SAP Business Workflow

Purpose

You use SAP Business Workflow (WebFlow Engine) to define business processes that are not yet mapped in the SAP System. These may be simple release or approval procedures, or more complex business processes such as creating a material master and the associated coordination of the departments involved. Business Workflow is particularly suitable for situations in which work processes have to be run through repeatedly, or situations in which the business process requires the involvement of a large number of agents in a specific sequence.

You can also use Business Workflow to respond to errors and exceptions in other, existing business processes. You can start a workflow when predefined events occur, for example an event can be triggered if particular errors are found during an automatic check.

SAP provides several workflows that map predefined business processes. These workflows do not require much implementation effort. For an overview of these SAP workflows for mySAP Technology see workflow scenarios and the documentation for the application component.

Integration

Business Workflow uses the existing transactions and functions of the SAP System and does not change the functions. You can combine the existing functions of the SAP System to form new business processes with Business Workflow. The workflow system takes over control of the business processes. If you are already using Organizational Management, you can use the organizational structure created there to have the relevant agents carry out the individual activities. It is possible to have an activity carried out by a position. This ensures that the respective occupiers of the position can carry out the individual activities during execution of the workflow. This means that personnel changes in your organization are taken into account immediately in the execution of a workflow.

Business Workflow is also integrated with cross-component Business Process Management (BPM) in Exchange Infrastructure (XI). A workflow can send messages to a business process and, conversely, messages from a business process can be processed in a workflow.

Features

Business Workflow provides a number of tools for defining and analyzing workflows as well as for monitoring operation.

The Workflow Builder is for displaying and making changes to workflows. You can make small extensions directly to the original workflows supplied by SAP, such as carrying out your own agent assignments or changing deadline monitoring. These can be saved as workflow configurations.

WebFlow Functions can be used to execute workflows between different companies. All the data required can be sent as XML documents. Business Workflow can also respond to suitable inbound XML documents.

There are several Workflow Wizards to support you in the definition of workflows, with which you can create specific parts of a workflow. You can start the existing Workflow Wizards from the Workflow Builder.

To make the functions of the SAP System available to the workflow, use the business object type. You can define and analyze business object types in the Business Object Builder. The workflow accesses the individual business objects at runtime using the reusable tasks. The Business Workflow Explorer gives you an overview of all existing tasks.

The end user receives information about the activities that they carry out in their Business Workplace or in the Workflow Inbox MiniApp or in the iView Universal Worklist of the enterprise portal. An iView is available within portals. This provides them with a central overview of all the activities that they are authorized to carry out. They can commence the activities from here.

Several tools are available to the workflow system administrator, with which they can control and analyze the current workflows. The workflow system administrator is notified of problems automatically by the system.