In this blog post we will introduce you to the “Intelligent Invoice Scan” function, which was introduced in SAP Business ByDesign with Release 2008. There are two major innovations compared to the previous scanning solution:

  1. It is now sufficient to only upload PDF documents. A TXT document is no longer required.
  2. The PDF file is scanned using the Document Information Extraction Service (DOX) from SAP, including an integrated OCR service for text recognition and a data model based on machine learning.

Supported languages are English, German, French and Spanish. Please note that the DOX service is currently not available in a Chinese data center and therefore cannot be used for SAP Business ByDesign clients hosted in China.

Use of the new scan service is already included in your SAP Business ByDesign licenses. There are therefore no additional costs.

This graphic shows the process flow. You start by uploading the PDF documents using the new “Invoice Scan” view. A bulk upload of PDFs can also be done via the SAP Collaboration Window. This can be done from the self-service area of your SAP Business ByDesign system (Work Center Home page ) can be downloaded.

Once uploaded, the PDF files are automatically sent to the SAP Document Information Extraction Service, and the invoice header and line item information is sent back to SAP Business ByDesign. Since supplier master data can be uploaded to DOX, the supplier ID can be assigned directly to the scanned supplier information such as name, address or other contact information.

The scanned information is first stored in a staging object, where the results can be checked, corrected and the supplier invoice can be created.

Let’s take a closer look at the steps.

In order to activate the solution in your client, you must answer the question “Would you like to enter supplier invoices via PDF scan?” Define in fine tuning in the business configuration. If you also want to automate the creation of the invoice, you must also “Would you like to use the automatic creation of invoices from scanned documents?” choose. This means that a supplier invoice is automatically created from the staging object.

No further settings need to be made to establish the connection between the SAP Business ByDesign client and the DOX service.

Next, the application users must be assigned the new “Invoice Scan” view of the “Invoice Review” work center.

It is advisable to upload the supplier master data to DOX before scanning the first invoices. This can be done in the “Invoice Scan” view in the “Supplier Invoice” work center. This upload should be repeated if new scan-relevant supplier master data has been created or changed.

The “Synchronize master data” action opens a screen in which the synchronization can be started.


This can be done using the “Upload” action in the “Invoice scan” view. A screen will be launched in which you can specify the company for which you want to upload the PDFs. The corresponding PDF documents can then be selected from a file share and transferred to DOX via “Start Process”.

As mentioned above, a bulk upload of PDF documents can best be carried out via the SAP Collaboration Window. Make the following configuration settings under Menu – Settings – Invoice scan:

Please mark both options and enter the “Watched” folder from which the PDF files should be uploaded. Next, you need to copy your Invoice PDF to the watched folder, from where it will be automatically uploaded when the Collaboration window is open.

The company information is retrieved by the user logged in to the collaboration window.

Regardless of how you upload the PDF files, they will then be displayed in the “Invoice scan” view:

The status indicates whether the scanning process has been completed. You may need to refresh the list after a while. When the scan is complete, you can view the scanned values using the Review action, which opens the staging item:

The scanned values are displayed in the read-only fields on the left side of the user interface. If some values were not scanned correctly or not recognized at all, you can manually overwrite them in the “Validated values” section. In my example, the supplier was not recognized. As soon as you are satisfied with the result, the invoice can be created directly via this user interface or via the “Invoice scan” worklist.

The created invoice can of course be checked again in the “New scanned invoice” user interface, where additional data such as the accounting allocation can also be added.

The invoice scanning and creation process is now complete. Please take a look at that too Video at.

This article is intended to give you an initial overview. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We support you with the configuration in your SAP Business ByDesign so that you too can benefit from this innovation.

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This post and the screenshots it contains are based on Stefan Resag’s blog post on the official SAP blog, available at https://blogs.sap.com/2020/07/31/intelligent-invoice-scanning/

All statements without guarantee.