The pitfalls of SAP® licensing

Transparency in SAP® landscapes as the basis for successful risk prevention and successful negotiations regarding indirect usage


In the last 24 months, SAP has targeted its customers regarding direct and indirect use. The differences between direct and indirect use are briefly described below.
In the sense of SAP, direct usage occurs when a defined user connects SAP software to SAP software.
For example, an SAP customer links a standard module such as Materials Management to Self-Service Procurement. This means that an employee orders an office item in Materials Management. This data is then transferred to the Self-Service Procurement System. In that way, the purchasing department can create a purchase order to the supplier. For this purpose, the employee requires an SAP Employee User License and the purchaser must have at least one Limited Professional User or a user with similar rights. If these conditions are met, no subsequent licensing is due.

In the understanding of SAP, indirect usage is happening when a defined user connects SAP software with non-SAP software or vice versa. If data is exchanged from SAP to Non-SAP or vice versa, there is an indirect usage.
For example, the above-mentioned employee orders again material using the SAP Materials Management. This data is now transferred to a non-SAP system, since the company’s requirements are not covered by SAP functions. The non-SAP is easy to use, offers a high-performance and fault-tolerant search function with suggestions by the system and offers a self-service, with which users can design their own user interface. The employee of the purchasing department, who does not have an SAP user, now accesses the Materials Management from a non-SAP B2B so that the purchase order can be created.
In this particular case, this means in SAP’s understanding that the buyer needs either a Platform User License or SAP NetWeaver Foundation for Third Party Applications. SAP customers must purchase this either based on users or CPUs/cores. Mixing between the metrics is not allowed.
This is also necessary for test users who simulate load tests. An additional complicating factor is that peak loads are used for the license assessment.
That is, maximum numbers are valid and it is the task of the customer to identify, for example, the maximum number of CPUs/cores in a kind of self-report. For this reason, companies have to carry out these evaluations themselves – manually or tool-supported.
The scenarios described above apply to almost every SAP customer. The SAP landscape has grown massively over the decades of its use. The growth relates both to the number of SAP systems and to the number of interfaces between SAP-SAP and SAP-non-SAP systems.
This is precisely the problem of the SAP customer: there is no corresponding transparency in the SAP landscape. The SAP Solution Manager developed by SAP for the operation of an SAP landscape does not help here since it cannot provide the relevant information.  The collection of the relevant data based on manual activities cannot be presented in terms of time or money. Furthermore, the SAP landscape is subject to constant change. These changes are always to be tracked and documented under economic aspects.

To create such transparency in terms of time and economic aspects, CTI has developed the so-called CTI Landscape Analyzer for SAP Solutions (LA4SAP) and certified it through SAP.

The Landscape Analyzer makes it possible to generate a uniform view of all business-relevant information objects within a highly complex SAP landscape in a very short time. Completely compatible with SAP technology and using SAP standard functionality are derived from data information.
Using the collected data and importing it into an EAM software results in the desired result. The SAP customer can now display and evaluate his evaluations about the use and use of the SAP modules and the interfaces to SAP and non-SAP systems. Furthermore, he can at any time repeat the analysis of his SAP System and Transfer it into the EAM software so that he can understand the changes in his SAP landscape at any time .

This information helps customers analyze the surveys evaluated by SAP. In addition, this is the basis for more knowledge about your own SAP landscape.
In summary, this is a perfect foundation to enter contract negotiations with SAP.

For further Information, please contact the author at

The Roadmap to Digitalization – Episode 6: How to Integrate the AWS Cloud in Enterprise Architecture Management

Digital transformation or digitalization is widely discussed today. Digitalization offers an abundance of products based on new technologies and technological platforms that possess the capability to reshape business processes, organizational structure and ways of working. It holds the power to reshape complete business models or even overall market situations.

One main element of digitalization is cloud computing, the usage of IT resources (CPU time, storage, etc.) only up to the amount that is necessary at a certain point in time. Enterprise architecture management (EAM) needs to include the resource used in the cloud (be it private, public or a community cloud) to prevent the IT landscape from spontaneous growth. Measures on how to govern the usage of cloud services should (or need to be) implemented. Today, we’d like to show you how.

Get Architecture Information from AWS

Cloud services like Microsoft Azure, OpenStack or Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer APIs by which many different cloud resources can be created and managed.

We had a closer look at AWS. Its API allows control of instances (virtual servers), virtual machine images, volumes, hosts or network infrastructures, etc. For our first implementation, we concentrated on the instances, to be exact, on the AWS Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances. These are the resource most likely used by our customers – i.e. moving applications from an on-premise server to instances in the cloud.

We created a command line tool that runs regularly to request the instance information from the cloud provider and download it in a standardized format.

Integrate with Enterprise Architecture Management

Based on that an automated import job is started to draw the information in Alfabet. Alfabet is a powerful EAM tool that we use frequently in customer EAM projects. Alfabet provides an object type called “device” that represents a server where an application can be deployed on. We used this object type to describe the AWS instances in the realm of Alfabet:


Imported AWS EC2 instance

The import job also connects the imported instances to the existing IT landscape:

  • Instances are connected to the location where they are running (i.e. “eu-central-1” for the AWS data center in Frankfurt, Germany).
  • Users are assigned to the instances to manage them.
  • A workflow is run to ask responsible users what applications are running on the instances. This is necessary to link instances and applications, and thus make clear how instances are used for.

The steps above provide transparency about the cloud IT landscape. They are the preliminary work for the “actual” use cases:

  • One could review all running applications whether they can be deployed on a cloud instance or not. This would enhance IT standardization as cloud services are built on standardized hardware and software platforms.
  • One could import and collect cost information per instance and use this for reporting and budgeting purposes.

Presentation at EAMKON 2017

We will talk about the integration of the Alfabet EAM tool with AWS at the EAMKON 2017 conference in Stuttgart, 30th May 2017. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Would you like to know more…? If you’re interested in the big picture, refer to the first episode of our digitalization blogs, for enterprise architecture management see this list of posts.

Interested? Please, contact us: sales(at) For further information, please, visit our website.

ADIF Monitor for alfabet

The new ADIF Monitor developed by CTI provides enhanced functionalities to monitor the execution of ADIF schemes. It consists of a report showing the current status of  ADIF schemes and a workflow sending out summary mails for all ADIF schemes executed in a predefined timeframe.

The ADIF Monitor template can be adapted to your individual requirements!


  • transparency regarding the status of ADIF schemes
  • immediate notfication in case of errors

Interested? Please contact us: sales(at)


For further information please visit our homepage.