When a developer hears the words "free form text" or a requirement involving the word "notes" or even better "we need some where for the user to enter 'stuff' (that most technical of technical terms!)", it is usually either met with a groan or a panicked thought like "what?!?! how am I going to do this?!?! keep smiling...nod...say you can do it". In the case of HCM P&F, it is actually much more painless than you might think.
I will admit, the first time I was asked to do such a thing on a HCM P&F project, I was a bit baffled at first myself. I just kept thinking of the decoupled infotype structure fields we had available and not seeing how a "note" or "text" would get saved in there. My "plan B" (as usual) was "well if the framework can't handle it, I can do it in an Advanced Generic Service or in a backend workflow step". I actually found out that it was about 1000 times easier than I could have imagined.
I have seen others come across this and ask in the forum how to do it as they too seem to be under the impression that this will be some kind of daunting combination of configuration and coding. However, it is almost as simple as adding one line in configuration.
Here is what you do by way of an example.......
1. In your HCM P&F configuration for your SAP_PA service, let's say you have an operation on infotype 0015 (Additional Payments).
2. Now, in the configuration for our "fields", you will simply look in the decoupled structures for your selected infotype (here, IT0015) to find the one called HCMT_BSP_PA_TEXT and map your own form scenario field to it. This is the KEY to it all!!!
3. On our form, you can see we have the field mapped and bound to a "text edit", multi-line field on the Adobe Interactive Form.
4. The user can simply fill it in with whatever they like....."free form".
5. After the user completes it and it is sent through the process to the update, we can then look in PA20 at the IT0015 record and select "Display Text" from the top menu...
....and we will see the text just as we entered it on the form!
See now...that was not so bad was it? haha Hope this helps settle any "pains" for others. As always....until next time..... (I have a series of LENGTHY blogs coming soon. You were warned. haha)....