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Pros and cons of converting from SAPscript to Smart Forms

Our company is on 4.7 and is considering the pros and cons of converting from SAPscript to Smart Forms. We have...

no new forms on the horizon, but maintain a lot of forms in SAPscript. Are you able to provide any references that have converted from SAPscript to Smart Forms? On my last two major projects, I coordinated SAPscript to Smart Forms migration for two Fortune 500 company divisions (one upgraded from 3.1h to 4.6c, the other from 4.0b to 4.7). In both cases, the decision as to when to convert from SAPscript to Smart Forms was made on a form-by-form basis. There are a number of factors to take into account, as discussed in my recent joint ASUG conference presentation with Adobe Systems entitled: "Choosing an SAP Form Tool: SAPscript, Smart Forms or the Adobe/SAP Solution". I'll summarize some of them for you here.

One important factor: the SAPscript tool is not going away anytime soon; it is just not being further enhanced. So if your existing forms are stable and working as designed, there may be no compelling need to switch.

However, if you need to take advantage of more advanced output options, or your forms require frequent changes (which are much easier to make with the newer tool), then Smart Forms may be worth considering. In addition, the tool may be a better choice in the long run, as the embedded interactive forms technology offered jointly by SAP and Adobe in the upcoming NetWeaver '04 platform offers only direct migration from Smart Forms and not from SAPscript.

Should you decide to proceed with converting an existing SAPscript form into a Smart Form, the process can be complex in certain situations, in which case a structured approach is critical; see my related joint workshop with SAP Labs, entitled "TechEd 03: ...Migrating SAPscript to Smart Forms" -- available as a free download from the SAP Service Marketplace (Media Library). Also note that there are several preconfigured Smart Forms available as a free download from the same section of the Service Marketplace; these can jump-start new form development or re-development efforts.

This was last published in September 2004

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