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With S4 HANA on premise version 1709 SAP has been bringing lots of innovations in Sourcing and procurement line of business. One of the most notable of them is Flexible workflow for Purchase requisition , Supplier invoice and Purchase order.

Note: This blog is created with S4 HANA On premise version 1709 FPS01 in mind, If SAP releases more features in further release then i will update this blog with more details.

Updated with additional Features in 1809 & 1909:

In 1809 SAP has introduced some new Features as well as some of the limitations of 1709 are addressed.In this blog you will see those updates with #1809update.

In 1909 SAP has introduced some new Features and some of the limitations of 1709/1809 are addressed. In this blog you will see those updates with #1909update.

What is it?

  1. Flexible workflow is a scenario based workflow which can have more than one start conditions

  2. Has a possibility of determining approvers through lot of different options

  3. Has an option to specify under which condition should the workflow step be triggered / applicable?

  4. It can be configured using a Fiori app and approval action can be taken from Fiori App

  5. Supports Fiori 2.0 push notifications

  6. Its an alternate to Release strategy

Features :

Flexible workflow scenario

You can create multiple flexible workflow scenarios for a procurement document instead of making one big complicated workflow

Pre conditions

For triggering workflow and for determining if a step in the workflow is applicable you can use these pre conditions

This is how conditions can be seen in SAP gui

Agent determination

For  each workflow steps , you can specify how the approver determination should happen

You can also use fiori app "Manage Teams and Responsibilitie" - To configure your approver team Responsibility management

This is how agent determination configuration is seen in SAP Gui below


Parallel Approval

If you want parallel approval for any of the steps then you can do it using below option.


Exception handling

When the approver decides to reject a work item - you can define what should happen next

Supports push notifications

It supports push notifications which is Fiori 2.0 feature

Supports integration with Fiori My inbox

It supports integration with Fiori Myinbox app which is SAP's suggested inbox for all the workflow actions in S4 HANA

Pre requisites:

  1. Define scenarios - Follow this link and link for defining scenarios in SPRO node SAP NetWeaver  --> SAP Gateway Service Enablement  --> Content --> Task Gateway --> Task Gateway Service --> Scenario Definition

  2. Scenario activation in SPRO node Sap Netweaver -> Application Server->Business Management->Sap Business Workflow->Flexible Workflow->Scenario Activation.

  3. Follow OSS note 2441740 and Fiori App library links in references for needed gateway services configuration

  4. Activate Flexible workflow at document type level - For Purchase Order

  5. Activate Flexible workflow at document type level - For  Purchase requisition:

  6. Configure decision buttons for my inbox at path  : SAP NetWeaver-> SAP Gateway Service Enablement-> Content-> Workflow Settings-> Maintain Task Names & Decision Options

  7. Activate Fiori 2.0 Notifications at task and workflow level in tcode : SWF_PUSH_NOTIF1


How to configure it?

Follow the blog Flexible Workflow for Purchase Order and PO to Invoicing Process in S/4HANA Cloud

Master link for all the sourcing & procurement flexible workflows - Flexible Workflow for the Approval of Documents in Sourcing and Procurement

Admin T code

SWF_PROCESS_ADMIN - To check if the flexible workflow scenario is active & to test the flexible workflow

What can be improved?

  1. Allow triggering of PR flexible workflow from SAP GUI transactions , currently for PR created from SAP GUI, Flexible workflow doesn't get triggered 

  2. Ability to add own custom conditions for approver level / start conditions. Currently we can chose only from limited fields provided in workflow expression for each template.

  3. Possibility to edit an existing active version of Flexible workflow, instead of creating a copy of workflow scenario everytime.

  4. Provide step details in BADI MMPUR_WORKFLOW_AGENTS_V2 as an importing parameter so that for each step's agent determination a new badi implementation can be written

  5. Provide an approval preview in Flexible workflow tab in ME23n tcode / Fiori app to see with which approver is the document waiting for approval - something like shown below :-

  6. Provide a transport mechanism for Flexible workflow, currently it has to be recreated in each environment

  7. Provide a way to control the authorizations using flexible workflow like we have authorization objects M_BANF_FRG via the release code (FRGCD) for PR, M_EINK_FRG via the release group (FRGGR) and which release codes (FRGCO) for PO with release strategy.

  8. Ability for requestor to add Ad-Hoc approver in Flexible workflow

  9. Ability to edit the document during approval and re-triggering workflow

  10. Provide approval or rejection comments in the Header/ item text of the PR/PO document

  11. consistent  template between PO and PR flexible workflow template , same BADI , same agent determination criteria, same flexible workflow config at document type level

  12. Apart from Fiori Myinbox app, Provide a way to approve PR/PO from SAP Gui tcode

  13. Provide a way to configure email notification and allow customer to maintain their own email template and email subject

#1809 Update:

#5 - SAP has provided approval preview for purchase order in SAP GUI tcode ME23n

#13 - Email notification can be configured for flexiblwe workflow

#1909 Update

#1 - Adding Custom conditions are now possible , BADI  - SWF_WORKFLOW_CONDITION_DEF & SWF_WORKFLOW_CONDITION_EVA

#2 - Flexible workflow also gets triggered when PR created from SAP GUI

#4 : BADI is updated with additional import parameters STEPINFO  ,  PreviousApproverList & WORKFLOWSCENARIO ID

#5In Purchase Requisition created from SAP GUI , approval preview is now available.

#9 - Configuration is provided to influence retriggering of workflow for PR + a BADI

MM_PUR_S4_PR_WFL_RESTART, however such feature is not available for PO




Master link for all the sourcing & procurement flexible workflows - Flexible Workflow for the Approval of Documents in Sourcing and Procurement

Manage Workflow for Purchase Requisitions Fiori App library

Manage Workflows for Purchase Orders Fiori App library

Flexible workflow for purchase requisition

Manage workflow for purchase requisition

Flexible workflow for purchase order and po to invoicing process in s4hana cloud

Responsibility Management in Flexible Workflow

How to Set up the Email Notification for the Sourcing & procurement Flexible Workflow

Create Custom flexible workflow - S/4HANA Flexible Workflows: Workflow Scenario Development and Configuration - 1

S/4HANA Flexible Workflows: Workflow Scenario Development and Configuration-2

Important SAP Notes:

2646400 - BADI - Workflow Agent determination MMPUR_WORKFLOW_AGENTS_V2

2775709 - Purchase Requisitions Workflow Restart using SSCUI and BADI

2838665 - Trouble-shooting e-mail notifications for pending tasks generated by workflows in SAP S/4H...

2767845 - How to define new Procurement Pre-conditions in Manage Workflow Apps

Using Manage Teams and Responsibilities for Procurement

Using Manage Teams and Responsibilities App

2570961 - Create an Employee in S4 HANA with HCM or without HCM

2570961 - Simplification item S4TWL - Business User Management

2838665 - Trouble-shooting e-mail notifications for pending tasks generated by workflows in SAP S/4H...


Stay tuned for more innovations in sourcing and procurement line of business in S4 HANA 1809 like procurement hub - central purchase requisitions, central purchase orders and central contract  And many more.


Please leave your comments to help me improve the content of the blog.

Happy learning!!!!

Ashish Shah