Customise Document Centric Approval Pre Built Content Package – (Part 2/2)


This is continuation of the topic of customisation of Document Centric Approval Pre-Built content package. You may review Part 1 of this blog in case you wanted to know our little problem and the simple solution suggestion from my side.

I will be making changes to the sample project used with this Workflow Content Package. You can review this sample project from our SAP Cloud Workflow Sample Collections.

Solution 2: Using SAP Business Rules to determine approvers

This blog details a more permanent solution using SAP Business Rules.

Per our documentation

What Is Business Rules Capability?

The business rules capability within the SAP Workflow Management service lets you digitize and automate decision making. It encapsulates dynamic decision logic from application logic. It also provides web-based tools to model business vocabulary and decision interfaces to integrate with SaaS applications and business services.

Business rules let you automate the decision-making process for a business scenario. For example, in an employee onboarding scenario, you can model business rules for the HR team to automate the equipment determination step for a new hire. Depending on the employee’s designation, the required equipment can be automatically determined without the intervention of the HR team.

We will use Business Rules to dynamically determine approvers based on an input region or a department. As part of this blog, I will be showing how to create such a business rule and use it with the Document Centric Approval Process’s Start UI code.

Note: this is just a sample implementation with sample data. You may wanted to customise this to your organization specific needs.

Create a Business Rule Project

As a first step, I created a business rule.

In my explanation, I will be using screenshots to denote each step I followed, Kindly get familiarise yourself designing Business Rules. In case you are new to this topic, I encourage you to explore our tutorials on this topic.

  1. From the various applications of Workflow Management app, find “Manage Rule Projects” app


Access Manage Rule Projects from within Workflow Management apps

  1. Create a new Business Rule by clicking the + icon


Create a new Business Rule Project

  1. Provide appropriate details for the project creation form.

Business%20Rule%20Project%20Creation%20-%20Project%20DetailsBusiness Rule Project Creation – Project Details

Create a Data Object

  1. In Business Rules, we need to create Data Objects first. the one Business Rule will be using as Input and one it will respond after processing. In the next steps, we will be creating 2 data objects.
    1. First object is created a structure as I wanted to keep the input flexible. Requester can either fill in a region value or a departmental value.
    2. Output of this business rule is a single approver group name. In future if you decide to extend this to more group of approver group names, you can make it into a structure.


Design your Data Objects

  1. Here is how I designed InputAttributes Data Object

  1. In case you wanted to use valueHelpers for any of these objects you can do so now. Value Help can be handy during your rule design . I tried to create Value Help for Region attribute

  1. Similarly create approverGroup as a standard string element attribute.

Save, Validate each attribute and make sure the data objects are activated.

Create a Business Rule Service

As a next step, create a business rule service that takes in an input data object and returns a result object. Here we will be using the just created data objects.


determineApprover Rule Service

Create the Business Rules

I wanted to create individual rules for processing departmental and region input.

Business Rule Design

Here is how processRegion Rule is designed, it is a text rule. The meta data is designed for sample purpose only. When you implement, you have to use right IAS groups as approverGroup response. i.e use your IAS specific group name instead of ‘apjApprovers’


Here is how processDepartment rule is designed. it is a text rule. Here I am using a short string ‘PCH’ to indicate Purchase department. The meta data is designed for sample purpose only. When you implement, you have to use right IAS groups as approverGroup response. i.e use your IAS specific group name instead of ‘purchasingApprovers’


Create a Rule Set

The final step is to create a rule set. per our documentation

A ruleset is a logical collection of rules that helps you group business logic that govern a specific function.

At each step, you need to save, validate and activate the various artefacts related to this Business Rule.

We are now ready to deploy and release this new Business Rule.

Deploying the Business Rule

From the Business Rule service you can click deploy and select cloud runtime

Release the Business Rule

From the Details tab, activate the project. if every object is validated and activated, this step also will clear.

As we will be using API to process this business rule, from the rule service screen, access the settings icon and enable ID to be included in the displayed table. and copy and paste Rule Service ID, Released Revision and Version to be used during API calls.

Updating Document Centric Approval Sample code

Having created the business rule, now we need to modify the startUI code to read the approverGroup based on either Region or Department. In order to achieve this, you can consider using text fields in the form. Please customise this part to suite your need.

