5 steps to evaluating process improvements through the Flow Extension API
I imagine that my previous blog post might have whetted your appetite with some ideas, and I really hope it did!
So, let me walk you through a quick 5-step guide to evaluate any ideas you may have for using the Flow Extension API and see if they are feasible.
Think about your own process improvement through the steps below:
- What tasks do you want to perform?
- Get /analyze /share data with an external application
- Run validations
- Post comments /attachments
- Pause a document for a moment (measured in hours)
- Choose the Ariba Network document type you wish to extend:
- Purchase order
- Order confirmation
- Advanced ship notice
- Goods receipt notice
- Review the table below and link your desired action with your supported document type to determine the corresponding use case and stage:
|Use case||Possible actions||Supported Documents||Stage|
|Simple flow extension||
|Halt flow extension||
|Non-suspend flow extension||
Note: If, as a result of this exercise, two or three use cases are applicable, then think if you really need to suspend or halt your process to make the best decision.
- Determine what conditions your document must meet. Here are some examples of additional conditions that can be specified:
- Company addressID
- Document date
- ISO Country code
- Custom field (extrinsic element value) Any other element or parameter based on tags within the cXML document
- Note also that data external to the document cannot be used for this purpose.
- Lastly, could your client application connect to our Flow Extension API to create this powerful and innovative solution This means you need to create an application to make the web service calls, pull document data, and perform the action desired on a persistent and timely manner.
Let´s summarize this process through 5 simple steps:
Once complete, you are ready to raise your request to enable your API through the SAP Ariba Support ticketing process, by providing all the resulting details from your evaluation. To begin the process, login to https://developer.ariba.com/api and “request an account” on the home page, to get subscribed to this solution, as part of the SAP Cloud Service Level Agreement, and access resources and APIs in the developer portal.
You will need to complete and provide the configuration template, including the unique name for your flow extension application. This name must be unique across Ariba Network. You can use the following structure “yourCompany_documentType_useCase_market” (“ACME_invoice_halt_mx” for instance).
On the other hand, your partner or service provider must access the API Development Portal, register themselves, and then request access from you, as the buyer and data owner, through written consent to SAP to authorize the exchange of data with your third-party .
This provider is then set up as a service provider on Ariba Network with its corresponding ANID and a share secret key. Once the Administrator access to the Developer Portal is enabled, he/she can add additional developer accounts to the corresponding Organization.
In conclusion, an adequate evaluation of your idea based on the possibilities and restrictions that our API delivers, helps you to confirm technical feasibility as well as save you later from wasting time on further details not considered initially. Go ahead with your initiative!