Flow Builder: Understand the difference in trigger mechanisms: manually created job, event based job and technical job
One Exposure is the central storage which targets to all actual and forecast operational business transactions, it plays as the single source of truth for all financial risks from operations. The SAP Cash Management is using One Exposure as it’s storage for the apps.
Flow Builder is one of the available programs, tools that will generate flows by parsing accounting documents (via document chain). With respect to the data volume of the real business, the flows generated by Flow Builder is the majority among all source application.
Flow Builder provides the running type ‘Delta Run’ which targets to handle the new posted or modified accounting document. The integration point between Accounting Document is via traditional RWIN modules. With this design and given an ideal environment (all configuration are correct and no Flow Builder is running), once an accounting document got posted, Flow Builder shall be triggered as a background job to perform Delta Run.
This blog tries to reveal all three different trigger mechanisms used by Flow Builder cross different releases:
- When we introduce Flow Builder first time in Simplified Financials 200, the trigger mechanism is actually the ‘manually’ created jobs. We provided a utility program which allows you to control the job’s creation:
The checkbox ‘Trigger Job Automatically’ is the switch. Via other parameters, it can control the delay times, job variant, and background job for authority checking.
There is also one kind of famous job for Flow Builder with suffix ‘_SUB‘. It’s a designed behavior for ‘manually’ created job mechanism. Those ‘SUB’ jobs are triggered by Flow Builder itself. The logic behind this is, Flow Builder (with Delta Run) will take seconds to finish the flow generation, it could happen that there are new accounting documents posted in the same period. Flow Builder will recheck the delta table after it finished the current task, if there are new entries, Flow Builder will trigger one ‘SUB’ job for itself. Imagine a very busy system in which documents got posted each second, the ‘SUB’ job will be keep triggered by Flow Builder itself.
- Within S/4HANA OP 1610, we updated the previous manually created job to event-based jobs via SAP Note 2256759.
And another Note 2560395 was provided to guide setup the event manually. The change applied in that Note use event SAP_FCLM_FLOW_BUILDER to control the Flow Builder’s startup. And, as the influence of the change of trigger mechanism, Flow Builder won’t provide job control anymore. Please be aware that, this Note only applies to OP1610, it won’t impact the higher release.
- Since S/4HANA OP 1709 and higher releases, we decided to use ‘Technical Job‘ as the trigger mechanism for Flow Builder. The new defined Technical Background Job FCLM_FLOWBUILDER_JOB is also event-based one, we use a different name SAP_FCLM_FLOWBUILDER_TRIGGER to avoid misuse of event-based job mechanism above. We also define the new created technical job as scope dependence to reflect the facts not all clients need Flow Builder. Therefore, after you upgrade to OP1709 or higher, you need to define the scope to enable Flow Builder in the specific client.
Ensure the FCLM_FLOWBUILD_JOB was inserted into scope as following:
Please be aware that the standard ‘Technical Job’ defined here using the default program variant for Flow Builder: ‘SAP&BG4’, which using the chain step 4. If you need a different chain step, you have to perform: (a) Do NOT insert scope as showing above and (b) create a manual job for program FCLM_FLOW_BUILDER and your preferred variant via SM36, and ensure the newly created job started condition is ‘After Event’, use Event SAP_FCLM_FLOWBUILDER_TRIGGER and use the current client as its parameter.
Hope this blog can help understand the different trigger mechanism of Flow Builder. Feel free to leave a comment here in case there is something unclear in this post.