Introduction

The outcome of many SAP business processes are documents like quotations, invoices, salary statements, and many others. Depending on individual requirements, these documents need to be passed through workflows or converted. Just to name two examples. Some of them still need to be printed on physical printing devices.

This blog focuses on how to get documents out from the SAP Print Queue and how to pass them on to an external Output Management System (OMS) for processing and printing using the SAP provided API. It supplements the already existing blog on the extended topic.

This blog does not focus on how to get create documents and how to use SAP Output Management within SAP solutions and especially within SAP S/4HANA Cloud. On those topics, there are excellent and comprehensive blogs from Markus Berg.

Relevance of Printing

While digital technologies have undoubtedly transformed many aspects of business operations, printing remains relevant due to its unique advantages in security, compliance, accessibility, collaboration, workflow efficiency, and customer preferences.

Here are some reasons why printing remains relevant:

  • Legal and Compliance Requirements: Certain legal and compliance regulations require physical copies.
  • Accessibility and Portability: Printed documents offer a tangible and portable format that can be easily accessed and shared without the need for electronic devices or internet connectivity.
  • Workflow Efficiency: Printing is often integrated into established business processes, such as invoicing, order fulfillment, and record-keeping.

SAP Cloud Print Manager

SAP Cloud Print Manager (CPM) is a tool used for managing print tasks. It’s a standalone software that enables users to manage, monitor and execute print tasks that have been created in the SAP Print Queue.

SAP CPM for Pull Integration receives items from the Print Queues created in the Maintain Print Queues app and enables to print documents from S/4HANA, S/4HANA Cloud Public and Private Edition and SAP BTP to the printer in your local network. For detailed instructions on configuring CPM for Pull Integration, refer to the Blog by Mahesh Sardesai on installation and configuration.

Using CPM comes with the similar disadvantages as described here for access methods C/L/S/U for SAP Spool. One drawback of CPM is the lack of comprehensive feedback for processing status. That is because there is only feedback on to next processing level, which is the Windows subsystem. There is no evidence or feedback on the final processing. Consequently, there is no resilience in the processing sequence from the SAP Print Queue to the printed document.

Connecting external OMS to SAP

To address the limitations of SAP Cloud Print Manager (CPM), SAP has implemented an API that integrates several interface scenarios, allowing various SAP solutions to connect the SAP Print Queue to external Output Management Systems (OMS).

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SAP interface integration scenarios to external OMS

 

The interface integration scenarios are available in SAP cloud-enabled business solutions as well as on S/4HANA, as outlined in the image above. The API implementation across different SAP platforms shares identical functional aspects, with authentication procedures tailored to each specific platform.
Print Queue items can be retrieved from defined Print Queues within different SAP systems. The status of a Print Queue item can be reported according to the processing status in the external OMS. Again, this comes with the benefit of providing comprehensive feedback like updates in processing and especially the final result of the document processing.

Printing and beyond

Printing results in tangible copies of the Print Queue items.
But what if requirements for business workflow for outgoing documents comes into place?
Consider the following:

  • Automation based on Print Queue item metadata or content
  • “Follow me” printing
  • Document distribution via workflow-based channels
  • Email and other electronic delivery
  • Post-processing, such as tailored advertising

What if comprehensive feedback for processing status system is a must due of legal and compliance requirements? How can you add resilience to the printing or workflow process?

For these purposes, an external OMS comes into place. An OMS is a software that provides services to manage, store, preserve and deliver documents. For example, delivery can be directed to real or virtual printing devices or an email to individuals. The options and requirements are diverse, accommodating the varied demands of different companies and users.

Hence, SAP introduced API to pass documents directly from SAP Print Queue and to provide options for comprehensive processing and status feedback.

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Connecting external OMS to SAP

OMS integration to SAP Print Queue

The OMS is called at runtime to receive the Print Queue Item. There is an option for comprehensive feedback, like updates in the processing status and especially result of the document.

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Integration with PULL notification to SAP Print Queue

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Integration with PUSH notification to SAP Print Queue

For the API, there is integration with PULL notification type available in SAP BTP, S/4HANA Cloud Private and Public Edition, and S/4HANA.
PUSH notifications are available as well for SAP BTP and S/4HANA-Cloud Public Edition.
Note! PUSH notification-type are not available for S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition and S/4HANA.

When managing notifications for Print Queue items, understanding the pros and cons of pull (polling) and push notification methods is crucial.

PULL – Polling by the OMS for Print Queue items:

Pros:

  • Simplicity: Polling is a straightforward mechanism where the OMS periodically checks for updates within the SAP system. It is easy to implement and monitor.
  • Control: With polling, the OMS has control over when to request updates from the SAP system. This can be useful in scenarios where minimizing network traffic or fetching updates at specific intervals is desired.
  • Compatibility: Polling uses same direction, methods, and infrastructure for API calls for all network communication.

