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Introduction to Workflow

Object Types And Delegation of Objects

Creating Custom Tasks and Event

Creating Workflow.

Integrating Custom task, SAP defined activities in Workflow.

Important T Codes



Workflows have 2 main purposes:To streamline a business process to make it faster.

To ensure that a business process is executed correctly.
A workflow formally defines and implements a business Process.

Real Time scenarios for Workflow Uses:A workflow management system facilitates the electronic processing of structured processes that :
Include a number of activities
Always occur in a similar or identical form
Involve several people or departments, and
Require a high degree of coordination

Workflow management systems control processes according to a predefined model and are particularly
suitable for structured organizations

Workflow related Topics to be known:Object Type

Object Subtype, Attributes, Methods, Events for Objects, Delegation of Objects
Creating Custom Tasks, Background Task
Event Linkages with tasks and Workflow
Difference between Task Container and Workflow Container

Things to Remember :Workflow is not

Standard e-mail and groupware (but workflow can work with these)
Data distribution across several systems (but workflow supports this ALE and EDI option)

Effectiveness of Workflow:For User

Faster, Simpler access to information
Administrative tasks are less demanding
Processes are easier to learn and understand

For Management
Better control over
Service levels
Process costs
Flexibility in changing
Organizational structure
Underlying technology
For Enterprises

Increases production
Backlog reduction
Distribution of information and work
Speeds up processes
Cash discounts more often
Better/faster reaction to errors
Increases customer satisfaction
Processes completed more quickly
Better information flow

Scenario:After Creating Purchase order, a customized table should automatically get updated with
required values.
(This document explains steps to create workflow in 4.6 versions.
There are small modifications is ECC6.0 and later versions)

Pre Requisite steps:Step 1:Create table with required fields.

Step 2:Create a function module which will fetch data from EKKO (Purchase Document Number) table and
update created table.

Step 3:Please check whether the client and server which you are working on have a Prefix Number
Entry in tableT78NR.
To check these go to transaction SPRO. Reach out to pathBasis Components >Business Management ->SAP Business Workflow > Basic Settings->Maintain
Prefix Number
If the table does not have entry please create an entry with unique number not already used in
the table.
Step 4:Create one Customizing Transport Request and one Workbench request using Transaction SE10.
Now we are ready to create Workflow and Related Objects.

Generic Overview of scenario:Creation of Purchase Order

On Save - Event get fired (Purchase Order Created)
Event triggers Workflow

Workflow Executes steps - Tasks assigned to those steps.

Tasks Execute functions or methods

Function Module Executed

Data is stored in Customized Table.

Creating Object Types:Go to Transaction SWO1 and search for Object or Interface Type Related to Purchase order.
E.g. BUS2012

Check whether the object or interface type contents required event in current scenario its

As we can see there is no Event related to Create Event.

So now we need to define our own Object Type and Use it to complete task.

Go back to first screen and click on the Button

Fill in all fields and then press enters which will create a new subtype of BUS2012 and will inherit
all the Attributes, Methods and Events of Super Type.

Now in this Subtype we can add our own Interfaces, Attributes, Methods and events.

Reference diagram from SAP AG explaining Relationship between Super type and Subtype

Here I have added a new method named FILL_DATA and an Event Created for my Subtype.
Now let us go to detail of how to create new methods or events or Attributes.
Point the Cursor on the place where you want to add new functionality. E.g. Methods
Click on create button which will give you Popup window


Press no and it will show another window

Fill in all required details and press enter.

Method Name
Name and Description
If you want users to execute this method select dialog or if you want it perform as a background
task leave it blank.
Instance independent:
Switch to tab ABAP. Select function module radio button and give name of function module you
created before which will fetch data from EKKO and update in custom table.

If you want to see program keep cursor on method created and press button
You will see window like this.
Note: This is old ABAP Editor. There is no workaround for this to make it in normal editor as of

Its nothing but FM call. So now we have to give Import parameter as Key of the Object Type which
we have created.

Press save and go back to object type window

Now we will create Event Created
As while creating method keep cursor on Events and click on create button which will lead to
following window.

Fill in the required detail

Now save Object with Workbench request in a development class.

Now, keep cursor on created method and go to

Select To Implemented then select To Released

Repeat steps for Events.
After this Go to Object Type and select first To Implemented and then To released.
Save object prompt will appear again. Save it and then click on Generate Button
This should give message in status bar
If any error message then please check the code of method and do the Implement and Release
steps again.
Now we are ready with out Object Type with Customized method and Event for our scenario.
Creating Task:-

Select Create Task from Sap Easy Menu

Fill in the details and click on new button

Here I have created task called ZT_WFTRN. And in the Object Method gave Object type as our
created Object type and Method for which this task is implemented.

