Using Adobe offline forms in tasks is a convenient way to design a collaborative process where:
Certain tasks are executed offline
Offline form completion and submission do not require logging in the portal
Paper-based processes need to be replaced or facilitated
Process input depends on information collected offline
Business Process Management (BPM) enables you to integrate Adobe offline forms in your business process by wrapping them in tasks in the process composer, which is the BPM design time. The offline form is assigned to a certain task as a UI component. Form templates are stored in a dedicated Enterprise Content Management (ECM) development component (DC), the content of which you access through the SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio once the ECM DC is deployed.
Forms in BPM are schema-based. The Adobe LiveCycle Designer imports form data from the XSD schema and creates a form template, which is an XDP file. Forms are then sent as a PDF attachment in an e-mail message sent to potential owners of the task. At runtime, the actual owner of the task submits the form as a PDF attachment via e-mail back to the BPM framework. Even though there may be a number of potential owners of the task, only one user completes it.
The following sections provide a detailed explanation of the related concepts, form design, and use in BPM:
Designing the form template
Storing and accessing the offline form
Assigning the offline form to a task
Configuring e-mail submission of forms
Runtime and task management
To use Adobe forms, you need to properly configure Adobe Document Services (ADS) and your user's reading rights credentials. For more information, see Configuring Adobe Document Services for Form Processing (Java) .
You need the following installations to use ADS and Adobe forms in processes:
A local installation of Adobe LiveCycle Designer (ALD) 8.1 or higher
A local installation of Adobe Reader 8.1 or higher or a full version of Adobe Acrobat
You can download ALD from SAP Service Marketplace at:(from the left-hand side navigation) and then search for the following:
Material number 01200314692000000613 for Adobe LiveCycle Designer 8.1 and use the file SapAldSetup.exe from the downloaded archive file 01200314692000000613.sda .
For compatibility reasons, you need to use Adobe Reader 8.1 with this ALD version.
You can download Adobe Reader free of charge from the Adobe Web site.
To browse the content of the deployed ECM DC, your user must have the SAP_FPINFRACALLER UME role. For more information, see:
The following section describes the steps you need to complete to design a form template, use it in a process, and submit it as an e-mail attachment.
1. Designing and Storing the Form Template
You store form templates in a dedicated ECM DC which you create first. For schema-based Adobe forms, you define the form data structure at design time using the XML Schema Designer. You determine the form data with the XML schema and save it as an XSD file. Next, you create an XDP file which you can edit in the ALD. You bind the XDP file to the XML schema and you can further modify the form data and appearance by adding buttons and other elements, for example a picture. The association (bindings) between the field and the form context entry is automatically maintained and can be used for prefilling the form. Only template elements from the XML schema can be prefilled. You can also simply drag and drop a form context entry into the form template to create the relevant input field.
Finally, you have to build and deploy the ECM DC to transport its content into a runtime repository and to be able to browse its content and assign the form to a task.
For more information, see:
2. Assigning the Adobe Offline Form to a Task
In design time, after creating a human activity and assigning a task to it, you define a UI component by starting the Offline Form Import Wizard . Next, to assign a form to the task, you browse the ECM repository and select a form template file and an XML schema file to which the form template is bound. In addition to the interface description of the form template's XML schema, the task interface in BPM has form-related input and output parameters separated on a different hierarchical level used in offline form processing, for example e-mail addresses of recipients, text of message, locale, time, and others.
For more information, see Assigning an Offline Form to a Task .
3. Configuring E-mail Submission of Forms
You receive and submit forms as attachments to e-mail messages. BPM framework sends a notification e-mail message to each potential owner of the task. However, there is only one processor of the form who fills and submits the offline form. All other potential owners of the task are notified by e-mail that the task is already completed. The submitted form must be sent to a configured BPM dedicated mailbox. This can be supported by the use of a submit button for e-mail delivery inside the form.
To easily configure the mail and server connectivity properties for BPM notifications and offline forms, you use the Configuration Wizard in SAP NetWeaver Administrator.
For more information, see:
4. Runtime and Task Management
After the process is initiated, all tasks related to it can be monitored in the Task Management , you can view details of task instances and check the status of the offline form task. The offline form task can have one of the following statuses:. You can check the business log and all important events in the history of the process, as well as in the task. For example, in
Expired - when the task reached the due date
Active state begins with the task initiation and continues until the task is successfully completed or expires. When the potential owner claims and submits the form and it is processed without any errors, the task state becomes Successfully completed .
You can also download as attachments the forms that are sent and submitted back. To do that, in SAP NetWeaver Administrator navigate to , select a task that has an offline form assigned to it and use the Attachments tab to download the form.
For more information, see: