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Type-Safe Client for SAP Workflow service

maven central
Generally Available

This library is released for productive usage as of November 19, 2020.

Overview

The SAP Workflow service is available on the Cloud Foundry environment since April 2019. It helps you build, run, and manage workflows to model processes that span from simple approval steps to complex business scenarios with several involved parties.

Imagine a business scenario involving multiple parties, complex validation logic, and parallel execution flows. SCP Workflow service solves exactly this problem. To benefit from features offered by the REST API of the SAP BTP Workflow service you can leverage the type-safe client library provided by the SAP Cloud SDK and discover it via your IDE or manually integrate it into your application.

Refer to this blog post for an overview of all resources about the SAP BTP Workflow Service.

Example Use Case for This Guide

Problem

We need to model a business workflow involving multiple parties, complex validation logic, and parallel flows execution together with other business logic in your app hosted on the SAP Business Technology Platform.

Solution

Use SAP Workflow service and its REST API. You can do workflow modeling using a convenient visual editor and call the SAP BTP Workflow REST API via type-safe client library module provided by the SAP Cloud SDK for Java. Additionally, you'll get other benefits from the SAP Cloud SDK like destinations and authentication handling, complete type-safety, multi-tenancy, easy resilience, and caching configuration.

Consume the SAP Workflow REST API in SAP BTP Cloud Foundry environment

Prerequisites

Add the latest version of the SAP Cloud SDK to your Java application dependencies or generate a new one from archetypes that we provide.

After we have an SAP Cloud SDK-based Java app, we can invoke the SAP BTP Workflow REST API in our business logic. More specifically, we are interested in retrieving a list of all workflow definitions that exist in the connected SAP BTP Workflow service instance which corresponds to the API endpoint /v1/workflow-definitions. You can find it under the section Workflow Definitions on the left-hand side of your CF cockpit.

Cloud Foundry Configuration

Let's look in detail at all necessary steps of Cloud Foundry configuration to run this scenario.

Bind App to SAP Business Technology Platform Workflow Service instance

Refer to the documentation on help.sap.com for the full picture. We'll outline the essentials with the assumption that you understand or have the following:

Identifying Necessary OAuth Scopes
tip

The SAP BTP Workflow REST API is protected and requires authenticating with an OAuth 2.0 access token. Each particular API endpoint requires the client to provide an access token valid for the respective endpoint. The token must be issued for the respective OAuth scope that corresponds to the desired API endpoint.

Let's figure out which OAuth scope is relevant for our application. For that, we have to check SCP Workflow API documentation to find out that the endpoint /v1/workflow-definitions is assigned to the scope WORKFLOW_DEFINITION_GET.

Create Service Instance Configuration

Open a text editor and create a JSON file with the following content:

{
"authorities": ["WORKFLOW_DEFINITION_GET"]
}

Remember where you've saved the file, you'll need it later.

Create Service Instance

Open the command line and authenticate at your Cloud Foundry organization by invoking cf login.

Consider specifying the respective subaccount, organization, and space with cf target if necessary.

Use cd to navigate to the directory that contains the JSON configuration file we created before and run the following to create the service instance:

cf create-service workflow standard my-workflow -c <path-to-json-file>

This command creates an instance of the SAP BTP Workflow Service in the CF space that your CLI points to. More specifically, it uses the service plan "standard" and takes the JSON configuration into account. Note that we named the service instance my-workflow. If you have chosen a different name, please, remember the name as you'll need it for your deployment descriptor manifest.yml later on.

Once the service instance creation is finished, you can see the service instance in your CF space under Services and Service Instances in the left-hand side menu.

Bind your App to Service Instance

Open the file manifest.yml in your project and mention your service instance under services as follows:

applications:
- name: awesome-app
memory: 1024M
timeout: 600
random-route: false
path: application/target/awesome-app-application.war
buildpacks:
- sap_java_buildpack
env:
TARGET_RUNTIME: tomee7
SET_LOGGING_LEVEL: '{ROOT: INFO, com.sap.cloud.sdk: INFO}'
JBP_CONFIG_SAPJVM_MEMORY_SIZES: metaspace:128m..
services:
- my-destination
- my-workflow
routes:
- route: <omitted-on-purpose>

This ensures that the VCAP_SERVICES environment variable of the CF application gets enhanced with an additional entry containing the connection details of the newly bound workflow service. Now, redeploy your app with cf push.

Develop Your App

Dependency Assumptions

We assume that you have a Java project using the SAP Cloud SDK. If not, we recommend going ahead and creating one from one of the Maven archetypes. You should also have Apache Maven installed and be able to successfully run mvn clean install from the root of your project.

Make sure that you have the SAP Cloud SDK Bill-of-Material (BOM) in your dependencyManagement section of your pom.xml structure like on the example below.

Always use the latest version of SAP Cloud SDK

Current version is: maven central

pom.xml
<dependencyManagement>
<dependencies>
<dependency>
<groupId>com.sap.cloud.sdk</groupId>
<artifactId>sdk-bom</artifactId>
<!-- WF API is supported in ver 3.19.1 of the SDK and above. Please, always use the latest version -->
<version>3.XX.X</version>
<type>pom</type>
<scope>import</scope>
</dependency>
</dependencies>
</dependencyManagement>

Add SAP Workflow Service Dependency To Your Project

You can refer to the Java client library for the SAP BTP Workflow service with the following Maven dependency:

pom.xml
<dependency>
<groupId>com.sap.cloud.sdk.services</groupId>
<artifactId>scp-workflow-cf</artifactId>
</dependency>

After adding the dependency to your pom.xml file, run mvn clean install to let Maven install it.

