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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 è

·         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 SAP GUI.

·         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 required.

·         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 eccoffline@ecc-dev.yourdomain.com. 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.

Create 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 (eccoffline@ecc-dev.yourdomain.com)è

Configure the SAP-Connect node via SICF Transaction

The entry screen of SICF Transaction, press F8è

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

Click here to continue..

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