Modify RequestApproval.view.xml, especially tags below <!– Add Region –> and <!– Add Department –>. I provided the before and after tags as well so you know where I inserted these fields.

<Label text="{i18n>USER_ID}" required="true"/>
<Input id="requesterUserId" value="{mCommon>/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterUserId}" placeholder="P000123" valueState="{mCommon>/sRequesterUserIdState}" valueStateText="{mCommon>/sRequesterUserIdStateText}" change="onChange" enabled="{mCommon>/oEnable/sInput}"/>
<!-- Add Region -->
<Label text="{i18n>REGION}" required="true"/>
<Input id="requesterRegion" value="{mCommon>/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterRegion}" placeholder="APJ" valueState="{mCommon>/sRequesterRegionState}" valueStateText="{mCommon>/sRequesterRegionStateText}" change="onChange" enabled="{mCommon>/oEnable/sInput}"/>
<!-- Add Department -->
<Label text="{i18n>DEPARTMENT}" required="true"/>
<Input id="requesterDepartment" value="{mCommon>/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterDepartment}" placeholder="PCH" valueState="{mCommon>/sRequesterDepartmentState}" valueStateText="{mCommon>/sRequesterDepartmentStateText}" change="onChange" enabled="{mCommon>/oEnable/sInput}"/>
<Label text="{i18n>COMMENT_FROM_REQUESTER}" required="false"/>
<TextArea id="requesterComment" rows="5" value="{mCommon>/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterComment}" enabled="{mCommon>/oEnable/sInput}"/>

Corresponding needs to be amended

... #XMSG:
FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_TITLE = Title is a required field(*) #XMSG:

And for this blog purpose, I need either Region or Department to be provided. So we will handle field validation. Again when you implement this logic, you may wanted to make both fields mandatory.

onPressRequestApproval: function (oEvent) { var errorExist = false, oThisController = this, oMdlCommon = oThisController.getParentModel("mCommon"); oThisController.getView().setBusy(true); // Checking Requester Fields var requesterFields = [ "sRequesterFirstName", "sRequesterLastName", "sRequesterEmail", "sRequesterUserId", // modified code -- Start "sRequesterRegion", "sRequesterDepartment" // modified code -- end ]; var requesterValue; for (var i = 0; i < requesterFields.length; i++) { requesterValue = oMdlCommon.getProperty("/" + "oRequesterDetails" + "/" + requesterFields[i]); if (requesterValue && requesterValue.trim() && requesterValue !== "" && requesterValue !== "undefined" && requesterValue !== "null") { oMdlCommon.setProperty("/" + requesterFields[i] + "State", "None"); } else { errorExist = true; if (requesterFields[i] === "sRequesterFirstName") { oMdlCommon.setProperty("/" + requesterFields[i] + "StateText", oThisController.getMessage("FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_FIRST_NAME")); } if (requesterFields[i] === "sRequesterLastName") { oMdlCommon.setProperty("/" + requesterFields[i] + "StateText", oThisController.getMessage("FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_LAST_NAME")); } if (requesterFields[i] === "sRequesterEmail") { oMdlCommon.setProperty("/" + requesterFields[i] + "StateText", oThisController.getMessage("FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_EMAIL")); } if (requesterFields[i] === "sRequesterUserId") { oMdlCommon.setProperty("/" + requesterFields[i] + "StateText", oThisController.getMessage("FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_USER_ID")); } // modified code -- Start if (requesterFields[i] === "sRequesterRegion") { bRegionOrDepartmentIsEmpty = true; } if (requesterFields[i] === "sRequesterDepartment" && bRegionOrDepartmentIsEmpty) { oMdlCommon.setProperty("/" + requesterFields[i] + "StateText", oThisController.getMessage("FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_USER_DEPARTMENT")); } // modified code -- end oMdlCommon.setProperty("/" + requesterFields[i] + "State", "Error"); } } ... // more code ...

and in place where you persist workflow context, below code changes are needed

startInstance: function (workflowtoken) { ... // code ... var sPayload = { "definitionId": sDefinitionId, "context": { "RequestId": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/sRequestId").toString(), "Title": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/sTitle"), "Requester": { "FirstName": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterFirstName"), "LastName": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterLastName"), "Email": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterEmail"), "UserId": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterUserId"), // change start "Region": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterRegion"), "Department": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterDepartment"), // change end "Comments": oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterComment") }, "ApprovalSteps": aApprovalSteps, "Attachments": aAttachments } }; ... // code ...