Invoke the Java Client Library

Create Destination

Let's create a Java representation of this destination. You can use ScpCfServiceDestinationLoader.getDestinationForService to create a destination by reading properties from the VCAP_SERVICES environment variable entry for the workflow service.

final HttpDestination destination =
ScpCfServiceDestinationLoader.getDestinationForService(
ScpCfServiceDestinationLoader.CfServices.WORKFLOW,
"my-workflow");
caution

The ScpCfServiceDestinationLoader.getDestinationForService API currently only works out of the box for a handful of services. For other services, the alternative would be to create a Destination manually in CF using values in the VCAP_SERVICES and then accessing the destination using the DestinationAccessor. For details refer to Additional information section.

Invoke the SAP BTP Workflow API

Now we can make the first call to SAP BTP Workflow API by invoking the method to get the list of all existing workflow definitions. For that, we pass the HTTP destination as an argument to the constructor of the API class.

final List<WorkflowDefinition> workflowDefinitions =
new WorkflowDefinitionsApi(httpDestination).queryDefinitions();

This is how we call the SAP BTP Workflow REST API in a type-safe manner and benefit from type-safe access to the resulting response objects. For instance, we can read particular details about each workflow definition. We'll log them for demonstration purposes.

workflowDefinitions.forEach(workflowDefinition -> {
log.info(workflowDefinition.getName());
log.info(workflowDefinition.getVersion());
log.info(workflowDefinition.getCreatedAt().toString());
});

Another benefit is that the SAP BTP Workflow API library allows us to inspect all jobs related to a particular workflow definition together with many other properties. You can check the SAP BTP Workflow API's model definition on the SAP API Business Hub or use your IDE to discover available properties via its auto-complete function.

final WorkflowDefinition workflowDefinition = workflowDefinitions.get(0);
workflowDefinition.getJobs().forEach(job -> {
log.info(job.getId());
log.info(job.getPurpose().toString());
});

Capabilities and Limitations

Capabilities and Benefits

The Java client library for SAP BTP Workflow enables the developer to:

  • Invoke the REST API in a type-safe and convenient manner
  • Provides Java abstractions for all REST API endpoints along with the respective model classes
  • Relieves the developer from all the HTTP-related development work like interpreting status codes, JSON de-/serialization, etc
  • It lets the developer focus on the business logic instead of coding low-level API calls
  • We keep the library up to date with the latest Workflow API specification which simplifies the maintainability of your app's code
  • We integrate the SAP BTP Workflow library with SAP Cloud SDK capabilities, such as tenant-aware destination retrieval and many more

Known Limitations

  • We support SAP Workflow service API only on the SAP BTP Cloud Foundry environment. The SAP Business Technology Platform Neo environment is Not supported!

Additional Information

info

Please note the steps outlined in the below section are only required if you chose to skip using the convenience API ScpCfServiceDestinationLoader.getDestinationForService introduced here and instead would like to use DestinationAccessor for e.g. while trying to use generated clients of other services.

Creating HTTP Destinations Manually

To create HTTP destinations manually in CF from the values read from VCAP_SERVICES of the CF application, please follow the below steps. The steps below can be continued in this example from the Bind your App to Service Instance section.

Take Note of API endpoint and OAuth Credentials

Once the app is bound to the SAP Workflow service (here in our example) and app deployment has finished, go to your CF space and navigate to Services\Instances and Subscriptions. You should see the service instance you created along with the information that is bound to your application.

Click on the service instance name, for instance my-workflow, in the upcoming screen you should see the headline Service Instance: my-workflow - Referencing Apps. Make sure that the entry that belongs to your app is selected in the table below, given that multiple apps are bound to the same service instance.

Consider the JSON content below the table. For your convenience, we recommend copying that JSON to a text editor. Here is a quick example:

{
"endpoints": {
"workflow_odata_url": "foo",
"workflow_rest_url": "bar"
},
"html5-apps-repo": {
"app_host_id": "foo"
},
"uaa": {
"uaadomain": "bar",
"tenantmode": "dedicated",
"sburl": "bar",
"clientid": "foo",
"verificationkey": "bar",
"apiurl": "foo",
"xsappname": "bar",
"identityzone": "foo",
"identityzoneid": "bar",
"clientsecret": "foo",
"tenantid": "bar",
"url": "foo"
},
"sap.cloud.service": "com.sap.bpm.workflow",
"saasregistryappname": "workflow",
"content_endpoint": "foo"
}

Next look at the JSON content and collect the values for the following JSON keys:

  • workflow_rest_url
  • url
  • clientid
  • clientsecret

You'll need these values in the next step.

Create HTTP Destination

Go to your CF subaccount, navigate to Connectivity\Destinations in the left-hand side menu, and create a new HTTP destination with the following properties:

  • Name: Workflow-Api
  • Type: HTTP
  • URL: The value of workflow_rest_url
  • Proxy Type: Internet
  • Authentication: OAuth2ClientCredentials
  • Client ID: The value of clientid
  • Client Secret: The value of clientsecret
  • Token Service URL: The value of url appended by /oauth/token?grant_type=client_credentials

Click Save. Restart your app by navigating to Spaces\<you-space-name>\Applications. Chose your app from the list by clicking on the link with its name and find the restart button on the page that loads.

Create Destination Programmatically

The invocation of the workflow client remains the same, the only difference in code is while trying to fetch the destination. The name of the HTTP destination that we configured in the SAP BTP cockpit is Workflow-API. Let's create a Java representation of this destination.

final String destinationName = "Workflow-Api";
final HttpDestination httpDestination = DestinationAccessor.getDestination(destinationName).asHttp();

That's it, the invocation to the java client library would remain the same and no more changes are required.

Video Tutorial

This video tutorial by the developer advocate team of SAP Business Technology Platform will help you get up to speed with SAP Cloud SDK for Java and Workflow service API in 60 minutes.