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Tutorial of the Week: Get fancy with workflows — and maybe win a ticket to TechEd

Every week I’ll try to highlight another of our tutorial missions, and to start, I thought I’d take a look at Level Up with SAP Cloud Platform Workflows, which is the mission that can make you eligible for the drawing for free SAP TechEd showfloor pass.

To learn more about the contest see Ian Thain’s blog, or just do the mission and at the end you’ll see instructions for registering.

Once you’ve done the mission yourself, I’d be interested in hearing your experience. Feel free to reply to this blog.

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How easy was it?

It took me about an hour and a half — about the same as the 85 minutes listed.

You work with the following technologies:

  • SAP Cloud Platform: You enable services (in Neo) and deploy applications.
  • SAP Web IDE: You open it, enable an extension, create projects from templates, and deploy to the platform — all pretty simple.
    • In SAP Web IDE, you work with the Workflow Editor (similar in feel to the Layout Editor but much simpler). You drag and drop tasks and processes to visually define the flow, and then configure the pieces — e.g., which SAPUI5 app to run, which file to pass, what context variables to set, what OData services to call.
  • SAPUI5: You don’t really need to know much about SAPUI5 (you’re given all the code), but those who are expert will better understand the potential and be able to extend the project on their own. There are 2 SAPUI5 applications you build:
    • One created with the simple tools built into the Workflow Editor, and whose files reside in the Workflow project.
    • One created from scratch in its own project, deployed separately, and referred to from the workflow. This one is more complicated.
  • SAP Fiori Launchpad: Just to have a home for the built-in workflow apps that manage all your workflows.
  • OData and JSON: It helps to know something about OData services, and how to navigate a JSON file, but it’s simple.

A novice can do it, and it doesn’t require any significant programming skills, though an established SAPUI5 developer will find the second half quite interesting and learn new capabilities by seeing all the code.

What did I like?

  • Starts very simple

The first group of tutorials, Get Started with SAP Cloud Platform Workflows, shows how to create the simplest workflow, using the simplified UI tools and editors built in to the Workflow Editor. In the end you have a workflow flow where you manually pass in some data, show the data to the user, and let them complete the workflow by pressing Approve.

  • Does something cool

The second group, Integrate an External Service into a Workflow, shows how to create a workflow where you retrieve some data with OData (in this case, Northwind), create an SAPUI5 application from scratch that displays the retrieved data and provides a button to complete the workflow, and then creates a decision gate to figure out whether to reorder the stock.

  • Provides path to learn complicated stuff

The SAPUI5 code is a little complicated, and novices can just paste in the code. A brief explanation is provided on what is happening, for those who might want to pursue studying more closely what the code is doing and developing their own complicated scenarios.

  • Fast

And all well within 2 hours.

Tips

In the part about calling an OData service in the workflow, there are links to Northwind OData service. If you click them, they may not appear properly in the browser because they are minified. Without installing an extension, I did the following:

  1. Click link.
  2. Open Developer Tools in Chrome (CTRL-SHIFT-I).
  3. Refresh.
  4. Go to Network tab.
  5. Click the request.
  6. In the Response tab, click the braces {} .

For the JSON request, you may need to then navigate to Preview tab.

If you have a better way, let me know.


Kudos to Astrid Herbst and DJ Adams for building this mission. Already over 150 people have completed the mission, about half in June, I assume to try to get free tickets to SAP TechEd.


Check out other tutorials on your own by going to the SAP Tutorial Navigator.

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