Skipping and Approvals are features used by almost all ActiveControl customers. Despite their popularity, Basis Technologies have occasionally received feedback from some users that both parts of the product could benefit from additional flexibility and versatility such as:
1) To be able to define Approvers based on a combination of criteria, and not only the Transport Form [Group] field.
2) To be able to define Peer Reviewers for a Dev Outbox, based on Business Task assignment instead of Windows GUI configuration.
3) To be able to create AND, OR and NOT logic-based skipping rules.
4) To be able to create rules whereby transports created by specific external resources stopped for additional approvals.
5) To be able to create rules whereby particularly old transports stopped for additional approvals.
6) To be able to create ‘template’ skipping rules, that can be reused to avoid having to configure duplicated rules.
During the last few months, Basis Technologies have worked on a co-innovation project with a large SAP user to enhance ActiveControl to support their complex landscape and process requirements. To achieve their requirements – and to deliver on the feedback received from them and other ActiveControl users – a new Rules Engine has been developed which can be used to create more complex rules for both Skipping and Approvals. It is also expected that this Rules Engine concept will be extended in future releases of ActiveControl to enable rules to also be created in other areas of the product such as Testing, Import Schedules and Email Notifications.
Consumers: Consumers are the ActiveControl functionalities that make use of the Rules Engine. For ActiveControl 8.0, a Skipping consumer and an Approver consumer are available.
Step: A Step is a condition that will return True or False depending on the particular logic it is coded to perform. (eg if a field = a certain value). Steps can be created for Transport Form, Business Task or Project level conditions. Some Steps will call on other child steps as part of their evaluation (eg AND and OR) and are essentially Parent Steps, whereas other Steps might perform the entire evaluation themselves.
Rule: A Rule is essentially the top-level ‘parent’ Step which is then called by the Consumer.
The Rules Engine solves lots of complex requirements, but the reality is that many ActiveControl customers do not have such complex requirements. As such, the Rules Engine has been added to the product in such a way that it is essentially optional functionality. Individual ActiveControl customers can therefore choose whether they want to use the Rules Engine, or continue to use the simpler (but less functionally rich) Approvals and/or Skipping capabilities that were already available prior to ActiveControl 8.0.
For existing ActiveControl customers that want to use the Rules Engine as part of an Upgrade to ActiveControl 8.0 or later versions, a conversion exercise will need to be performed to convert their existing Skipping rules in /BTI/TE_SKIPCP to the new structure used within the Rules Engine. No functionality will be provided by Basis Technologies to automate this, but our Solution Specialists can of course support customers performing this conversion as part of a formalised Upgrade project.
Rules Engine – Technical Summary
|1.||RFCs||No additional RFCs required.||–|
|2.||Users||No additional Users required.||–|
|3||Authorisations||No additional Authorisations required.||–|
|4.||Configuration Tables||Consumer activation||/BTI/TE_RE_CONSE|
|8.||User Exit||None required||–|
The rest of this section of the Administration details the configuration of the Rules Engine.