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Get Visibility into your Workflow Using SAP Cloud Platform Process Visibility

In my previous blog, I showed you how to setup the process visibility service in your cloud foundry account. Process visibility service has different usage scenarios for different process participants. These process participants range from SAP Cloud Platform Workflow, to SuccessFactors workflow, to processes from other SAP LoB applications. The time to connect, integrate, develop and configure visibility scenario for these systems could range from instance –> medium–> high.

Here is a quick overview and time-to-market for various available visibility scenarios.

 

In this blog, I will cover the first scenario on how to instantly achieve visibility into your workflow.

Process Visibility applications have pre-build integration with SAP Cloud Platform Workflow which makes it easier to discover available workflows and import the needed event context, attributes, statues & some basic process performance indicators.

Before you start building visibility scenario, as a prerequisite ensure that:

  • You have the SCP Workflow build and deployed in cloud foundry.
  • You have WorkflowParticipant, WorkflowAdmin & WorkflowInitiator roles assigned to your user
  • You have setup the process visibility service in your cloud foundry tenant
  • You have Admin, Developer and Operator process visibility role assigned to your user

In this blog, I will very often use a term which is newly introduced:

  • Business Scenario – It is the artefact that is created in process visibility application and contain all the configuration data needed to track the performance of end-to-end processes.

Let us now start building our first process visibility scenario.

Create and Configure Business Scenario

Business scenario can be created, edited, deleted and activated from Configure Business Scenario application.

  • Open the application Configure Business Scenarios

  • In the editor, you will see all the available business scenarios and basic information like who created, when was it last modified and status. Create the new business scenario clicking on

  • In the popup, enter the name and ID automatically gets filled.

note: The scenario is first created in DRAFT state and Actions column will have delete option. Only a business scenario in the draft mode can be deleted from this application. Once it is Active, it  won’t be allowed to be deleted with Developer role.

  • Click + to discover and add available workflows in the tenant.
    note: only the workflows deployed in the same tenant will be available to be added.
    • Once you add the workflow, all the events and the context will be automatically available as shown in screenshot below:

    • Let us understand which all events are pushed by workflow when you add the workflow for visibility configuration.
      • Start, End, User Task and Intermediate Message Event are pushed from workflow with Started, Created, Completed, Cancelled, Suspended etc. sub-status. Sub-Status differs based on the event.

For Example: If the workflow has (a) start activity with name StartEvent1, (b) user task with name Change or Confirm Equipment and (c) end activity with name EndEvent1

then events that will pushed will be StartEvent1 Started (when workflow starts), Change or Confirm Equipment Created (when the user task is created) and EndEvent1Completed (when workflow completes via end activity) etc.

Workflow Task Workflow Task Name Event Name
Start StartEvent1 StartEvent1 Started
User Task

Change or Confirm Equipment

 

Change or Confirm Equipment Created
Change or Confirm Equipment Completed
Intermediate Message Event

Order Delivered

 

Order Delivered Reached
Order Delivered Triggered
End EndEvent1 EndEvent1 Completed

 

      • You will also see the workflow context available as business scenario context
        • Currently only String type of context is made available. Soon there will be other data types also supported.

  • Check the default State, Status, Attributes and Performance Indicators that are pre-created for the given workflow. This is one of the greatest benefits of using process visibility. You will get out-of-box, rapid visibility without the need of any complex configurations and integrations.

 

    • State: It contains information about the events that contribute to Open, Completed and Abruptly Ended. The first event that creates the scenario instance is considered to introduce Open status. Scenario is regarded as running until Completed or Abruptly End event is not reached.
    • Status: It defines the state of the scenario depending upon the event. There are set of default statuses and option to create custom ones. There is also provision to set target which could be none, constant or based on workflow attribute. Know more
    • Attributes: It gives information about the business scenario instance like Number of Instances, Start Time etc. Here also there is list of default statutes and provision to add new custom attribute (aka Calculated Attribute) based on predefined expression types. For more details read here

    • Performance Indicators: It shows the aggregated value defined on the calculated and default attributes (Number of Instances, Elapsed Time). You can customize the indicators with different available representations like bar chart, column chart, Donuts etc. and filters. Have a look at one of the sample here

  • Besides the default configurations, you can also define Phases in the business scenario. Phase shows aggregated view of collection of steps. You can group multiple steps together to form a phase. Phase always has a start and end events.

  • The last configuration left is Correlation. This is used only when you have multiple processes added to the business scenario and you want to correlate them via some condition arising out of business scenario context names.
  • Finally, you Activate the business scenario.

 

Start Workflow 

Once you have modelled and activated the business scenario. Go to your workflow monitor app and start a new instance of the workflow. Once the workflow has started, you will see the start and other events being received by process visibility service (via Event Acquisition app) and processed (via Monitor Scenario app) to be shown in Process Workspace.

Accessing Process Workspace

  • As soon as you activate, the visibility scenario becomes live to be accessed via FLP tiles. You need to configure scenario specific tile (help portal) as mentioned in the previous guide to explicitly add each business scenario as tile in FLP.

Above is the basic default process visibility workspace, but if you enhance the default scenario to add  more phases, calculated attributes and performance indicators then you can achieve a dashboard like this which can be used by the business users in their daily work to track and trace workflow instances.

  • Drill down into performance indicators, phases, and current running instances to get details of the workflow instances contributing to these different visibility parameters.

  • Further drill into single instance to get detailed information of the instance
    • Phases view tells you where exactly the workflow is, how much time has elapsed, how many more phases and steps are left, and if there are violations which could bring the instance to risk based on the target cycle time.

    • Path gives you an ordered list or a flow chart as how the workflow has progressed in terms of time taken to traverse from one task to another. This clearly will help you identify the bottlenecks, inconsistencies and possible causes of the delays in the workflow.

 

Monitor Scenarios

  • You need to have Admin role to see this tile in your launchpad
  • This is majorly for supervising the processing events for all the business scenarios. You can check if there are any errors while processing etc. (via status column)
  • You can manually process the events that are funnelled via enterprise messaging via Process Data but events can be automatically processed by scheduling the job.
  • Currently the job is set for interval of 5 minutes (this cannot be changed)
  • If the business scenario is activated, then it cannot be deleted from Configure Scenario application. Only admins can delete the scenario from Monitor Scenarios

Monitor Event Acquisitions

  • In workflow case, events are automatically pushed to process visibility. All the events that are pushed by workflow and received by process visibility can be seen via Event Acquisition application. The events received by process visibility are stored in database which is created as part of the onboarding scheme when you enable the entitlements for process visibility service. As there could be thousands and millions of events that are pushed every minute, the application does not show the events by-default. You need to apply the filter on Process Definition ID to see all the events for a business scenario.

Each event carries the information of the workflow instance ID, event type and time stamp (when it occurred in the workflow).

    • You can start new instances of workflow or progress the existing ones, and come to this application, refresh and you will see the events are received immediately. That makes process visibility service real-time.

 

Process Visibility service thus provides easy, rapid and real-time visibility capabilities on workflow. Fiori based web applications provides a uniform & pleasant modelling, monitoring and managing experience. Customization options are available with various representation choices, user-specific workspaces and filters. Use the service to provide operational visibility into your workflows simple steps. In this blog, I explained the workflow scenario but process visibility is not limited to only workflow. Other systems can also push events and design the process visibility workspace. You can find the details here

 

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