Developer access might be the next issue when it comes to SAP licenses. [hutterstock: 692207827, fizkes]

Developer access might be the next issue when it comes to SAP licenses. [hutterstock: 692207827, fizkes]

Licensing Strategies For SAP Hana Developers

SAP is aware of its "license debt" and is timidly attempting to repair their prior behavior without losing face. But SAP boss Bill McDermott has too many construction sites for quick answers. The next escalation around a possible "Native Hana Developer" might already be looming.

Let’s take a look into the future. How does the developer user evolve in S/4 Hana? What is striking is that there is no longer a user, but the term “Developer Access” – i.e. access to development activities.

Anyone who knows SAP, knows that “grey areas” are first written down in the price lists and are only executed later: Developer Access as an “additional license component for software development” does not cover all development activities: There is now a development cloud and whoever wants to develop in it needs a web IDE license (Integrated Development Environment).

Currently, SAP only charges for the IDE license, but from a legal point of view, it is also entitled to charge for Developer Access. SAP will not execute this yet, but perhaps in a few years, at its own discretion.

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SAP’s creativity has always been excellent when it comes to interpreting licensing rights. Once there were NetWeaver Developers for NetWeaver, there were Mobile Developers for Mobile and at some point there was a rule that you needed at least one “Developer” per contract, and at soome point that was necessary per installation. These are regulations that only the true licensing expert knows about and can give legal advice on.

In addition, legal analyses based on copyright law alone are hardly useful. The legal situation usually is secure and pretty clear: It depends solely on the price list and general terms and conditions know-how from the past 18 years.

Back to the future: Besides Web IDE access, development in Native Hana is strictly prohibited. Development activities may only take place outside of the interfaces. It is clear to everyone that this does not work and SAP does not want to hear it and sometimes tolerates it tacitly. However, tolerance alone does not constitute a right to do so in the future!

If you have known SAP pricing for as long as I have known it, then you should prepare yourself for the fact that SAP will provide a new user type for “Native Hana Development”, which is probably priced higher than previous developers.

Therefore, my advice: Insist on the fact that for Hana DB and S/4 Hana contracts, Developer Access is granted free of charge to existing developer users. Your SAP salesperson may not want to hear it, but the legal and contracting team in the backoffice knows that it is and must be like that.

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