Introduction

Avelon, Experts in Business Process Optimization, participated in the SAP Cloud Platform Workflow beta program. We mainly worked with the web based BPMN editor for modelling workflows and generated some Fiori frontend screens.

As a SAP Partner we want to be in pole position regarding new technologies and tools for Business Process improvement. Our regular feedback during the program was considered as an added value by SAP.

What

SAP Cloud Platform Workflow allows partners and customers to build, run and manage workflows, from simple approvals to end-to-end processes that span across different organizations and applications. It will come with web-based tools for workflow modeling, APIs for consumption in custom applications, powerful monitoring tools and a set of Fiori-based applications for end user access.

Source : https://cloudplatform.sap.com/capabilities/integration/workflow-service.html#

Web based BPMN editor for modelling workflows

Benefits

●      Rapidly build new workflow-based applications on HCP
●      Extend standard cloud application workflows

Key features

●      Accelerated modeling using speed buttons
●      Built-in calling of external REST services and extended connectivity options via HANA Cloud Integration (HCI)
●      Human Task management
●      Error handling framework
●      Modeling conditional branches

How to design workflows

Workflow design by the online editor

Typical objects and features

●      Events:

○      Start and End events are designating workflow starting and respectively ending points.

●      Service Task:

○      Service tasks can be modeled for establishing outbound connectivity to external systems and services from within a workflow.

●      User Task:

○      User tasks depict a task that a human performs. These tasks appear in My Inbox for the processor.

●      Script Task:

○      Script tasks can be used to modify the workflow context at any point within the workflow.

●      Gateways:

○      Gateways are used to control the flow of execution within the workflow.

●      Error Handling:

○      Workflow editor provides a mechanism to highlight the errors in the workflow. 

●      Making use of destinations in SAP Cloud Platform.

●      User actions by SAP Fiori My Inbox.

 

Example Avelon case

We created a extended Leave Request approval flow.

Service calls were made to a java backend and to an external API via the SAP Backend. We made calls to the Osram network via REST service calls.

Our conclusions

Pros

  • BPMN 2.0 elements
  • Intuitive
  • Availability in the SAP Cloud Platform (no on premise installation or configuration is needed) and fully integrated (SAP Web IDE, Online Workflow Editor, monitoring via Fiori Launchpad, …)
  • My Inbox integration
  • Easy and flexible use of REST services

Cons

  • Immature, but the future innovations and enhancements look promising (See slide below)
  • Usability can be better, but we are confident this will be improved by SAP in the future.

Future : planned innovations

General availability is foreseen ... as of today. This is what we just received :

Based on the experiences during the beta program with you we were able to make SAP Cloud Platform Workflow available earlier than planned.
Starting today, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 the service is now generally available.

 

More information

If you are interested in talking to our consultants who were involved in this project, please contact us and we will be happy to share our experiences.

A special thanks to Bram and Robin for participating in this project !