For some time now I have received conflicting messages about SAP’s form strategy and roadmap, so I was happy when I, during TechEd in Berlin, realized that SAP actually have a form strategy as well as a roadmap for Interactive Forms by Adobe.
What is clear is that Interactive Forms is the form strategy.
Smart Forms and SAPscript are only maintained for the current releases/maintenance strategies, all new forms will be created with Interactive Forms. At the same time SAP is still migrating the old forms and we now have more than 2300 forms available.
SAP’s form strategy:
“The SAP forms strategy is based on SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe (IFbA). This applies to both print and interactive forms.
In this context, most Business Suite solutions have already been converted to the IFbA technology (more than 2300 forms), and new standard SAP forms will be created using IFbA instead of Smart Forms or SAPscript.
SAPscript and Smart Forms shall continue to be supported inline with SAP’s maintenance strategy, thereby ensuring the ability to protect existing customer investment.”
SAP’s three year roadmap for Interactive Forms by Adobe
* Planned availability
This is the current state of planning and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice.
My question is what happens with the next release which is planned for 2012?
Will Smart Forms and SAPscript be discountinued?
If they are discontinued, what will the transition look like?
My concern is the amount of forms (and the state they are in), which need to be migrated when the customers upgrade to the new release. There is no migration tool for SAPscript, and the usability of the Smart Forms migraton tool can be discussed, which only leaves us with the option of “manually” upgrading hundreds and thousands of forms. I have seen SAPscript print programs which are 5000 lines long, and to extract what is still relevant from these programs and re-use them in an Interactive Form is a time consuming process.