Many business applications with such complex output scenarios use a reusable output service that includes many basic features for the output of documents and adds specific functionality.
SAP S/4HANA output control is the standardized framework used by business applications to perform output functions such as printing, sending e-mails, or maintaining form templates for the output.
Output control is the key element of SAP S/4HANA output management, which is the framework for all functions and processes related to the output of documents in SAP S/4HANA. SAP S/4HANA output control structures output management and makes it reusable across all business functions that have adopted it.
How Does Output Control Work?
SAP S/4HANA output control serves as an interface between the business applications that use output control and the ABAP Platform technologies that are used for document creation and document output.
Output Parameter Determination
When you output a document, the relevant output parameters, such as output channels, recipients, and form templates, are automatically determined in the background, using output parameter determination. You can use output parameter determination to define default output settings for specific business objects, for example, billing documents. Using output parameter determination in SAP S/4HANA output allows you to:
- Send multiple messages to multiple recipients using multiple channels simultaneously.
- Configure output parameter determination to suit your needs using the configuration step Define Business Rules for Output Determination.
- Base each determination step on application-specific fields that can be extended.
- Use pre-delivered content and determination rules to run output control out of the box.
Document Creation and Output
You use application forms and master forms to structure the content and layout of the output. To create documents out of these forms, Adobe Document Services is used. You can output documents via the output channels PRINT, EMAIL and EDI (electronic data interchange).
Types of Printing in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition
Attended Printing or Browser-based printing means that the user selects each document to be printed in the browser and then either directly prints it from a built-in reader application, such as a PDF reader, or downloads it. In both cases, the printers connected to the user’s system can be used without any further setup. However, the printing in this scenario is then not integrated anymore with the system and tracking of the print process is not possible.
Back-end printing means that you trigger the output to a predefined printer and the system automatically sends it to this printer without any further user interaction. This method requires more customizing of the system but allows automated output.
In the SAP S/4HANA Cloud environment, you can print business docs to the printers on your local network by using the print queue concept. Therefore, a connection between the print queue and the local printer needs to be established. The Maintain Print Queues app creates print queues that are virtual connections between the cloud system and local printers. Print jobs are initially sent to a print queue.
The print queues are directly associated with the SAP Cloud Print Manager. Cloud Print Manager (CPM) is a Windows software that runs on a Windows PC and is used to print business docs from S4HANA Cloud to the printer on the local network. CPM needs to be set up in your local network to establish a connection to a local printer (you choose the relevant printer while configuring the SAP Cloud Print Manager). The CPM software fetches print jobs from the print queues on the S4HANA cloud.
An agent called SAP Cloud Print Manager for Pull Integration is installed on the customer's network. It checks if there are any print jobs in the print queue. If so, the SAP Cloud Print Manager for Pull Integration retrieves these documents and sends them to the locally configured printer. This print queue concept provides a safe and autonomous way for cloud customers to print to their local printers.
You require a technical user for the SAP Cloud Print Manager to log on to the system via the internet. The technical user is the print user that is created when creating a print queue in the "Maintain Print Queue" app. This is usually done by a key user in your company.