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Portuguese translation to follow.

 

Since last June 22nd, SAP has released under General Availability (GA) the latest version for its NF-e (Brazilian electronic invoicing) solution: SAP NFE 10.0. It had been in Ramp-up since December 13th, 2010, and since the successful go-live of the first of its ramp-up projects, it has been made generally available.

 

But what has changed in this newer version? Well, first of all, the version itself. 🙂 Lots of people have asked why the number went all the way from 1.0 up to 10.0! The answer is rather simple though, it has nothing to do with the (real) fact that the solution has improved 1000% (hehe) – the point is that, as part of the SAP Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Suite, SAP NFE was also part of the GRC Suite Harmonization project, under which all GRC products were redesigned & relabeled as 10.0. That’s why we have Access Control 10.0, Process Control 10.0 and so on…

 

Secondly, the product name has changed altogether. The first version used to be called, in its full name, SAP GRC Nota Fiscal Eletronica 1.0, or SAP NFE 1.0 for shorts. Now, also under the GRC harmonization, its official full name has been changed to SAP BusinessObjects Electronic Invoicing for Brazil 10.0. Pretty fancy, ain’t it?? The short version remains rather the same, SAP NFE 10.0. Folks down here in Brazil, who have been used to call the product just as “GRC”, will have to get used to the new name… or not. Power to the people!

 

But what has really changed underneath?? Is it the same thing with a new name? Not at all!!!

 

History

In simple terms, the first version of the product (covered in SAP GRC NFE 1.0 – New Solution Introduction & Implemention Best Practices) was aimed at meeting with the requirements of the issuing of electronic invoices by the companies selling (or returning, importing etc.) goods. For any scenario that demanded an invoice (or Nota Fiscal, in Brazilian terms) to be issued, it needed to be converted into the electronic format defined by the government and processed through a predefined set of steps in order to comply with the legal requirements. Only after getting the online approval from the government for that particular invoice, the company would be allowed to ship the goods.

 

This was well achieved by the SAP NFE 1.0 solution. It revolutionized the way the Brazilian SAP customers were managing electronic invoices, in terms of integration to the SAP ERP as well as the stability & scability that only a solution based on the SAP NetWeaver platform could offer. Being the best of breed solution in its niche, SAP NFE is now present in more than 1/3 of the SAP installed base in Brazil, even though it was released later than most of the competitive solutions.

 

However, the experience that SAP gathered with the NF-e projects allied to the business insight that only SAP has, made it possible for our engineers & consultants to perceive a couple of bottlenecks that were happening in the process.

 

While the outgoing part of the process (i.e. selling the goods) was considerably efficient, the adoption of electronic invoicing brought serious drawbacks to the other side of the supply chain: the companies pruchasing the goods were having a much harder time processing these incoming electronic invoices, due to new legal requirements which were specific to the NF-es.

 

The new Incoming piece

So, with the experience gathered in SAP’s 300+ implementations of SAP NFE among the Brazilian customers, our development engineers & architects were able to come up with a solution that would make the life of the companies purchasing the goods much easier. Instead of having a bigger burden because of the electronic document, the solution SAP has come up with is able to actually take advantage of the fact that the process is based on such electronic documents and reduce the overall average time spent in the fiscal validation of these incoming invoices by 7/8!

 

So, now, the SAP NFE solution is comprised of two pieces, or “modules”:

  • SAP NFE, Outbound: the classic feature of SAP NFE, best of breed NF-e issuing system for SAP ERP customers in the market;
  • SAP NFE, Incoming: leveraging the NF-e capabilities in order to improve the procurement & logisitc process for the Brazilian customers.

 

SAP NFE 10.0

 

Much different from the SAP NFE Outbound piece, though, the Inbound piece is not just a mere transactional message handler anymore. It is tightly integrated to the SAP ERP invoice verification & material movement processes, leveraging the actual Business Users to migrate from the old-fashioned transactions into modern web-based mashed-up interfaces, which integrate in a single workplace all the information the users need to do their jobs.

 

More specific details about the new SAP NFE Incoming Automation process will be explored further in a future blog.

 

What’s new for the Outbound process

While the main feature of the new version is indeed the Incoming process, the Oubtound process has not been neglected by the developers and it has been remodeled and improved since SAP NFE 1.0.

