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Plan SAP workflow tasks for Duet Enterprise for SharePoint and SAP Server 2.0

 

Applies to: Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP Server 2.0

Topic Last Modified: 2014-06-25

Summary: Learn about the Duet Enterprise 2.0 workflow feature, including its architecture and options for customizing the workflows.

The Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP Server 2.0 workflow feature enables an SAP business process to delegate tasks to users who use familiar SharePoint Server 2013 features such as Web Parts, lists, and SharePoint sites. Users can use SharePoint sites or Outlook 2013 to complete their assigned tasks.

NoteNote:
This article does not discuss how to upgrade from Duet Enterprise 1.0. For more information about how to upgrade, see Upgrade to Duet Enterprise 2.0 on SharePoint Server 2013.

In this article:

The Duet Enterprise 2.0 workflows feature combines SAP workflows with SharePoint Server 2013 declarative workflows. An SAP workflow is planned, designed, and executed in the SAP system. Steps in the SAP workflow that require user decisions or dialog activities are surfaced in SharePoint Server 2013 as SharePoint Server declarative workflows.

NoteNote:
An SAP administrator must configure settings in the SAP back-end and SAP NetWeaver Gateway system to enable workflow items to be surfaced in the SharePoint Server environment. For more information about the configuration steps required on the SAP system, see the "Configuring Workflow" section of the SAP Configuration Guide on SAP Service Marketplace on the web. (Enter your user name and password. In the left-hand pane, click SAP Business Suite Applications, click Duet Enterprise, and then select Duet Enterprise 2.0.)

Each unique task in an SAP workflow is implemented as a separate SharePoint Server 2013 declarative workflow, called an SAP workflow task in this article. The following diagram illustrates the relationship between an SAP workflow and a set of SAP workflow tasks in SharePoint Server. In the SAP workflow, two user-decision tasks must be completed in sequence. Each task is started from the SAP system and is completed as an SAP workflow task in SharePoint Server.

Figure: SAP workflow tasks in SharePoint Server

Each type of SAP workflow task requires a unique workflow task workspace. The workflow task workspace is a SharePoint site that hosts all the tasks for a workflow task type.

A workflow task workspace includes the following elements:

  1. Metadata   These are properties from each task, which are displayed as columns of the task workspace’s document library. These properties are available to the SharePoint Server 2013 declarative workflow that implements the SAP workflow task.

  2. Items   This is the list of tasks of the particular task type. The tasks are stored in the task workspace’s document library.

  3. SharePoint Server Workflow   Each workspace contains a declarative workflow that implements the SAP workflow task.

  4. Email   The email message that contains the task notification is a key user experience element. This message provides the user with information that is needed to evaluate and complete the SAP workflow task. The message includes a link to the task details page which the user can open to access information about the workflow.

  5. Task details page   Similar to the email message, the task details page provides users with information that is needed to evaluate and complete the SAP workflow task, task forms, and other relevant details, such as links to online resources and related reports and documents.

  6. Web Parts   SharePoint Server Web Parts provide contextual information that is related to the SAP workflow task.

Figure: Elements of a workflow task workspace

Each SAP workflow task requires a unique workflow task workspace. Workflow task workspaces can be created in the following ways:

  • The SAP system can interact with the ProcessTask OData service. The metadata that the SAP system sends the ProcessTask OData service is used to create the workflow task workspace.

    For more information, see About the ProcessTask OData service.

  • A user who has sufficient permissions can use the SharePoint interface to manually create a new SAP workflow task workspace. When you create the SAP workflow task type, the task name that you specify must match the name of the Workflow step in SAP Workflow Builder.

    For more information, see the "Step 3 - Configure a new SAP workflow task type" section of Create an SAP workflow on a Duet Enterprise site.

After a task workspace site has been created for a type of SAP workflow task, each task of that type that is assigned to a user is listed in the workspace site. An SAP workflow task can be configured so that a particular user or role must complete it, or it can be configured so that any member of a group of users can claim the task. SAP workflow tasks can also be delegated from one user to another. Along with being able to access the tasks assigned to them by going to a task workspace, users can access their tasks from other locations, such as their My Sites, and from email messages in Outlook 2013.

NoteNote:
Do not create a workflow task workspace for the same SAP workflow task type and same language on multiple root workflow sites. This is not supported in Duet Enterprise.

You can use SharePoint Designer 2013 or Visual Studio 2012 to customize the workflow task workspace. Any element of the site can be customized, including the forms, the pages, and even the workflow task logic. For more information, see Customize the workflow task workspace.

Duet Enterprise 2.0 includes an OData service, named ProcessTask, that is used to send workflow notifications from the SAP system to SharePoint Server 2013. The ProcessTask OData service performs the following functions:

  • Creates tasks.

  • Routes tasks to workflow task workspaces.

  • Terminates tasks.

The following diagram illustrates the end-to-end process enabled by the ProcessTask OData service. It starts when an SAP workflow task is started and ends with the completion of the task:

Figure: Process flow of an SAP workflow task

  1. The SAP Workflow Backend, which manages the SAP workflow, starts a user decision task as part of an SAP workflow. The SAP task information is listed in an XML document.

  2. The Item Selection Report, which is included in the Duet Enterprise 2.0 SAP Add-on, sends the SAP task request and related information to the ProcessTask OData service.