Cons:

  • Increased Network Traffic: PULL can result in unnecessary network traffic, as the OMS repeatedly sends requests to the SAP system even when there are no updates available.
  • Delayed Updates: Since the SAP system must wait for a poll from the OMS, there can be a delay in processing. This delay can be significant if the polling interval is long.
  • Resource Consumption: Polling can consume SAP system resources, especially in scenarios with many OMS instances constantly sending requests.

PUSH – Sending notifications towards OMS on new Print Queue items. Item transfer is with PULL.

Pros:

  • Real-Time Updates: Callbacks allow the SAP system to push updates to OMS immediately when a print que item occurs, enabling almost real-time communication and faster response times.
  • Reduced Network Traffic: With callbacks, the SAP System only sends updates when necessary, reducing unnecessary network traffic and improving efficiency.
  • Event-Driven Architecture: Callbacks promote an event-driven architecture, where the OMS responds to specific SAP system notifications for new Print Queue items and the OMS triggers a callback accordingly.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Implementing callback mechanisms by the OMS can be more complex than polling.
  • Compatibility: PUSH notifications require additional infrastructure configuration for the inverted direction of communication, which can limit usability in certain environments.
  • Scalability: OMS can pose scalability challenges, especially when dealing with many PUSH notifications.

Reference implementation

See in images reference below for implementation of the API to Print Queue. The OMS queries for new items or gets PUSH notification. Upon new items they are retrieved from Print Queue. After proceeding of the items results are passed back to the Print Queue.

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In addition to the regular pressing, there are also supplementing functions for:
– error handling. For example if the transfer of maybe huge Print Queue items failed
– defining the capabilities of the (printing) devises in the associated Print Queue

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API supplementing functions

 

Documentation and additional information sources

API Documentation
API_CLOUD_PRINT_PULL_SRV on SAP Help Portal
API_CLOUD_PRINT_PULL_SRV on SAP Business Accelerator Hub

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition, SAP S/4HANA with integration scenario S/4HC-PRINT-OMS
PUSH notifications are not supported for S/4HC-PRINT-OMS.
SAP Printing Guide
Maintain Print Queues
SAP Note 3348799
SAP Note 3420465

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition with integration scenario S/4HC-PUB-PRINT-OMS
Introduction
Video
Maintain Print Queues
PULL and PUSH communication scenarios

SAP Business Technology Platform with integration scenario BTP-PRINT-OMS
SAP Print Service
End User Guide for SAP Print Service

Other SAP solutions based on SAP S/4HANA Java

Unfortunately, there is no general API available for the respective integration scenario.
Based on the SAP solution, there may be an individual procedure of the document processing out of the SAP System.

SAP Integration and Certification Center

The SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) helps partners and independent software vendors support our customers by testing and certifying the integration solutions with SAP technologies. We provide services around third-party software integration with SAP solutions. We offer an open program for any partner or independent software vendor, who has an app or a solution and wishes to have their solution or interface certified with the latest SAP technologies.

SAP Interface Integration Certification

SAP Certification serves as proof that software vendor technology integrates smoothly with SAP solutions, giving customers total confidence in their investment decision.

The “SAP Certified” designation is not liberally awarded. Certified solution providers must pass a stringent set of qualification procedures based on SAP-endorsed integration technologies before receiving SAP-certified status.

Certification Details and Costs
SAP-certified solutions are listed in our online directory, where the public can find innovative, partner-built cloud applications powered by SAP HANA and solutions integrated with SAP Business Suite software from more than 1,000 software vendors and partners.

Benefits for customers are:

  • Reduced implementation effort: Pretested integration with SAP solutions enables customers to save on total cost of ownership and cut integration costs.
  • Accelerated innovation: Certified solutions follow SAP standards for technical integration and, if recertified on a regular basis, support upgrades with minimal interruptions.
  • SAP Certification is proof that a Software Vendor’s technology integrates smoothly with SAP solutions, giving customers total confidence in their investment decision.

If you are interested in certification for your OMS, please feel free to e-mail icc-info@sap.com.

Learn how to generate the most value from a certified integration for example SAP Partner Programs, promotion options, and many more.

Subscribe to our SAP ICC Newsletter to get the latest updates about integration, certification and co-innovation topics right to your inbox.

Conclusion:

See summary in table below to determine which SAP Interface Integration Scenario is suitable for integrating an external OMS with a specific SAP solution:

SAP Solution SAP Interface Integration Scenario
SAP Business Technology Platform BTP-PRINT-OMS
SAP S/4HANA Cloud (public) S/4HC-PUB-PRINT-OMS
SAP S/4HANA Cloud (private) S/4HC-PRINT-OMS *)
SAP S/4HANA S/4HC-PRINT-OMS *)

*) comes with limitations, see details in this blog