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An introduction to SAP Business Workflow


SAP Business Workflow enables the design and execution of business processes within SAP application systems: Workflow processes are delivered as content in the SAP Business Suite. Additionally, customers can not only enhance those workflows provided by SAP, but they can also create their own workflows. SAP Business Workflow is at the heart of the SAP system. Through integration with Organizational Management and standard SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence for reporting and analysis, this enables you to manage business processes which fit into your organization, the application, and which can be used for auditing and business process compliance.

The future direction and recommendations from SAP are outlined in this document:

Workflow and Orchestration Solutions from SAP – Overview and Positioning

Companies have the following needs: 

  • Approval processes - such as purchase requisition, purchase order, and invoice approval. 
  • Definition of specific processes - processes that are repeated often and that must follow specific business rules. For example, business partner creation. After each business partner is created you need to set up additional information such as credit limit, contact information, and technical information for data exchange with the business partner. Another example is the hiring process. 
  • Revision of processes - processes that could be audited, or areas where you want proof of execution for Sarbanes Oxley compliance, or other government or corporate policy regulations.


Companies gain the following benefits from SAP Business Workflow:

  • Many SAP applications deliver workflows as content with the SAP application. ERP, CRM, SRM are examples of SAP applications that provide ready-to-use workflows. You can change these workflows to reflect your company processes by using the graphical workflow builder or build your own from scratch. 
  • You can do detailed reporting on the process itself. For example, reporting on how many times each workflow executed, what was the average execution time, how long did it take people to react to items in their inbox, etc. 
  • There is a great deal of knowledge available on business workflow. 

More Information

The following documents and eLearnings give you an overview of SAP Business Workflow.

Special workflow topics:


Business Process Tools in SAP NetWeaver: 

SAP Business Workflow and the Universal Worklist

Using Workflow With ABAP, Web Dynpro and UWL   

For more information about the Universal Worklist, see this document: Central Access to Tasks

SAP Business Workflow and Guided Procedures

Using Forms in Workflows and Guided Procedures  

For more information visit the Business Process Management and Composition space and read this document.

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