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Process modelling: XI-BPM and/or CAF?

Former Member
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Looking at the functionality of CAF i'm a little bit puzzled. It seems CAF has its own proces-modeling-tool to create guided procedures where pre-defined actions are triggered in a proces-like way. The focus seems to be on human-machine workflow-interaction.

Besides this we have XI-BPM where proces-steps are modelled by using ARIS as modelling tool but where the focus is on machine-machine interaction (i.e. message-workflow)

1. How do ARIS-XI-BPM and CAF relate to each other from a modelling/BPM point of view?

What to do if I want to model business processes first, then see if available (enterprise) services expose the required functionality and if not, develop a composite application on top of them. Should I start first with ARIS, then go to SAP XI to invoke (enterprise) services and if this is not sufficient, UML-model again in CAF, invoke (enterprise) services again en create a composite application on top of them?

2. What to do if I want to use guided procedures in a purchase-process, which completely runs in SAP R/3. Do I have to use CAF, which is meant for creating composite application?

3. Can I expect that in the next release of Netweaver ARIS, CAF and XI-BPM are totally integrated so BPM can be developed in one platform ('BPP') and some functionality like guided procedure can be developed outside CAF?

Greetings Theo

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Former Member
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Like Ravi says: SAP positions Aris for all bp modelling activities and the underlying applications for all bp execution activities.

You only mention CAF and XI as types of these underlying applications but you do not mention "normal" applications like SAP R/3 (which handles human workflow by "NetWeaver workflow"). I think NetWeaver workflow (bp execution) will be managed from Aris in the future as well (bp modelling). This also answers you second question: workflow on the purchase process in R/3 is managed by NetWeaver workflow on R/3 (execution level). You don't need a CAF development for that.

The link between CAF guided procedures and NetWeaver workflow in an integrated business process / scenario is handled by XI-BPM.

1. If you want to support a business proces or scenario by application logic, I think you first look at the functionality of (a) existing application(s), if necessary linked together by XI-BPM. If existing applications do not gather the right information you jump to CAF (picking up running services via XI-BPM).

2. NetWeaver workflow (see before).

3. I think you miss NetWeaver workflow here and BI for Business Activity Monitoring. BAM is a coop by Aris and BI in the future I think.

Just some thought. What do you think?

Regards, Rik

Former Member
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The way I would see this scenario is something like this. ARIS is a business process modelling tool, however, XI and CAF (if we can include) are the business process execution tools. These use the process model put by the ARIS.

1. You model your business process in ARIS and decide how you want to execute the same. There is a difference between using XI / CAF for your purpose. The difference XI can be used where the requirement is purely an integration purpose and not much user interaction is required. However, CAF is used to execute a business process across multiple systems, which in turn might be using XI for talking to other systems.

2. Do I have to use CAF for implementing guided procedures in pruchase process although entire process is in SAP, the answer YES and NO. It depends on the way the you or the users want it. If you want to give more flexibility to the users you probably will go the CAF route even if the entire thing is SAP.

3. As discussed about, I think each of the tools have got a different purpose and we should be very clear in using the tools in the appropriate places.

This is my opinion.



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Active Contributor
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I'm bit puzzled by the Ravi's statement - "You model your business process in ARIS and decide how you want to execute the same. There is a difference between using XI / CAF for your purpose". Of course you can model the business process in ARIS and port it to Xi BPM. But as far as I know there's no way you can convert a model (be it ARIS or something else like Rose) into a CAF project by some standard way. Infact there's no such "modeling" tool for the composite applications developed in Netweaver. What we do in CAF or GP are just implementation or development and no modeling as a BPX. Please share your thoughts on this and please inform if you have any idea to convert a model to a composite application project.

Also recently with the upcoming release of PI 7.1 it seems from now onwards XI-BPM will support interactive processes as well (with human task). So with this doesn't Guided procedure seems to be somewhat a parallel technology to XI-BPM where also we can develop interactive processes. But strange thing is you can model a XI-BPM process using ARIS but no such facility available for CAF or GP based composite applications.