Deep Dive into SAP Package Licensing – Part 1 of 2

By Chris Hughes

SAP packages (also known as engines) are optional applications and industry-specific extensions that must be licensed in addition to the named user licenses that are required by every SAP user. Each package is licensed using a unique business metric that aims to measure the business value provided by that package. In this 2-part blog series, we’ll take a deep dive into the license requirements of some complex SAP packages to develop an understanding of what it takes to manage package licenses.

For organizations that have licensed many SAP packages, dealing with many different business metrics might sound intimidating. But, SAP provides measurement functions for most packages that return a bunch of raw metrics, including some required for licensing.

A common misconception about package licensing is that your work is done once you’ve gotten access to the raw metrics provided by SAP’s measurements. Unfortunately, that’s when the real work begins! In this post, I’ll walk you through what’s required to go from knowing SAP’s raw metrics to knowing the license consumption of a package.

The package we’re looking at today is SAP Human Resource Management which is licensed according to the total number of Personnel Administration master records. Let’s assume you’re able to locate the measurement function for this package (HINT: look in SAP’s TUAPP table) and run it. The following metrics are returned:

Metric Code Definition
150 PA withdrawn
151 PA inactive
152 PA retiree / pensioner
153 PA active
160 PA applicants
170 PA benefits
175 PA compensation management

Each metric returns a single value equal to the total number of master records for that metric. That’s good news, because the same cannot be said for all package measurements. Some time-based measurements return 3 values for every metric: the last completed calendar year, the last 12 months and the current calendar year. Others return 12 values, one per month for the last 12 months. And so on.

Now that we have our metrics, what do we do with them? The answer is… it depends. It depends on the SAP price list version of your contract, and whether payroll is active (as indicated by metrics 150-153). There are four different calculations depending on these parameters, as follows:

Price list version Payroll is active? Calculation
Lower than 4.0 Yes 1/2 * (M151 + M152) + M153
Lower than 4.0 No M160 / 3
4.0 or higher Yes M151 + M152 + M153
4.0 or higher No M160

* Where Mxxx is the value of the specified metric code; Metrics 150, 170 and 175 are never used.

Large organizations can easily have 20 or more SAP packages. With the right tools and the right expertise, these calculations can be automated and regularly repeated to provide a clear picture of your SAP package license consumption at all times and to avoid nasty surprises at true-up.

In the 2nd half of this series, we’ll continue to look at the requirements of complex SAP package licenses. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, to learn more about SAP license management, please view our on-demand webinar: Lifting the Lid on SAP Licensing.



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