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Document Management in SAP - KPRO, Archivelink and Content Server.

Greetings SAP experts,

I’m currently evaluating the best approach to store and manage document that would be used in SAP. During my researches, I found that there is several components that could be used for more or less the same purpose but I have a hard time to see the overall picture.

I have documented my understanding and I’m looking for clarification or correction of my understanding.

My understanding of the main components for Document management are the following:

  • Archivelink: Use to manage documents that are static in nature (i.e. content doen’t change over time) by example vendor invoices, picture, SAP generated invoices, etc… and link it to an SAP Business Object so that it can be easily retrieved from SAP GUI. As I understand it, it can store the files on an SAP Content Server or on a third party document management system (e.g. Open text)
  • Knowledge Provider (KPRO): Use to manage more complex use cases than simple archiving. Use to manage complete Document lifecycle from creation, approval and release. Manage different version of the same document. Allows a many-to-many assignment between business objects and documents. Can be crawled by search engine (such as TREX). KPRO can store files on an SAP Content Server or on a third party document management system (e.g. Open text). KPRO used Document Info Records (DIR) to identify the document.
  • Content Server/Cache Server: SAP solution to store documents more effectively than basic file management system. My understanding is that it’s not a mandatory component but that it has several benefits over Basic file management system such as caching. It can be used to store document for both ArchiveLink and KPRO

How far from the truth am I?

What confuse me the most is that there is diagram on SAP Website that doesn’t align with the above description. Is shows ArchiveLink as an application that would access the CMS module of KPRO to access documents. However, all my readings are more align toward the description above…

Also, I'm still confused on the roles of the Document Management Service (DMS) and Content Management Service (CMS) inside KPRO. Both seems to be there as an abstraction layer between the SAP and the physical storage of the documents. I understand that DMS is used to manage all the attributes, relationships, version etc... If that's the case then, what does CMS that is not done by DMS?

Finally, we're looking to use a third party Document management system to store most of the content. Any of the solution above more adapted to third party integration?

I hope someone could shed some light on this topic for me.

Thanks

Samuel

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1 Answer

  • Best Answer
    Nov 25, 2015 at 06:27 AM

    Hello Samuel,


    “What confuse me the most is that there is diagram on SAP Website that doesn’t align with the above description. Is shows ArchiveLink as an application that would access the CMS module of KPRO to access documents. However, all my readings are more align toward the description above…”

    May be from the Kpro perspective it is an application rather than an infrastruce that uses content Management service.

    My reason for this is even though Kpro & Archivelink has their own TC's/Programs for achieving the same purpose like for example for document type creation, we OAC2 in case of Archivelink and different TC in case of Kpro for the same purpose. BUT whichever the case may be they should use the common application independent infrastruce TC's/Programs like communication infrastructure "OAC0", monitoring Queues like "OAM1"  which are part of CMS of Kpro but still being used by Archivelink.

    As said may be it is from Kpro prespective it is presented as application, may be it better way would  be represented as one of Document management infrasture in parallel with  KPRO using the CMS of Kpro.  Even the packages in SAP shows the same.

    “Also, I'm still confused on the roles of the Document Management Service (DMS) and Content Management Service (CMS) inside KPRO. Both seems to be there as an abstraction layer between the SAP and the physical storage of the documents. I understand that DMS is used to manage all the attributes, relationships, version etc... If that's the case then, what does CMS that is not done by DMS?”

    I think DMS -> provides the infrasturce for dealing with documents like as you said attributes, versions...etc...etc as per content models

                CMS -> provides the infrasture for dealing with communication like supporting document area, protocols definition, certificate checks, queues...etc...etc

    “Finally, we're looking to use a third party Document management system to store most of the content. Any of the solution above more adapted to third party integration?”

    All the 3rd party content managements systems should align to support both Kpro & Archivelink. What differs is whether is database or content server based content management system. For example, informatica provides database based content management systems while OpenText, EMS & others provides content server based content management system.

    “I’m currently evaluating the best approach to store and manage document that would be used in SAP. During my researches, I found that there is several components that could be used for more or less the same purpose but I have a hard time to see the overall picture.

    It depends on your requirement but if you are looking for a document and data storage to integrate more with business process of SAP for content server based CMS, which many prefer otherwise you can evaluate others.

    Hope I have not confused you :). Please post if I did, I will try to clarify.


    Thanks,

    Kolusu

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