 

There were 3 major enhancements, besides several other minor improvements (some of which have been downported to the 1.0 codeline):

 

  • Simplification of the architecture, with the complete removal of the SLL-NFE-JWS Java component: now, the XML digital signature is fully handled by the SLL-NFE ABAP component (leveraging new features of the 7.02 NetWeaver platform), what has reduced the complexity & TCO of the solution, as well as increased the overall message throughput by 30+%;
  • New Mass Download UI: an old recurring request of existing customers, now it’s possible to download a set of XML files (filtered by date, for example) in a single step;
  • Standardized look & feel of the UIs: the UIs have been aligned with the more classical web dynpro look & feel of other SAP applications. They were also modified to make use of the POWL (Personal Object Worklist) Web Dynpro framework, leveraging the use of NW Business Client as an alternative frontend option.

 

All in all, it continues to be the best of breed solution for SAP ERP customers to issue Brazilian electronic invoices, yet more powerful. It will continue to grow both in terms of robustness and functionalities, along with the Incoming piece.

 

One important message to all SAP NFE 1.0 customers out there: the SAP NFE 1.0 licenses you’ve acquired are equivalent to the SAP NFE Outbound piece, no matter what the version. So, if you want to leverage the new goodies of the Oubound process that come in 10.0, it doesn’t require any additional licensing. It’s possible to migrate your existing NFE 1.0 installation to NFE 10.0 – Outbound. The Inbound piece, on the other hand, does need to be licensed additionally, since it covers an entirely new business process that was never addressed in 1.0.

 

Summary

In short, starting from version 10.0, SAP NFE now comprises two business processes (or “modules”) within the same product: the Outbound part, for issuing NF-es, and the Inbound part, for receiving NF-es.

 

We at SAP are pretty sure that, with these latest additions, SAP has put NFE even more into the leadership position of a governance & compliance solution for NF-e in Brazil, helping our customers to meet the legal requirements and, at the same time, to improve the procure-to-pay business process at these companies.

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38 Comments

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  1. Samiullah Qureshi
    Hello Henrique,

    I am not sure whether this is right place for the question.

    We are implementing the NFE 10.0. We have imported the XI content for the NFE 10.0 in ESR.

    Now we have to start the PI configuration for the same. I have found four namespaces in the XI content for NFE 10.0:

    http://sap.com/xi/CTE/103
    http://sap.com/xi/NFE/005a
    http://sap.com/xi/NFE/006
    http://sap.com/xi/NFE/common

    I found the scenarios that we want to configure in two namespaces
    http://sap.com/xi/NFE/005a and http://sap.com/xi/NFE/006

    I am not sure objects from which namespace to be used in PI ID configuration.

    Could you please put some light on this?

    Regards,
    Sami.

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    1. Henrique Pinto Post author
      Hi Sami,

      it’s ok to talk about it here, no problem.
      You need to use configure the integration scenarios in the “http://sap.com/xi/NFE/006” namespace, for the NF-e scenarios.

      Also, make sure you have the latest version of the SLL-NFE SAPBO SLL-NFE 10.0 XI Content. In the one in the internal system, I can see the “http://sap.com/xi/CTE/104” namespace as well. But if you’re considering to implement the receiving of CT-es, you’ll probably still use the 103 namespace.

      Cheers,
      Henrique.

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        1. Farooq Hussain

          Hi Samiullah,

          How you did configuration for namespace http://sap.com/xi/NFE/006” as it was already existing from NFe 1.0. Was it a fresh one or used the existing? Please explain how you did configuration by differentiating namespace for NFe 10.0 with NFe 1.0, which is same in both the versions.

          Thank you,

          Farooq

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          1. Samiullah Qureshi

            Hi Farooq,

            In my opinion you have to do following:

            First of all you have to import the BPMs of Newer SWCV(NFe10.0) into your Integration Directory to be used for scenarios with Authorities. If you already have the BPMs for NFe1.0 available in your integration directory, then you can use different names for the BPMs(Integration Scenarios) in integration directory(I have used suffix _NFE10 to the BPMs name).

            Then use the Integration scenarios available in NFE 10.0 standard content to generate the configuration objects using the new BPMs.

            There will few objects(Receiver Determinations etc.) that will be reused(where GRC system is sender system). For those objects you need to change the SWCV to NFE10.0 as explained by Hanrique.

            After above changes it worked for me.

