Business Workplace - Runtime interaction with users and the delivery of application tools (work). The Workflow Manager launches runtime workflow ”instances” and it performs control functions for automated processes across all R/3 application modules: control monitoring coordinating synchronizing The Work item Manager interacts with the application called in the method of the task.
From the organizational viewpoint, tasks and workflows are the central element in the workflow system. Tasks assign organizational processes to the organizational structure. Tasks and workflows specify who generally will do the work, and how it is to be done.
Tasks are the building blocks for workflows. Tasks and workflows are time-independent and client-independent. Only cross-client tasks and cross-client workflows can be created now. Up to and including Release 4.0 there are also customer-defined tasks (T) and customer-defined workflows (WF). These are client-dependent and time-dependent. You can process WF and T also in Release 4.6, but you should not create them.
SAP tasks are the single-step tasks provided by SAP which are used in the workflow templates supplied. SAP tasks are pre-defined to standard SAP delivered object types in the Business Object Repository. These object types are defined with several optional activities that can be executed referencing the object type called ”methods”. SAP tasks and tasks created by the customer are client-independent and can be accessed from any client that resides on a given R/3 system. Tasks describe one business activity.
Tasks identify some processing action that needs to be done. In a workflow environment the task is the process that initiates work to be done by either submitting the work request to the responsible application process or delivering the work request to individuals who will be responsible for carrying out the work order. A task is associated with one logical unit of work within a workflow definition that defines a specific sequence or flow of work to be executed which could involve several different application and departmental personnel. Work item text is the text in the description column of the worklist. The task description is shown within the work item preview and the work item display. The notification text is send by mail to the message recipient for completion. If a deadline is missed and reaction Display text is activated, the appropriate text will be included within the missed deadline work item. The variable parts of the text are automatically replaced at runtime by accessing the attributes of the processed objects.
Object (runtime): all information which can be accessed uniquely via the identifying key the most important aspects of this information are usually stored in a line of a table in the ABAP dictionary Object type (definition time): generic description (definition) of the components of an object an object is a concrete instance of an object type with specific values assigned to its attributes Method: allowed function on an object Methods encapsulate the familiar and comprehensive functionality of the R/3 System and hence make it available for the workflow system. Information about the implementation used is deposited in the object type definition and is no longer required on the user interface and/or control level. These object methods refer to available ABAP functions (transactions, function modules, dialog modules, etc).
A single step task need to have a Possible Agent list. This is a group of people in your organization who may receive this work item. Maintenance: Display the task Select Additional data - Agent assignment - Maintain There you can choose <attributes> and define a ‘general task’ or you can link an organizational object choosing ‘Agent assignment - create’. When you insert this task into a workflow definition, you will need to identify the Responsible Agents. At runtime, the system identifies the recipients of the work item. Recipients are all responsible agents, who are also possible agents and not excluded agents.
The work item text is defined at the task level and serves as a descriptor that provides information to the recipients of the work items in the worklist. The information defined in the work item text is displayed for each work item that is in the users work list. Variable fields of information can be defined for the work item text that will populate the respective fields with current runtime data. As an example: system information such as current date and time, or the user who initiated the workflow can be inserted into these variable fields reflecting actual data for the executed task. This data would be displayed in the corresponding fields displayed for the work item in the worklist.
Similar to the work item text, these texts can provide additional information about the executing task. Providing more detailed instructions to the recipient responsible for carrying out the execution of the respective tasks work item.
Basic data of workflow definition Triggering events defines the event that will initiate the execution of the workflow Binding identifies the relevant data that will be required for the execution of the the workflow. Providing a link between data required as input for a step tasks execution and output data as a result of a step tasks process to be passed to subsequent steps in the workflow. The workflow template is a marker to workflow definition which serves as the unique identifier of the workflow definition. The workflow template provides the entry point to access all relevant information about the workflow definition during runtime or development via the Workflow Builder.
