You use Smart Forms to create and maintain forms for mass printing in SAP systems. Besides using the printer for standard output you can also select the Internet (by using a generated HTML output), a fax, or e-mail as the output medium.
In addition to the tool, SAP delivers a selection of forms for central business processes. This includes forms in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as well as in the applications SD, FI, and HR.
Smart Forms offers the following advantages:
· Creating and maintaining forms requiring half the time
· Adapting forms without any programming knowledge due to entirely graphical user interface
· Integrating input elements into the HTML output, which enables you to use a form in Internet applications as well
Smart Forms replace SAPscript forms. SAPscript forms will still be supported in the future; you can use them without making any changes for years to come. You can even use SAPscript texts in the Smart Forms. Migration of SAPscript forms into Smart Forms is supported.
Smart Forms allows you to execute simple modifications to the form and in the form logic by using simple graphical tools; in 90% of all cases, this won't include any programming effort. Thus, a user who is familiar with the tool but has only rudimentary programming knowledge can configure forms with data from an SAP system for the relevant business processes. The result of the form development is a Smart Form. After it is activated, the Smart Form is similar to a callable function module in the SAP system.
The logic of the form is mapped entirely in the Smart Form. To print a form, you call it from within an application program, in which you retrieve the application data to be merged into the form. As data retrieval and form logic are separated, you must only adapt the Smart Form if changes to the form logic are necessary. The application program passes the data via a function module interface to the Smart Form.
To develop a Smart Form you use the Form Builder in which you describe the attributes of the Smart Form by using the integrated graphical tools, such as the Form Painter for the layout of a form page or the Table Painter for the design of table output. The form logic is represented by a hierarchy structure (tree structure) that you construct of individual nodes together with the relevant attributes. Besides using existing nodes for global settings you may create, for example, nodes for the output of texts, of tables, or of graphics. To make changes, use Drag&Drop, Copy&Paste, and select different attributes. These actions do not require writing coding lines or using a Script language.
You can check individual nodes as well as the entire form and find any existing errors in the tree structure. The data flow analysis checks whether all fields (variables) have a defined value at the moment they are displayed.
You can include static and dynamic tables into a Smart Form. Dynamic tables enable you to display tables whose size is determined only at the moment of their output by the number of the table items to be displayed. Table functions are:
· Line feeds in individual table cells
· Event-controlled output of table headings and footers
· Integrated calculation of grand totals and subtotals
· Colored boxes and shadings in tables
To position output on a form page you use windows. Besides using simple windows for displaying output of fixed length there are special window types, for example, for continuous text or for distinctions between the original and a copy of a form.
You can include background pictures as graphics, which you can either use as copy templates for a form or print as background graphics.
You can specify spool attributes in the form to allow for postage optimizing.
You use HTML output to integrate forms into Internet applications. This allows you to use the same Smart Form both for printing and for the Internet application. The layout of the form in the web browser corresponds to the print layout.
You can enhance the web forms with input-enabled elements, allowing the recipient or user of a web form to change or supplement data. The data the user entered can either be queried by the Internet application or be evaluated automatically by the system.