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It is a legal requirement in many countries that companies must issue business documents electronically to business partners and/or legal authorities such as Delivery Notes, Invoices, Credit Memo, Debit Memo, Tax Certificates etc. In addition, some countries require companies to send data of their VAT(Value Added Tax) register books to Tax Authorities (e.g. Spain SII), Ledgers (e.g. Chile). In this blog, I would like to give an overview of the eDocument solution and its solution components, Solution Landscape, Solution Architecture and other salient features of the eDocument Framework.

To meet above mentioned legal compliance requirements in countries where companies are obliged to generate documents electronically, SAP offers eDocument solution. SAP eDocument solution is used to create eDocuments, that is, to transform transactional data created in SAP ECC or S/4HANA system into predefined exchange formats and transfer it electronically to external systems such as to the systems of legal or Tax Authorities. Some countries require companies to exchange data in a specific data exchange format, in most cases it is an XML file with a predefined structure and fields.

Depending on the country and scenarios, eDocument is created for certain type of source document. Below are some examples of source documents

Creation of eDocuments can be broadly classified into two scenarios:

  1. Outgoing (e.g. Customer Invoice, Payment Receipt, Delivery Note)

  2. Incoming (e.g. Vendor Invoice, Invoice Receipt, Goods Receipt)

A typical processing of an outgoing eDocument consists of the following steps:

  1. Generation of source documents (e.g. SD Billing document, Customer Invoice in FI etc.)

  2. Generation of eDocuments

  3. Transmission of eDocuments to external systems

  4. Monitoring eDocument processing status

  5. Update of eDocument status in cockpit based on data coming from external systems

As depicted in the solution architecture, the solution components of eDocument solution are

  • eDocument Framework

  • Country specific solution

  • SAP Document Compliance, on-premise edition

  • SAP Cloud Platform Integration. In case of EU countries leveraging PEPPOL, the communication platform will be SAP Document Compliance, invoicing option for PEPPOL

To implement eDocument Framework, refer to the attachment in  SAP Note 2134248 – eDocument Framework – Installation Overview

SAP Document Compliance, on premise edition. This is technically AIF add-on which has limited runtime usage right for the Application Interface Framework (AIF) and is used to map transactional data to required XML format. AIF additionally provides below key features

  • One approach for multiple countries and eDocument types

  • Business monitoring in ERP

  • Structured display of eDocument data

  • Start follow up actions (e.g. re-submit, verify authorization)

  • Display/download exchanged XML files

  • Navigate to source documents (e.g. Delivery Note, SD Invoice, FI Invoice)

  • Flexible Mapping and Process Management

  • Proxies to connect to SAP CPI containing complete data structures for the country-specific formats

Note: SAP Document Compliance, on premise edition requires separate license (See Note 2378414)

SAP Cloud Platform Integration (CPI) is used as a communication platform to establish communication with external systems by using web services to send data from SAP ECC or S/4HANA and to receive data from external systems. Depending on the country and scenario, SAP Cloud Platform Integration also formats the data to comply with the Web service parameters, signs the document digitally, and establishes a secure connection using SSL. Other key features of CPI are as below

  • Synchronous and asynchronous message exchanges

  • Support for multiple endpoints (service URLs) on the same integration flow

  • Support for several digital signature formats

  • Secure Keystore keeps certificates and credentials on customer's own tenant

  • Easy compression, encoding and assembling of XML envelopes to comply with the communication standards required by different laws from different countries

Note: SAP Cloud Platform Integration requires subscription

There is much more to say about the eDocument solution. Check our product page to find videos and more detailed information about the country specific features, installation and troubleshooting.