SAP Workflow and BPM Products: Comparisons and Recommendations

By Manish Agarwal, Nagarro, Inc. |  BPM, SAP BPM, SAP Workflow

SAP product set has multiple frameworks and tools for workflow and business process management capability such as SAP ABAP Workflow, SAP PI BPM, SAP CE BPM, SAP CE CAF, SAP MDM Workflow, SAP BW Process Chains and SAP Portal Ad Hoc Workflow. We provide product positioning and recommendations for adopting each of these SAP Workflow and BPM products for implementing your workflow requirements.

-- SAP ABAP workflow is meant to streamline a business process that is completely contained within the SAP server. Typical usages are procurement approvals, leave or travel approvals etc where all the business data and business objects are within the SAP instance.

-- SAP PI BPM is used for cross-system integration and managing a higher level business process between disparate systems. A typical scenario is a Sales Order acceptance process where several systems would need to be consulted before accepting the order such as a inventory check, global ATP check etc.

-- SAP CE provides workflow capability at the User Interaction level where the user can see a sequence of screens to complete a business process. SAP CAF was the workflow product to provide the BPM capability for implementing a UI centric business process.

-- SAP BPM is now replacing the SAP CAF product set to provide a standards based BPM capability. SAP BPM provides modeling and implementation for a UI centric business process – we can develop the business process based on the BPMN notation supported by most mainstream BPM modeling tools.

-- SAP MDM workflow is a lightweight workflow capability within the SAP MDM product to allow the various processing steps for master data management such as cleansing, deduplication, referential integrity and broadcast to other consumers. It is a workflow engine for exclusive use within the SAP MDM product set for finer grained processing.

-- SAP BW Process chains are a workflow capability for sequencing data processing steps within SAP BW such as index management, PSA/ODS load, cube load, statistics and aggregate creation.

-- SAP Portal provides a capability for creating a workflow on the fly -- it is SAP Portal Ad Hoc workflow capability. This feature allows the portal user to have better collaboration experience such as document proof reading and approval from other team members.

Considering the richness of the SAP product suite, there will always be workflow capabilities that are best suited for the specific product set.

Based on our experience, we recommend the following products for your workflow requirements:

  • SAP BPM for UI centric business processes
  • SAP PI BPM for cross-system business processes
  • SAP Workflow for workflows within the SAP instance

As always, use SAP SOA based interfaces for all interactions between SAP systems.

Manish Agarwal, SAP Program Manager, Nagarro, Inc.

http://www.nagarro.com/blog/sap-workflow-and-bpm-products-comparisons-an...

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