You can call a workflow definition directly within the Workflow Builder. You only need to access the definition of a workflow template, if you want to change triggering events or inital value assignments. Important : An element which can be used for an object reference must be provided in the workflow container. The technical representation of business processes in the SAP R/3 System can be carried out as a workflow definition. The framework for each workflow definition is the workflow template. Workflow definition steps : A workflow definition is made up of individual steps in a modular fashion. When creating a step in a workflow definition, the step type must be specified first. There are steps which refer to business activities (activities, document generations and user decisions) and steps which are used for internal process control and monitoring (condition, multiple condition, loop, ...). The processing sequence of the steps depends on the result of the respective preceding step. The relevant successors for all possible results of a step are established in the workflow definition. The possible results of a step are usually derived from the business functionality underlying it, and are available for workflow definition.
Creating a notification of absence generates the event &quot;notification of absence created&quot; The event ”notification of absence created” is the triggering event of the workflow for processing a notification of absence. All subsequent steps for processing defined to the workflow definition are processes in their defined sequence until completion once the workflow has been initiated by the triggering event.
When editing a workflow, you create the workflow definition which is processed when the workflow is executed. The workflow definition describes the actual implementation of a business scenario as a sequence of linked steps. You only need to change the definition of the corresponding workflow template if you have to change triggering events or initial values of workflow container elements. The workflow definition is defined and displayed graphically in a network using the Workflow Builder. The Workflow Builder is divided into six areas: Workflow: For editing the workflow definition - Double-clicking on a step calls the associated step definition Overview: Display of the whole workflow definition Step types: All available step types for drag ‘n’ drop into the workflow definition Message: All output generated in where-used lists and workflow tests is displayed here Task: Individual set of tasks and workflows for easy inserting and navigation Object: All steps of the workflow definition, all container elements of the workflow container and all document templates are shown here. You can switch into their individual definition by double-clicking In the graphical representation all steps and events have individual symbols depending on their type.
Workflow definition: Made up of individual steps in a modular fashion determines which tasks are executed, when, under which conditions and by whom Workflow templates: Each refers to one workflow definition define triggering events and initial values of workflow container elements SAP workflows: SAP provides executable workflow templates which can be changed and added to at any time using the Workflow Builder.
Definition Tools : with components for implementing a workflow definition (graphical workflow editor) This workflow definition forms the basis for the workflow executions (workflow instances) based on it at runtime. Workflow definitions can be displayed and implemented using a graphical workflow editor. Runtime System: with execution components for controlling and coordinating the workflow process (workflow manager) for managing execution of individual work steps (work items) including assignment to agents and deadline monitoring (work item manager) for evaluating the event receiver linkage table and for calling receivers interested in an event (event manager) for managing the data required for the execution of the step tasks defined to the workflow definition.
Workflow Architecture: Unit Objectives <ul><li>At the conclusion of this unit, you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define terminology related to the workflow architectural environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify key components that make up the workflow environment and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the relationships between components of the workflow runtime environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Display template and underlying structure </li></ul></ul>
Workflow Architecture: Business Scenario <ul><li>A prototype workflow template created for new requirements </li></ul><ul><li>You want to enhance the templates’ function </li></ul><ul><li>Lets explore the complexity of the workflow architecture </li></ul>
Workflow System Components Definition time Process design and definition Workflow Manager Runtime Launch instances, control process Runtime Interaction with users and application tools Analysis, modeling & definition tools Workflow definition Business Workplace Work item Manager
Task/Workflow Definition 1 calculate travel expenses process correspondence check leave entitlement release invoice release absence form process invoice What? Who? When? Task
Task/Workflow Definition 2 Tasks object method or manual activity Workflow (WS) Task (TS) Workflow workflow definition Time-independent and client-independent
Task: Examples Post invoice Release document Change material master Check work plan Run report Approve absence Call customer … Who? What?
