Preface – This post is part of the ABAP Beginner series.
Table of Contents
SAP Smart Forms is a tool to create and maintain forms for mass printing and sending documents. This tool is also used for developing PDF files, e-mails, and documents. It provides an interface to build and maintain the layout and logic for the form. It does not require any programming knowledge to modify the forms. It means the forms can be configured using simple graphical tools effortlessly.
The data is retrieved from static and dynamic tables. The table heading and the subtotal is specified by the triggered event and the data is sorted before the final output is printed. It also allows to incorporate graphics that can be displayed either as the background or as a part of the form. The background graphics can be suppressed while taking the printout of the form.
SAP Smart Forms was introduced in 1998 to overcome the limitations of SAP Scripts and is superseded by Interactive Forms by Adobe since release 6.40. To know the differences between SAP Smart Forms and SAP Script, click here.
SMARTFORMS is the transaction used to design the smart form layout.
Architecture of SAP Smart Forms
The architecture of the SAP Smart Forms separates application data retrieval from the actual definition of the form.
The following components are used:
- Form Layout: Define the positions of elements on the page
- Form Logic: To read data from the database, to define conditions, and to control the process flow of the form output.
- Individual element: Elements can be Text, Table, Graphics, Address, etc.
- Form Interface: To transfer the data to form definition.
Advantages of SAP Smart Forms
- It does not require any programming language.
- It is configured using graphical tools.
- When the Smart Forms is activated, a function module is generated and when called by the ABAP program, the module interface is used to transfer the data as per the form description.
- Data is retrieved from the static and dynamic table.
- Texts, images, tables, barcodes can be embedded.
- Importing parameters have to be defined to send the data to be printed.
- It can be easily modified using Drag & Drop and Cut & Paste, without writing changing the codes.
- Output can be in the form of Fax, Print, email, or HTML/XML format to a web browser.
- Using generated XML output, Web Publishing is possible.