Wednesday, April 4, 2018

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer: Approval sales document via email

When a sales document created in C4C needs to be approved, the employee who needs to approve should login into C4C right? No, not when you have maintained security certificates in the right way, in that case approval is possible via email without having to login to C4C. If this sounds like something that could be useful for your organization, check out the details of this blog in which I explain how to do the setup for this.


In last weeks blog the standard scenario for ticket approval is described. This standard scenario is also applicable for sales documents. In the standard scenario, when a sales document should be approved, the employee who needs to approve it receives an email without much information in it. It’s only a generic message informing him that he should login into C4C to approve the sales document. He can do this via the Notification view or by navigation to the sales document itself. When a setup with certificates is being implemented, the email which is send to the approver contains more information in the email body and the output document, if configured in C4C, is added as attachment to the email. Approval is possible directly from the email via two links. In below picture the two different emails are displayed. 

Step 1 Enable in scoping 

By default the relevant scoping setting should be active. This is the applicable scope setting that you have to make:

Built-in Services and Support > System Management > System Management:
Do you want to use encryption and signatures for e-mails? Yes

Step 2 – Get a personal secure email certificate 

To be able to approve sales documents directly from an email a secure connection has to be setup between the approvers email client (supported e-mail clients are Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail) and SAP C4C. There are a lot of SSL email certificate providers out there, common known ones are Entrust, Symantec and GeoTrust. I have used Comodo because they have a free certificate option for 90 days.  On the website of Comodo you can request such a certificate and have it available in a couple of minutes. 

Step 3 – Install certificate in email client

The email certificate has to be installed in Outlook so that the approver of the sales document can send a “signed” email to SAP C4C for approval. I had some trouble uploading the certificate from Comodo because it did not have the correct extension, if you experience the same issue most easy thing to do is to export the certificate from Firefox, then it has the right extension for upload in Outlook.

Step 4: Upload personal certificate in C4C

The personal certificate has to be uploaded in C4C. You do this via the administration workcenter, business users. Search and select the applicable user and click the button Manage certificate, here you can upload the certificate:

Step 5: Upload the generic certificate in C4C

Next step is to upload the generic certificate into C4C, in case you use Comodo certificate this is the certificate which is above the personal certificate in the Certification path.

You have to upload it twice. Once in the Certificate trust list, available via Administrator, Common task option “Edit certificate trust list”:

The other place to upload it is in Administrator, Common task option “Configure S/MIME”. Here you have to upload it with the BTM email address because this is the email address to which the email is send once the approver approves or declines the sales document.

In this same view on the tab “Activate S/MIME” you can activate the options Encrypt Outgoing E-Mails and Signing Outgoing E-Mails. 

In the finetuning activity “Signing Outgoing E-Mails” you can define if for your scenario, email encryption and signing should be activate. For the scenario approval sales documents this is activated by default so you don’t have to do any additional configuration in finetuning. 

This is all the setup that you need to do, now emails send to approvers are encrypted and have additional information in it. Also the approval option via email to C4C is now ready to be used.

Step 6: Approve from email 

As mentioned in the introduction, an encrypted email has more information in it. Enhancing this email with configuration, e.g. to display additional fields, is not possible. Especially relevant is the output document attached to the Email, if you configure such a document with the required information the approver can determine whether or not to approve based on this content. The output document which is configured in C4C as the default document template for the specific sales document is added to the email. 

When the approver has determined what to do, he/she has two options, available in the email as links: Approve or Send Back for Revision. When one of the options is selected an default email is created and the only thing the approver should do is to click the “Sign” button in outlook and send the email. 

By "Signing" the email the approver identifies himself and in C4C it can be determined, based on the certificate linked to the user of the approver in C4C, that the employee who send the email to C4C is indeed a "known" and "validated" approver. 


Compared with the default scenario, this setup with certificates requires some additional setup but it simplifies the approval process bigtime. It’s one of those hidden features in C4C for which not much info is available online but with this blog you should be able to do the setup. If you encounter any issues let me know and I might be able to help.