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Enabling Form-Based Processing of Business DataLocate this document in the navigation structure


In an SAP system, you can enable business data to be output and input as forms. To enable applications to process data as forms, you create form templates. Within these templates, you define the data fields and their processing logic, as well as the form layout.


The result of form processing is a form that is ready for output, containing business data. As well as the business data that is displayed in the form and cannot be changed, a form can also contain input fields for interactive data collection. The form is a file (for example, a PDF). Depending on the application scenario, it can be output by an application or displayed online as part of an application.

Application Scenarios for Forms

Form-based processing of business data can be used in various different application development environments. The following table shows the uses of forms in an SAP system.

Form Types by Application Scenario



Output form for printing, archiving, or sending by e-mail

  • Form definition in Form Builder or ABAP Workbench

  • Application-controlled output

Mass output of invoices

Interactive offline forms for sending by e-mail

  • Form definition in Form Builder or ABAP Workbench

  • Offline data entry

  • Inbound processing of returned forms

Offline entry of electricity meter reading in a form which is received by e-mail and returned once completed

Interactive online form for direct access with logon to system

  • Form definition in Web Dynpro development environment (form is part of a Web Dynpro application)

  • Data entry online or offline (after download)

  • Inbound processing of completed forms

Display, entry, and correction of customer data in system

Overview of Form Definition and Processing

The following graphic illustrates how forms are defined, created, and output with the help of the form processing framework.

Form Processing Steps


(1) Business data that is accessed by an application

An application has access to certain business data. You define the data that the application is to transfer to a form in an interface description for the form templates (form interface).

(2) Form template

You define a form template based on a form interface. You define the following in the form template:

  • Data fields of the form interface (and other fields) that you want the form layout to contain

  • Processing logic of data fields

  • Form layout with data fields as placeholders for data to be entered

    To create form layouts, you use the Adobe LiveCycle Designer in the SAP system. For output forms, you can also integrate form layouts created using other layout editors into form templates. SAP provides an enhancement spot for this purpose.

(3) Application calls the form template and transfers the data

To output business data in a form, the application calls the form template and uses the form interface to transfer the business data to be used. You must use a function module to set up the form template call in the application program.

(4) Form processing

Depending on the layout technology you are using, the form processing framework calls the services for form processing. The services use the form template and the business data transferred by the application to create a form that is ready for output, for example an invoice in PDF format.

If the layout of the form templates was designed using Adobe LiveCycle Designer , the form templates are processed by Adobe Document Services (ADS) installed in Web AS Java.

(5) Form output

The output of forms for printing, archiving, or sending by e-mail is controlled by the application. Online forms are available as part of Web Dynpro applications in the Internet browser.

Inbound processing of interactive forms

You can use forms with input fields for interactive data collection by users or customers. Data is entered either online (with logon to the system) or offline in a form received by e-mail or in a form downloaded from the system.

During inbound processing the system extracts the data from the returned or uploaded form and returns it to the application in XML format. The application updates the data.


Inbound processing only supports forms created using Adobe LiveCycle Designer .


Providing Output Forms and Interactive Offline Forms

In the Form Builder , define form templates for output forms (for printing, archiving, or sending by e-mail) and for interactive offline forms (e-mail)

Link the form templates with the applications that output business data as forms and prepare the form output. Prepare inbound processing for interactive forms.

More information: Providing Output Forms and Interactive Offline Forms

Providing Interactive Online Forms as Part of Web Dynpro Applications

In the Web Dynpro development environment , define form templates for forms that you want to integrate into Web Dynpro applications.

More information: Providing Interactive Online Forms in Web Dynpro Applications