Friday, February 1, 2008

SAP, Environmental concerns & email etiquette

We have a responsibility to the environment. Before printing this email or any other document, let's ask ourselves whether we need a hard copy

Good news is that you need not necessarily have to quit your SAP job to show your concerns for the environment.

As a SAP consultant we can help the environment, at our own level, by convincing our clients to use paperless communication. The features like email for document outputs instead of printing/faxing or to use web services/EDI for document exchange are also beneficial from the environmental perspective.

Also, with the growing environmental concerns, it is easier to convince our customers to use these SAP features.

Ok so I've covered two of the terms mentioned in the heading of this post but what about the email etiquette?

Well the problem is with SAP's design for sending SapScript mails. [Fact - SapScripts are still widely used in SAP applications ] . In most of the cases, the standard solution for emailing is incapable of sending a main-body-text and can only send a mail with subject and output document as an attachment. To me this is not as per the email etiquette . Of course you as a consultant can enhance the SAP functionality to include body-text but the point is : It would have been a lot easier for SAP to include the functionality with a minor change.

Technically, Script output [ print/mail/fax ] is sent by the call to the function module CLOSE_FORM. The same function also creates emails depending on the output medium. Only if SAP would have chosen to call the new APIs like SO_DOCUMENT_SEND_API1 in place of function CONVERT_OTF_AND_MAIL, it could well have been possible to configure the solution to include email body-texts.

Rather than changing this centrally in CLOSE_FORM, in recent patches, it has used CLOSE_FORM to get the otfdata , convert to PDF and then it calls the API SO_DOCUMENT_SEND_API1 etc.

Further, it means all applications should be changed to include the desired functionality and it will be a development change rather than config / enhancement.

In any case, it's fairly simple to use emails for outputs. If your client is not concerned about the email etiquette then you should be able to configure/ enhance the solution using SPRO config or BTEs ( Transaction FIBF ). Just check SAP OSS and you can get the recommended development solution for the particular application. Your Basis team would be able to help you with the SCOT configs etc.

And if you managed to implement emailing solution with body-text, don't forget to include the sentence in fashion :
'Think before you print'.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Info : Comments are reviewed before they are published. SPAMs are rejected.