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A worflow is a model that describes a sequence of operations, representing an actual business process.
A simple example would be a leave request. An employee calls his manager saying he’d like to take a vacation. The manager asks for specific dates. The employee specifies the date in which he’ll be absent, to which the manager replies with either “I approve your request” or “Forget it.”
Using a workflow engine, the process described above can be automated. An employee would fill the details in a familiar environment (examples being it could be an SAP transaction, Outlook, SharePoint, or the SAP UWL), the manager would get an approval request in his inbox, and would then either approve or reject the request.
There are many workflow engines in the market, and SAP Business Workflow is one of them. It’s the most popular SAP workflow engine to date, allowing execution of business processes within SAP application systems. It comes with predefined workflow models, but using the modeling environment, a customer can design his own workflows, tailored for his specific business needs.