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Send HTML Mail using Smartforms

Hi everyone, in this blog I will share my two cents worth in sending notification email in SAP.

Business scenarios

In my project, I have to write a customized Web Dynpro Application to facilitate a business process for user. Most of the activities in this business process is     about Approval, with different layers of Approver. After each Approver makes an action (Approve/Reject), notification emails have to be sent to relevant parties.

The total different emails will have to be sent is more than 10. I have to find an effective way to send out the emails.


Even though there are more than 10 email contents, more or less they have the same structures. <<Header>><<Body>><<Footer>>

E.g. <<Footer>> is always like “This is a generated computer message. Please do not reply.”

This means if I find an effective way to group the email and write the code, maintenance will be much more easier for me if user requires any changes in the

future. I start Google and search for ideas on SCN. Some of the solutions I found:

E.g. – Write email content in the code, make use of Text Elements

       – Use SO10 to write email content

All of the solutions I found did not meet my criteria of structuring Email Contents for easy maintenance.

This is when I came to think of using Smartforms. Smartforms with its Control Flow and Condition will help me in achieving my objective. I just need to create a Smartform to use as Email Templates for all of my notification.

Generally, the solution will look like, I call Smartforms through my code –> pass the parameters (such as Which template I want to used? Content of that      template?) –> Received back the content, do something with it –> Send Mail.

Technical details

Firstly I have to create my Email Templates through Smartforms. I will structure my Email Templates using Smartforms, by creating new Folder, new Conditions.


With Conditions tab, we can decide which content to be shown:


We can even make use of HTML Tag to write HTML Mail Content, e.g. <br/> for line break, <a> tag for URL


After that, I just need to activate the Smartform. From my Web Dynpro side, let say a method in Assistance Class, I will call my Smartforms, passing the parameters indicated the template I will used, any necessary contents for the email.

After calling the Smartforms, it will return a structure of type SSFCRESCL that keeps the content in a OTF field.


In Debug mode, we noticed that the OTF data is readable, with content of the email and some weird numbers.


We need to send a HTML email, using method cl_document_bcs=>create_document. The i_text parameter is a table of type SOLI_TAB, and the underlying data structure is just Character.

Our job now is to convert from OTF to SOLI while still keeping the correct content of the email.

First we will convert the OTF table to TLINE

call function 'CONVERT_OTF'
     format                = 'ASCII'
     max_linewidth    = 132
     otf                    = ls_job_output-otfdata
     lines                = lt_lines
     err_max_linewidth         = 1
     err_format                     = 2
     err_conv_not_possible = 3
     err_bad_otf                   = 4
     others                           = 5.
 if sy-subrc <> 0.
 * Implement suitable error handling here


Look much more readable, isn’t it? Now all we have to do is to convert it to SOLI by deleting few redundant lines.

DELETE lt_lines WHERE tdline EQ space.
LOOP AT lt_lines INTO ls_line.
   ls_soli = ls_line-tdline.
   APPEND ls_soli TO lt_soli.
   CLEAR ls_soli.


Perfect! We can now use this content to send out the email.

     lo_document = cl_document_bcs=>create_document(
         i_type        = 'HTM'
         i_subject   = 'Mail Subject'
         i_text         = lt_soli ).

Written with HTML in Smartforms, out Email content can look like this.


