Managing documents in SAP DMS and publishing them with SharePoint

by Lars Palitzsch

Practically all companies that use SAP Business Suite or S/4 HANA use the SAP Document Management System (SAP DVS) to manage their documents. SAP DVS is included as standard in these SAP solutions, and offers a number of ways to manage and use documents, their files, and attributes, and link them with other SAP processes and structures. This standard process offers SEAL Systems more convenient possibilities for automated determination, processing and output of documents. Below, we’ll discuss using this functionality in the context of the providing project documentation for a centralized subsidiary of an internationally active energy and automated technology concern.

Our customer manufactures large technical facilities and special-purpose machines according to its customers’ specifications. Documentation and technical specifications are created for these machines and must be made available for other departments’ support or for the end customers, people who don’t necessarily have or need access to the SAP system. Therefore, these documents need to be made available in an appropriate manner during the project or after its completion.

SharePoint as method of choice

SharePoint was selected for this provision, as the system was already available and offers possibilities to save and present documents in a structured way. With SharePoint Online, authorized external employees also have access to the prepared documents.

In practice, the export is launched from the SAP documentation structure (BOM). This launch can be integrated in a range of SAP transactions and processes. The launch takes place manually during the project: whenever relevant new document versions are generated, these are made available via SharePoint. After the project is finished, a final update is once again made in SharePoint.

Copies of the files and their attributes are stored in SharePoint; direct access of SharePoint to SAP is not necessary or even wanted in this case.

 
Manual or automatic                          Generation of an output order
document selection

 

Management and output                Transfer to SharePoint with the
with PLOSSYS                                     SharePoint queue

 

Several SEAL Systems products in use

The solution was implemented using the SEAL Systems products Structure Explosion, Document Distribution Director (DDD) and our Output Management Engine PLOSSYS along with a SharePoint queue:

The Structure Explosion module ensures that documents relevant to the export are determined from a documentation structure. DDD manages this document list and sends it the Output Management Engine. This converts, stamps, and scales the files if needed and transmits them to SharePoint over the SharePoint queue. There, the documents are filed in a SharePoint document library.

The actual process is just as easy as printing from SAP. The challenge lies in the specification of the documents relevant to the process, which normally can then be identified by configuration, as well as determination of the data from SAP needed in SharePoint. In many cases, and for a clean definition of structures in SAP, these can also be mapped by configuration. If not, user exits for customer-specific adaptations are available.

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The result: a solution that’s easy to use

This implementation gives the customer an easy-to-use solution for determining the necessary documents from SAP either manually or automatically, and making them available to non-SAP users via SharePoint. This prevents the costs and errors that may arise from manual provision, which is still an option for small numbers of documents.

 

Would you like to learn more about this solution? – Then get in touch with us!

There is a Meeting of the user group SAP/Microsoft Integration of DSAG on August 10, 2017, on which this and other solutions are introduced and presented.

 

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