What you need to do
…and into the Cloud with your PDF Business Documents
What can you do with it?
How it works
If you want to use SAP Forms by Adobe to extend an on-premise application, there are some (virtual) places to go and some components to be accessed. But basically, it’s all quite simple and all about a single goal: enabling the communication between your SAP system and SAP Forms by Adobe.
What you need is:
- an SAP BTP account
- the SAP Cloud Connector
- your ABAP system
- a Web browser
First, visit your SAP BTP subaccount and assign some roles to the users you need to operate it all.
Then you connect your ABAP system to the Cloud Connector and the Cloud Connector to the SAP BTP subaccount.
Having done this, you can test the connection.
Finally, you use the browser-based configuration UI to tell SAP Forms by Adobe what it needs to know to provide the forms you want to get, such as:
- which fonts to use and how to use them
- print management (including some adjustments in the ABAP print program)
- document security settings (controlled by template configuration and an ABAP program)
- job profile and support file management
- cache settings
In case you have been operating the ADS locally up until now, you can use the same configuration UI to migrate your configuration data from ADS to SAP Forms by Adobe easily, by uploading the respective configuration files.
Assuming that creating an RFC destination or importing a certificate into the ABAP server is not unknown territory for you, the time it takes to do the basic setup can be calculated in hours rather than in days.
To call SAP Forms by Adobe via the REST API, there’s also some specific steps to be done:
- define the connection from the SAP BTP subaccount
- setup an OAuth client
- implement a REST client
- provide your own form templates using the Adobe LiveCycle Designer
Once you have done this, you will be able to take advantage of all the beautiful features that PDF forms provide for your business applications.
If you are eager to learn more, check out SAP Forms by Adobe documentation here: SAP Forms Service by Adobe.
Is there some kind of trial (does it work with HCP trial account)? Where to find the documentation and information on pricing?
Unfortunately, it is not (yet) possible to use it with HCP trial account.
The feature will be included in the official SAP pricing list by mid-july:
Documentation will be provided soon on SCN (by end of this week, info will be added in this blog).
things have changed, and now you can test the service on trial landscape. For details, please check out the my recent blog post.
Sometimes, good things take time...;-)
Do you know if the tool as the functionality to merge PDF's ? We have a scenario where we have customers with multiple accounts. At the end of the month we send out multiple statements. Ideally we would like to be able to generate the statements for each account and then merge them into one PDF at month end. There is freeware software which can do this but we would prefer to use an enterprise class solution like this.
Apologies if this is a slightly obscure question. The cloud version of ADS does look very promising.
thanks a lot for your question about this feature.
ADS on HCP does not have a 'merge' feature for PDF in a strict sense.
There is a so called 'assembly' function (using the ASSEMBLE parameter), which allows to generate one PDF document from different templates and data. For certain use cases, this might serve as a workaround. For more information, see the following product documentation:
However, there are discussions to possibly introduce also the proper 'merge' feature in the future. I'll keep you updated with any news on it in this blog.
This service in HCP is only to configure virtually ADS service in our backend system or we can acess our backend's adobe forms in hcp application, in webide tool for example?
thanks a lot for your question.
ADS on HCP includes a complete ADS service functionality hosted on HCP. It can replace your local ADS installation in the backend.
You can access it using the ADS on HCP configuration tool which is linked from the HCP service.
ADS on HCP calls the Adobe form templates stored in the form repository of your backend and processes them. Please find more information in the entire blog:
SAP Forms as a Service by Adobe: Get off the Ground...
There you can also find the link to detailed ADS on HCP product documentation.
I've got two questions for you:
1) Cloud connector obligatory for all scenarios?
Today I've configured the ADS destination in SM59 in our test system and used report FP_TEST_03 and it worked fine, although the cloud connector wasn't up and running yet. Do you happen to know which scenarios actually require the Cloud connector?
2) Use ADS on HCP as AS JAVA print service
To be able to create a print version from the WD ABAP ALV, the print service via usage type installation must be provided on a Web Application Server Java.
This is described in note 1888795 - WD ABAP ALV print version: Installation of AS Java Print Service
Actually, it's a TCP/IP destination in SM59 called SALV_WD_EXPORT_PDF.
So if this function is required, one would need to install the AS JAVA even if HCP can be used for PDF forms.
Thanks & regards
thanks a lot for your questions. Here are my replies:
Basically, every ADS on HCP scenario requires the Cloud connector. In your case, the following might have happened (that made it look as if it worked w/o CC):
If you have:
1. Configured (and started) the Cloud connector
2. Called the ABAP report FP_TEST_03
3. Then the Cloud connector stopped working
4. You called again FP_TEST_03
Then, for the first call of FP_TEST_03, ADS cached the template at ADS server side. For the second call (with the same template), ADS did not retrieve the template data but used the cache information. In this case, FP_TEST_03 seems to work without the Cloud connector.
As soon as you clear the template cache (using FP_PDF_TEST_26), FP_TEST_03 should fail when the Cloud connector is stopped.
Yes, this is right.
WD ABAP ALV requires an AS Java installation, including usage type BI Java. Unfortunately, this isn't documented yet in standard documentation, we are working on it. I'll let you know as soon as the update is available.
However, if there is no AS Java installed at your side at all, ADS on HCP might not be the best solution for you...
thanks for your feedback!
Ok, the cloud connector is getting more and more important, thus it shouldn't be a show stopper to have it as a required component.
Please clarify: Will the WD ABAP ALV function (1) be provided via ADS on HCP as well (2) or do you mean you "only" update the documentation that it still needs an on-premise AS Java installation (usage type BI java)? If (1), do you happen to know a time frame when this will be available (yes, I know, safe harbor statement, ...)?
What's the reason behind your statement regarding ADS on HCP may not replace an on-premise AS Java stack? From my experience, customers are desperately looking for a way to get rid of AS Java stack as long as they only need it for ADS / WD ABAP ALV.
Thanks & regards
Of course, you are right, and this is definitely given in regular working conditions. When describing this possible scenario, I was thinking of a rather irregular or even intentional shut down (e.g. during setup, config errors, hardware problems etc.).
(2) is correct. Unfortunately, there are no current plans or timelines in this direction. However, I forwarded your request to Dev. Any new on this, I will let you know.
Excellent Blog Frank...
Thanks, Julian 🙂
I have a use case (following) that I am hoping can be addressed by the SAP Cloud Platform Forms by Adobe Service. I would really appreciate it if you could let me know if the service is applicable and if so where I could begin.
Any guidance is gratefully received.
Use Case: Generate a signed document detailing the integrity of of assets.
@Frank Mueller I see that the Forms as a Service can generate adobe forms for data present in ERP system.
Can it also be used to create forms for application that is natively built in SAP Cloud Platform i.e without any ERP/ABAP system?
Interested to move away from on-premise ADS to cloud, but only if there is a business case.
1. Are there reports/checks available to determine based on our current usage how many billing blocks we would need to license ?
2. Do we need to count for ADS document generated on non-productive ECC systems as well? How could you distinguish between documents request from non-prod systems and prod systems?
3. Any information on SLA/maintenance schedules/lifecycle management?
I have exactly the same questions.
Can you please answer the 3 questions raised by R. Veenman?
Thanks and regards,
Can we have a mechanism in place to count the usage of ADS, application wise ?
Any thing like spool management or print requests , that can help to differentiate the usage of ADS between applications.
If there are 2 applications hosted in a sub tenant and using same ADS destination , how do we differentiate between the usage.