The Part I of Workflows Introduction gives the basic details about the workflow usage as a tool and the features involved. In Part II, the details about the workflow builder will be explained. In the part III, more details about Workflow Builder will be covered. In subsequent parts Business Object Builder & details about the runtime analysis tools of workflows will be discussed.
What are SAP Business Workflows:
Using SAP Business workflows, one can define the business processes that are not yet mapped into SAP system. Workflows are suitable for the situations where the given task is executed repeatedly or when the large number of people is involved in the completion of that work. Workflows can be used in conjunction with the existing business scenarios e.g. during the standard functionality errors or exceptions occurs then workflow can be triggered on these actions.
There are lots of standard workflows available from SAP for different areas like Sales & Distribution (SD), Travel Management (TV), Treasury (TR), General Logistics (LO), and Personnel Management (PA) etc.
What is Workflow Builder:
Workflow builder is the business workflow tool for creating, editing and displaying the workflow definition.
The Workflow Builder provides a graphical modeling view, which gives a direct overview of the processes of the different steps. Also there is a tree view to shows all steps of the workflow definition in a hierarchical view. For graphical modeling view, the prerequisite is to have SAPGUI for Windows.
Transaction for Workflow Builder:
Menu path for Workflow Builder:
SAP Menu -> Tools -> Business Workflow -> Development -> Definition Tools -> Workflow Builder -> Workflow Builder
Features of Workflow Builder:
  • Version management for workflows is featured. (Menu Workflow -> Generate Version).
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  • Import/Export feature is available for workflows with some restrictions. This import/export happens through the XML version of workflows. (Menu Workflow -> Import/Export..).
  • Option of printing is available for the workflows. This option is for graphical display as well as for individual step details, which are selectable for printing. (Menu Workflow -> Print..).
  • Testing of workflows within builder is possible. (Menu Workflow -> Test).
  • Block operations like Cut/Copy/Paste are available. (Menu Edit -> Block..).
  • Insertion an existing workflow/subworkflow into the current workflow is possible by selecting the appropriate node in the graphical display. This is same as creating steps according to the rules of block orientation. (Menu Edit -> Insert Workflow).
  • Triggering Event for workflow can be entered in the workflow builder by menu Goto -> Basic Data.
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    Here enter the relevant business object and the event name in the Start Events tab. Activate the link and binding.
  • Many times it so happens that changes are made but they don’t reflect in workflow results due to buffer synchronization. One can synchronize the runtime buffer from workflow builder directly. This synchronization happens for Tasks (single-step tasks, multistep tasks), Organizational environment (assignment of tasks), Workflow System Settings (RFC Destination, and so on).
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    From the menu Extras->Transport->Synchronize runtime buffer, one can goto transaction SWU_OBUF of buffer synchronization.

    Clicking on Start Synchronization will refresh the buffer.
  • There are different options available in workflow builder for Views/Default Settings/Hidden Step Types from the Menu Extras -> Options. Here depending on the values selected in View tab, the modeling view of workflow changes as follows –
    • L – Event Driven Process Chains:
      • Goto menu Extras -> Options -> tab View.
      • Select the value from the Display of Modeling View – View dropdown as L Event Driven Process Chains (EPCs).
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      • Click on Enter.
      • The graphical modeling view changes to as follows where All triggering events, outcomes, steps and operators are displayed. Steps are displayed as green rectangles, triggering events and outcomes as red hexagons and operators as circles. The step name is displayed in the graphical symbols.
    • C- Classic Event Driven Process Chains (ClassicEPCs):
      • Goto menu Extras -> Options -> View tab.
      • Select the value from the Display of Modeling View – View dropdown as C- Classic Event Driven Process Chains (ClassicEPCs).
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      • Click on Enter.
      • All triggering events, outcomes, steps and operators are displayed. Steps are displayed as green rectangles, triggering events and outcomes as red hexagons and operators as circles. The node number and the node type are displayed with the step name in the graphical symbols. The step type area is not displayed.
    • N – Without Event-Driven Process Chains (NoEPCs): (Default Mode of View):
      • Goto menu Extras -> Options -> View tab.
      • Select the value from the Display of Modeling View – View dropdown as N – Without Event-Driven Process Chains (NoEPCs).
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      • Click on Enter.
      • All steps, triggering events and the workflow start and end are displayed using symbols. Outcomes are displayed in text on the connecting lines.
  • There are lots of other display settings available in menu Extras->Options for Block Display, Tips & Tricks display at start, display of percentage progress of a syntax check, indicator for steps Drag & Drop by mouse etc.
  • In the menu Extras->Options->Default Settings tab, there is an option for workflow definition modeling as Use Top-Down Modeling.
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    If used this option, then one can model the workflow without actually defining the steps. So when a step is added to workflow, it is only added to graphics.

    This way one can have the actual picture of the final definition of workflow. To use such type of workflows, all the inserted steps should be complete.
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  • Other settings like hiding steps types etc are also available in menu Extras->Options.
  • One can go to SAP Business Workplace directly from workflow builder from the menu Environment->Business Workplace.
  • There are lots of workflows available as examples, which can be reached via workflow builder. The menu path is Environment->Start Workflow.

    Select the required workflow from the list on the left side and click on either Start or Start with Details on the right side for execution. Once the workflow is started, the log can be viewed from the Workflow Outbox button from the application toolbar.
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  • One can directly go to the different development environment like ABAP Dictionary, Class builder, Business Object Builder, Correlation objects, proxy objects, Web Services etc. from workflow builder. The menu path is Environment->Development..
Workflow Builder Details:
  • Go to transaction SWDD for workflow builder.
  • By default, the builder shows the last workflow worked in the builder. To go to the required workflow, click on Other Workflow/Version..(Ctrl+F5) from the application toolbar.
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  • In the Task, give the name of the required workflow, following the F4 search help if needed.
  • The required workflow is now displayed in the workflow builder. The workflow builder is divided into different areas like Information Area, Navigation Area, Step Types, Graphical Model, Results of Syntax check etc as shown below.
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  • In the Information Area, the information about the workflows like workflow number, version and the status of the workflow are displayed.
  • In the navigation area, all the steps of workflow definition are displayed in sequence.
  • The Step Types appear in the Objects section of the workflow builder. This object section consists of following options in the dropdown, one which can be viewed in the workflow builder. e.g. in the current case, Step Types are displayed.
    • Step Types That Can Be Inserted are Activity, web activity, Send Mail, Form, User Decision, Document from Template, Condition, Multiple Condition, Event Creator, Wait, Container Operation, Process Control, Loop(Until), Fork, Block, Local Workflow etc.
    • Workflow Container
    • My Workflows and Tasks
    • Document Templates
    • Workflow Wizards
    • Teamworking
    • Workflows of this Definition (Outcome)
    • Note It!
  • At the bottom of the workflow builder, the syntax check results are shown as either informatory, warning or error messages.
  • In the Graphical view, the actual definition of workflow is build by dragging the steps from the steps list or by right clicking the step directly on undefined one. The default steps in every workflow are Workflow Started, Undefined step and Workflow Completed.

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