Understand and Extend SAP Access Control 10.0 Approval Workflow

  • by Richard Calaba, Director and Principal Solution Architect, SAP America Inc.'s Value Prototyping group
  • November 27, 2012
SAP Access Control 10.0 uses a Multistage, Multipath (MSMP) workflow engine (an enhancement of SAP Business Workflow) to achieve a flexible configuration process for approval workflows needed for SAP Access Control business functionality. Because of the huge customer base of SAP Access Control, the MSMP workflow engine was developed to be robust and flexible to accommodate the variety of different company scenarios for approval processes. Learn about some of the enhancements that make the whole approval process configuration flexible enough to be able to cover particular user-specific requirements.
Key Concept

With SAP Access Control 10.0, the former Java-based approval workflow from SAP Access Control 5.3 was rewritten for the SAP NetWeaver ABAP platform. The new workflow, also known as Multistage, Multipath (MSMP) workflow, is based on the standard SAP NetWeaver Business Workflow (BWF) concept, but eliminates the need to know BWF when modifying pre-delivered approval processes in SAP Access Control 10.0.

Access request approval workflow is one of the most flexible workflows available in an SAP system. Because of its flexibility, it can be configured to fit user requirements. There are more than 2,000 active SAP Access Control customers, and each one has his or her own idea about how to handle access requests. Thus, while SAP was designing the core workflow engine to support the newly rewritten SAP Access Control product on the SAP NetWeaver ABAP stack, it had to consider all those customers. It had to determine how to make the underlying workflow engine — aka Multistage, Multipath (MSMP) workflow — extendable in a way that it provided the same business functionality companies were able to achieve in earlier versions of SAP Access Control (developed on the SAP NetWeaver Java stack).

To effectively use this new workflow engine in SAP Access Control 10.0, Business Rules Framework (BRF+) integration support was built in the MSMP workflow engine. It is designed so that users can cover most simple scenarios without having to understand the underlying technology in great detail. However, some basic principles still need to be followed to be able to use this concept in a typical SAP landscape environment.

Richard Calaba

Richard Calaba, MSc, is director and principal solution architect at SAP America Inc. in the company’s Value Prototyping group. Prior to this position, he worked for four years at SAP Labs LLC as a development architect and later chief development architect for the SAP Access Control 10.0 product. Before he joined SAP in 2001, Richard studied computer science at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. Richard currently lives in Palo Alto, California.

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