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Author's profile photo Peter Engel

SAP Process Automation- Product Enhancements August 2022

Less then three weeks after my last blog post about SAP Process Automation product enhancements  there are again a lot of enhancements in SAP Process Automation to talk about and to proceed with the story about our exciting product.

But before we dive into the details I want to ensure that you know that SAP is recognized as Visionary in 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Robotic Process Automation

Now let’s start with the new features:

  • Trigger a process with an API call
  • Parallel branches
  • SAP Process Automation project export/import

Trigger a process with an API call

So far we had the limitation to start a process only from a trigger form which opens up a lot of use  cases but was also a limitation. Starting today we are also able to trigger a process via an API call.

Therefore we changed the start icon of the process:

To make this feature really useful you can of course also define input data for the process. To do this click on “Configure Inputs” on the side panel.

On the next pop-up you can define your input data, in my example three inputs. Then click on “Apply”.

Now you are able to see the inputs on the side panel.

Now you can use the input fields in the next process steps, e.g. a Form. In my case the Form has three fields related to the API input fields. Now map the fields in the form to the input fields from the trigger.

To test the process trigger release and deploy the project. To start the test go in the monitoring tab in the menu under Managed and select Processes and Workflows.

 

Select your process definition and click on “Start New Instance”.

Replace the json structure with your own values and click on “Strat New Instance and Close”.

The instance is now created and you can check the status and the values in the Monitor section under Process and Workflows. Search for your instance and you can see the values in the Context area. You can also test the creation of an instance via postman or in a project calling the service instance API.

Also in the My Inbox app you can see the task with the respective values.

Now we can extend the process with additional steps.

 

Parallel Branches

The next topic is about the parallelization of tasks. With the introduction of the “Branch” control you will be able create parallel tasks.

After adding the “Branch” control you can see two branches with a Start and an End icon. You are also able to add additional branches, up to 10 in total.

In my example I created three branches, changed the names which will be also displayed in the canvas.

Inside the branches you are able to add other activities. As of today this is a subset of all available activities. We will add more with the next releases.

To complete my example I created four forms to check the data and finally approve or reject the result.

This is the layout for the the forms in the branches.

This is the approval form where collect the data from the different branches.

To test this process I release and deploy the process and trigger the process via API. As a result I get a new instance of the process as shown above and one task. I submit the task and get three new tasks.

Also in the execution log in the monitoring you can see now the branch is started and three tasks are created.

After completing the tasks you can see that the merge point is reached and the final approval task is available.

In the approval task we can see now summarised the values entered in the different branches of the process.

Project Export/Import

On important feature to manage processes and automations is the capability to move projects between different sub accounts (tenants) on SAP BTP. To achieve this you can now export a project in one tenant and import it in another one.

In the Lobby you can open the project menu using the icon with the three dots on the right side and then click on “Export”.

In the next step you can select the version which you would like to use and click on “Export”.

The mtar-file will be saved to a folder you can define by your own.

For importing the file you click on the Import button in the Lobby.

Select the file and click on Import.

That’s all.

Today there is one limitation with the Decision artifact. If the project contains a decision you can use the export/import functionally. You have to remove the decision and rebuild the artifact in the new tenant. As a workaround you can export the decision tables to Excel and import them in the new tenant from Excel. This limitation will be removed in one ot the next product updates.

Conclusion

We just started our journey with SAP Process Automation and you can see how the product is evolving. With a fully packed roadmap you can expect a lot of new features in the next weeks and beyond.

Next Steps

You are curious now but do not how to start? Try it out now using our Free Tier offering.

You are interested in the bigger picture of LCNC?

To see LCNC in action, check out the SAP Low-Code/No-Code Learning Journey – designed to increase low-code/no-code skills and teach citizen developers the basic concepts of software development including SAP AppGyver, SAP Process Automation, and SAP Work Zone and learn how to build mobile apps for free. Check out LCNC and plus much more free learning for developers at SAP Learning site.

 

For more information on SAP Process Automation, please refer to the following sources:

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      8 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Johnson Jos
      Johnson Jos

      Hi Peter,

       

      What is SAP's vision on IRPA? Will Process Automation replace IRPA or both will continue to exist parallely?

      Author's profile photo Peter Engel
      Peter Engel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Johnson,

      SAP Process Automation already replaced IRPA from a commercial view. Of course you can use IRPA as long as your existing contract will run. If you start now, please use SAP Process Automation.

      Br,

      Peter

      Author's profile photo Johnson Jos
      Johnson Jos

      Thanks Peter. We recently started on Process Automation for our client and wanted to make sure that we chose the product. Thanks a lot for clarifying.

      Author's profile photo Peter Chezowitch
      Peter Chezowitch

      I think it has been a bad decision to use a RPA like notation for the processes.

      Now you have a gap between process automation and Signavio, sap best practice processes, Process orchestration and any other proper process modeling tool and process engine on the market.

      Everything else is using bpmn 2.0 based modeling which if easy to learn and well adopted. Personally I think it is a mistake to use this proprietary notation in order to ‚dumb down‘ bpmn for citizen developers. You are underestimating your potential users.

      Author's profile photo Antonio Maradiaga
      Antonio Maradiaga

      Peter Engel , where can I find more information how to trigger a Process with an API call? Not from the monitoring UI but send a message to an endpoint? I'm interested in the API documentation.... details on how I can authenticate to send requests. Do I need to create a service key? Any help will be appreciated

      Author's profile photo Peter Engel
      Peter Engel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Antonio,

      you can check out my blog post on how to call the API via postman here.

      Br,

      Peter

      Author's profile photo Keerthana Jayathran
      Keerthana Jayathran

      Hi Peter Engel ,

      I am trying to trigger Process via API call, my context is getting updated and i am getting an option to select also but the data binded to the variable is not getting updated. What could be the reason.Please help me with this.

      Regards,

      Keerthana

      Author's profile photo Peter Engel
      Peter Engel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Keerthana,

      please check the table where you defined the input variables. You have to use the ID not the name and it is case sensitive.

      Br,

      Peter