Companies depend on formal documents that reflect their corporate identities and contain critical business information from live systems. SAP and Adobe partnered for automating and streamlining forms-based communication to support customers who create reusable forms for their business processes.
SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe will be used more and more as a way of simplifying and automating manual processes.
There are various advantages of Adobe forms.
SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe provides all the features and functions you need to create form-based output, such as order confirmations, invoices, or pay slips. You can either print such documents or send them by email or FAX.
<b>Online Interactive Forms</b>
A user logs on to the company intranet to fill in a form required by the HR department (for example, a Non-Disclosure Agreement to be signed by a new employee). The form is displayed in the browser.
As the user is logged on in the background to the company's HR system, his master data is displayed in the form. The user enters the required information in the fillable fields of the interactive form, and sends the data back to the system by pushing a button. The system extracts the data from the form and saves it in the database.
<b>Offline Interactive Forms</b>
The purchasing department of a company creates a bid in its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and selects the potential vendors. Based upon this data, the system automatically creates interactive bidding forms with specific vendor information, such as the address or contact person.
The forms are transmitted to the vendors by email. The vendors can fill out the forms offline (without being connected to the system that created the forms) and transmit them back to the company. The company then processes the forms automatically, and the data provided by the vendors is written to the ERP system. The purchasing department uses the data to evaluate the quotation and then issues an order.
<b>With the integration of Adobe PDF technology into its solutions, SAP will be able to further extend its offerings of end-to-end business solutions by:</b>
Providing for the first time the capabilities of Adobe's interactive PDF-based forms.
Integrating PDF documents into business processes that are driven by SAP applications.
Automating the process of moving XML data from SAP applications into interactive forms and vice versa.
Reducing time to design, manage, and maintain extended forms-based processes through easy-to-use forms design and deployment tools.
Offering its customers enhanced printing capabilities, in particular for interactive Web applications.
The focus of new forms technology from SAP is interactive PDF-based forms that can be created in SAP systems as a result of the <b>integration of Adobe technology with Web Dynpro and the SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio.</b> This integration means that adobe is the future technology.
PDF-Based Print Forms
PDF-based print forms are part of the Interactive Forms based on Adobe Software solution and are used for mass printing in SAP systems. As well as standard output on printers, and the option of archiving documents, you can also use your application to send a PDF to the Business Communication Services (BCS). Here, you have the option of faxing or e-mailing your documents.
The following gives you an overview of how a PDF-based print form is structured, and also tells you how to create a PDF-based print form in the development environment of the ABAP Workbench. The integrated Adobe LiveCycle Designer software supports you when you do this. This software must be installed on your front end before you can create a layout. To see a print preview of your form, you first need to install Adobe Reader or a complete version of Adobe Acrobat.
This documentation does not discuss how documents are printed and controlled on printers. Instead, it discusses the whole process up to when a file is sent to output management functions, such as the spool system in SAP systems (for more information, see SAP Printing Guide (BC-CCM-PRN)).
Interactive Forms based on Adobe Software
As of SAP NetWeaver 04 (in SAP Web Application Server), you can use a new solution to create interactive forms and print forms for the optimization of your form-based business processes. This solution uses Portable Document Format (PDF) and software from Adobe Systems Inc. that has been integrated into the SAP environment.
You can create interactive forms in PDF format that allow users to fill out the form on the screen and save their entries in XML format in the form. When the SAP system receives the PDF form, it extracts the data saved in the form, and can process it further.
You can also merge a form template with current system data to generate a PDF document that can then be printed or sent by e-mail.
Interactive Forms based on Adobe software offer you the following business advantages:
· Interactive functions automate the creation of data for SAP systems
· Full integration into the SAP development environments for Java and ABAP
· User-friendly tools reduce the time and costs associated with creating form layouts.
· The usage of the PDF format means that forms retain their appearance regardless of the environment they are used in.
In certain circumstances, you require a license for interactive forms. For more detailed information, read SAP Note 750784 on SAP Service Marketplace at service.sap.com/notes.
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