Simplify and Improve Document Output: Convert SAPscript to Smart Forms

  • by Rajen Iyer, Cofounder and CTO, Krypt, Inc.
  • July 1, 2005
Smart Forms is a tool first delivered with R/3 Release 4.6 for printing and sending documents via email, Web, and fax. The supporting technology allows you to configure and deploy Smart Forms as a workflow-based or event-driven functionality. Find out more about Smart Forms and see how to implement it or convert existing SAPscripts to Smart Forms.
Key Concept
Form development, including output generation format, printout, PDF, and email output, consists of page layout and windows within the page. These windows include main, text, footer, logo, and title. Smart Forms provide an interface to build and maintain layout and logic of the form. Smart Forms architecture works on three tiers: the application program, which retrieves the data from the database; the Smart Forms ABAP function module, also called the "form logic," and the output device — Web browser, printer, or fax.
For quite some time, SAPscript has been SAP's only printing output option. Implementing and maintaining SAPscript can be difficult, and anyone familiar with third-party printing tools knows that they are not fully integrated, since they employ batch printing and spool control. Most also recognize the value of keeping as close to SAP standards as possible.

To ease printing woes, SAP introduced a new tool called Smart Forms. Introduced with SAP R/3 4.6C, it is fully integrated with SAP core applications, such as HR and mySAP ERP. It also supports Web applications, which is a key area of expansion for most companies. Smart Forms may be used with interactive Web forms that are based on generated XML output XSF, Basis Release 4.6C; HTML+XSF, and SAP Web Application Server (Web AS) 6.10. Smart Forms is standard for various central business processes (starting with CRM 2.0, SD, FI, and HR 4.6C).

The documentation for Smart Forms, however, is scattered; there is no easy way to learn what it entails and how to use it. The conversion process is completely undocumented. I'll walk you through some of the tools available to help you migrate from SAPscript to Smart Forms and teach you how to develop Smart Forms from scratch. Though implementation time can be substantially decreased with the standard, predefined forms Smart Forms provides, developing your own might be necessary to meet unique needs.

Rajen Iyer

Rajen Iyer is the cofounder and CTO at Krypt, Inc. Rajen has written several in-depth, best practice articles, white papers, patents, and best-selling books on SAP Logistics and SAP Global Trade Services, including Effective SAP SD and Implementing SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services. He is also an invited speaker at industry conferences.

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