Inbound Distribution


Inbound distribution enables you to distribute incoming documents sent from an external source (for example, over the Internet or by fax) according to certain rules. You can define this distribution according to the following criteria in transaction SO28:



All documents that are addressed to a certain recipient are forwarded to a different recipient.

A user receives all the Internet messages that are sent to the address


All documents that are received from a certain sender are forwarded to a defined recipient, irrespective of the recipient specified.

A buyer receives all documents that are received from his suppliers.

Recipient and Sender

All documents that are received from a certain sender by a certain recipient are forwarded to a defined recipient.

An employee takes over the processing of orders from his colleague. He now receives all the documents that are addressed to the colleague from this customer.

Communication method

All documents that are received in the SAP system using a specific communication method and the recipients of which are not found, are forwarded to a defined recipient.

An administrator receives all faxes for which the recipient was not found.

For incoming documents, a search is executed for the specified recipient using inbound distribution and then in address management. If no corresponding entry is found, the document is forwarded to the recipient address that is specified as the Alternative entry. This also ensures that a document is forwarded, even if the original recipient cannot be determined using inbound distribution or address management. (For example, if the original recipient has left the company.)

Besides users, business objects and EDI inbound distribution can also be specified as recipients. Inbound distribution enables you, for example, to start a Workflow from an incoming Internet message.

As of SAP Web Application Server Release 6.10, it is also possible to process incoming messages according to communication method, recipient, and document class, by using method calls. For more information, see Exits for Inbound Distribution. Note that this only applies if you are using the SMTP plug-in.


The inbound distribution function can only be implemented for incoming documents sent from outside the SAP System. Automatic forwarding of internal documents can be set for a recipient. Automatic forwarding does not depend on the sender or the communication method.


Incoming messages can be forwarded to the following recipient types using inbound distribution:

·        SAP users

·        Distribution lists

·        Business objects

The business object has to have implemented the method RECEIVE of the interface IFRECEIVE. The method can trigger an event or start a workflow directly, for example.

·        Organizational units

You can decide whether the documents are also to be forwarded to the recipients to whom they were originally addressed in addition to the recipients specified in the inbound distribution.


To create or change rules, proceed as described in Maintaining Inbound Distribution.