We can have different setting is all the tabs available in Task Creation.
Basic Data I have already shown above.
Description is nothing but Documentation about the task
Alternating methods: here we can define any alternating method than the given default method in
Header data section (It might be useful when we want to use same task to work differently on
different conditions.)
Triggering Events and Termination Events:
As names suggest these are the starting and ending conditions for out task.

This is the place where we Link Method with our Event.

This means now every time when Event occur the method will be executed.

Dont forget to Click on the

. This will activate the Event but before that it will ask

you to save this event linkage. Use your Customization task and save it.
Terminating event can be used to stop execution of the Event in certain conditions
Now save the task and press Container button.

Click on create button and create new container with Our Object type created for Workflow.
Save it and come back. Save Task Again.
Now we are ready with Task remaining part is Creation of workflow and linking this task to
Before that lets take a insight on Container.
Containers are nothing but the Variables in the Workflow that hold the values in the workflow.
They can be simple variables or structures or even objects of any class. So they are best treated
as the variables.

You can also see a button on the taskbar with

Here we can give default values for task to work if we dont want to manually give it while
execution of task.
For this task since we will be calling this thro workflow we are keeping it black.
One can choose the task to be as background task.

Also we can select other checkboxes which are Executable as form means which will run in
foreground and If confirm end of processing is checked then it will ask for user input while ending
Please change status of task to Released without fail before saving.

Now we are ready with all the basic need to create our main Workflow.
So now we will go to T-Code SWDD. (Work Flow Builder)
Click on new button and you will see screen like this

This is our workflow main station.

Left hand side of screen we can see explorer like navigation area which will list down all the steps
in Workflow.
Just below navigation area we can see workflow container.
Now go to workflow container and Double click to create new Container for Workflow same as we
have created for Task with new name. I have created ZWF_container for workflow.

At the right hand side bottom we can see all the types of Activities we can do.
Double click on undefined task white arrow in workflow and pop up occurs.
Which list all the steps which we can select Activity Giving customized created task as execution step for workflow
Condition and Multiple Condition Like IF ELSE statement and Case statement
Fork- is for running two tasks concurrently and then upon successful execution of both the tasks
move forward for the next step. (Same as Linux FORK () and Child ())

Send mail- will trigger a mail to desired recipients.

Also in workflow we can have two Loop as we can see Loop (Until) and Loop (while)
Now we will select Activity in our scenario which will show us this page,

Give created task in the format of TSXXXXXXXXX where xxx is your task number which we have
created in the section above.

After giving task press Button Binding.

This binding will bind the Task Container and Workflow container so that task gets executed with
the values which are exported from Workflow.
After this go to Agent assignment where we can see button with apple on it.

Click on generate button.

Since this is background task we dont have to give any specific agents or users to execute this
If its not a Background or Multiple tasks we can assign agents which will execute the task

Agent can be Expression, Role, Organization Unit, Job, User, Or Work center.

After this please save the task by clicking

right button which will again

take you to the workflow main screen.

Now we are almost ready about our workflow but still one most important thing is missing.
Trigger to start this Workflow i.e. event by which this workflow will be called and which in turn
execute the task.
So now we will see how to Link Events to workflow.

Before that go to
And maintain entry for the Change Document related to Purchase Order i.e. EINKBELEG by clicking
on new entry.
(This is a Cross client table) (We can find Change document related to Purchase order searching in
define workflow properties)

We will have to go to Workflow header by pressing

header button

This will take us to screen

Now here we are giving our own created Event which is ZT_WFTRN- created (which will get
triggered after creating any purchase order.
Press Activate button and also binding button just next to task.

Here we can see one more column which I did not explain before now we will see what this is. Its
nothing but a condition specification column. Here we can give some more conditions to be
checked before executing workflow after event has occurred.

Press Agent assignment button again here and then press generate. Come back to workflow. Save
and Activate workflow.
Now we are ready with All the Required Objects ready and workflow ready.
Whole purpose of this Scenario was to update a Customized table just after creating Purchase
So we will now create a purchase order and then check our customized table.

And then check table which has this purchase order

So thats it. Our First Workflow is complete.

Additional Information and Tracking
If some error has occurred and our table is not updated first thing we can check is whether the
event was fired or now.
We can see this using session SWEL (SAP WORKFLOW EVENT LOG)

Give Event Name in Filter or Object name which we created and then execute which will give a
We can see event did occur

And in the receiver type the name was given as Workflow which we created. Also Green Square
shows that event was successful.
So we are sure that event was fired and data was properly given to the workflow so now we can
check whether the problem was in workflow and task.
Double click on event and we will be on the screen

Click on work item and then click on Workflow Log.

Click on List of technical details and check whether error occurred anywhere. In this case since it
was successful execution nothing will be in Error.