and I have added a new method to process this Business Rule depending on the user input

_getApproverGroup : function() { var oThisController = this; var oMdlCommon = this.getParentModel("mCommon"); var sRequesterRegion = oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterRegion"); var sRequesterDepartment = oMdlCommon.getProperty("/oRequesterDetails/sRequesterDepartment"); var sInputAttribute = ""; if(sRequesterRegion !== "" && sRequesterRegion !== undefined && sRequesterRegion!== "null"){ sInputAttribute += '"Region": "' + sRequesterRegion + '"'; }else if(sRequesterDepartment !== "" && sRequesterDepartment !== undefined && sRequesterDepartment!== "null"){ sInputAttribute += '"Department": "' + sRequesterDepartment + '"'; }else{ var noInput = oThisController.getMessage("FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_USER_REGION_OR_DEPARTMENT") oMdlCommon.setProperty("/sRequesterRegionState", "Error"); oMdlCommon.setProperty("/sRequesterRegionStateText", noInput); oMdlCommon.setProperty("/sRequesterDepartmentState", "Error"); oMdlCommon.setProperty("/sRequesterDepartmentStateText", noInput); var sGenericErrorText = oThisController.getMessage("FIELD_VALIDATION_ERROR_GENERIC"); oThisController.getView().setBusy(false); return true; } var sUrl = this._getBusinessRulesRuntimeBaseURL()+ '/rule-services'; var jsonData = "{" + '"RuleServiceId": "c4a96475ddc2445294698234bbf609ad",' + '"RuleServiceRevision": "initial",'+ '"Vocabulary": ['+ '{' + '"inputAttributes": {'+sInputAttribute+ '}' + '}' + ']' + '}'; var oSettings = { "url": sUrl, "method": "POST", "async": false, "headers": { "Content-Type": "application/json", "Accept": "application/json", }, "data" : jsonData }; $.ajax(oSettings) .done(function (results, textStatus, request) { console.log("execution successfull"); var oMdlCommon = oThisController.getParentModel("mCommon"); oMdlCommon.setProperty("/sApproverGroup",results.Result[0].approverGroup); oMdlCommon.refresh(); }) .fail(function (err) { console.log("execution failed"); }); return false; }

as you can see result of the Business Rule API call is stored in the model value /ApproverGroup. this will be used in the filter value.

Here are the modified code when filters are used.

getUsers: function (oColumns, sInputField) { var oThisController = this; this._getApproverGroup(); var oMdlCommon = this.getParentModel("mCommon"); var oView = oThisController.getView(); oView.setBusy(true); var scimbaseurl = this._getSCIMBaseURL(); var sRole = oMdlCommon.getProperty("/sApproverGroup"); var sFilter = 'filter=groups.display eq "' + sRole + '"'; var sUrl = this._getSCIMBaseURL() + '/service/scim/Users?'+ encodeURIComponent(sFilter); var oSettings = { "url": sUrl, "method": "GET" }; ... // more code ...

and in the Pagination code section

getUsersAdd: function (iteration, oColumns, sInputField) { var oThisController = this; var oView = oThisController.getView(); oView.setBusy(true); var startIndex = (100 * iteration) + 1; var scimbaseurl = this._getSCIMBaseURL(); var sRole = oMdlCommon.getProperty("/sApproverGroup"); var sFilter = 'filter=groups.display eq "' + sRole + '"'; var sUrl = scimbaseurl+ '/service/scim/Users?startIndex=' + startIndex + '&' + encodeURIComponent(sFilter); var oSettings = { "url": sUrl, "method": "GET", "async": false }; ... // more code ...

Save the project, build and deploy the same.

The new UI will look like this. As per Validation, either Region or Department needs to be entered.

Try entering Region or Department and browse the list of approvers or watchers, it should work dynamically depending on how your Business Rule is setup.


With this blog post, you understand how it is easy to customise the prebuilt content Document Centric Approval Process.

For More Information on SAP Process Automation: