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How to start SAP business workflow?

How to start SAP business workflow?

 A business process can consist of several steps. Historically, one observes that the tasks have been coordinated manually or by some informal means of communication (sticky note, e-mail, shouting, and so forth).The common problem in these approaches is:

  • Inefficiency
  • Each lack of a way to trace where a task is
  • Who executed (or is executing it)
  • How much time it requires.

In contrast, the workflow does ensure that the right work is sent to the right person at the right time in the right sequence with the right information.

  • Workflow is a tool for automization of business processes
  • Not tied up to of course any particular application
  • Operates uniformly across the applications
  • Coordinate all participating tasks
  • Provide users with active support
  • Deadline Management is possible

Workflows are very useful for business processes that:

  • Contain a sequence of activities.
  • Reoccur in the same or similar forms.
  • Involves several people or groups of people.
  • Require considerable coordination.

What are the layers in Workflow Architecture?

There are 3 layers in the Workflow Architecture:

  • Business Object
  • Business Process
  • Organization Model

How to start SAP business workflow?How Process, Business Logic and People are linked in Workflows?

  • The business processes are indeed defined in Workflow builder. Each as well as every small work process is referred to as an activity in the workflow builder. Each activity does consist of a single step task, which can also be a standard task or a workflow template.
  • Associated Business Logic is no doubt built in Business Objects. I.e. ABAP code will be in Business Object. Business Objects do consist of attributes, methods and events. Methods do consist of ABAP code. Each and every standard task is indeed associated with a Business Object and a method.
  • People / Group of people are responsible for taking actions that are defined in the organization structure. Persons who are responsible for taking the required action are referred to as actual agent. It is indeed defined in the workflow activity.

What is a Business Object?

Business object (BO) is indeed basically the collection of Attributes, Methods and Events for a particular business entity. Examples of BO: Sale Order, Vendor, Customer, Material etc.

BOs are wrapped around backend tables, application code, change document as well as other technical information and thus expose them as Attributes, Methods and Events. Usually, the methods of BOs do refer to BAPIs.

The following diagram explains BO much better:

What is an Agent and what are different types of Agent?

An agent is considered to be a person or a group of persons who can take an action during the workflow runtime. The action can be approval of some sort of business document, creation of some document or also sending email.

3 types of Agents are:

  • Actual Agent: One who actually takes the action. This is provided in the workflow Activity.
  • Possible Agent: All possible persons/entities that can execute a task during runtime. Defines either in Org Structure or task.
  • Excluded Agents: Persons who are excluded from taking action on a task. These are assigned in the workflow definition at the workflow activity.

System checks Actual Agent defined in workflow runtime with the Possible Agents defined in the task and the Excluded Agents. Actual Agent should be a subset of Possible Agents minus the Excluded Agents, else Agent resolution fails.

What are the capabilities of Workflow Builder?

What are Events?

Events are actions that occur in the system and that acts as a trigger point for any workflow for example: Sales order creation.

 One needs to consider a scenario whereby any of the sales order after creation and is subject to approval from superior and this leads to workflow. The workflow has to be started whenever a Sales order is created.

Then the binding of the event to the workflow in order for the data to flow from event to the Workflow needs to be focused upon. e.g.: Sales order is thus created. So for the workflow does proceed and one requires sales order details..

Then one needs to activate the linkage once one is through the workflow creation. This is essential as after this is carried out and the workflow will then enter into the game.

What are the various methods of creating Events?

Several methods of creating Events:-

–          Function module  – event creation by calling function module
–          Change documents
–          Event creation when change documents are written.
–          General status management
–          Logistics Information System (LIS)
–          Event  creation upon status changes.
–          Business Transaction Events
–          Message Control

How to link Event with Workflow?

 One has to consider the start point of any of the workflow. The Business Object is then specified and binding is thus generated to the workflow in order to receive the values and then the link is also activated.

What are containers, Binding and Binding Editor?

Containers are the Variables in the Workflow that actually hold the values in the workflow. They can indeed be simple variables or structures or even sort of objects of any class. It is better to treat them as variables. Binding is the passing of the values from events, methods and other external sources to the container. When an event  does get   into a binding situation to the workflow then the data does automatically flow from the Event to the Container in the workflow. Binding editor is thus there as an automatic binding that may not always pick up the right or even desired binding. The editor therefore gives an option to the developer to edit or generate manually.

What are important Transactions and Reports?

The area menu ‘SWLD’ lists all the transactions associated with Business workflows.

  • SWDD – Main Workflow Builder.
  • PFTC – General task maintenance.
  • SWO1- Business Object Builder.
  • SBWP- The Business Workplace SWDM – Business Workflow Explorer
  • SWELS –  Switch Event Trace On/Off
  • SWETYPV – Display/Main. Event Type Linkages
  • SWUS – Test Workflow
  • SWUI – Start Workflow
  • SWI6 – Workflow for Objects
  • SW14 – Workflows for Objects Types
  • SWDB – Workflow Builder – Create Workflow
  • SWLV – Maintain Views


  • PFTC_INS – Create
  • PFTC_CHG – Change
  • PFTC_DIS – Display
  • PFTC_COP – Copy
  • PFTC_DEL – Delete
  • T-codes Related To Events

Events Creation

  • BSVW – Status management
  • NACE – Message Control
  • AWUW – Logistics Information System (LIS)
  • Event Linkages
  • SWB_COND – Workflow Start Conditions

Work item analysis

  • SWI2_FREQ – Work Items Per Task
  • SWI2_DEAD – Work Items With Monitored Deadlines
  • SWI2_DURA – Work Items By Processing Duration




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