SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe FAQs
This is a list of common questions and answers for SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe.
Which SAP solutions are able to take advantage of the Interactive Forms technology?
Due to the integration of the Adobe technology into the Web Application Server of SAP NetWeaver, all SAP solutions are enabled to use the new solution for - among other things - form design, online and offline form processing and output distribution. The first scenarios implemented using the new solution are from the areas of human resources, financials, and operations, and were shipped with mySAP ERP 2004.
How are Adobe and SAP technologies integrated?
The new SAP forms solutions comprises two Adobe components:
- Adobe LiveCycle Designer, an easy-to-use form design tool, you can access directly in the development environments for both ABAP (ABAP Workbench) and Java (SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio)
- Adobe document services, a set of Web services that run on the Java engine of SAP Web Application Server
What do I need the Adobe document services for?
The document services are the run-time component of Interactive Forms and have two fundamental tasks:
- Creating a PDF file (and other output formats in print scenarios) by merging a form template with current system data for output
- Extracting user-entered data (stored in XML format inside the PDF) from interactive forms and return the data to the system
What do I need to install to use Interactive Forms based on Adobe software?
- Server: SAP Web AS 6.40 Java (for all scenarios), SAP Web AS 6.40 ABAP (if you are looking at high-volume print scenarios), Adobe document services (run-time component), Adobe Credential (for creating interactive PDF forms)
- Frontend: SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio with Adobe LiveCycle Designer (for Web Dynpro for Java development) and/or SAP GUI 6.40 with Adobe LiveCycle Designer (or 6.20 - for developing in SAP Web AS 6.40 ABAP), Active Component Framework (for filling interactive forms in a Web Dynpro application), Adobe Reader 6.0.2 or higher (on the frontend PC)
Other than what is shipped in SAP Web AS 6.40, are any other communication components required to support this solution?
SAP Web AS contains all the required components for both the design and the run time of Interactive Forms. End users displaying or editing PDF forms in a browser, in SAP GUI, or on their local hard drives need Adobe Reader 6.0.2 or higher, which can be downloaded from the Adobe website.
Where do the PDF files for filling in online, downloading and later resubmission reside? On the ITS, in CRM, external web servers?
The form template (and any other associated items such as graphics or images) is stored in the SAP database (in ABAP development) or the Design Time Repository (in Java development). At run time, the template is rendered into a PDF with the data enclosed, and displayed in the browser.
After a user has filled out and submitted a form, it is up to the individual application to decide what happens with the PDF file. The data is extracted from the form by the Adobe document services, and the PDF has basically served its purpose. However, it may be necessary for legal reasons to store the filled-in PDF form in the application database for future reference.
Is there a way to generate fillable PDF forms from Smart Forms without this solution?
No. Interactive Forms is a new technology, whose key capabilities are not covered by previous solutions such as Smart Forms or SAPscript.
Can Interactive Forms work within, for example, an SAP R/3 Enterprise or 4.6C system? Or is it possible to run a stand-alone SAP Web AS 6.40 instance with a lower-release SAP system?
Interactive Forms is shipped as a part of SAP Web AS 6.40. SAP Web AS 6.40 can be connected to lower-release backend systems to exchange data (using RFC).
If you want to use forms in interactive scenarios, you can use technologies such as an RFC connection to exchange data between your application system (for example, SAP R/3 4.6C) and the SAP Web AS 6.40, which includes the required Adobe technology. Note that this does not apply to the use of Interactive Forms in the Internet Service Request framework, which is extensively used in SAP Manager Self Service (e.g. Personnel Change Request).
If you are working with high-volume printing scenarios, consider that the customization of print forms is optimized for use within SAP applications. This means:
- At design time, you create relations between application data and form objects based on a common SAP dictionary.
- Form templates are available within their corresponding SAP applications. Templates are delivered by SAP only as part of an application.
- Performance is optimized for bundled systems, i.e. an SAP application system and its technological platform.
SAP recommends that customers:
- Use the same system for application and form printing services in high-volume scenarios.
- Work with SAP-delivered form templates in the corresponding application. (If you use SAP NetWeaver for form printing services only, you will need to build your scenario from scratch.)
Please note: If you are planning a high-volume printing project using SAP Web AS 6.40 and an existing, lower-release SAP solution, please turn to your SAP consulting contact for detailed guidance.
What about customer investments based on existing SAP forms technology, especially Smart Forms?
Customers can continue to use existing SAP forms solutions such as Smart Forms and SAPscript. Both solutions will continue to be supported in their current functional scope. New developments, in particular with a view to interactive use of forms, will be available as a result of SAP's alliance with Adobe. For new investments in forms-based solutions and print content, SAP advises customers to exploit the new PDF-based technologies and solutions. A tool-supported migration path of existing Smart Forms delivered by SAP and custom-developed Smart Forms to the new forms solution is included in the standard SAP offering.
We have been developing all our forms in Smart Forms. Is a migration tool a part of SAP Web AS 6.40?
Yes. In this context, you need to consider that some Smart Forms features (especially conditions) are handled differently in the new forms solution. This means that, depending on the complexity of the Smart Form, it may be more convenient to create one (or more) new forms rather than migrate an existing one. In either case, you can continue to use the interface developed for Smart Forms.
What licensing consequences, if any, does the joint functionality have for SAP customers?
Usage of print forms (high-volume printing) is included in your respective SAP license.
You need a license for Interactive Forms based on Adobe software when you:
- Create your own custom-developed interactive form templates
- Modify an SAP-delivered interactive form template by, for example, adding interactive fields. This would be considered to be more than a cosmetic change (such as inserting your logo or some static text on an SAP-delivered interactive form template), and is therefore licensable.
Note that the license applies only when you use interactive forms in a production system, that is when PDF forms are generated for filling in by end users.