Get to Know the Winshuttle Function Module – Part 1 in a 3 part series
By Jennifer Hwang on Sep 28, 2020
Winshuttle Studio is a desktop application, but in order to use it with SAP, one of the technical requirements is to install the Winshuttle Function Module (WFM). What is it? Why do we need it? Why should we care? In this short blog series, I uncover some mysteries of the WFM so you can learn to appreciate everything it can do.
The WFM is a small ABAP component that gets installed on your SAP system. It will take no more than one hour for your SAP team to install. The WFM lives in its own WINSHUTTLE namespace which is registered with SAP, so it will not affect any of the standard SAP code. The WFM is only invoked when a user runs a Winshuttle script of some kind against SAP. If your SAP team has any concerns about the WFM affecting your SAP system, assure them that standard SAP use does not access it at all.
Most importantly, the WFM allows for Studio to communicate with SAP using Remote Function Call (RFC). If you are running ECC 6 EHP 4 or higher, as most are these days, without the WFM, any Winshuttle user would need to be assigned developer-level rights within SAP in order to use Studio. This type of access is not easily granted. It’s much simpler to install the WFM. Speaking of RFC, any Winshuttle user also needs to have a list of certain RFC-object authorizations within SAP assigned. While your SAP team could create their own custom role, which includes those RFC-object authorizations, and then assign the Winshuttle user that role, the WFM has already done the work for you. The WFM already contains custom roles (/WINSHTLQ/CMN_AUTHOR_ROLE or /CMN_RUNNER_ROLE) and the appropriate role can simply be assigned.
For those of you interested in Winshuttle history, just how old is the WFM? The original WFM, the true O.G., was first introduced to the world at the same time that Studio’s Query module was introduced. Only back then, all the way back in March of 2009, it came into this world as querySHUTTLE. Who amongst you remembers those days? The WFM’s original purpose, and still one of its most important functions, is to ensure the performance of the SAP system while running Winshuttle Queries. Winshuttle’s patented Adaptive Query Throttling (AQT) makes sure that even if someone unintentionally writes or runs a poorly designed Query with Winshuttle, your normal SAP users will not be affected. While this was the main original purpose of the WFM, enhancements started being made to add capabilities to Studio that would have been impossible without having something installed on the SAP side.
But it’s not just for connections and authorizations or performance. There’s a lot more to the WFM than what I’ve discussed here. Key enhancements include making it easy for document attachments, long text handling, simulation, and custom BAPIs. Some of those topics are worthy of their own blog posts. Join me for the next post in this series where I’ll focus on a couple of the most popular features of the WFM: attachments and long text.
About the author
Jennifer Hwang is a software consultant and business process analyst with 20+ years of experience implementing and optimizing various technical solutions. As a Solutions Engineer for Winshuttle, with 11+ years of Winshuttle consulting expertise, she ensures customer success by being their trusted technical advisor.
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