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SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe

Frequently Asked Questions


What is SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe? What is the difference between these names: SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe, IFbA, Interactive Forms, PDF-Based Print Forms, PDF Forms, Adobe Forms? Do we need a license? What are the differences between Smart Forms and Adobe Forms? How to migrate a SAPscript or Smart Form to an Adobe Form? What are the steps to develop an Adobe Form on ABAP stack? How to retrieve filled in data from an Interactive Form? What are the technical prerequisites to use Adobe Forms in SAP? Where to find Scripting documentation? (javascript or formcalc)

What is SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe?


Excerpt from SAP library: 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. (in that last case, it is called a PDF-Based Print Form)

What is the difference between these names: SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe, IFbA, Interactive Forms, PDF-Based Print Forms, PDF Forms, Adobe Forms?
IFbA is the abbreviation of SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe, it is not used by SAP, but by the SDN community IFbA are often referred as PDF forms and Adobe forms. SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe is the name of the technology. This name is sometimes disturbing as forms may be non-interactive Depending on the context where the name is used, Interactive Form may refer either to all types of forms using IFbA technology (even non-interactive forms), or only to forms which have interactive capability To avoid ambiguities, use IFbA (or SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe), or Adobe Forms, or PDF Forms, to refer to the technology PDF-Based Print Forms is the name used by SAP to distinguish non-interactive forms from interactive forms. Technically, a non-interactive form has the Interactive flag switched off, it does not contain any input field (and thus, programs do not have logic to read the values of input fields).

Do we need a license?
Interactive forms need a license if you use them productively (see Note 750784 - SAP Interactive Forms: Licenses) If you use Adobe Reader to display PDF-Based Print Forms via application virtualization (like Citrix Metaframe Server/XenApp), you may need an Adobe license too

What are the differences between Smart Forms and Adobe Forms?
For both of them, SAP dynamically creates a function module that must be called from an ABAP program to generate the form In Smart Forms, it is possible to add ABAP code during generation of the form, that is not possible with Adobe Forms It is possible to add javascript or FormCalc code in Adobe Forms, which is executed during the generation of the form Other differences are indicated in Note 1009567 Functional differences SAP Interactive Forms/Smart Forms Smart forms Vs PDF print forms - pros and cons, by Francois Gendebien, 2007/04/30 Use smartforms compatible interfaces with PDF forms, by Francois Gendebien, 2007/03/16

How to migrate a SAPscript or Smart Form to an Adobe Form?


SAP provides 2 tools, one to convert from SAPscript to Smart Form, and one from Smart Form to Adobe Form, both can be called from SMARTFORMS transaction Nevertheless, in this forum, Markus Meisl said that SAP recommends to analyze and create from scratch, as smart forms are usually very complex About migrating from SAPscript to Smart Form, see Smart Forms FAQ See also this answer in forum from Matthias Zeller about migrating from SAPscript to Adobe Form SAP library - Smart Forms - Migrating Smart Forms

and SAP library - Smart Forms - Notes About Migrating Smart Forms See also the answer above about differences between Smart Forms and Adobe Forms

What are the steps to develop an Adobe Form on ABAP stack?


Start transaction code SFP, create an interface With this same transaction, create the Adobe Form From your ABAP, call the interactive form as follows (see also SAP Library - PDF-Based Forms - Calling Forms in an Application Program, which contains an example) 1. Data retrieval and processing : SELECT ... FROM ... etc. 2. Find out name of generated function module from the Adobe form name : CALL FUNCTION 'FP_FUNCTION_MODULE_NAME' ... 3. Start form processing : CALL FUNCTION 'FP_JOB_OPEN' ... 4. Call function module dynamically: CALL FUNCTION <generated function module> ... 5. End form processing : CALL FUNCTION 'FP_JOB_CLOSE' ...

How to retrieve filled in data from an Interactive Form?


It depends if the interactive form is offline or online (web dynpro) Offline : The interactive form is either sent to the user by email, or downloaded by the user from a portal on his laptop So, the user is (usually) not connected to SAP at the time he fills in data using Adobe Reader. Some interaction with the SAP system may still be achieved using Web Services. When he has finished with the Adobe form, he sends it back to the SAP system, or he/any user connects to the SAP system and uploads the adobe form. A Java or ABAP program reads the form and extracts filled in data using Adobe Document Services. Online : The user displays and fills the interactive form via a Web Dynpro (which itself may be accessed via a portal or Web Application Server) The Web Dynpro interacts with the Adobe form using the Context nodes and Bindings

What are the technical prerequisites to use Adobe Forms in SAP?


License : see question above Configuration SAP NetWeaver 6.40 Java Stack installed Adobe Document Services (ADS) installed on the Java Stack If using ABAP, RFC communication must be established between ABAP and Java stacks Developers Adobe LiveCycle Designer 7.1 is installed on your machine ( Desktop / Laptop) Adobe Reader 7.* is installed SAP GUI (see Note 864634) 620 Patch level 56 or higher 640 Patch level 12 or higher 710 any patch level Users Adobe Reader 7.*

Where to find Scripting documentation? (javascript or formcalc)


Useful documentation for developing Interactive Forms, by Juergen Hauser, 2007/05/30. XML Schema-based and WSDL-based Data Connections in Interactive Forms, by Juergen Hauser, 2008/06/02. Which one should we use for calling web services from an Interactive Form. Accessing data nodes in SAP Interactive Forms, by Juergen Hauser, 2007/09/03 Juergen explains how to access form fields from inside the adobe form (either binding, or javascript or formcalc), and what are xfa.datasets.data, $record, $data, etc. Some thoughts on validations for SAP Interactive Forms, by Juergen Hauser, 2007/08/31 Dynamically populating the email address of an email button on a SAP Interactive Form, by Juergen Hauser, 2007/06/03

Growing (Rich) Text Fields in Adobe Interactive Forms, by Juergen Hauser, 2006/03/01 How do i play with access and presence script functions for UI elements in Adobe forms?, by Juergen Hauser Some common mistakes that happen using tables in Adobe forms, by Juergen Hauser

Adobe Reader Enhanced Security


Using ABAP web services with enhanced security

Resources
Interactive Form by Adobe - SDN Home Page (FAQ, forum, etc.) SAP Library - SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe SAP Interactive Forms PDF-Based Print Forms Blogs A PDF form or not a PDF form - that is the often the question, by Markus Meisl, 2006/12/22. Discusses when we should use a PDF form. Offline possibilities of Adobe forms, by Francois Gendebien Hey I have some problems in my Adobe development.., by Dezso Pap Some more problems..., by Dezso Pap https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/8185, by Dezso Pap, 2008/01/25 The most important SAP Notes for SAP Interactive Forms, by Markus Meisl, 2006/11/03 Performance of Adobe forms..., by Robert Eijpe ADS SSL configuration journal I. / ABAP -> JAVA \/, by Dezso Pap, 2008/01/25 (part II made as a wiki, see below) Wikis Configuring SSL with certificates for the ADS Part II., by Dezso Pap, 2008/09/01 (continuation of blog above) SSL configuration WD JAVA or BI, by Dezso Pap, 2008/09/04 Server side digital signature on a document, by Dezso Pap, 2009/04/20 Rasterizing fonts in ADS 701 or later , by Dezso Pap, 2012/02/28