Like all software vendors, SAP regularly updates its pricing and changes the license types it offers to customers. Because SAP Business One is sold to customers through value-added resellers (“VARs” or “Partners”), that means licensing updates from SAP may not always be top of mind.
Why Licensing Matters to You
ASUG’s mission is to help organizations get the most out of their SAP investments. We believe that it’s critical for customers to understand what’s in their contracts and how they’re currently using their SAP systems, so they can best manage their licensing spend and avoid the risk of being noncompliant. This is equally true for our SAP Business One members.
With the ongoing discussions around SAP licensing and indirect access in mind, I wanted to let you know about some important changes that will affect us and the solutions we use.
The most important changes relate to the Indirect Access User license, the DI Server, the Integration Framework, and how these are licensed. These took effect on April 16, 2018. There are also pricing changes to be aware of.
A Few Words About Pricing
Pricing is not a topic we can cover here in depth, as the final price we all pay is unique to our situations. It’s dependent on the country where we’re based, the number and type of users we have, and any discounts our partners may apply.
If you do have specific questions on pricing, the best action is to reach out to your SAP Business One partner.
Changes to the Indirect Access User Type
Indirect Access is a type of license that allows you to use SAP Business One without access to the user interfaces developed by SAP. Typically, access is set up through add-ons and extensions from SAP partners and that customers create internally.
So far, indirect access use cases for SAP Business One have been licensed through these standard price list items:
- The direct access users: Professional, Limited, Mobile, and Starter Package
- Indirect Access User (per user)
- Integration Framework of SAP Business One (per instance)
- DI-Server (per CPU core)
A Price Increase
The prices of the Indirect Access User licenses have now doubled (increased by a factor of two).
Simplifying the Technology Types
SAP no longer differentiates price list items by indirect access technology type (DI-API, DI-Server, Service Layer, or Integration Framework). Now, the use rights for Indirect Access licenses apply to connections with any technology type. SAP also reduced the number of price list items for indirect-access-only licenses from three to two.
- The item “Indirect access per User” has increased in price by a factor of two.
- The item “Integration Framework of SAP Business One” has been replaced by the item “Indirect access per Instance” and has increased its price by a factor of two. SAP will now count only “external instances.” (Business One to Business One instances will not be counted.)
What Exactly is an Instance?
An instance is a unique connection to a single specified application or technology type. For example, if you are connecting to Salesforce via the Service Layer or via the Integration Framework, that is one external instance.
If you also wanted to connect to an e-commerce website built on Magento, Shopify, or WooCommerce, and you were using an integration solution built with the DI-API, then that connection counts as a second external instance.
If you are also connecting to an EDI solution via the Integration Framework, that’s a third external instance. In this case, you would need to purchase three Indirect Access Instances in total. If you are purchasing perpetual use licenses, the maximum number of instances tops out at 20. Effectively, that becomes the unlimited instances breakpoint.
What About Predefined SAP to SAP Integrations?
Standard integration scenarios delivered by SAP (SAP Customer Checkout, SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP Hybris, SAP ECC / SAP BW / SAP S/4HANA on-premise) and the required instances do not require any additional license fees, even when they are modified to meet your specific needs.
This makes sense, as you would already purchase licenses for those SAP products. Charging for these SAP to SAP integrations would be double dipping.
How Indirect Static Read of Your Data Works
For this one, I am going to quote SAP directly so there’s no interpretation required. Its current definition is relatively unambiguous, unlike the previous definition that was different for SAP HANA and Microsoft SQL databases.
Indirect Static Read Scenario – This is a scenario where information has been exported from an SAP system (other than SAP Analytics Packages) to a non-SAP system pursuant to a predefined query that meets the following criteria:
SAP’s policy is that the use of such exported data in third-party non-SAP systems does not need to be licensed, as long as all of the criteria listed here for indirect static read are met.This applies to all SAP Business One offerings, for both new and current SAP Business One customers.
- Was created by an individual licensed to use the SAP system from which the information is being exported.
- It runs automatically on a scheduled basis, and the use of such exported information by the non-SAP systems and/or their users does NOT result in any updates to and/or trigger any processing capabilities of the SAP System.Examples of Some Indirect Static Read Scenarios:
- An employee of SAP’s customer views reports (e.g., financial statements, forecasts, etc.) in a non-SAP system where such data was transmitted from an SAP system prior to the employee accessing the non-SAP system.
- A licensed employee of SAP’s customer downloads information from SAP Business One to a third-party software system so that others can view that information in the third-party software.
- An employee of SAP's customer views his customer's master data in a table within the third-party application, where such information originated in SAP Business One and was downloaded to the third-party application prior to the employee accessing it.
- Data is aggregated and calculated in the SAP Business One system (e.g., creation of a P&L, summary records per account), then transferred to a third-party planning and consolidation application prior to an employee viewing and processing the data in the third-party application.
Talk to Your Partners
So, what do these changes mean for you and your business? The good news is that SAP has simplified the requirements and provided some clarity on how you should license these technologies in cases where you’re connecting them to external applications.
You will see price increases for some components, while for others you could see a reduction in the total cost of the solution. This will depend on how your individual integration was developed. My advice is to check with your partner or with the developer of the complementary solution you are using to get educated on how this will affect you.
Hopefully, this information helps you understand these changes. Remember, for specific “how will this affect me” questions, you should approach your SAP Business One partners.