How to Control Process Chains Using Decision Variants

  • by Abhijit Ghate, SAP-Certified Solution Consultant
  • October 4, 2012
Follow these step-by-step instructions for an alternative mechanism to stop process chains from running without having to remove them from meta chains or from the schedule. This solution helps avoid human error and data discrepancies in BI reports.
Key Concept

A meta chain links several process chains together and allows you to use every process chain to load an independent data flow. You can create a meta chain to load all your transaction data (sales, billing, deliveries, inventory, and purchasing) into SAP NetWeaver BW by linking all the process chains that load this data in a single meta chain.

Developers often need to remove process chains from a schedule to stop them from executing. This is usually done during:

  • Production import of back-end objects
  • Downtime for system maintenance
  • Project cutover activities
  • System upgrades
  • Re-initialization

Consider the following scenario: Meta chain ZMETA_CHAIN consists of the following local chains:

  • Process chain to load sales order transaction data – ZPC_SALES_DLY_TX
  • Process chain to load delivery transaction data – ZPC_DELIVERY_DLY_TX
  • Process chain to load billing transaction data – ZPC_BILL_DLY_TX
  • Process chain to load purchasing transaction data – ZPC_PURCHASING_DLY_TX
  • Daily load for inventory transaction data – ZPC_INV_DLY_TX

Now, consider that for your project, you want to stop the sales order chain from running. This may be due to reloads, transports, or some other project. To stop the sales order chain, you need to “remove” it from the meta chain. Along with this, you may want to remove the delivery and billing chains as well because they are dependent on the sales order chain.

You may have other scenarios, such as stopping all the chains from running (e.g., for system maintenance). In such a case, all the chains need to be removed from the schedule and then scheduled back once the project activity is complete. This can lead to human errors, including scheduling back incorrectly, forgetting to put the chain back into the schedule, or forgetting to put a local chain back in the meta chains.

A Solution Using Decision Variants

The solution I provide in this article allows you to remove the chain and its successor chains from the schedule without actually removing them from the meta chain. You create a decision variant in a process chain immediately after the start process in the chain. This variant acts like a switch. The chain’s execution is stopped based on table entries that control this step.

My solution uses the following steps to create the functionality of decision variants:

Abhijit Ghate

Abhijit Ghate has a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering and more than 10 years of SAP experience in BI and ABAP, encompassing various industry verticals, spanning several implementation and support projects. He is an SAP-certified solution consultant and is ITIL V3 Foundation-certified as well.

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