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Since this is my very first blog entry on SDN, I first probably should briefly introduce myself. My name is Erwin Tenhumberg, and I recently joined SAP. In my role as an Open Source Program Manager in the Global Ecosystem and Partner Group I’m looking into all kinds of Open Source related topics. Before I joined SAP, I worked at Sun Microsystems where I was deeply involved in Open Source as well. At Sun my focus areas included and the OpenDocument Format (ODF) in addition to things like Open Source business models. In this and future blog entries I want to explain how various SAP products integrate with different open source technologies. In addition, I hope that you will write comments to my blog entries, so that I can get a better understanding of the level of open source technology support that SAP customers and developers would like to see within SAP products. Finally, I will use my blog to report about SAP’s contributions to the Open Source world like SAP’s contributions to Eclipse or the Open Source related investments by SAP Ventures.  Due to my past involvement in and ODF, I was curious to find out if and where the SAP products already support the ISO standard OpenDocument Format. I was happily surprised when I found out that ODF is already supported by the SAP List Viewer component (also known as the ABAP List Viewer or ALV), which is used many many times in all kinds of areas for displaying tabular data in a grid. The SAP List Viewer component allows exporting to ODF spreadsheet files in addition to Microsoft Excel files. This feature is available on systems with release numbers 6.40 and higher and works for all 3 members of the SAP GUI family including the SAP GUI for Java. For more details about the feature please take a look at the SAP Note 876916  (! For example, this SAP Note lists details about supported releases and required support packages.   In order to illustrate how this feature works, I provide some kind of step-by-step tutorial including screenshots below. I first thought about doing a screencast, which I still might decide to do later, but then I realized that it might be easier for others to test the feature, if they can easily follow each single step. But don’t worry! The export feature is very easy to use and intuitive. For the simple test / demo I will use a simple test report that should be available on every system. Thus, it should be easy for everybody to test the feature.   O.k., let’s get started! First, a SAP GUI has to be started, and one has to login into a system. Again, please keep in mind that the release number has to be 6.40 or higher.  image  After the ABAP Editor has been started via the transaction SE38, we enter the report name “BCALV_TEST_GRID” …  image  … and click the “Execute” button:   image   In the following screen we can simply accept the defaults …  image  … and press the “Execute” button again:   image  Now some airline / airfare data is displayed in an SAP List Viewer grid:   image  We can call the export feature simply by clicking the “Export” button from the toolbar right above the grid:   image  Clicking the button brings up a dropdown menu from which we select the top item, i.e. the one called “Spreadsheet”:   image  In the dialog that pops up next, we select the middle option for the creating an / ODF spreadsheet file:   image  Now we have to select a directory and file name for the to-be-exported ODF spreadsheet file:   image  Once we have clicked the “Save” button, gets started and the SAP List Viewer data shows up in the spreadsheet application Calc. Since the application gets started via the mimetype assocation, this export feature should also work with any other application supporting ODF including KOffice or IBM Lotus Symphony. BTW, the ODF export feature of the SAP List Viewer component includes support for sub-totals and totals.  image  In cases where the SAP List Viewer component contains address information, it’s also easily possible to create form letters from the exported data. In order to do so, one simply has to create a new text document in and call the built-in Mail Merge Wizard:  image  In step 3 of the Mail Merge Wizard, …   image  … one simply has to click on the “Select Different Address List…” button …  image  … to add a new address list file by clicking “Add…” …   image  … and selecting the ODF spreadsheet file that we created earlier:   image
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  • Hi Erwin,
      i`m using BASIS 700 and SAP GUI For Java (710rev4), but this feature is not avaliable for me. There additional patch to be installed ?

    PS.: Tks for this info, i looking for this feature for a long time.

