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Offline Workflow Approval in ECC R/3 without SAP Logon from E-Mail (Outlook)
By Anirban Bhattacharjee, KPIT Cummins and Infosystems
Purpose: This document will
demonstrate how you can set up a DEMO that will allow a user to APPROVE or
REJECT (Process as per requirement) a workflow work item directly from Outlook
E-Mail without logging into SAP. The approver does not need to have SAP GUI
Installed in the system from where the approval is being carried out. The
approver also does not need to enter the SAP user ID and password. These
approval links are not SAP Shortcut links as generated by the RSWUWFML2 program
that is normally used for approval from outlook. These are normal MAILTO links
and works on almost all e-mail environments and internet browsers. This will
also work on hand held devices like iPhone® or Blackberry® if adequately
configured with Exchange Server. Since the MAILTO links will work on the Web
Mail version of outlook as well, so normal browsers running on the handheld
devices can also assist in carrying out the Workflow Processing Offline.
Hence using this concept, you can now
process work items, run ABAP programs, do any SAP activity Offline remotely,
without having to log into SAP.
Business Requirement: Business
needs a way by which they can process workflow work items completely offline.
They want to be able to do this even when they are not in the SAP Network. The
user will not enter the SAP User ID and password, nor will they have SAP GUI in
the system from where the approval is being carried out. They should be able to
directly process from Outlook which should work across different browsers and
handheld devices that run internet browsers.
How the DEMO Will Work, its features and ADVANTAGES
The various working steps, features
and advantages of this demo are mentioned below
The workflow template
consisting of a single user decision step with a work item exit will generate a
HTML Notification E-Mail to the Approver who also has received the User Decision
Work Item for processing.
This HTML E-Mail will
demonstrate the data in Tabular Format and provide two links to the approver;
APPROVE and REJECT.
These links are typical
MAILTO links. On clicking either of these links, the system will generate an
auto e-mail to send to the SAP System.
This e-mail will have the
TO field auto-populated with the Offline System SAP ID and the Subject also
auto-populated with the action (A or R, for APPROVE or REJECT) and the Work Item
ID of the User Decision step that was sent to the approver.
The Inbound Exit Class
will read this e-mail subject and process the work item.
User will not have to
enter the SAP User ID or Password to send this auto email.
The user thus does not
need to log on to the SAP System.
The user need not be in
the SAP Network or VPN to send this email.
The user does not need to
have SAP GUI present, since these links are not SAP Short Cut Links that need
Any application that can
process MAILTO links can send these auto e-mails. Hence this works even in
handheld devices like iPhone®, Blackberry®, etc.
This works in various
Internet Browsers. I have tested this in various versions of Microsoft®
Internet Explorer, Google® Chrome, etc.
Works on both Web Mail
version of Microsoft® Outlook and Normal Outlook®
No need to schedule any
batch job for programs like RSWUWFML2.
Highly customizable and
easy to implement.
No third party tool
Using this concept you can
run any SAP Transaction, schedule batch jobs, get report summary and output in
your e-mail from a remote system without logging into the SAP Network.
Inbound E-Mail Receiving configurations in SAP
We need to first create a user ID in
Outlook along with a sub-domain that will point to the desired SAP System. So
for example if your company domain is www.yourdomain.com then the sub-domain would be something like ecc-dev.yourdomain.com
(This will be created by your Network and Infrastructure People). You should be
able to ping this domain.
Now let us name the Offline
System User as ECCOFFLINE
and then after a user is created in Microsoft Outlook with above sub-domain, the
e-mail ID will be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that this is a very critical step in this development and hence
needs to be configured correctly. This e-mail ID and sub-domain choice is
completely your own. You can plan your own ID as per your choice. This is the
only configuration outside SAP on the Network / Exchange Server Side.
Offline User in SAP (SU01)
To receive e-mail in SAP, you need to
first create a System User ID that will receive these e-mails. This will be a
system user with “SYSTEM” as the User Group. The user ID created is named
ECCOFFLINE. The Logon
Data tab is shown belowè
This user must have three mandatory
Profiles: S_A.SCON, SAP_ALL and SAP_NEW
as shown belowè
The e-mail ID created in the first
step, is also entered here in the Address tab as shown (email@example.com)è
Configure the SAP-Connect node via SICF Transaction
The entry screen of SICF Transaction,
Select the SAP-Connect Node and click
the DISPLAY-CHANGE button as shownè
Then activate the node as shownè
After activation, the node screen will
look as shown belowè
In the LOGON Data Tab, mention the ECCOFFLINE user and set the passwordè
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