Source Code

*---Constant declaration
constants: lc_sf_htm_mail type string value 'ZSF_SMART_FORM_NAME'.
*---Data declaration
  data: lo_send_request type ref to cl_bcs,
        lo_document     type ref to cl_document_bcs,
                    recipient       type ref to if_recipient_bcs,
                    bcs_exception   type ref to cx_bcs.
  data: lt_lines type table of tline,
              ls_line  type tline,
        lt_soli  type soli_tab,
        ls_soli  type soli.
  data: lv_fname      type rs38l_fnam,
                    ls_job_output type ssfcrescl. "Structure to return value at the end of form printing
  data: ls_ctrl_form  type ssfctrlop, "Smart Form Control Structure
        ls_output_opt type ssfcompop. "Smart Form Transfer Options
*---Pass data to Smartforms to receive itab of HTML Email
  "Spool parameters
  ls_output_opt-tdimmed = 'X'.      "Print Immediately (Print Parameters)
  ls_output_opt-tddelete = 'X'.     "Delete After Printing (Print Parameters)
  ls_output_opt-tdlifetime = 'X'.   "Spool Retention Period (Print Parameters)
  ls_output_opt-tddest = 'LOCL'.    "Spool: Output device
  ls_output_opt-tdprinter = 'SWIN'. "Spool: Device type name
  ls_ctrl_form-no_dialog = 'X'.    "SAP Smart Forms: General Indicator
  ls_ctrl_form-preview = 'X'.      "Print preview
  ls_ctrl_form-getotf = 'X'.       "Return of OTF table. No printing, display, or faxing
  ls_ctrl_form-langu = 'EN'.       "Language key
  ls_ctrl_form-device = 'PRINTER'. "Output device
  "Get Smart Form Function Module Name
  call function 'SSF_FUNCTION_MODULE_NAME'
      formname           = lc_sf_htm_mail
      fm_name            = lv_fname
      no_form            = 1
      no_function_module = 2
      others             = 3.
  if sy-subrc <> 0.
    ev_msg = 'Error Sending Email'.
  "Call Smart Form Function Module
  call function lv_fname
      control_parameters = ls_ctrl_form
      output_options     = ls_output_opt
      iv_staff_name      = iv_staff_name
      iv_role            = iv_role
      iv_action          = iv_action
      job_output_info    = ls_job_output
      formatting_error   = 1
      internal_error     = 2
      send_error         = 3
      user_canceled      = 4
      others             = 5.
  if ls_job_output-otfdata is initial.
    ev_msg = 'Error Sending Email'.
  "Convert OTF to TLINE
  call function 'CONVERT_OTF'
      format                = 'ASCII'
      max_linewidth         = 132
      otf                   = ls_job_output-otfdata
      lines                 = lt_lines
      err_max_linewidth     = 1
      err_format            = 2
      err_conv_not_possible = 3
      err_bad_otf           = 4
      others                = 5.
  if sy-subrc <> 0.
    ev_msg = 'Error Sending Email'.
  "Remove empty lines
  delete lt_lines where tdline eq space.
  "Convert itab of HTML Email to itab of sending format in class CL_BCS
  loop at lt_lines into ls_line.
    ls_soli = ls_line-tdline.
    append ls_soli to lt_soli.
    clear ls_soli.
  "Instantinate CL_BCS and specify options
  try .
      "Create persistent
      lo_send_request = cl_bcs=>create_persistent( ).
      lo_document = cl_document_bcs=>create_document(
          i_type        = 'HTM'
          i_subject     = 'Email Subject'
          i_text        = lt_soli ).
      if iv_attached_pdf is not initial.
        "Attach PDF
        lv_pdf_size = xstrlen( iv_attached_pdf ).
        lv_pdf_content = cl_document_bcs=>xstring_to_solix( ip_xstring = iv_attached_pdf ).
           i_attachment_type     = 'PDF'
           i_attachment_subject  = 'PDF Attachment'
           i_attachment_size     = lv_pdf_size
           i_att_content_hex     = lv_pdf_content ).
      lo_send_request->set_document( lo_document ).
      "Send to
      recipient = cl_cam_address_bcs=>create_internet_address( i_address_string = '' ).
      lo_send_request->add_recipient( i_recipient = recipient ).
      "Carbon Copy
      recipient = cl_cam_address_bcs=>create_internet_address( i_address_string = '' ).
      lo_send_request->add_recipient( i_recipient = recipient i_copy = 'X' ).
      lo_send_request->set_send_immediately( i_send_immediately = abap_true ).
      lv_sent_flag = lo_send_request->send( i_with_error_screen = 'X' ).
      if lv_sent_flag eq abap_false.
        ev_msg = 'Error Sending Email'.
    catch cx_bcs into bcs_exception.
      ev_msg = bcs_exception->get_longtext( ).


Above is the steps I used to send HTML mail using Smartforms.The general idea is convert from data from OTF –> TLINE –> SOLI

The advantages of using this technique are:

– Email Template is well structured. Using Smartforms Flows and Conditions, Folder, Form Interface, all of my 10 notification emails can be maintained easily under one Smartform.

– HTML content 🙂

This is my very first blog. Hope it helps you. Please comment and share your knowledge 🙂

Thank you for reading!


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      Author's profile photo Kesavadas Thekkillath
      Kesavadas Thekkillath

      Some time back we use to create such templates( not via smart forms) when we need set of table entries to be sent ( ie ) maintaining just a skeleton as template and dynamically populating the <td> and <tr> of the HTML after retrieving the template into the ABAP code.

      Using smart forms it looks nice 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you Van Thao! Nice blog! Thumbs up!!!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks, New 🙂

      Author's profile photo vinoth aruldass
      vinoth aruldass

      good one helpful.. thank you...

      Author's profile photo nilesh suryavanshi
      nilesh suryavanshi

      But can this approach work for sending logos ??

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi surya,

      Since this method makes use of Smartform as an HTML container, theoretically you can send image if you create <IMG> tag e.g <img src="url_to_your_image.jpg" alt="Hello World" height="42" width="42">. But if you are referring to logos embedded as a graphic object in Smartforms, this method of course wont work. Cheers!

      Author's profile photo nilesh suryavanshi
      nilesh suryavanshi

      Hi Thao,

      but when you convert OTF  to PDF you can see the logo their in the PDF file

      Author's profile photo Venkata Reddy
      Venkata Reddy

      Hi Thao,

      Nice Blog. Great work!

      May I know if we can send HTML notification to SAP inbox(portal) instead of internet email?

      I tried but not working. Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very useful, thanks for providing all the details!

      Can you explain how do you create a text element with "raw" html? If I try to put HTML tags into a text element, they just come out as text with all the <tags> visible. Is there a special style or something that will cause the smartform to output it without encoding the brackets?