If any error we can just click and check the error.

Most of the times errors are about the binding of the Task and Workflow
So please check all the steps are executed properly
Task binding
Agent assignment
Event Binding
Event agent assignment
Data type of all the containers should be same.

So here we are ready with out first workflow.
We can add any number of tasks in this workflow. Also we can trigger same workflow from
different events such as changed, display.
Useful Transaction Codes
Area Code SWLD lists all transactions associated with Business Workflow.
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/Maint. 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
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
Task analysis
SWI11 - Tasks in Workflows
SWI13 - Task profile

Function modules used in Workflow:


shows the completed status of a workflow


display the address of the user or recipient


delete work item


create work item as result of event


change of deadline attribute of work item


complete work item using events


reject work item


retrieve event for a workflow


lock work item against execution


remove lock against execution of work item.

SAP Business Workflow

Finding answers to the queries stemming out from the mind which may be
related to any field acts as the building blocks to gain knowledge. Few questions
rose in my mind too when I was going through the workflow training. Lets
answer some basic queries related to SAP business workflow.
What is Workflow?
Workflow is a tool provided by SAP to automate the complex business processes.
Workflow ensures that the right work is sent to the right person at the right time
in the right sequence with the right information. Basically Workflow provides
answers to questions like what to do (Object), to what (Task), when to do
(Event), who has to do (Agent) and in what order (Workflow Definition) the work
has to be done.
How Workflow can be Started/Triggered?
Workflow is triggered by an event. Once the workflow gets started, it will call the
Tasks associated with each step types in the workflow. Then the Task intern may
call Methods defined in the Object and the Rule Container to determine the
Agents Dynamically. Lets put it in a simple way
Event --> Workflow --> Task --> Method --> Rule
What are the different layers in Workflow Engine?

There are 3 layers in the Architecture of Workflow Engine:

Business Object: Business object (BO) is basically collection of Attributes,

Methods and Events for a particular business entity. Example of BO: Sale Order,
Vendor, Customer, Material etc.
Business Process: Business processes are defined in Workflow builder.

Each and every small work process is called as an activity in the workflow
builder. Each activity consists of a single step task, which can be a standard task
or a workflow template.
Organization Model: Organization model mainly has four important
elements: Org unit (O), Job (C), Position (S) and Person (P). Rules and the Tasks
are used to map these elements to the different agents.

What is Business Work Place?

Business Workplace is the interface between the user and the workflow system.
Its just like our regular mailbox but with some additional features. It is the place
where we receive the Work items, Notifications, Documents etc. once a
particular workflow is executed.
We can perform various functions in the workplace such as updating the work
list, execute the work item, display workflow log, reserve or replace the work
item and many more.
We can customize the Business Workflow as per our need and can add up to six
dynamic columns through the transaction SWL1.
We can maintain substitution (assigning your work to other agents) in two ways:
Personal substitute (for an SAP user) and Position substitute.

How Process, Business Logic and People are linked in Workflows?

The business processes are defined in Workflow builder. Each and every

small work process is called as an activity in the workflow builder. Each activity
consists of a single step task, which can be a standard task or a workflow
Associated Business Logic is built in Business Objects. i.e. ABAP code will
be in Business Object. Business Objects consist of attributes, methods and

events. Methods consist of ABAP code. Each and every standard task is
associated with a Business Object and a method.
People / Group of people responsible for taking actions are defined in
organization structure. Person responsible for taking an action is called actual
agent. It is defined in the workflow activity.

Who is an Agent?
An agent is a person or a group of persons who can take an action during
workflow runtime. Action can be approval of some business document, creation
of some document or sending email.
There are basically three types of Agents:
Actual Agent: One who actually takes the action. This is provided in the
workflow Activity.
Possible Agent: All possible persons/entities who are authorized
organizationally to start a task and execute the relevant work item.
A single-step task cannot be processed as a work item if there are no possible
agents. The possible agents always form the set from which the selected agents
are determined.
It is not necessary to specify the possible agents of a single-step task if the
respective task has been classified as a general task.
The possible agents of a multistep task are those employees in the company
who are authorized to start the respective task in dialog.
A work item which is displayed via the workflow outbox, workflow log, or
selection report can be executed by its possible agents (not only by its actual
Excluded Agents: Persons who are excluded from taking action on a task.
These are assigned in the workflow definition at the workflow activity.
Excluded agents are determined at runtime so that information from the
environment for executing the workflow (agent for previous steps) or from the
context of the processed application objects can be taken into account.
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.
Rules to Determine Agents?
The possible rules to determine agents are:

Responsibilities: Its a pure configuration, no ABAP code only defined value

ranges are assigned to agents.