            Regards,

            Sami.

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      1. Farooq Hussain

        Hi Henrique,

        You say it is OK to ask here? I am at the same juncture where Samiullah was. We have NFE 10.0 just imported in system. My query is about next step, configuration.

        Do we really need to configure or the system will automatically take the existing configurations as in NFE 1.0 because namespace is same. If we have to configure, we have the namespace http://sap.com/xi/NFE/006“, Will the system treat this as that belongs to NFE10.0.


        What exactly happening here. Please elaborate on the behavior of namespace in NFe10.0 & NFe 1.0 & configuration for NFe 10.0.

        Thank you,

        Farooq.

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        1. Henrique Pinto Post author

          Hi Farooq,

          even though the namespace is the same, the SWCV (software component version) is different (from 1.0 to 10.0), and hence you really need to rerun the configuration wizards.

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  2. Raoul Shiro

    Hello Henrique,

    We are in the process of upgrading from SAP NFE 1.0 to SAP NFE 10.0

    I have a question regarding SAP NFE 10.0 architecture :

    Currently on SAP NFE 1.0 we have deployed the “one instance architecture” ;

    All  ABAP & Java NFE have been installed on SAP PI 7.0 ( based on Netweaver 7.0), that solution is briefly mentionned in one of your previous blog (even though you mentionned that it was not really recommended)

    Now we SAP NFE 10.0 we need to upgrade SAP netweaver AS ABAP 7.02 (PI abap stack) in order to deploy GRC suite 10.0.

    That would mean that the PI j2ee stack would also be upgraded to J2ee 7.02.

    I have one question ;

    Is the “one instance” scenario still supported with NFE 10.0 ?

    Thank you very much

    Best Regards

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    1. Henrique Pinto Post author

      Yes, it is still possible to deploy the “all in one” architecture.

      Specifically, AS Java is not relevant anymore for NFE since the SLL-NFE-JWS component does not exist anymore – in 10.0, the digital signature is handled by the ABAP layer.

      Of course, AS Java will still be an inherent part of PI 702.

      The problem of this architecture is that you won’t be able to update your PI to the newer versions (7.3x), being limited to the same codeline as NFE (7.0x, x >= 2).

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  3. Ole Mugaas

    Hi

    Thanks for the blog. I’ll pop in a question as well as I am not sure how the signature service can be utilized. We are currently signing on a different server than PI, but want to move the signature to PI. We don’t have the DigitalSignature service interface on PI at the moment – does this come with one of the SWC?

    Do we also have an opportunity to sign the messages in the backend system?

    Thank you

    regards Ole

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  4. Droney Will

    Hi Henrique,

    We upgraded from 1.0 to 10.0 and I have a question regarding the Digital Certificate;

    We created the .pse using sapgenpse and imported it in STRUST. Do we need to send the

    ..p10 file to the CA/Brazilian Govt to be signed and imported back in to the .pse for it to work? We have an existing cert from them in the .p7b format that was used in the old Java system but are confused if we can use it with the .pse in the abap 10.0 system ?

    Best Regards..

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  5. Henrique Pinto Post author

    If you go for the standard SAP solution, yes, that is the recommended architecture. Just not sure what you mean by “standalone PI” – you could use any existing PI 7+ instances you already have in your landscape.

    There is no official sizing recommendations for NFE sizing. Our presales team in SAP Brasil has developed a benchmark locally, so my recommendation would also to get your customer in touch with our local sales reps so that they might request this information.

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        1. Henrique Pinto Post author

          Actually, this is the 1.0 version help (you couldn’t say just by looking at the URL since you can’t have dots in the URL). I do agree the URLs are a bit misleading.

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  6. Prasanthi Chavala

    Hi Henrique,

    Very nice blog!!

    Could you please provide me the link where i can get more specific details on SAP NFE Incoming Automation process?

    Thanks,

    Prasanthi

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  7. Jackson Donadel

    Great blog

     

    But I´m confused about implementation of the new SP 13 into our landscape, specially in put to work the new scenarios like NFe Download and NFe List.

    It´s assumed I need some previous knowledge that I don´t have.

     

    There is some training track for this?

    I´m a ABAP senior and a PI junior.

    Thank you.

