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Introduction to S/4HANA Intelligent Situation Handling

Situation Handling provides intelligent support by enabling the user to make the right decisions in no time at all. The system support can be further expanded through the use of algorithms such as machine learning or the SAP PAL library. By using SAP S/4HANA Intelligent Situation Automation (ISA), additional rules can be defined to further reduce manual effort. By the way, ISA is currently only available for the SAP Cloud Platform.

SAP S/4HANA Intelligent Situation Handling increases the quality and efficiency of business processes by flagging exceptional circumstances and providing more in-depth information on the situation instance. As a result, users can focus on their day-to-day work and are not forced to manually monitor important issues such as expiring contracts, pending approvals, material exceptions, nearly depleted budgets and the like. SAP Situation Handling proactively informs users about problems that require their attention. The end user is alerted to a situation assigned to them via a notification in the Fiori Launchpad. They are also given the option of jumping directly to the relevant object in the associated application in order to resolve the situation there. Additional information on the situation and how it is being handled is displayed in the application. A holistic view of the situation can help to identify the root of problems and work out an optimal solution if Situation Handling is also combined with intelligent approaches such as the SAP PAL Library. For the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP S/4HANA Situation Handling can be extended with SAP S/4HANA Intelligent Situation Automation. This makes it possible to recognise patterns in situations, to map these patterns using rules and to have the system automatically apply the optimal solution.

Situation Handling framework concept

The Situation Handling Framework helps to bring urgent business issues to the attention of specific user groups. They are then able to react immediately and, if necessary, directly to the notifications received using what are referred to as solution proposals. This speeds up the processing of specific situations in the company considerably and provides additional support for recurring issues. This not only improves the handling of critical business events in companies, but also the response time of the users processing events. In addition, the life cycle of situations can be tracked in the relevant apps, ensuring traceability. The situation context can be analysed by using automation and machine learning. In this way, the situation handling framework can help to identify frequently recurring exceptions in order to integrate the corresponding solution into the regular business processes or to improve the process at a fundamental level.

How it works

(I) For the end user

There are several ways in which the end user can be informed of a situation. In consuming apps, situations are displayed using the progressive disclosure approach. This is done, for example, by displaying icons in lists, summarising a situation in pop-ups and providing details on a situation-specific page. In addition, end users see situations in their area of responsibility under ‘My Situations’ in the Fiori app. They can also be informed via SAP Fiori Launchpad notifications and e-mail.

(II) For the key user

The key user can define situations under ‘Manage Situation Types’ in the Fiori app based on pre-defined situation templates. Situation types can be adapted to your own business requirements by refining conditions, customising texts for end users and selecting recipients for situations via the integrated responsibility management. Plus, solution proposals can be defined in the situation type to help the end user find a solution.

(III) For the manager

The Fiori app provides the manager with ‘Monitor Situations’, an analytical list page app that provides insights into the occurrence of situation instances and their life cycle. All of the relevant information on the situation is displayed here, too. This includes, for example, the handling status, if solved, the solution path as well as the user’s path to the situation.

What types of situations can be handled, for example?

  • Information on upcoming deadlines.
  • Information on pending tasks – approvals and confirmations, for instance.
  • A combination with automation and machine learning can help identify frequently recurring exceptions to convert them into regular business.
  • Expiring contracts or new contracts.
  • Deviating requirements or fluctuation rates.

Advantages of S/4HANA Intelligent Situation Handling.

  • Situations are brought to the right user groups, Fiori interactions are fully integrated, notifications are responded to immediately.
  • Intelligent support to make the right decisions.
  • Monitoring and adjustment of situations and constant monitoring of business processes.
  • Urgent or important incidents are automatically identified, customers can improve the quality of their manual business processes through intelligent ERP.
  • The data context of situations for advanced analytics is collected, and processes can be automated using machine learning.
  • Analytics data can be used to continuously improve the intelligent ERP.

Technical information

Situation handling starts with what are known as situation templates. The Situation Developer Workbench is required to create these situation templates. This Fiori app is currently not available for end users. Only the situation types provided by SAP can be used or adapted at the moment.

In the following section, we will briefly explain the technical background for situation templates, situation types, the anchor and trigger objects and batch or event-triggered situations.

Generally, a situation type is created by copying a situation template. This means that all of the data maintained in the situation template is transferred to the situation type. Two CDS views are defined in the situation template, which are called anchor object view and trigger object view. These two CDS views form the framework for the situation template and the situation type, respectively. The data in the views is used to both define the criteria according to which users are to be notified and to provide information directly in the notifications. Both CDS views must contain the same field as a unique ID. In addition, the unique IDs must be maintained in the template. The same CDS view can be used for both the trigger and anchor object view. If ‘event’ is used as the trigger type, a unique ID must also be maintained for the event. If ‘batch’ is used as the trigger type, only the fields for trigger and object unique ID are displayed.

