Workflow initial configuration

This blog will explain the steps need to make the SAP workflow engine to work. If you have to set up the SAP workflow engine in S4HANA, please read this dedicated blog.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How to execute the automatic workflow configuration?
  • What are common issues with workflow configuration?
  • How to test the automatic workflow configuration?
  • What other settings are to be done for custom workflow building?

Automatic workflow configuration

To setup workflow configuration start transaction SWU3. This brings you to the Automatic Workflow Customizing screen.

Workflow customizing start screen

If the system is new then you see most of the icons are red. Hit the Automatic Customizing button.

Depending on your version all actions might be completed. In this step in the background the user WF-BATCH is created along with the RFC connection WORKFLOW_LOCAL_<CLIENT>.

In the newer versions of SAP netweaver this automatic step might end up with this status:

Status after automatic workflow customizing

Zooming in on the RFC connection issue:

Configure RFC workflow local destination

You will see as analysis that the user WF-BATCH is not yet created. In the newer SAP versions SAP expects you to create WF-BATCH first, before you run the automatic workflow configuration. If you have done the auto configuration and get this message, just create WF-BATCH user in SU01. Then restart SWU3 and repeat the step for automatic customizing. It will be correct:

Final setup done picture

Testing the workflow setup

On the SWU3 screen hit the Start Verification Workflow button (if needed accept the event linkage activation). Be patient now for at least 5 minutes, since in the background normally a lot of code is compiling. Then goto the inbox to check if you validation workflow was properly launched. In S4HANA the button is no longer there on the SWU3 screen to jump to the inbox. You still can use the inbox button on the SAP start screen or use transaction code SBWP.

In the inbox you should see an item. Open it and make a decision:

Workflow verification end result

This will end the verification.

Common issues

Most common issue is to execute the automatic customizing without sufficient authorizations.

Best practice from SAP basis: execute SWU3 directly after installation with SAP_ALL still attached to your user ID. Then only hand over the system to the authorization team.

For further troubleshooting and more background information on SWU3 SAP has released OSS note 2366252 – Transaction SWU3 explained.

Settings for workflow development

For custom workflow development you need to execute one additional step in SWU3 to maintain the Prefix Numbers:

Workflow development setup

In the number range screen add the 900 series for custom developed workflows:

Workflow development setup 900 number range

This setting will be transported, so you only execute this action on development system.

ABAP code metric tool

There are many static code analysis tools. Long list can be found on Wikipedia. At some point in time a manager or developer might come to you with one of these tools like “hey, at my previous customer we used SonarABAP for code measurements”.

This blog will explain the ABAP code metric tool built into netweaver. Together with the ATC tool the code metric tool covers most of the functions that such tools deliver.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How can I count the amount of lines of Z code in my SAP system?
  • How to run ABAP code metric tool?
  • What output will the ABAP code metric tool deliver?
  • Use cases of the ABAP code metric tool?

Test program

The test the code metric tool write a small ABAP program like this:

ZNESTEDIF test program

This program has nested IF statements (3 levels deep), one ELSE statement and a nested DO.

Code metric tool

Start the custom code analysis tools with transaction /SDF/CD_CCA:


The code metric tool is the tool on the bottom of the screen.

On the start screen select the package and extra checks (selecting more packages and checks will increase the runtime of the tool):

Code metric tool start screen

Result for our test program:

Code metric tool output

The output is giving:

  • LoC: lines of code
  • NoS: number of statements
  • NoC: number of comments
  • COM: complexity of conditions
  • TOTAL DD: complexity weighted by decision depth
  • etc
  • IF: 3 (this was in our test program)
  • ELSEIF: 1
  • DO: 2
  • etc like amount of loops, selects, updates, deletes, modifies, case statements.

Use cases of Code Metric Tool

Use case 1: complex programs

Complex programs are normally source of most productive issues. You can use the code tool to check if the program is not too overly complex (like many nested if and case statements).

Use case 2: the procedural versus OO discussion

Sometimes you have managers wanting you to count the amount of Z objects. If you have switched from procedural coding to OO coding you will find the amount of objects to have increased. The code metric tool can help you here by counting the amount of statements and complexity. The amount of objects in OO is typically higher, but due to re-use and better setup, the total amount of statements and the total complexity decision depth should be smaller.

Use case 3: count the amount of Z code lines in your SAP system

Every now and then there is discussion on Z code. Sometimes the question will popup: “How many lines of Z code do we have in our SAP system?”. This question you can answer as well with the code metric tool explained above.

For reference: SAP standard has 238 million lines of code (source is this SAP blog).

ABAP clone finder

This blog will explain the use of SAP clone finder.

Questions that will be answered in the blog are:

  • What are clones?
  • How to run the clone finder tool?
  • How to analyze the difference between the original and the clone?

What are clones?

Standard SAP offers lot of out-of-the-box functions and reports. But in many cases the standard report only offers 95%. What to do? In many cases developers copy the standard SAP program to Z copy and add the needed 5%. When upgrading the system to higher version or when applying support packages or OSS notes, the Z clone will not be upgraded to latest version. Maybe the clone needs updates as well, or can be deleted now after upgrade (if SAP added the missing 5%).

The clone finder tool is able to find the clones made in the past.

Running the clone finder tool

The clone finder is part of the Custom Code Analysis workbench. Start the workbench with transaction /SDF/CD_CCA:


Clone finder is on top of the list.

Start screen of clone finder:

Clone finder start screen

Pending on the size of your system you can run online or in batch.

Test result of standard SAP copy made as example:

Clone finder results

As example program RSUSR003 and its includes were copied to Z programs. 3 are shown as identical copies. 1 is altered.

In the function link column you can hit the Version Compare button to see the differences:

Version comparison

Differences: the name of program and includes are different. And the authorization check was removed.

Relevant OSS notes

Useful OSS notes:

Operation modes

This blog will explain about SAP operation modes.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • What are operation modes and when to use them?
  • How to setup operation mode?
  • How to use changes in operation mode during runtime issues?

Operation modes explanation

In SM50 you can see the overview of work processes (in SM66 for all servers if you have more). The work processes are divided into online DIA, background BTC, update UPD, etc. The number of work processes is limited. During a working day normally more dialog processes are need for end-user usage. During the night typically more background batches are running.

This is where the operation modes come into the picture: you can setup these different modes and assign them to a timetable. The system will then have for example less dialog and more batch processes available during the night.

Operation modes setup

Start transaction  code RZ04 for setting up the operation modes screen. Hit the create operation mode button:

Create new operation mode

Give a short key name and description for the operation mode. In our example we will set up simple DAY and NIGHT.

The initial screen after creation is empty:

Initial day empty

You now need to maintain the instance data and assign the created operation modes:

Work process definition

It is import to check if this is active or not. When in doubt select the menu Instance and entry Set to active.

Also in these screens: press the save button locally and on the top of the screen.

Later on you can always change the work process distribution:

Process distribution tuning

Put the cursor on the type (example Background) and use the plus and minus to increase or decrease the amount.

Make sure both DAY and NIGHT are properly setup now. Check in RZ04 start screen.

Amount of DIA versus non-DIA processes

To avoid issues, make sure the amount of DIA work processes is always greater than the amount of non-DIA work processes. See point 4 of the SAP OSS note 1970757 – Outbound qRFC scheduler with status RES_LACK. This note explain issues you can get in your system if you don’t apply this rule.

Time table assignment

Now that we have the two operation modes DAY and NIGHT, we need to tell the system when to use which one.

In the RZ04 main screen choose menu Operation Mode and then Timetable (or transaction SM63 directly). You reach the initial time table screen:

Timetable initial screen

Choose the normal operation. Here you assign the operation mode to the time table:

Assign operation mode to timetable

This UI is bit unfriendly: double click on first time, then on last time, then assign operation mode. When done save the input.

Result in RZ04:

Operation modes with time table assigned

Activation of operation mode

Now this is done, you might check in SM50 to see nothing has changed. This is because the operation mode is defined, but not activated yet to run.

Goto transaction RZ03 and choose the operation mode you want to goto by selecting the Choose operation mode button.

RZ03 control of modes

In the menu select Control, Switch Operation Mode, All servers. Confirm the switch.

Now if you check in SM50 you see the switch is almost immediately effective.

Change of operation mode during system issues

During system issues you might want to use the switch in operation mode or change the work process distribution.

Use case 1: project team needs to do conversion on the fly in the system and did not notify basis team. All batch processes are filled up. Temporary quick solution: switch to NIGHT profile.

Use case 2: somehow the update processing is slow and you see bottleneck in UPD processing. Temporary quick solution: change the DAY profile to have 1 or 2 more UPD processes and less of something else. Save DAY profile and goto RZ03 to activate. After issue is resolved, don’t forget to revert back to normal. In this case it might be due to growth that anyhow more UPD processes were needed in the system.

Bug fix OSS notes

Please check following bug fix notes in case of issues:

Setup parallel processing

This blog will explain about setting up parallel processing groups.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How to set up parallel processing group?
  • How to test parallel processing group?

Setup parallel processing group

In transaction RZ12 you can setup parallel server groups. Or change existing.

Within a server group you can set with percentages how much of the available work processes the parallel group can consume:

RZ12 server group creation

Testing the parallel server group

Transaction SBPT brings you to the parallel background test environment:

SPBT parallel background task test environment

Here you can evaluate your settings.

Real live use

Some SAP transaction use parallel execution. Example is transaction code FAGL_MM_RECON.


More on load balancing

Parallel processing is an important part of load balancing across multiple application servers. More on load balancing can be read in this dedicated blog.