  • Edward – what a cool job title (“Open Source Program Manager in the Global Ecosystem & Partner Group”); I hereby dub thee “Open Sorcerer” ;-).  Funny, I use OpenOffice most often with SDN to spell check my blogs.  If there was an interface to launch that editor from Firefox instead of the standard pop-ups that would be awesome.  Just a thought.
    Perhaps we will meet soon?  Jim
  • Hi Erwin;
    I would like to know if there is a way to generate the Ewa’s in solution manager using OpenOffice instead fo MS Word.

    Thanks for you blog.

    • I will look into this, but since I’m still fairly new to SAP, it might take a few days for me to find out what the situation is around EarlyWatch Alerts.

      Best regards,

    • I will look into this, but since I’m still fairly new to SAP, it might take a few days for me to find out what the situation is around EarlyWatch Alerts.

      Best regards,

  • Hello Erwin,
    i surprised that ODF is already supported by SAP.
    Actually i try to create a concept/protoyp for import RFC/BAPI into IBM Symphony Spreadsheet.
    I have some trouble/difficulties with that, may you want here more about that.
    Best regards
  • Hello,
    Very intereting Issue.
    Do you know if it is possible to have the same kind of function in BI.
    I would like to export web query result to openoffice instead of MS Excell ?


  • Hello,
    Very intereting Issue.
    Do you know if it is possible to have the same kind of function in BI.
    I would like to export web query result to openoffice instead of MS Excell ?


  • ALV export to is working fine for our basis 700 sp14 server, but not on our basis 640 sp22 one.

    The note 876916 clearly suggests otherwise…

    We use the latest sapgui (wingui 710 patch 9, javagui 710r6).

    Any ideas on what to look for?

    Menelaos Maglis

  • I save a SAP Report in Spreadsheet format. The file opens with MS Excel without any problem. But when I open the same excel file into Open Office It asks for Character Set – Unicode to import.
    Is there any setting in Open Office or SAP, due to which the character set should not be asked while opening the file in OPen Office.


  • Hi.

    We are swtiching to OpenOffice but we have found no way to execute the option “Export / Export to XXL” en Profit Reports such as KE30 (this option appears in SAPGUI for Windows, both 6 and 7 releases).

    We are on SAP ECC 6.0 / 700/0017 release level and have tested it both in SAPGUI Win 7.10 patch 11 and in Ubuntu 9.04 / SAPGUI for Java 7.10 rev 8. In SAPGUI for Java the option even dont appears.

    We are also suffering the same behavior already described of having OpenOffice (both 2.4 and 3.01) asking for character set when opening an exported spreadsheet, and when exporting to StarOffice as in your example, our result is an XML file shown in OpenOffice Calc as text (with all the file content in the first two rows).

    Any suggestions?


  • Erwin,
    thank you for this great introduction of ODF integration.
    Are there any further plans concerning OO integration? I’m particularly interested in officially supported OO integration into DOI (office document integration).
    Our customer is evaluating the possibility of switching to OO, so the feature request is to view & edit (inplace) ms-office documents with no MSOffice installed on the client (OO only).
    As of now it seems impossible.
  • Hello Erwin,
    I am asking a question more about the OpenSource-to-Microsoft bridge functionality.  Some SAP Solution Manager documents will open automatically ONLY if MS Word is installed.  Can you please advise if SAP is planning a configuration location where Open Office may be used instead?  Please let me known if you prefer that i open an OSS message on this subject.

    Raja Gopalan

    • I would encourage SAP to work with the group that develops Open Office so that Open Office could be used instead of Microsoft Office in the product duet. I was told recently by a Vice President at SAP that there is no reason for SAP to work with Open Office. In fact, it was his impression that it was owned by Oracle. Clearly, there are some people that need to be educated about the licensing aspects associated with open source software. Everywhere I see ties to Microsoft Office or file formats I would like to see open source alternatives. This allows customers to have a choice.
      • Interesting reasoning. There is no reason to work with integration because Oracle owns, whereas there is good reason to work on Microsoft Office integration since that suite uses a free document format.

        I guess that Vice President needs to be told “it’s the document format, stupid”.