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Author's profile photo Stefan Resag

Purchase Order Output Management

Dear ByD community,

In this blog I would like to shed some light on how output management for purchase orders can be set up. Most of the information provided in this blog can also be used for other document types, but there are some purchase-order specific output management setting, that I would like to highlight as well.

First let me introduce all the areas and settings one by one, and then also provide some information on how they interact with each other. In my example I have already enabled the multi-channel output, which is available with 1811. However, most of the content in this blog is also valid if this feature is not scoped.

I will also only discuss the purchase order creation use case in this blog. For the purchase order change there is an additional activity to control, which change will trigger a new output.

Let us start with the most detailed setting of output channels, which can be done directly in the purchase order details UI under ‚You Can Also – Edit Output Settings for Create PO‘. Of course, this only applies if the purchase order was not sent out so far.

First, when clicking on ‚Edit Output Settings for Create PO‘, the current settings for output management are evaluated and displayed. You can also use this option to check, if your automatic output channel selection is working properly or must be adjusted.

In this UI the system proposal can be overwritten and will then be used once the purchase order is sent to a supplier.

Of course, in most cases you want to set up the output management selection once, and not per document.

So, how does this determination work:

Normally, you would start with the ‘Output Channel Selection’ in the ‘Application and User Management’ work center. Select ‘Show Rules For: Created Purchase Orders’.

You will see a typical rules table, which is evaluated from top to bottom, meaning, the first line meeting the criteria will be used to determine the output channels. With release 1811, if you have scoped multi-channel output selection, you will also find that two more output channels are added, namely ‘Output Channel 1’ and ‘Output Channel 2’.

In my example for all purchase orders with suppler “SR_COMPANY” an external system Is used for output. For all purchase orders sent from company 2000 and not having supplier “SR_COMPANY” printer will be used for output. For all purchase order which do not have buying company as “2000” and supplier as “SR_COMPANY” email as well as the “Default” print queue is used for output.


In case of output channels ‘Printer’ or ‘External System’, you can directly specify the corresponding print queue or communication system ID to be used here. Of course, for output channels FAX and E-Mail, this does not make sense. Here the fax number or e-mail address is taken from the ‘Main Communication’ settings in the supplier master data. You can find these in the detail UI under ‘General’.

Being in the supplier master data, let’s have a look at the ‘Communication’ tab, sub-tab ‘Collaboration’. Here for each of the business documents you can define the output channels to be used per business document. I have selected the purchase order, and since the multi-output channel option in business configuration was scoped, you will have the option to maintain various output channels. In my example I have selected e-mail as well as printer. Please be aware that when maintaining output channels here, you also have to maintain the specific channel information like the e-mail address or the fax number. The information from the ‘Main Communication’ settings will not be considered.

Now we are almost done with the settings that can be done. However, one important configuration option is missing, which is mainly leveraging the party and responsibility concept of SAP Business ByDesign. There have been multiple customer requests to offer the option to not only send the mail to the supplier, but also to send it to additional parties like the buyer responsible or the requester. Of course this can already be done in the above supplier master data, but you would need to explicitly maintain those e-mail addresses one by one for each supplier. An alternative option is to use the business configuration activity ‘Purchase Order Output Control Settings’.

Opening the activity, you find a link to the ‚Purchase Order Send Email Control Settings‘:

Here you can specify the parties, that should receive the email. In our example, the mail is sent to the supplier as well as to the buyer responsible. As you can see, you cannot maintain email addresses here, because the system will automatically determine them from the corresponding party contact information.

To visualize the result, I have opened the corresponding Purchase Order business document output settings.

Now let me bring this all together and explain the sequence of how finally the output channels and addresses are determined. I will do this step by step:

  1. Check the document-specific output settings. Anything which is displayed here will be used. This also means, that in case a user has changed these settings for a specific document, then these settings will be used.
  2. Next the system will evaluate the supplier-specific settings in the ‘Communication’ tab, sub-tab ‘Collaboration’.
  3. If nothing is maintained here, the system will evaluate the ‘Output Channel Selection’ in the application and user management work center.
  4. If in any of the steps 1,2, or 3 the output channel email is determined, the system will check the ‘Purchase Order Output Control Settings’ in the business configuration activity, and add additional e-mail addresses, if applicable. Other e-mail addresses determined in step 1, 2, or 3 will also be used.

Hope you find this blog helpful.

Best regards,


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      Author's profile photo Vanessa May
      Vanessa May

      Thank you for the article!

      Author's profile photo Carol Steffes
      Carol Steffes

      It's a great article! Thanks for sharing helpful advice!

      Author's profile photo Jiyeon Yoo
      Jiyeon Yoo

      Thanks for the detailed and good informational explanation.

      I have a question.

      Can you tell me what is the difference between output management and workflow (Application and User Management - Workflow Rules)?

      What rules do you follow when setting up workflow and output management at the same time?


      Best regards,



      Author's profile photo Stefan Resag
      Stefan Resag
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Jiyeon,

      thanks for your friendly comment. You can configure output management and workflow rules completely separate and in parallel. Output management mainly deals with sending out a business document via different channels like printer, email, B2B, whereas workflow rules mainly inform a user about changes of a business document based on the defined ruls.



      Author's profile photo Jiyeon Yoo
      Jiyeon Yoo

      Hi Stefan,


      Thanks for the detailed reply!