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SAP Licensing

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SAP Licensing Basics

The modular design of SAP software facilitates seamless scalability in accordance with the evolving demands of our customer's expanding businesses. The extensive range of SAP software solutions is complemented by the flexibility afforded to customers in selecting deployment methods and licensing options . With the modular structure of SAP software licenses, customers can tailor their licensing and payment to precisely match the required functionality and capacity at any specific point in time.

Contract Accounts Receivable & Payable ( SAP FICA ):

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This module automates the receivables and payables management process for subscription contracts. It provides a single view of all customer and vendor balances, and it supports automated invoicing and payment processing.

When licensing SAP software, focus on three key aspects:

  • Software Solution: This refers to what you're getting from SAP's wide range of software options to fit your business needs.
  • Deployment Options: It's about how you choose to use the SAP software. You can have it on your own servers (on-premise), in a public cloud, or in a private cloud managed by a hosting service.
  • Licensing Models: This involves the different ways SAP allows you to use their software. You might buy it outright (perpetual), pay regularly (subscription), or based on how much you use it (consumption). It gives you flexibility in how you want to pay for and use the software.
sap software licensing image

Deployment Options

Once you've chosen the right SAP software for your business, explore deployment options. Understand implications based on where the system resides — whether on-premise, in the cloud, or a managed private cloud. Choose between self-management or outsourcing IT operations to streamline hardware and software oversight.


On Premise

  • Gain perpetual software use rights.
  • Customer takes charge of:
    Hardware management.
    Implementation processes.
    ⭢  Ongoing operations & maintenance.
private cloud

Private cloud

  • Choose perpetual or subscription-based software use rights.
  • SAP offers hardware, operational services, and optional application management in a single-tenant environment.
public cloud

Public Cloud

  • Utilize subscription-based software use rights.
  • SAP takes care of software management in a multi-tenant software-as-a-service environment.

Licensing Models

SAP provides flexible deployment options. Additionally, customers can choose from three licensing models: perpetual, subscription, and consumption-based term licenses for adaptable usage and payment structures.

SAP software under three different licensing models:


  • Perpetual software use rights
  • Annual recurring support fee
  • One-time license fee
  • For on-premise scenarios primarily*
Perpetual image

Examples: SAP ERP , SAP S/4 HANA®.SAP C/4 HANA, and SAP Business Objects TM solutions


  • Term license typically 3 to 5 years
  • For cloud solutions primarily
  • Annual subscription fee based on estimated use and includes support

Examples: SAP S/4 HANA; SAP C/4 HANA;SAP Concur*, SAP Ariba*, and SAP Success Factors solutions: SAP Cloud Platform; and SAP Business Objects solutions


  • Term license
  • No annual commitment; payment based on actual usage
  • Available for select cloud offerings

Examples: SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass solutions

Support services and customer success plans





Innovation & value realization

Innovation & value realization

Mission-critical support

Mission-critical support

Proactive and preventive support

Content and services: guidance and best practices on innovation adoption Value from life cycle management tools such as the SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder service and SAP Solution Manager Next-generation support: simplified digital customer support experience

Across all deployment options

On premise

On premise





Data Licensing Topics

Customers can license SAP databases based on deployment and database type. Three options exist, allowing flexibility.

On premise and private cloud

  • Full-Use Database Licensing:
    Full-Use Database SAP licenses full-use databases, including flagship SAP HANA (enterprise edition), based on memory. It supports SAP and non-SAP software, catering to diverse applications, including custom and third-party solutions.
  • Runtime Data Licensing :
    SAP licenses runtime databases like SAP HANA and SAP ASE based on a percentage of the software fee, not on memory size. Options include third-party databases licensed directly from SAP or through providers like Microsoft, Oracle, or IBM.

public cloud

  • SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA Service:
    SAP Cloud Platform's HANA service is an in-memory database, seamlessly managed in diverse cloud environments. Accessible through a subscription license, it's deployed within SAP's public cloud. Aligned with full-use database licensing, it operates on a gigabyte-of-memory metric, inclusive of associated storage. This advanced service combines the power of in-memory computing with the convenience of cloud deployment, offering a comprehensive solution for businesses across various landscapes.led a "runtime" license.