Tasks Task Properties <ul><li>Who will be responsible for the task ? </li></ul><ul><li>What will be executed by the task? </li></ul><ul><li>work item text : title of work item in worklist </li></ul><ul><li>task description </li></ul><ul><li>notification text </li></ul><ul><li>deadline text </li></ul><ul><li>desired end text </li></ul><ul><li>latest start text </li></ul>Texts <ul><li>terminating events </li></ul><ul><li>triggering events Only if the task is not used in a workflow </li></ul>Events Organizational plan Object type with object method
Object Methods and Single-Step Tasks Object type Ex invoice doc. order material arch. Doc. create object method edit object method display object method <ul><li>Reference to object method </li></ul><ul><li>Objects are the encapsulation of behavior for performing defined business tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Methods are the allowed functions of an object </li></ul>Task
Definition of Responsibility The responsible agents are identified within the workflow. Recipients of the work item will be identified at runtime. Possible Agent List: All users who have the possibility to execute the task Credit Analysts Sales Group Sales managers task
Work Item Text <ul><li>A description of the work item in the worklist </li></ul><ul><li>Substitution of variables with runtime values </li></ul>_WI_Object_Id _WI_Actual_Agent ... Work item text Display absence notification no. &_WI_OBJECT_ID.NUMBER& _WI_Object_Id.Number
Tasks: Other Texts <ul><li>General description, notes on operation, information on environment, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Task description </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text for completion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text for missed deadline </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Insert variables (including indirectly via object reference) </li></ul>Example : <ul><ul><li>Employee &_WI_Object_ID.CreatedBy& created a notification of absence under the number &_WI_Object_ID.Number& on &_WI_Object_ID.CreateDate&. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Please decide whether to approve. </li></ul></ul>
Workflows Workflow template <ul><li>Reference to workflow definition </li></ul><ul><li>Specification of triggering events </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of interface (import and export parameters) </li></ul><ul><li>Initial value assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Entry point to view or modify the workflow definition via the Workflow Builder </li></ul>
Workflow Definition: Steps Workflow definition Step <ul><li>Document generation </li></ul><ul><li>User decision </li></ul><ul><li>Condition </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple condition </li></ul><ul><li>Event creator </li></ul><ul><li>Wait step </li></ul><ul><li>Process control </li></ul><ul><li>Container operation </li></ul><ul><li>Loop (until) </li></ul><ul><li>Loop (while) </li></ul><ul><li>Fork </li></ul>Workflow template <ul><li>Reference to workflow definition </li></ul><ul><li>Specification of triggering events </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of interface (import and export parameters as elements of workflow container) </li></ul><ul><li>Initial value assignment </li></ul>Activity (task reference)
Demo Example: Workflow Definition Submit notification of absence Notification of absence created Approve notification of absence approved Send mail sent Resubmit for approval? No Terminate workflow Workflow terminated rejected Revise notification of absence? No cenceled yes Revise notification of absence revised
Workflow Definition: Workflow Builder <ul><li>Block-oriented modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Top-down modeling is possible </li></ul><ul><li>Special functions such as cut, paste, move, copy </li></ul><ul><li>Print: local / R/3 spool / file </li></ul><ul><li>Checking and activating </li></ul><ul><li>Drag ‘n’ Drop functionality </li></ul>Workflow Builder: overview workflow definition step types messages task object
Workflow Definition: Basic Concepts Desktop application SAP functionality External applications Organizational management terminating event triggering event Organizational management workflow definition tasks object types methods <ul><li>Triggering events control the initial start of the workflow in addition to the termination and calling of subsequent tasks in the workflow </li></ul><ul><li>Each Task defined under the workflow will execute in the arranged sequence defined via the workflow definition </li></ul>Workflow
Workflow Definition and Runtime Environment Inbox Process display Workflow-Template Object type SAP R/3 Functions Method Workflow definition TASK Work item Org. plan Workflow Workflow manager Execution of an object method Event Determining agents Deadline monitoring Workflow log Start WF Org. plan Work item manager Database triggering event terminating event
Workflow Architecture: Unit Summary <ul><li>Workflow System Components </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides tools for the development of workflow definitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Runtime System manages the execution and required resources for workflow instance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workflow definitions are comprised of tasks and triggering events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Objects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The encapsulation of software for performing defined business tasks </li></ul></ul>