    (0) 
    1. Henrique Pinto Post author

      Not really, SAP training for NFE has been really lacking, specially regarding newer functionalities (automation, manifesto do destinatario, etc.). I’d say to follow up in the space (with a question). And notice the topics are not really technical but rather functional – it’d be better to have someone with fiscal knowledge.

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      1. Sanjay Madhavan

        Hi Henrique,

        Your blog on NFE was a real eye opener. 🙂

        We have a migration project ( 7.0 to 7.3) and NFE is involved in it.

        How do we approach NFE migration?

        Should the content be exported/imported or should it to be downloaded fresh for 7.3 system?

        What would the impact be?

        Note : NFE 10.0 is used

        Kindly let me know.

        Regards,

        Sanjay

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        1. Henrique Pinto Post author

          Hi Sanjay,

          is the SLL-NFE Add-On installed in the same instance as PI?

          If so, I’d say this is a proper moment for your company to consider separating them, so that in future PI migrations, you don’t need to consider NFE objects as well.

          Nevertheless, be it on a new separate instance or the new PI instance, there is no standard NFE migration tool. You’ll need to figure out which tables to move and move them on your own (basically all tables with the /XNFE/* prefix).

          Additionally, is it PI 7.30 or 7.31? If 7.31, I’d consider changing the integration pattern to AEX instead of ccBPMs, since it’s much more performatic. You can find more info in SAP Note 1743455.

          Best regards,

          Henrique.

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          1. Nabendu Sen

            Hi Henrique,

            First of all thanks for sharing these information.

            We are currently working on PI 7.1 Enhancement Pack 1 SPS11 and we have a requirement to add NFE 10.0 in our landscape. But we also have plan to upgrade our PI system to 7.3 EHP 1 Java only. So logically we should use AEX instead of ccBPM.

            Do you know whether AEX components mentioned in SAP Note 1743455 will work with PI 7.11 SP 11 or not? I am really confused.

            Regards,

            Nabendu.

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            1. Henrique Pinto Post author

              The Adapter Modules that are used by AEX are not present in 7.11.

              If you want to set it up now, you’ll need to use the ccBPM based scenarios and change that to AEX once you move to PI 7.31 Java-only.

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              1. Nabendu Sen

                Thanks a lot Henrique for clarification. Appreciate your quick response. We are going to implement NFE in our landscape with PI 7.11, so pretty much sure that I am coming back with lot of questions in this forum.

                Regards,

                Nabendu.

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  8. Christoph Jakobeit

    Nice Blog!

    I have just a question regarding the communication interfaces between NFE<->PI.

    I know the connection type is HTTP. But i cannot find the prefixes, which have to  defined in SM59 in NFE an PI system.

    PI –> NFE: /sap/xi/engine?type=entry???

    NFE–>PI: ????

    Moreover do i still need to assign IE in SXMB_ADM on NFE Core?

    Thanks for you input,

    Reagds Christoph

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    1. Henrique Pinto Post author

      Hi Chris,

      sorry for not replying earlier.

      The connection details remain more or less the same as in NFE 1.0, so I’d say to refer to that blog (linked in the beginning of this one). But in summary, NFE -> PI you don’t need a channel (since it’s a proxy, it’ll go automatically to the integration engine), and PI -> NFE you use a HTTP destination, referred to in a XI channel.

      And yes, you do need to assign a HTTP Destination pointing to IE in SXMB_ADM -> Integration Engine Configuration.

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  9. Indu Khurana

    Hi Henrique!

    Your blog clarified a lot of things regarding NF-e.Thank you.

    We are in process of implementingthe same in our landscape.

    Infact I have configured almost all the configuration scenrarion in SAP PI but I have imported the process inetgration scenarios from namespace 5a not 6, so does it make any differenec as I can see that service interfaces are the ones I require.

    Secondly, for the B2B scenarios which send the cancelled NF-e to the receiver, a mailpackage inbound interface has been mentioned in one of the refernce guide i received from client.But I can not find any such interface in any of  namespaces in ESR.

    Could you please suggest!

    Thanks!

    Indu Khurana.

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    1. Henrique Pinto Post author

      Hi Indu,

      you should use the latest namespace, since it’s the only one being updated with the latest changes. Namespace 005a is deprecated is most likely will lead to communication issues.

      The cancellation scenario is deprecated, the cancellation business process is now fulfilled as an event. You then use the event B2B scenarios.

      Best,

      Henrique.

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