Difference between Smart Form and SAP Interactive Form

Smart Forms vs SAP Interactive Forms

There are several functional differences existing between the solutions Smart Forms and SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe. This tutorial explains the functional disadvantages of the SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe solution as compared to Smart Forms.

While choosing a forms solution, please make sure to compare your requirements and need with the features offered by the both respective forms solution.

The following functional differences in SAP Interactive Forms comparison to Smart Forms at present:

1) Page numbering of the print job

SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe do not have page counter for the number of pages in a print job, it has only one for the pages of a form.

2) Page numbering mode

Settings like "Initialize Counter" or "Increase Counter" are set in a different way in SAP Interactive Forms as compared to Smart Forms. SAP Interactive Forms may require scripting.

3) Copy window and Copy counter

SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe do not support copy window and copy counter.

4) Final window

Final windows are often not supported in SAP Interactive Forms. However, this concept can be realized by using scripting and the different events.

5) Styles

The Styles like the ones in Smart Forms cannot be defined in a central location and used in multiple forms.

6) Large Documents

  • As for now, there is a limit for the document size: On Microsoft Windows platforms, ie around 1,000 pages.
  • For UNIX or Linux systems, it is around 2,000 pages.
  • But it is recommended by SAP and Adobe to generate no more than 800 for Windows and 1,800 pages for UNIX or Linux systems in one document. This depends on the complexity of the form and the data.
  • Generating large documents can give some error with only a few hundred pages, as the data stream is transmitted as part of a SOAP message, which may result in memory bottlenecks during the parsing process of the XML document.
  • In order to avoid memory bottlenecks during transfer, the user can change the type of data transfer as of Netweaver 7.0 Support Package 6 for a double stack installation or as of NetWeaver 7.0 Support Package 12 for a separate ABAP Java installation. See SAP document 993612 for more information about the roles and table entries to be used,
  • In either case, however, the limit of approx. 1,000 pages (up to 2,000 pages depending on the platform) per document will be valid.

7) Page protection

The page protection in SAP Interactive Forms can be set for subforms level. Page protection based on paragraphs ("Paragraph protected" or "Next paragraph same page") in Smart Forms text modules or SAPscript Include texts is not supported.

8) Outline paragraphs

The outline paragraphs in Smart Forms text modules or SAPscript Include texts are only partially supported in SAP Interactive Forms. It is impossible to define the numbered margin independently of the left margin of the text. The numbering is always part of the text. A user cannot initialize the numbering in the form context.

9) Tabs

It is impossible to set tabs in static texts in SAP Interactive Forms. It does not support all types of tab orientation, therefore, it makes sense to use tables.

Also, default tab step width is not available.

10) Using graphics stored in the SAPscript graphic administration

SAP Interactive Forms does not allow user to use graphics stored in the SAPscript graphic administration (transaction SE78)

11) Background graphics

Background graphics are not supported in SAP Interactive Forms just like in Smart Forms.

12) SAPscript Include texts and Smart Forms text modules

All SAPscript or Smart Forms functions are not supported by SAP Interactive Forms. See, for example, SAP documents 1008550, 863893, 894389 and the online documentation.

Below are some of the limitations:

  • SAPscript styles
  • Control commands
  • Page protection
  • SAP characters
  • Symbols
  • Orientation of fields (for decimal separators using tabs, for example).

Fields originated from tables cannot be used.

Note: the form output terminates during the output of unknown fields.

13) Sorting and Automatic Calculation

Sorting or Automatic calculation is supported SAP Interactive Forms. If possible, user can include this in the application program. User must use scripting for calculations which must be created on the page break (page subtotals, for example).

14) Coding nodes

Coding nodes in the context is not supported by SAP Interactive Forms

15) Explicit Page Break

An explicit page break is not supported by SAP Interactive Forms. It can be possible to realize a solution with the help of scripting.

16) Paper Trays

Paper trays is not supported in SAP NetWeaver 2004.

For SAP NetWeaver 7.0, the XDC scenario guide explains possible adjustments. The XDC files should be adjusted for this. Support Package 14 is required (ADS Version >= 800.20070708051308.406522).

However, the printer tray selection is supported with additional printer options for PCL and PostScript device types. For more information see SAP Document 1806471.

17) Duplex Printing

Duplex Printing was supported in NetWeaver 2004 as of Support Package 18. For this and for releases of NetWeaver 7.0 older than Support Package 14, adjustment options are described in the XDC Scenario Guide.

As of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 SP14 (ADS Version > = 800.20070708051308.406522), a more flexible design is possible: You can adjust the duplex printing in Adobe LiveCycle Designer for the relevant form. Prerequisite is Adobe LiveCycle Designer as of Version 8.0.

Duplex printing is supported with additional printer options for PCL and PostScript device types in SAP Interactive Forms.

18) Print controls

Print controls are not supported by SAP Interactive Forms.

19) Bar Codes

In order to see the list of bar codes which are supported by supported by SAP Interactive Forms please see the Adobe LiveCycle Designer documentation.

20) Fonts OCR and MICR

  • Fonts OCR and MICR are supported by SAP Interactive Forms. However, the user needs the font for the design time and at runtime. Also, an XDC adjustment is required.
  • The OCR and MICR fonts are delivered accordingly as of SAP NetWeaver 7.20 and SAP NetWeaver 7.31 ADS.

21) OTF Output Format

The OTF output format is not supported by SAP Interactive Forms.

22) ASCII output format

The ASCII output format is not directly supported by SAP Interactive Forms. Particularly the dot matrix printers are not directly supported.

However, the printing is possible using PDFPRINT.

23) Other Print Formats

  • Other print formats such as Prescribe, IGP is not directly supported. However, printing is possible using PDFPRINT (see SAP Note 1444342).
  • The supported formats are PostScript, PCL and ZPL.
  • For SAP NetWeaver 7.20 ADS, the formats IPL, TPCL, and DPL are also supported.

24) HTML Output

The HTML output is not supported by SAP Interactive Forms.

25) XSF or XDF

XSF or XDF is not supported. However, SAP Interactive Forms similar interface called XFP. The certificate is "BC-XFP 6.40".

26) Callbacks to Other Programs

Callbacks to other programs during form output is not supported by SAP Interactive Forms

27) Fixed User Values

The decimal and date display in the user defaults is ignored by SAP Interactive Forms. To output a decimal figure or a date, the technology uses only the locale information passed to the form at runtime, e.g. de_DE, en_US etc.

28) Partial Printing

Partial printing is not supported by SAP Interactive Forms, therefore, it is impossible to print only parts of a form (neither directly when calling the template nor later from the spool overview).

29) Output medium (DEVICE) MAIL/TELEFAX

Output medium (DEVICE) MAIL/TELEFAX is supported by SAP Interactive Forms. Therefore before executing the application, the user must request for a PDF. And the send interface (BCS) must be called separately.

30) Grouping copies

It is not possible to group the output of copies in SAP Interactive Forms, for example, first three times page 1, then page 2, and so on.

31) Forms languages in which the text flows from right to left.

The text flow from right to left direction is supported at field level for Hebrew and Arabic for NetWeaver 7.0 Support Package 6 .

Note: For subforms, the text flow direction from right to left (RTL) cannot be specified.

In addition, the layout in SAP Interactive Forms is not automatically mirrored as in Smart Forms. The text flow direction RTL(Right to Left) in subforms and layout mirroring is supported as of NetWeaver 7.31 and Adobe LiveCycle Designer 9.8.

32) Sending and downloading ADS requests from SP01

Sending and downloading ADS requests from SP01 is supported SAP Interactive Forms with some restrictions.

33) Cover page

Cover page is not supported by SAP Interactive Forms.

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