anydb conversion hana licensing [shutterstock: 250871119, Kaspars Grinvalds]
[shutterstock: 250871119, Kaspars Grinvalds]
Blog Hana

One ERP System, But Two Databases

SAP conversion threatens to overburden IT budgets because there is no universal AnyDB conversion for S/4 Hana.

Ever more SAP customers are reaching out to E-3 Magazine to complain about double database costs. During the transition phase to S/4 Hana, customers have to pay licenses for the old as well as the new database without being able to use both at the same time. SAP knows of this problem, and in individual discussions, customers have been able to negotiate satisfying alternatives.

The issue primarily concerns IBM DB2 and Oracle databases if customers simultaneously build up database Hana. Only one database is used in production, but during the conversion, licenses have to be paid for both e.g. Oracle and Hana. SAP customers that I’ve talked with personally have said that Microsoft has been more accommodating with its SQL server – they probably don’t want to scare off potential Azure customers.

During the DSAG Technology Days 2020 (which still happened in person – crazy, I know), I asked SAP CTO Juergen Mueller about the lack of a comprehensive AnyDB conversion roadmap. He was unable to give me a straightforward answer. I asked again during SAP Sapphire Now 2021, and got this answer from SAP, “While many of our customers will have a transition period to our private cloud, RISE will accelerate their journey.  We’ve had an opportunity to work with a significant number of customers, and in most instances, the overall TCO reduction far outweighs any overlap in license fees during the short transition period.”


Make of that what you will, but if you do plan on making the move to S/4 Hana, you should definitely prepare yourself for the negotiation. As mentioned, SAP has been more forthcoming in individual discussions – armed with licensing know-how, you might be able to avoid having to pay double.

E-3 Magazine June 2021 (German)

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

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