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Author's profile photo Alexandre SABATIER

Solution Manager 7.2 – How to use Digital Signature in Solution Documentation to meet regulatory requirements

You like Solution Manager? You love innovative solutions?

If you are in the Pharmaceutical or Food-processing industry, you probably had to comply to stricter and stricter regulations over the last decades. The documentation, in particular, is subject to many rules regarding the approval of their processes, and the Digital Signature (DS) feature in Solution Documentation is generally a good answer to some of these rules.

The Digital Signature is not new, nor exclusive to SAP Solution Manager for that matter, but is not very well documented in the case of SolMan. There is little about DS that has been shown in the 7.2 version, most likely because its workflow is very similar to 7.1. One of the best and only configuration guide remains the “2010 Digital Signature Tool Implementation Guide” attached to the SAP Note 700495.¬†All configuration activities are part of SOLMAN_SETUP -> Process Management -> Step 3 – Configure Digital Signature.

So, how does it look like in Solution Manager 7.2? It is quite simple:

  1. You right-click on the document to be signed, and click “Sign”
  2. You get a popup, where you have to enter your credentials (unless SSO or another security tool is configured), and put a comment. You can either click “Sign” to approve the document, or “Cancel signature process” to reject (unless you are the first signatory)
  3. After the first signature, clicking the Document name in the table will first display the Signatures History, then lets you decide whether to display or download the document
  4. Every signature is recorded in the Document History, as well as the corresponding Status changes
  5. Every document that has been signed generates a printable version (see limitation below), with additional validation information such as the signatory name, the signature date, etc.

The following options are part of the standard:

  • You can require users to sign with SolMan credentials, or use an external security product such as Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • You can have signatures in sequence or in parallel, and choose whether all or only some of the signatures are necessary to reach the final status of the workflow
  • You can define authorization groups to restrict who should be signing first, second, third, etc.
  • You can make signature comments optional or mandatory – however, you cannot make exceptions such as having mandatory comments only for rejection
  • You can choose whether the document to be validated should open automatically on screen (Display-only) whenever the user clicks the “Sign” button

A few limitations:

  • As a general rule, it is recommended to keep the number of required signatures as low as possible to avoid complexity, but there is also a theoretical maximum limit of 8 SAP signatures
  • Digital Signatures strategies are assigned to Document Types, so you can have only as many strategies as you have Document Types
  • The first signature cannot be triggered by simply switching statuses in the Attributes panel (eg. from DRAFT to TO BE REVIEWED), you have to Edit Online/CheckOut/Upload New Version to start the Signature process – with the exception of a Signature process starting with a Locked status
  • There are no standard e-mail notifications, so the document author and approvers cannot be notified automatically when the document is signed (neither in SAP Inbox nor through SCOT)
  • There is no standard feature that allows you to choose which user in the system should be the next document approver
  • For the IE browser, you need Office Integration to be enabled (meaning, you need the SAP ActiveX add-on to be installed on your computer) to be able to display documents before signing, even though the document is only in Display mode
  • The “Print Document Version” that is generated after each signature is only available for .DOCX documents and tends to cause formatting issues (eg. wrong colors or fonts, compared to the original document), but this will be improved/fixed with the SP06

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      13 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Amadou Diallo
      Amadou Diallo

      nice blog

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good job

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello,

      I'm unable to see the sign option under context user menu, is there any additional config required for its visibility?

      Thanks

      Harsha

      Author's profile photo Alexandre SABATIER
      Alexandre SABATIER
      Blog Post Author

      Hello,

      You need to configure the Digital Signature schema first, and assign it to the target Document Type.

      Author's profile photo Gangula Ramakrishna
      Gangula Ramakrishna

      Hi Alexandre,

       

      Please provide steps ( How to configure Digital Signature Schema & How to assign to target document type) / or / Please share a step by step document if you have.

      Thanks in advance,

       

      Regards,

      Ram

      Author's profile photo Alexandre SABATIER
      Alexandre SABATIER
      Blog Post Author

      Hello,

      As mentioned, you can follow implementation steps from SAP Note 700495.

      If the document does not cover your needs, then you can contact us for consulting expertise.

      Have a good day!

      Author's profile photo Rakesh Mahajan
      Rakesh Mahajan

      Hello Ram,

       

      Please check below blog.

      https://blogs.sap.com/2019/03/31/solman-7.2-how-to-configure-signature-strategy-in-process-management/

       

      Regards,

      Rakesh M

      Author's profile photo Rakesh Mahajan
      Rakesh Mahajan

      Check this blog..

       

      https://blogs.sap.com/2019/03/31/solman-7.2-how-to-configure-signature-strategy-in-process-management/

      Author's profile photo Dirk Rossmann
      Dirk Rossmann

       

      Hello,

      I was told from SAP, that Solution Manager 7.2 is not supporting digital signature with SSO (PKI), just by user + password. Has this meanwhile changed? If yes, what needs to be configured for this signature method?

       

      Thanks,

      Dirk

      Author's profile photo Nivedha Elumalai
      Nivedha Elumalai

      Hi Alexandre,

       

      Thanks for the post, that was very informative.

      Is it possible to set up an approval procedure for the documents in process management?

      Author's profile photo Peter Bronte Babiak
      Peter Bronte Babiak

      Hello, I am looking for a 3-level digital signature validation for our Documents in SolDoc. unfortunately I was able to define only 1-level signature process in SolMan SP#10, any Ideas how to redefine this? Please advice. Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Akshay Kumar
      Akshay Kumar

      Hello,

       

      Thank you for your post it was very informative.

      Is there any option to sign a pdf document via electronic signature in the Solution documentation ?

      I was already able to implement the signature on an docx.

      Thank you in forward.

      Author's profile photo Matthew Harmon
      Matthew Harmon

      Hi Alex...do you know if the email notifications that have been delivered via FB will work with digital signature (owner and responsible) ?