  3. The ProcessTask Odata service uses a lookup list to create the task and related artifacts in the relevant workflow task workspace.

  4. The user interacts with the task workspace and completes the SAP workflow task.

  5. When the user completes the task, the Business Data Connectivity service sends the task completion notification to the SAP system. Note that this is possible because SAP workflow tasks are implemented as external content types.

  6. The Business Data Connectivity service communicates the task results to the SAP Web services that are included in the Duet Enterprise 2.0 SAP Add-on.

  7. The SAP Web services send the task completion notification to the SAP Workflow backend.

You can customize a workflow task workspace to help make it more useful and relevant to the information workers who will use it. The SharePoint Server interface enables basic customizations, and you can use SharePoint Designer 2013 and Visual Studio 2012 for more advanced customizations. For example, each workflow task workspace contains an ASP.NET site page that contains the forms and Web Parts that the workspace uses. Using this site page, you can customize any of these site elements.

Because SAP workflow tasks are implemented as SharePoint Server 2013 declarative workflows, SharePoint Designer 2013 is the recommended tool for customizing a workflow task workspace that does not require custom code.

NoteNote:
SAP workflow tasks are implemented in SharePoint Designer 2013 as list workflows.

The following list describes some typical workflow task workspace customizations:

  • Adding links to supporting web pages and documents that are related to the task.

  • Customizing the task notification email body by adding variables to present dynamic, task-specific information.

  • Using InfoPath to modify task-related forms.

    NoteNote:
    If the SAP workflow includes extended business properties, you must edit the form if you want the extended business property to appear in the form. For more information, see Customize a task details page.
  • Adding Web Parts to the task details page to provide additional information or context.

After all customizations are completed, you can save the task workspace as a template and deploy it to other Duet Enterprise environments. For example, you may have separate Duet Enterprise environments for development and production. In this case, you can create a workflow task workspace in the development environment. After all customizations and testing are completed, you can save the workflow task workspace as a template and deploy it in the production environment. For more information, see Import a pre-configured SAP workflow template.

Many resources are available to help you learn about how to use SharePoint Designer 2013 to customize workflows and related artifacts. For more information, see SharePoint Designer Help and How-to - Microsoft Office and Workflow development in SharePoint Designer 2013 and Visio 2013.

SharePoint Server 2013 includes two SharePoint workflow platforms. Duet Enterprise 2.0 supports only the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform. The SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform and Workflow Manager capabilities are not currently supported in Duet Enterprise 2.0.

The following tables describe some of the tasks required to deploy an SAP workflow, customize the workflow task workspaces, or to interact with the workflow task. The tasks are grouped by user role.

Table: Tasks for administrators

Task Description Performed by Related articles

Create a root workflow site

The root workflow site is a SharePoint site that hosts all workflow tasks. We recommend that you have only one root workflow site in a site collection. This makes it easier to manage your workflow tasks.

To create a root workflow site, you activate the Duet Enterprise – SAP Workflow feature.

Site collection administrator

Create an SAP workflow on a Duet Enterprise site

Create a workflow task workspace

The workflow task workspace is a SharePoint site that hosts all the tasks for a workflow task type.

From the root workflow site, use the SAP Workflow Site template to create the workflow task workspace.

Site owner

Step 3 - Configure a new SAP workflow task type

Grant users access to a SAP workflow task type

Specify the users who will receive the tasks from the site.

Site owner

Step 4 - Grant users access

Troubleshoot or monitor an SAP workflow

Check for configuration problems in an SAP workflow in a root workflow site.

Site owner

Diagnose an SAP workflow for configuration issues

Move a workflow task workspace from a test or development environment to a production environment.

Many organizations have separate Duet Enterprise environments for development and production. In this case, you can create a workflow task workspace in the development environment. After all customizations and testing are completed, you can save the workflow task workspace as a template and deploy it in the production environment.

SharePoint administrator

Import a pre-configured SAP workflow template

Table: Tasks for designers

Task Description Related articles

Customize a task details page

You can customize the layout of the task details page, and customize the form that displays on the page.

NoteNote:
If the SAP workflow includes extended business properties, you must edit the form if you want the extended business property to appear in the form.

Customize a task details page

Customize an email notification for an SAP workflow task

When someone is assigned an SAP workflow task, Duet Enterprise automatically sends an email with a task notification to the person or group who was assigned. You can customize the contents of the email notification message that Duet Enterprise sends.

Customize an email notification for an SAP workflow task

Configure a Related Actions Web Part on a task details page

You can add Web Parts to a task details page that help task decision makers request and receive reports that provide related information.

Configure a Related Actions Web Part on a Duet site

Table: Tasks for users

Task Description Related articles

Manage their workflow tasks.

Users can manage their tasks directly from Outlook 2013, or from the SharePoint workflow task workspace. Users can view their assigned workflow tasks and take action on their workflow tasks (Approve, Reject, and so on).

Getting started with workflows and tasks in Duet Enterprise 2.0

Add the URL of the host name of each web application that contains a workflow to the Intranet zone in Internet explorer.

Users may encounter an error message in Outlook 2013 when they open a workflow task if the URL in the email message (workflow task URL) is not trusted by Internet Explorer. Users can add the URL of the host name of each web application that contains a workflow site with which the end user will interact to the Intranet zone in Internet Explorer.

Accessing Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP using Microsoft Office 2010 Premium applications

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