Connecting an external Output Management System to SAP
For Quick Readers
- This blog focuses on how to get documents out from SAP and how to pass to an external Output Management System for processing and printing using SAP provided APIs.
- This blog does not focus on how to create documents within SAP.
The outcome of most SAP business processes are documents like quotations, invoices, salary statements and many others. According to the individual requirements, these documents needs to be passed through workflows or needs to be converted. Just to name two examples. Some of them still needs to be really printed on physical devices.
For that purpose, an external Output Managements System (OMS) comes into place. The OMS is a software that provides services to manage, store, preserve and deliver documents. For example: delivery can be an email to individuals or to real or virtual printing devices. Options and requirements are various as many companies and people asked for their demands.
This blog focuses on how to get documents out from SAP and how to pass to an external Output Management System for processing and printing using SAP provided APIs.
This blog does not focus on how to get create documents and how to use Output Management within SAP and especially within SAP S/4HANA. On those topics there is an excellent and comprehensive blog from Markus Berg.
SAP has founded several APIs: interfaces and integration scenarios for the various SAP solutions. For both SAP on premise and SAP cloud solutions there are APIs to connect external OMS to SAP solutions.
SAP Solutions like SAP ERP running on SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP
In SAP Spool there are access methods available such as C and L for local printing and S and U for remote printing. All these access methods come with the lack of feedback for final processing status. They only provide feedback of handover to the next processing level.
Hence, SAP introduced API for comprehensive processing and feedback options. The integration scenario developed was called SAP External Output Management (BC-XOM). The API is provided by the Access Method E in SAP Spool. The configuration on the options and capabilities of the OMS is done in the SAP Spool administration. In addition, the API provides option for Printer Administration within SAP. Thus, an OMS can also leverage to have a central printing devices management within a company / organization.
On SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP, it needs to be placed as single executable, a script, or a set of them. This component is called OMS client. The OMS client needs to be provided by the OMS provider.
OMS client is called at runtime to handover the SAP Spool output request and pass it over to the OMS server component. There is option for comprehensive feedback, like updates in the processing status and especially result of the document processing. Feedback channel is either via the command-line (polling) or as a push notification via SAP RFC protocol (callback) which is SAP’s recommended method.
Both options, polling and callback have pros and cons.
Polling has always delay for the feedback because of its periodic schedule. On the other hand, output request handover and polling can be established by the OMS as the webservice usable for Cloud environments.
Callback provides timely feedback of processing status. On the other hand, in Cloud environments the tcp/ip based SAP RFC protocol is not available or available with limits. Also, for SAP RFC protocol the OMS needs to spend efforts to determine available target for the connection.
See also SAP Notes:
SAP Note 589690 – Specification for a Generic Interface to the SAP NetWeaver Spool
SAP Note 700571 – Change to RFC interface of OMS system
SAP Solutions running on premise on SAP S/4HANA Foundation like SAP S/4HANA
The integration scenario available is called SAP External Output Management (S/4-BC-XOM). The interface shares identical API and same aspects are applied as outlined for BC-XOM.
Documentation and additional information sources for S/4-BC-XOM and BC-XOM
SAP NetWeaver – Integrating the Spool System into an External Output Management System
SAP S/4HANA Foundation – Integrating the Spool System into an External Output Management System
Other SAP solutions on SAP NetWeaver Application Server Java
Unfortunately, there are no general API available respectively integration scenario.
Based on the SAP solution there may be an individual procedure of the way out for documents out of the SAP System.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition
For SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition also known as essential edition (ES) there is SAP Cloud Print Manager (CPM) for Pull Integration available to receive documents from SAP Output Management.
See the Blog von Mahesh Sardesai on how to configure CPM for Pull Integration – Installation and Configuration.
Using CPM comes with the same disadvantages as described for access methods C/L/S/U for SAP Spool. CPM comes with the lack of comprehensive feedback for processing status in the SAP system. In addition, OMS is still required for additional document processing. Hence, SAP introduced API to receive documents directly from SAP Output Management and to provide options for comprehensive status feedback.
The integration scenario available is called SAP S/4HANA Cloud (ES) – Printing OMS Integration (S/4HC-ES-PRINT-OMS). The included API is named API_CLOUD_PRINT_PULL_SRV and integrates external OMS into the SAP S/4HANA Cloud App “Maintain Print Queues”.
Print queue items in Output Management can be retrieved from defined print queues. The status of the print queue items can be reported according to the processing in the external OMS. Again, this comes with the benefit to provide comprehensive feedback like updates in processing and especially the final result of the document processing.
For the API, there is PULL and PUSH notification-type available. There are pros and cons for both notification-types.
For PULL there needs to be continues polling for new queue items. Raising the polling frequency increases traffic. Reducing frequency causes potential delay in processing jobs. On the other hand, OMS requires only calls towards the SAP system. Again unidirectional calls simplify network communication within cross-network setups.
With PUSH notification there is an option for immediate notification on new queue item. On the other hand, OMS needs to provide a webservice that is called in opposite direction which may get challenging within cross-network setups.
Please pay attention that the other SAP S/4HANA cloud editions like SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition also known as extended edition (EX) do not include the API.
Documentation and additional information sources for S/4HC-ES-PRINT-OMS
Maintain Print Queues
Pull and Push communication scenarios
SAP Business Technology Platform:
The integration scenario available is called Business Technology Platform – Printing OMS Integration (BTP-PRINT-OMS). The interface shares in the relevant aspects identical API as SAP S/4HANA Cloud (ES) – Printing OMS Integration (S/4HC-ES-PRINT-OMS). Therefore, the same aspects apply as outlined above.
Documentation and additional information sources for BTP-PRINT-OMS
SAP Print Service
End User Guide for SAP Print Service
SAP Integration and Certification Center
The SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) helps partners and independent software vendors support our customers by testing and certifying the integration solutions with SAP technologies. We provide services around third-party software integration with SAP solutions. We offer an open program for any partner or independent software vendor, who has an app or a solution and wishes to have their solution or interface certified with the latest SAP technologies.
SAP Interface Integration Certification
SAP Certification is a proof that software vendor technology integrates smoothly with SAP solutions, giving customers total confidence in their investment decision.
The “SAP Certified” designation is not liberally awarded. Certified-solution providers must pass a stringent set of qualification procedures based on SAP-endorsed integration technologies before receiving SAP-certified status.
Certification Details and Costs
SAP-certified solutions are listed in our online directory, where the public can find innovative, partner-built cloud applications powered by SAP HANA and solutions integrated with SAP Business Suite software from more than 1,000 software vendors and partners.
Benefits for customers are:
- Reduced implementation effort: Pretested integration with SAP solutions enables customers to save on total cost of ownership and cut integration costs.
- Accelerated innovation: Certified solutions follow SAP standards for technical integration and, if recertified on a regular basis, support upgrades with minimal interruptions.
- SAP Certification is proof that Software Vendor technology integrates smoothly with SAP solutions, giving customers total confidence in their investment decision.
If you are interested in certification for your OMS, please be free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn how to generate the most value from a certified integration for example SAP Partner Programs, promotion options, and many more.
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See summary in table below which SAP Interface Integration Scenario suits to integrate OMS to which SAP solution.
|SAP Interface Integration Scenario||SAP Solution|
|BC-XOM||SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP, like SAP ERP|
|S/4-BC-XOM||SAP S/4HANA Foundation, like SAP S/4HANA|
|S/4HC-ES-PRINT-OMS||SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition|
|BTP-PRINT-OMS||SAP Business Technology Platform|
Very informative blog. Well documented. Thanks Martin for this information.
Thanks Martin. Good place to refer interested partners to.