SAP® Business Workflow

Exception Handling in SAP® Business Workflow

By Suresh Kumar Parvathaneni

From the release of SAP® NW04 version, SAP® has introduced many new features among which exception handling is one.

Exception handling is done in workflow using Blocks (TRY-CATCH mechanism).  “Blocks” is one of the new features introduced from NW04 version. 

This document details about the usage of Blocks and the approach to trigger and handle the exceptions. 


It is assumed that the reader of this article has some knowledge in SAP® workflow and has worked with the steps Mail, Process control earlier.

Overview of Blocks

  • Blocks could be treated as folders combining a group of dependent work items. They are shown as folders in the workflow log.
  • Each block would have start and end nodes.
  • Blocks can be deadline monitored (only Latest End)
  • Blocks can catch exceptions

Following are the screenshots representing how a “Block” appears in the workflow definition and in the workflow log:

Fig: Appearance of “Block” in the Workflow definition.

Fig: Appearance of “Block” in the Workflow log

A “Block” is completed only if the dependent work items are complete or in the final state. If a “Block” is cancelled, all its dependent work items are cancelled.

Each “Block” can have its own container elements. All the parent container elements are visible within the “Block”.

Defining a Block

  • Start a new workflow definition using the transaction SWDD
  • Double-click on the “Undefined step” and select “Block”.


  • Enter the step name and leave the block type as “Standard”. Press Enter. The workflow definition would be appearing as follows:

All the dependent steps could be defined with in the Block start and Block end.


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