Organizational data: Its also configuration, no ABAP code is required. SAP

Organizational Object Types are used to assign agents.

Function to be executed: ABAP code we can develop each function module

Organizational attributes (OOAW): You can use organizational attributes in
the SAP applications EBP and CRM.
What are all the Different ways of creating Events?

Events are actions that occur in the system and that acts as trigger point for any
workflow. Example: Creation of Sales order.
The possible ways of creating events are:

Change documents (SWEC) - When change documents are written

General Status Management (BSVW)-. Event creation upon status changes

Message control(SWUY) - Event creation as message type (SE91)

Logistics Information System (AWUW) - When an exception situation

occurs (LIS exception)

Business Transaction Events (SWU_EWBTE) When financialdocuments

are being created.

HR Master Data (SWEHR1/2/3) - When HR master data changes

How many Types of Tasks?

Task defines the Activity step defined in the workflow. Workflow tasks are
assigned to the user when the associated workflow rules are trigged. Basically
there are two types of tasks:

Single Step Task: This include Standard Task (TS Cross client/time
independent) and Customer task (T Client Specific/time dependent)

Multi Step Task: This include Workflow Template (WS Cross client/time
independent) and Workflow Task (WF Client Specific/time dependent)
What are Step Types?

A step types are the entities used in the workflow which gives the predefined
results whenever executed.
The Step Types appear in the Objects section of the workflow builder or simply
right click on the builder and choose insert option. Step Types that can be
inserted in the workflow 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.
What is Deadline Monitoring?

Monitoring the workflow steps according to our predefined schedule is referred

as Deadline Monitoring. We can monitor the workflow steps in four ways:
Requested start Workitem is not available in the inbox until the predefined
schedule is reached.
Requested end Minimum time on task.
Latest start Workitem must be started by predefined schedule.
Latest end Workitem must be completed by predefined step else deadline
missed message will come for the particular workitem.
Can we customize the Workflow?
Yes we can customize the workflow based on the requirement and we can do
this through SWU3 transaction code which covers all the activities that concern
the technical basic settings.
What are the possible runtime problems occur in Workflow?

The Possible runtime errors that can occur are:

Agent determination errors
Buffering errors
Work item errors
Event linkage errors
Different Terminologies used in Workflow?
Workitem: Its a runtime representation of task or step defined in workflow.
There are many types of workitem but only three type of workitem appear in the
business workplace (Inbox). Type W (Work item with dialog), D (Deadline Missed)
and A (Work Queue).

Delegation: Its a process of creating sub type from the super type by
inheriting all the properties of super type and adding your own methods, events
and attributes to your sub type.
Container: Its a storage place where all the values associated with variables or
structures are stored (import or export).
Binding: Assignment between the elements of two different containers (Event
Container/ Workflow Container/ Task Container/Method Container/ Rule
Container) is referred as Binding.
Basic Function Modules in Workflows?
SWW_WI_POPUP_FOR_COMPLETION - Shows the completed status of a workflow
SWW_ADDR_KEY_CREATE_FROM_USER - Display the address of the user or
SWW_WI_DELETE - Delete work item
SWW_WI_CREATE_VIA_EVENT - Create work item as result of event
SWW_WI_DEADLINE_CHANGE - Change of deadline attribute of work item
SWW_WI_COMP_EVENT_RECEIVE - Complete workitem using events
SWW_WI_REJECT - Reject work item
SWW_WI_EVENT_RECEIVE - Retrieve event for a workflow
SWW_WI_DISABLE - Lock workitem against execution
SWW_WI_ENABLE - Remove lock against execution of workitem

T-Codes related to Workflow?

SWLD - Lists all the transactions associated with Business workflows.
SWDD - Main Workflow Builder.
SBWP - The Business Workplace SWDM - Business Workflow Explorer
SWU3 Workflow Customization.
PPOC Organization Maintenance.
PFTC - General task Maintenance.

PFAC Rule Maintenance.

SWO1 - Business Object Builder.
SW06 - Delegation
SWEL/SWETYPV - Display/Maintain Event Type Linkages
SWELS - Switch Event Trace On/Off
SWUS - Test Workflow
SWUI - Start Workflow
SWPR Workflow Restart after error.
SWPC Continue Workflow after System Crash.
SWWL Delete Workiiem.
SWI1 to 8 - Workflow Analysis.
T-Codes related to Task:
PFTC_INS - Create
PFTC_CHG - Change
PFTC_DIS - Display
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
Background Jobs:

WF-BATCH: Default background user (Not a T-Code)

SWWCOND: Work item rule monitoring.
SWWDHEX: Work item deadline monitoring.
SWWERRE: Work item error monitoring.
SWWCLEAR: Clearing tasks in the workflow system.
SWEQSRV: Managing the correct processing of the event queue.