At the urging of several other SAP Mentors, I am starting this WIKI to pull together a lot of different things that a lot of different SAP techies know about all the various ways that one has to use to retrieve and manipulate attachments to SAP Business Objects.
The reason why this is such a complicated business is because there are at least four different "generations" of techniques that SAP has used to do this, ranging from the earliest (involving binaries stored in the SAP Office transparent table SOFFDB) to the latest (involving external content servers and methods in the "GOS" classes.) And therefore, there is no one "right" technique for retrieving and manipulating attachments to Business Objects - it all depends on what "generation" of SAP attachment technology has been implemented at the client site where you're currently working. (Believe it or not, I was at a client last year who had gone to NW2004s but was still storing attachments in SOFFDB ...)
So, assuming that this WIKI is really needed in the SAP community, and will serve a worthwhile function, I'd like to lay down some "rules of the road". Not because I want to be the "boss", but because things have to be kept orderly - otherwise, our documentation in this WIKI will just wind up to be another mass of confusing spaghetti.
Rule of the Road 1.
If anyone doesn't agree with my identification of the four "generations" of SAP Technology (SAPOffice, BDS, DMS, GOS), please let me know as soon as possible at email@example.com, so that I can correct the problem This is important because I am going to set up four child-pages under this root page (one for SAPOffice, one for BDS, one for DMS, and one for GOS) - so if these pages are incomplete or incorrect, I want to change them as soon as possible.
Rule of the Road 2.
Under each of the "generational" child pages, there will be two granchild pages: one for retrieval of attachments, and one for manipulation of attachments - like thiis:
1. SAP Office
1.1 "SOFF" Attachment Retrieval
1.2 "SOFF" Attachment Manipulation
2.1 BDS Attachment Retrieval
2.2 BDS Attachment Manipulaton
3.1 DMS Attachment Retrieval
3.2 DMS Attachment Manipulation.
4.1 GOS Attachment Retrieval
4.2 GOS Attachment Retrieval.
Those who have already written blogs or articles or presentations about any of these eight areas are asked to put links to what they've done on a child page of the appropriate page above.
For example, Narendran has written extensively on the GOS techniques, so if he feels like contributing, he would start two new pages like 4.1.1 and 4.2.1:
4.1. GOS Attachment Retrieval
4.1.1 What Narendran knows
4.2 GOS Attachment Manipulation.
4.2.1 What Narendran knows.
Similarly, if someone knows how to do something, but has never presented it, they would actually write up what they know on an appropriate new page. So, for example, I might do 1.1.1 and 1.2.1:
1. SAP Office.
1.1. SOFF Attachment Retrieval
!.1.1 What David knows
1.2 SOFF Attachment Manipulation.
1.2.1 What Narendran knows.
and aRS might do the same for BDS or DMS.
The point is: each contributor adds his or her stuff on a new page, so if there is more than one correct approach, and one person knows one, while another person knows another, the approaches wind up on separate subpages.
That way, errors or unclarities in any person's stuff remain local to his or her pages, where they can be easily corrected.
Well, this is a beginning anyway. I personally am looking forward to see what develops.