Ariba eForm - Part I

I’ve been amazed when I reviewed a thread on Ariba exchange talking about Ariba eForm (http://exchange.ariba.com/thread/1279), the thread reached more than 500 views.
Seems like a lot of people have an interest about Ariba eForms but as it is said in the thread, there’s little information/documentation about them, so let this blog adds some piece of documentation.

So what's an eForm ?

Let’s make it simple, Ariba eForm is a way to make any form-like in an electronic manner. Think about all those excel and pdf files that are floating around and you have to exchange by mail or signed paper; there’s many occasions where an eForm could replace them.
An eForm can contain any data field, simple type like text, number, and dates or object type like user, supplier … and even documents can be stored in eForm.
EForm supports approval workflow so it’s perfect to replace your signed paper that you exchange by envelope or scanned documents exchanged by mail.
Examples of eForm (among others) are timesheet report, expense report (Ariba leverage the original eForm and make it a module by itself in newer version) and supplier creation request.
Let’s take this last example to walkthrough an EForm creation. Many organizations already implemented their own supplier management eForm; this post is just to take an example to present the feature of eForm.

EForm Requirement

Users can request for a supplier to be created, this will be approved by a supplier manager who will review and complete the information given and process the creation of a new supplier.
In the first part, we will discuss the creation of the metadata for the new eform and enable the eform in the application. In a second part we will discuss more the UI of an eform through the wizard, the approval rules associated to the eForm and the workflow.

Declare the eForm class

We will dive into some aml coding. EForms are just standard aml class that needs to extend Approvable.

    <class name="config.sandbox.supplier.eform.SupplierEForm"
           prefix="fhsef"
           partitioned="true"
           super="ariba.approvable.core.Approvable">
        
        <field name="SupplierName">
            <type class="java.lang.String" length="255"/>
            <properties label="@config.sandbox.eform.supplier/SupplierNameLabel"
                        rank="100"
                        required="true"/>
        </field>

        <field name="SupplierDUNSId">
            <type class="java.lang.String" length="15"/>
            <properties label="@config.sandbox.eform.supplier/SupplierDunsLabel"
                        rank="200"
                        prototypeValue="12-345-6789"
                        format="DD-DDD-DDDD"/>
        </field>

        <overrides>
            <override name="ClassProperties">
                <properties uiName = "Supplier Request"
                            copyable="false"
                            printable="true"
                            detailsGroup="SupplierEFormDetailsGroup"
                            searchGroup="SupplierEFormSearchGroup"
                            wizardFile="Eform/Eform.awz"
                            _workflowName="SupplierEForm"
                            _workflowEvent="SupplierEForm:Approved"/>
             </override>
        </overrides>

I will not detail line by line but pick the interesting part:

  • Line 1-4 : this is the class declaration, a eForm must be a subclass of the ariba.approvable.core.Approvable class
  • Line 6-11 : declare a first field, this will be our supplier name, this field should be required to save an eForm
  • Line 13-19 : declare a second field, this will be our duns Id, this is required if the current user is from the Supplier Manager group (we will see later that this group has to approve the request)
  • Line 23-30 : this is the properties of the class eForm. You cannot make a copy of the request (the copy button is not visible) and we enabled the print button
  • The uiName is the name that will appear under the create menu – XXXX check if reload or only load at approvabletype run
  • We reference the default wizard file provided by Ariba (we’ll change this in the second part)

Declare the new eForm as Approvable

You would need to edit the ApprovableType.csv file for all the partitions where you will want to use the new eForm and add a line such as:

"config.sandbox.supplier.eform.SupplierEForm", "true", "CreateRequisition", "false", "", "", "EditApprovable", "RemoveAnyApprovalRequest", "AddApprovalRequest", "SEFR", "10", "ariba.common.core.ApprovableNotificationPreferences", "27", "true", "true", "true", "true", "true", "true", "true", "Eform", "", "1000"

The principal fields for the ApprovableType file are:

"ApprovableClassName",

Name of the eForm class

"Restricted",

Is the creation of the eForm restricted – if yes, the next value (ie "Permission") must be set with a valid permission

"QueryRestricted",

If there is restriction on searching the eForm

If yes, the next value (ie QueryPermission") must be set with a valid permission

"EditApprovable",

Specifies who can edit the eForm after it has been submitted for approval

"ApprovableIdPrefix",

The prefix for the Id of documents we’ll create, set to SEFR (Supplier EForm)

"ApprovableIdInitialValue",

The starting number for new approvables of this type. It defaults to 10.

"ModuleName",

Must be Eform (as it is defined in your p.table file, see below)

"DoctypeCategory",

Leave it empty if you want users to access the creation eform link directly from the create portlet

You can use an existing category or create new one of you have many eform that you want to group

  

Configuration for eForm

You would need to check your config/Parameters.table file (aka p.table file) and make sure the eForm value is properly set:

System.Base.Modules = (…., Eform, …);

System.Base.UIModules = (…,ariba.htmlui.eform.EformModule, .…);

Once all the above is done, you can restart Ariba Buyer.

After the system is up and running, run the ApprovableTypePull event with the updated file. You will need to run the event for each of the partition where you want the eform to be available.
Your eForm will be available when you log in a partition where the eForm is enabled:


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