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Definition

A process chain is a sequence of processes that wait in the background for an event. Some of these processes trigger a separate event that can, in turn, start other processes.

Use

In an operating BW system, a number of processes occur regularly. If you use process chains, you can:

  • automate the complex process flows in BW using event-controlled processing
  • visualize the processes using network graphics
  • centrally control and monitor processes

The fundamental principals of the process chain concept are:

  • Openness

    The abstract meaning of process as any process flow with a defined start and end enables openness with regard to the type of process that can be integrated into a process chain. The principle of openness is applied to process chains so that user-defined programs and processes can be implemented. In addition, you can include process chains in other process chains. These are known as meta chains. You can integrate process chains from the system in which the meta chain is found, or from other systems. In this context, we talk about local and remote process chains.

  • Security

    Using process chains ensures a high level of security in the process flow. This is based on the principals of background management:

    • Processes are scheduled before they run and can be monitored using the standard background monitor.

      More information :Process Chain Log Display

    • Background events trigger subsequent processes.

    • Short dumps and terminations are recognized and handled accordingly.

  • Flexibility

    The subsequent process is responsible for getting all the information it needs from the predecessor processes so that is can run correctly. This means that you can integrate new process types without having to modify the existing types.

Structure

A process chain consists of processes of different process types: It consists of a start process, individual application processes, and the collection processes.

You use the start process to define the start of your process chain. All other processes in the chain are scheduled to wait for an event. Application processes are the actual work processes that you want to automate in process chain maintenance. They represent activities typically performed in the operative use of BI. Collection processes are handled differently in process chain management. They allow you to combine multiple chain strings into one individual string. This means that you only have to schedule the actual work processes once. Processes are connected using events that are triggered by a predecessor process to start a subsequent process.

The BW differentiates between processes based on the following categories:

  • General services
  • Loading processes and postprocessing processes
  • Data target administration processes
  • Reporting agent processes
  • Other BW processes

Processes that you have implemented yourself

If you use process chains in other SAP applications, additional categories may be available.

You can find an overview of the process types in BW under Process Types.

Integration

A process chain is a BW object with a transport system and a connection to BW document management.

Automatisms

When you use process chains, the automatisms of the integrated processes (for example, update PSA data to data target, or activate data in the DataStore object) are ignored; they have to be implemented through the process chain. When you schedule a specific process in a chain, the system automatically includes the additional, relevant, standard processes and thereby supports you in ensuring that you have considered all automatisms.

When you use a data transfer process, the automatisms that are taken from the InfoPackage are no longer available; they have to be implemented using process types.