I already wrote a SAP PPF blog post on how to activate and maintain standard EWM PPF Actions but did not get a chance to write the detailed concepts of PPF with a custom PPF actions for the business requirements. This blog post is basically for functional teams to understand the PPF concepts. At the end I also provided important PPF document links with SAP portal referrals.
All SAP applications now using SAP PPF and it is a part of SAP Web application server. As per SAP portal, PPF is the successor to Message Control and offers wider functional scope, more simple connection to the applications, and greater flexibility. As I came to know recently, PPF tools are using in all new SAP applications (includes ERP system) instead of using olden days ECC message conditions example of sending information to customer via IDOC. But we see PPF from very beginning days of SAP EWM Application. This blog post explain the Concepts of SAP Post Processing Framework (PPF) with a EWM example
From SAP help Portal , SAP PPF features are as follows
Determination, generation, and processing of actions can either take place automatically or with user interaction. The PPF provides an evaluation of modifiable conditions for action determination. The application can set the determination technology, with which the conditions are evaluated, according to its requirements, or use its own determination technology.
The SAP PPF provides processing types to execute various actions as below:
a)Printing, sending e-mails, and faxing with Smart Forms
b)Starting a workflow
c)Starting a Business Add-In
The processing types can be adopted by the application, adapted to meet the requirements of the application, or replaced with the application’s own processing types.
To understand SAP PPF, I would structure PPF with 5 layers in brackets you see example EWM PPF names
Application (ex: /SCDL/DELIVERY)
Action Profile (ex: /SCDL/PRD_OUT)
Action Definition (ex: /SCWM/PRD_OUT_TO_CREATE)
Processing type (ex: Method call with /SCWM/TO_CREATE)
Condition (Ex: Processing using selection report)
Functional consultant’s most important role is to understand the SAP EWM standard PPF Action profiles and Action definitions and choose the right one to map the business requirements. If available PPF’s does not fit then chose the right PPF action to customize according to the requirements.
Selecting a right action definition that had right processing type is very important to modify conditions or create a custom action definition.
The very important configuration transaction code for PPF is ‘SPPFCADM”
You can see all applications available in place.
Select the right application and click Define Action Profile and Actions button that you need to configure and customize
Now, I am going explain one standard and one custom business requirement and configure accordingly
Using Standard SAP PPF scenario
Let’s see a very simple business requirement, Warehouse manager need orders to pick just before shift starts which means create warehouse tasks for the ODO’s. This is very simple example to understand the concepts of PPF. Now we before configure..the following three questions serve as a good starting point.
What should be done? E.g. create warehouse tasks for ODO automatically …
Why or under which conditions should an action be executed? E.g. Process warehouse tasks by using selection report
When should it be executed? There are technical execution times, e.g. immediately, at the end of the application controlled local unit of work (short LUW), in a batch job, here business wants run job before each shift start.
The above is all standard configuration and can modified as per your requirement. Now you can setup batch job to create a warehouse tasks for open ODO’s with the program “RSPPFPROCESS” at regular intervals. See below for manual process of executing action
Execute the selected line to process the Action
With this the standard scenario of creating warehouse task through PPF action is executed successfully.
But if you want to configure scheduling of PPF actions then read this SAP document here
Using Custom SAP PPF scenario
Now there is a custom requirement, as soon as the ODO’s are created and saved in EWM, certain ODO line information need to be processed in another function or table. For this we need a custom PPF action with a method to a process every time ODO created in EWM.
Since this is a business specific requirement, we need to create a custom action definition with all other steps. you can configure most from Tcode ‘SPPFCADM”
First step is to choose a closer SAP standard Action definition and copy as and create a new one as shown below
Make sure process type before copy the standard and then get the standard method under process types.
You cannot change the process type method unless you add your custom action definition in the condition configuration. Add it as below
Once you added custom action definition, then you uncheck the Default setting to add your custom ZMethod as show below and immediately save the condition. Make sure all other setting are right and then put back the default setting check.
Make sure you put back the default setting check mode and save.
Now you go back to processing type and change the standard method to your own custom method (ZMethod).
Check all setting and save the action definition. With this all the custom configuration completed by using already available custom ZMethod. But in your case, you can directly configure custom action definition by assigning a standard method and later ask developer to create ZMethod. Once developer completed ZMethod for you then assign in the configuration.
So all done and i created a ERP delivery and the ODO in EWM had my custom PPF action as shown below
You can configure assigning a standard method and ask developer to create ZMethod for you to assign in the configuration.
with this we can easy correlate our examples with the SAP PPF concept diagram below
Some of the SAP PPF glossary term with definitions from SAP help Portal
|PPF||Abbreviation for Post Processing Framework. This framework provides SAP-applications with a standardized way to execute and administrate conditioned business tasks. In contrast to the SAP Business Workflow, these business tasks are mutual independent, i.e. there are no means for a process flow.|
|Action Definition||An action definition is meta data or skeleton of a business task. The action definition encompasses all its possible realizations, see also processing type. Additionally, it carries the information if business partner data is needed for the execution and to which business partner it corresponds. Within the action definition, you setup the merge technique, i.e. how many successful, failed, or unprocessed actions are allowed for a par-ticular action definition.|
|Action||This is a runtime instance of an action definition|
|Configured Action Defi-nition||For action creation during action determination, the action definition must be configured. The triple of a chosen processing type, schedul-ing and starting condition is called configured action definition. An action definition can have several configured instances. Moreo-ver, almost all technical settings of the action definition can be different-ly configured.|
|Processing Type||The processing type corresponds to the technical realization of an action definition. For instance, start a workflow, send a PDF-based form via email, etc.|
|Action Profile||Smallest set of action definitions that can be investigated during one call of the action determination of the PPF.|
|Application Object||The application object is the standardized proxy to access the busi-ness object. The persistence of this object must be realized via the Object Services.|
|Business Object||Object that carries the main data relevant for the action determina-tion and execution. Its persistence is either given as a BOR object or as a persistent class of the Object Services.|
|Context||Set of data handed to the action determination. The context encom-passes the name of the application and the action profile, the appli-cation object and a collection of partners.|
I recommend to read all SAP PPF documents from SAP portal and i am providing some here for your quick reference
How to use PPF in EWM– from SAP portal
PPF implementation guide for Developers
You can find additional information in the following places:
SAP Library: Post Processing Framework (BC-SRV-GBT) (PPF)
SAP Community Network: Modeling Guide for Post Processing Framework (PPF) (Article)