Today I returned to the office after being at Oracle OpenWorld all last week. After I caught up on emails, a co-worker came to me with an issue the Training team was seeing in our Training environment. This environment gets refreshed every weekend, so there a normally very few issues. However, the past few weeks they were having issues submitting Expense report sheets for approval. When the user would submit, the status would change to "Submission in Process" and wouldn't move forward in the approval process. The sheet would show no approvers and the expected approvers had no new work in their worklist.
They all assumed some AWE or Security configuration was missing or messed up. This didn't make sense to me, since the environment was being refreshed weekly and working fine up to this point. That being said, I still looked there for a solution, as I had no other ideas. Everything seemed to look OK, matching our production environment for the most part. I then remembered that Expense approvals use a Service Operation! I went to Monitor Asynchronous Servives for Integration Broker, and sure enough there were multiple EX_APPROVAL messages waiting in a status of New.
It turns out, for whatever reason the Integration Broker Pub\Sub server wasn't being brought up. Once an admin ensured IB was up and running, we started seeing the EX_APPROVAL messages flow to Done. All the previous sheets in status "Submission in Process" were now "Submitted". These sheets also showed in the manager's worklist, ready for approval. To anyone familiar with Expenses this would probably be a first step in troubleshooting, but I figured I would write this up just in case others are new to the module like I am.
For more information, I would recommend reviewing this Doc in My Oracle Support: How does the Expenses Approval Workflow work and is setup in FSCM 8.9, 9.0, and 9.1? ID 650548.1.