Workflow is a tool for automating the business process so
that the process itself flows smoothly, without bottlenecks and without dead
ends. Critical parts of the process can be streamlined with deadline monitoring
and contingency options. Participants are informed of milestones in the process.
The process definition itself is powerful enough to allow business
re-engineering with re-training and to eliminate the impact of workforce changes
on the basic business process.
SAP Business Workflow is the R/3 tool for handling the
process automation within R/3 or between R/3 systems and other systems involved
in the business process. It is flexible enough to handle ad hoc processes such
as the circulation of an electronic document. It is robust enough to handle
mission critical process in the production system such as the creation of a
material master. The different R/3 applications supply standard workflows for
the commonly occurring processes. Once these workflow templates are activated,
they are ready for immediate use. A complete set of workflow tools, including
the workflow editor and workflow generation wizard, are provided to enhance
these standard workflows or create new workflows. These tools are complemented
with transactions for monitoring, tracking and the statistical analysis of the
processes. Because the business process often does not step at the R/3
boundary, various interfaces and third party tools are available for extending
the process across systems.
How does WebFlow relate to SAP Business
WebFlow is the e-business
functionality of SAP Business Workflow. It is the driving force behind the
Internet processes in ensuring the delivery of the right
information to the right person at the right time while enabling the swift
change-life-cycle of e-Business processes.
The first web functionality has been available since release 3.1 but
the speed at which the functionality has increased from release to release has
escalated so much that it has now been given it's own name. It is even
integrated directly into the workplace.
When do I need workflow?
Workflow is the technique for automating business processes.
It is particularly beneficial
when different people are involved in different parts of the
when a process only occurs sporadically and the users need to
be reminded of what they need to do
when the duration of the process is critical and deadlines
have to be met
when the process definition is
likely to change on the fly and retraining users is not possible.
automating the process, you free the users from having to know what to do when.
Work items are sent to the participants notifying them of what they have to do,
and a single click on the notification calls the correct transaction and
navigates to the relevant screen.
How does it work?
When the workflow runs it
creates work items which are like e-mails, but
they have the advantage that they contain the intelligence
needed to execute the relevant task with the correct data when the operational
user executes them,
they provide their own functionality so that the operational
user has access to everything that is useful to improve the flow of the
they disappear on their own when they have been executed by
someone else or made obsolete.