If the ‘batch’ trigger type is used and the ‘SIT_TECH_JOB_BATCH_DAILY’ job is implemented correctly, users receive a notification once a day if the criteria in the situation template or type are met.

If the ‘event’ trigger type is selected, the previously mentioned job is not used. The class (CL) or the business object repository (BOR) object responsible for generating the event must then be stored in the template. A situation is always triggered at the precise moment when an event is generated. Events can then also be collected in an event queue and triggered in defined time periods.

You can then maintain criteria in the template or type according to which the CDS views are queried. If an entry is found in the trigger view that matches the specified criteria, a situation is triggered.

The recipients of the notifications (that is, the end users) as well as the texts and proposed solutions of the notifications are maintained in the situation type.

Technical requirements

Fiori app: Manage Situation Types (App ID F2947):

  • S4/HANA 1809 or S4/HANA Cloud 2008 and later
  • Application component: CA-SIT-WB
  • Business role for configuration: SAP_BR_BPC_EXPERT

Fiori app: Monitor Situations (App ID F3264):

  • S4/HANA 1809 or S4/HANA Cloud 2008 and later
  • Application component: CA-SIT-WB
  • Business role for configuration: SAP_BR_BPC_EXPERT

Fiori app: My Situations (App ID F4154):

  • S4/HANA 1909 or S4/HANA Cloud 2008 and later
  • Application component: CA-SIT-ENG
  • Business role for configuration: SAP_BR_EMPLOYEE_SITUATION

SAP Situation Handling uses the SAP Fiori Notifications Framework to display notification actions for business situations in the Fiori Launchpad. Notification Channels must be available for use for this purpose. The following is a short guide:

Registering Notification Provider

SPRO: SAP NetWeaver → Notification Channel → Notification Channel Provider Enablement → Administration → Notification Provider Settings → Register Notification Provider

  • Provider ID: SIT_NOTIF_PROV
  • Provider class: SIT_NOTIF_PROV
  • Provider ID: SIT_NOTIF_PROV_EXT
  • Provider class: SIT_NOTIF_PROV_EXT
Managing Notification Provider

SPRO: SAP NetWeaver → Notification Channel → Notification Channel Provider Enablement → Administration → Notification Provider Settings → Manage Notification Provider

  • Provider ID: SIT_NOTIF_PROV_EXT; tick checkbox to enable
  • Provider ID: SIT_NOTIF_PROV (optional); tick checkbox to enable
The following technical jobs (TC: SJOBREPO) should be scheduled for batch situations:
  • SIT_TECH_JOB_BATCH_DAILY: Checks if there are ‘batch’ situation types, and executes them at the specified time
  • SIT_TECH_JOB_CLEAN_SIT_DATA: Empty caching tables
Required OData services for situation handling:

Object-based situations (TC: /IWFND/MAINT_SERVICE)

  • C_SITNINSTANCETP_CDS: Service for the App Reuse Library for situation processing (Fiori ID F3201). Details of the situation are displayed in business applications depending on the use case.
  • CA_SIT_PUWB_SRV: Service for the app to manage situation types (Fiori ID F2947).
  • C_SITNINSTCEACTYMONITORING_CDS: Service for the app to manage situation types (Fiori ID F3264).
  • C_SITNMYSITUATION_CDS: Service for the My Situations app (Fiori ID F4154) as well asmessage-based situations (TC: /IWFND/V4_ADMIN)
  • CA_SIT2_MST_SRV: Service to manage the situation types – message-based app (Fiori ID F4592).
  • c_sitn2mysituation_v4: Service for the My Situations – message-based app (Fiori ID F4537).

Conclusion

SAP Situation Handling is a clean and simple way to proactively alert the responsible user to a pending problem. It combines information on how the user must proceed to correct the situation. Users can be alerted to pre-determined actions that can be taken to resolve the issue at hand. It can also provide additional information to make quality decisions to resolve the situation.

Would you like to learn more about exciting topics from the world of adesso? Then check out our latest blog posts.

Picture Marwah Al Shwaiki und Michael Stamm

Author Marwah Al Shwaiki und Michael Stamm

Marwah Al Shwaiki has been working in the SAP department at adesso for three years. She enjoys keeping up with the latest SAP S/4 HANA technologies and current SAP trends.

Michael Stamm is an SAP Consultant in the Line of Business Cross Industries department at adesso and works on various projects in the SAP environment. He is currently working on ITIL 4 and is interested in new technologies, system architectures and business processes.

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