

In 1809 SAP has introduced some new Features as well as some of the limitations of 1709 are addressed.In this blog you will see those updates with #1809update.

In 1909 SAP has introduced some new Features and some of the limitations of 1709/1809 are addressed. In this blog you will see those updates with #1909update.

What is it?

  1. Flexible workflow is a scenario based workflow which can have more than one start conditions
  2. Has a possibility of determining approvers through lot of different options
  3. Has an option to specify under which condition should the workflow step be triggered / applicable?
  4. It can be configured using a Fiori app and approval action can be taken from Fiori App
  5. Supports Fiori 2.0 push notifications
  6. Its an alternate to Release strategy

Features :

Flexible workflow scenario

You can create multiple flexible workflow scenarios for a procurement document instead of making one big complicated workflow

Pre conditions

For triggering workflow and for determining if a step in the workflow is applicable you can use these pre conditions

This is how conditions can be seen in SAP gui

Agent determination

For  each workflow steps , you can specify how the approver determination should happen

You can also use fiori app “Manage Teams and Responsibilitie” – To configure your approver team Responsibility management

This is how agent determination configuration is seen in SAP Gui below


Parallel Approval

If you want parallel approval for any of the steps then you can do it using below option.


Exception handling

When the approver decides to reject a work item – you can define what should happen next

Supports push notifications

It supports push notifications which is Fiori 2.0 feature

Supports integration with Fiori My inbox

It supports integration with Fiori Myinbox app which is SAP’s suggested inbox for all the workflow actions in S4 HANA

Pre requisites:

  1. Define scenarios – Follow this link and link for defining scenarios in SPRO node SAP NetWeaver  –> SAP Gateway Service Enablement  –> Content –> Task Gateway –> Task Gateway Service –> Scenario Definition
  2. Scenario activation in SPRO node Sap Netweaver -> Application Server->Business Management->Sap Business Workflow->Flexible Workflow->Scenario Activation.
  3. Follow OSS note 2441740 and Fiori App library links in references for needed gateway services configuration
  4. Activate Flexible workflow at document type level – For Purchase Order
  5. Activate Flexible workflow at document type level – For  Purchase requisition:
  6. Configure decision buttons for my inbox at path  : SAP NetWeaver-> SAP Gateway Service Enablement-> Content-> Workflow Settings-> Maintain Task Names & Decision Options
  7. Activate Fiori 2.0 Notifications at task and workflow level in tcode : SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1


How to configure it?

Follow the blog Flexible Workflow for Purchase Order and PO to Invoicing Process in S/4HANA Cloud

What can be improved?

  1. Allow triggering of PR flexible workflow from SAP GUI transactions , currently for PR created from SAP GUI, Flexible workflow doesn’t get triggered 
  2. Ability to add own custom conditions for approver level / start conditions. Currently we can chose only from limited fields provided in workflow expression for each template.
  3. Possibility to edit an existing active version of Flexible workflow, instead of creating a copy of workflow scenario everytime.
  4. Provide step details in BADI MMPUR_WORKFLOW_AGENTS_V2 as an importing parameter so that for each step’s agent determination a new badi implementation can be written
  5. Provide an approval preview in Flexible workflow tab in ME23n tcode / Fiori app to see with which approver is the document waiting for approval – something like shown below :-
  6. Provide a transport mechanism for Flexible workflow, currently it has to be recreated in each environment
  7. Provide a way to control the authorizations using flexible workflow like we have authorization objects M_BANF_FRG via the release code (FRGCD) for PR, M_EINK_FRG via the release group (FRGGR) and which release codes (FRGCO) for PO with release strategy.
  8. Ability for requestor to add Ad-Hoc approver in Flexible workflow
  9. Ability to edit the document during approval and re-triggering workflow
  10. Provide approval or rejection comments in the Header/ item text of the PR/PO document
  11. consistent  template between PO and PR flexible workflow template , same BADI , same agent determination criteria, same flexible workflow config at document type level
  12. Apart from Fiori Myinbox app, Provide a way to approve PR/PO from SAP Gui tcode
  13. Provide a way to configure email notification and allow customer to maintain their own email template and email subject

#1809 Update:

#5 – SAP has provided approval preview for purchase order in SAP GUI tcode ME23n

#13 – Email notification can be configured for flexiblwe workflow

#1909 Update

#1 – Adding Custom conditions are now possible , BADI  – SWF_WORKFLOW_CONDITION_DEF & SWF_WORKFLOW_CONDITION_EVA

#2 – Flexible workflow also gets triggered when PR created from SAP GUI

#4 : BADI is updated with additional import parameters STEPINFO  ,  PreviousApproverList & WORKFLOWSCENARIO ID

#5In Purchase Requisition created from SAP GUI , approval preview is now available.

#9 – Configuration is provided to influence retriggering of workflow for PR + a BADI

MM_PUR_S4_PR_WFL_RESTART, however such feature is not available for PO




Manage Workflow for Purchase Requisitions Fiori App library

Manage Workflows for Purchase Orders Fiori App library

Flexible workflow for purchase requisition

Manage workflow for purchase requisition

Flexible workflow for purchase order and po to invoicing process in s4hana cloud

Responsibility Management in Flexible Workflow

Important SAP Notes:

2646400 – BADI – Workflow Agent determination MMPUR_WORKFLOW_AGENTS_V2

2775709 – Purchase Requisitions Workflow Restart using SSCUI and BADI

2838665 – Trouble-shooting e-mail notifications for pending tasks generated by workflows in SAP S/4HANA

2767845 – How to define new Procurement Pre-conditions in Manage Workflow Apps

Using Manage Teams and Responsibilities for Procurement

Using Manage Teams and Responsibilities App

2570961 – Create an Employee in S4 HANA with HCM or without HCM

Stay tuned for more innovations in sourcing and procurement line of business in S4 HANA 1809 like procurement hub – central purchase requisitions, central purchase orders and central contract  And many more.


Please leave your comments to help me improve the content of the blog.

Happy learning!!!!

Ashish Shah

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  • Hi All,

    I am on 1709 S/4 Hana (on premise), have a question can Manage workflow fiori app be used in below mentioned scenario:

    Have a custom workflow can that be used for managing workflows from Fiori.

    What are prerequisite for same on workflow end and Fiori end.As in Manage workflow we are able to see only standard workflows and not the custom created.


    Thanks & Regards,



      Hi Ashwini,

      Yes ist possible to implement custom flexible workflow using manage workflow fiori app, i have tried it myself and it works well. However you Need to understand How Flexible workflow works!!!


      Ashish Shah

  • Hi Ashish,


    thanks a lot for your acticle.

    What is the current status/update regarding the newest release 1809?

    Which points "What can be imporoved" are implemented/solved in 1809?


    Thanks a lot and regards,


    • Hi Benedikt,

      In 1809 None of the Features in "what can be improved" are implemented yet.

      In fact i updated the blog with the other Features that i discoved that are also not still available in 1809.


      Ashish Shah

  • Hello Ashish Shah ,

    Thanks for the nice blog .

    In the section "What can be improved?" I have read this point .

    1. Ability to add own custom conditions for approver level / start conditions. Currently we can chose only from limited fields provided in workflow expression for each template.

    So do you mean , through1809 version , SAP is giving provision for customers to have their own set of preconditions along with those that are provided by SAP? or Do you want SAP to improve these things in the next version...


    Because I have a requirement to have custom start conditions . So if SAP is going to provide that functionality through 1809, we can take that upgrade . Please clarify

    • Hi Pawan,

      So far in 1809 i have not been able to add custom conditions in PR or PO standard flexible workflow.

      I had a similar requirement in 1809 and when i checked with SAP , i was told that adding a custom start condition in Standard PR / PO flexible workflow is not possible.

      I decided to copy the Standard template of PO/PR flexible workflow and i could add custom conditions.


      Ashish Shah

      • Hello Ashish Shah ,

        I am also having a similar requirement . Can you please guide me how and where did you do the changes in standard work flow(in a copied version) to consider other custom conditions as well?


        Thanks a lot

  • Dear all,


    due to the fact that advanced PR not run into the flexbile WF we activated the "classic" release strategy. Is there any option that the PRs created in FIORI App also run into the release strategy?


    How can we handle advanced POs - can we manage this with flexible workflow? We have to use the advanced POs, because the App not allows to enter text information on header or item level.


    Thank you.



    Release: 1709

  • Hi All,

    How should I understand Flexible workflow for PO and PR in relation to Release Strategy? Is Flexible workflow an alternative to release strategy? Can both be working same time in the system?

    Best Regards,

    Naeem Khan


  • thank you for great blog

    but for Activate Flexible workflow at document type level – For Purchase Order

    'scenario based column ' not appear in our system as shoot below!!

  • Thank you for this informative blog.

    Just want to know that from where i can see preconditions in SAP GUI Screen. Can you please share a navigation or t-code

    Thank You in advance.

  • Hi Ashish Shah

    thank you for the great blog.

    It would be so great if you can point out the config was made on frond-end or back-end.

    I am struggling for this issue. We have hub deployment implemented, it would be so good if you can point out at "define scenario" part should be done in front-end (Gateway service) or back-end.

    Thank you in advance.

  • hi Ashish,

    it is very useful information. Thank you very much.

    Please let me know  how many maximum approves can be assigned to the work flow. As I knew as for PR/PO release strategy we can configure maximum 8 release codes . But as for our business requirement some times it should trigger more than 8 approves. Is there any way to configure for more than 8 approves in release 1709 or 1809?




    • Hello,

      As I understand, you can have as many steps in the workflow as you want.

      Though you can have only 3 types of agents in standard PR Manager, managers manager, account object owner.

      With badi implementation you could have more than that.

      But PR PO release with more than 3 approvers, looks like a very heavy process ?‍♂️

  • Hi Ashish,

    Very useful blog.  I have one question over here.

    I have configured one custom document type same as NB. My workflow is getting triggered. but My Approver name is not showing in the PO. Checked in SWIA tcode step histroy.

    Getting info as Activity 'ReleasePO' skipped according to step condition 'PODocumentType'..

    Can you please help me?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Mehool,

      Do we have to do any additional configuration step in order to trigger the workflow for the custom document type .. I'm getting the error "Workflow instance not defined". So i'm wondering if we have to define the workflow scenario id to the custom document type in the config



  • One question, where do you get to see the conditions in SAP GUI? Additional comment on limitiations, regarding flexible workflow for contracts purchas organization is not available as a condition.

  • Another limitation in version 1809 is that in the pre conditions for the Total Net fields mounts larger than 2147483647 are not accepted, this might seem like enough but for currencies that has a large conversion rate is easy to have documents with bigger amounts.

  • That's a great article with excellent description.

    Just wondering if anyone has updates on this from 1909 as well? Any more of the limitations removed in 1909? Any new features added in 1909? etc.

    Would be great to get some info on this as well.

    Thank You,


  • Hi Ashish,

    Thank you for sharing nice blog on flexible workflow. However I have few queries:

    1. Do we have option to define requester's spend limit? if not then how do we achieve this?
    2. Can we also define LOA for approver's? We need to define the approval limits for the approvers.


    Please suggest.

    Thank You.


  • Hi Ashish,

    Thank you for sharing the nice Blog on flexible workflow. I need some clarification on the same.

    In 1809 release, we have a rejection notification to initiator in SAP FIORI is available only in case of PR case right ? is this functionality is also available in PO/SES case ?

    Thank you in advance.


  • Hi Ashish,

    First very thanks for this informative blog post on a topic for which we don’t have much information available over SCN. I would like to add one more point for the below section.

    What can be improved?

    • A provision to log a message or raise a message directly in case right approver is not found because of some reasons.

    Not sure whether this feature is already existing. Please share your thoughts on this.



    • Hello Sijin,

      you mean this is not managed by the SAP standard?

      Then, what if you order your purchasing document?

      You are authorized whereas an approver is missing for an approval level?

      Workflow is stuck, is in error?



      • What I have observed is, if in case Approver is missing or somehow we are not able to fetch an approver. Then in such cases we should write a 'RETURN' statement in the BADI code else it will give a dump.

        The other questions you have asked is open with Ashish let him respond.

  • Hi,

    please update if the below limitation is improved in any of the releases

    1. Allow triggering of PR flexible workflow from SAP GUI transactions , currently for PR created from SAP GUI, Flexible workflow doesn’t get triggered
  • Hi Ashish Shah,

    Thanks for the informative blog.

    If we attach something in Fiory , this will not update back in SAP GUI same like the comment?

    Where this Attachment get stored/saved and where can a requester check all the attachments of an Approver?




  • Hi Ashish, I got an opportunity to work on SAP HANA @ 2020. This blog helped me a lot to configure the Flexible controlled workflow for my client. I am getting following challenges, we are in 1909..

    1. Yes, we do face issue with different approval steps cause suggested BADI is still not finding diff between step vs previous step
    2. We would like to capture missing approver in case of inactive employee or user, how this can be done?
    3. Is there any improvement in 1909 cause your blog talks about 1809. Please help to proceed further with above questions..?Thanks in Advance.
    • Were you able to figure out the status issue. After workflow completion the PR shows status 03 instead of 05. the workflow steps show the decision as RELEASED in the container but the PR isn't updated with status.

      • Hi Praseeda, Yes, this can be due to missing authorization for the WF user. Check in SUI1 transaction code on your particular PR document. Later assign ample authorization for SAP_WFRT user which will resolved your issue.

        Kind Reagards,

        Arun Kota.

    • Hi Indresh,

      I have updated the blog with additional information about the approval BADi and its related OSS notes , i can already see previous approver list as a new parameter from 1809 version.

      For missing approvers , suggestion is to configure fallback approver, this is a standard workflow practice and not specific to flexible workflow.


      Ashish Shah

  • Hi Friends,

    is there a way to implement any USER-EXIT  at BEFORE_CREATE WORKITEM as it is possible in classics workflows?

    The Idea is to trigger the push-notification when a new decision workitem is created.


    Thanks in advance and best regards,


  • Hi Ashish
    Very much Informative

    I was facing the issue
    configured the team and responsibility but still Roles not able to see it in manage workflow app




    Simar Akmal

        • Unfortunately, SAP assumes so.

          If any approval decision is done, the PO status changes immediately. Only way would be to restart a new workflow for the same PO, so it goes the approvers again, for the decision.

          But then, if some other processes would've triggered based on the PO status change, then can't really help it.

          • Hi Mithun,

            Thanks for your support, in fact, I have another requirement to retrigger wf for rejected PR after editing and save required changes!!




          • Hi Mustafa,

            Configuration is provided to influence retriggering of workflow for PR using BADI MM_PUR_S4_PR_WFL_RESTART


            Ashish Shah

  • Hi Ashish,

    We have implemented the following BADIs to add start conditions for triggering PO flexible workflow.



    Inside the method of SWF_WORKFLOW_CONDITION_EVAL-EVALUATE_CONDITION - We are not getting the PO number which is supposed to be part of importing parameter (is_sap_object_node_type-sont_key_part_1).

    Please suggest.

  • Hi Ashish,

    Thank You for the blog, very good information. I have below questions to everyone, please help if you anyone has any clue: (we are in 1809 version):

    1. Currently, in 1809 version, I see that attachments added in GUI (header level) are not coming over to Fiori UI5 Purchase Requisition professional app, is there a way to see GUI attachments in Fiori PR app?
    2. Currently, in 1809 version, "Address Number" and "Name 2" field " is not available under "Delivery address" tab in Purchase Requisition professional app and we made it available through Adept but they are not mapped to back end GUI, so fields are available but functionality is missing. Any idea if we are missing any setup or is it a limitation in 1809?
    3. We are seeing very strange issues with "Notes" Section with in Purchase Requisition professional app in Fiori, as an example, sometimes Item text fields are not editable though PR is in edit mode, we also see cache issues with notes section.
    4. Currently in Fiori, PR is not editable if the PR is rejected or follow on document created, is there any future plan to enable in upcoming versions.

    Thanks in advance and looking forward for updates.


    • Hi Bhargava,

      As these questions are not really related to the Flexible workflow, I'd suggest posting them under the Q & A's, instead of blog comments.



  • Great article.

    In 2020 in the InBox for PR approval no info for the PR item is shown. No chance to see content of the PR and cannot change anything.

    Any idea what's missing in configuration?


    BR Klaus