The SAP NetWeaver Foundation license hovers above SAP users like a threatening cloud. After SAP announced in February that they would stop charging for the license for the time being, the German SAP user group DSAG is still struggling to come to a final agreement with them. Recently, DSAG published a first temporary result.
It is not exactly a simple task for SAP customers to license their users and system landscapes, especially since SAP is targeting indirect access of SAP data during their audits and system measurements. Since 2015, SAP sales reps are trying to charge their clients for the “NetWeaver Foundation for Third Party Applications” license. Until this point, no SAP customer had to pay for proprietary developments or add-ons based on NetWeaver technology. Interestingly though, this license has always been part of SAP’s list of prices and conditions.
The outcry of the SAP community was conceivably great when this section should suddenly serve as a basis for licensing. Also the software industry was up in arms against SAP’s new strategy. After all, an entire industry has built up its existence on providing services based on the SAP platform. A conciliation attempt between DSAG and SAP led to a first success in February this year. SAP announced that it refraines from collecting the license fee for the time being. However, the issue is still not settled.
Still waiting for a final agreement about SAP NetWeaver Foundation
SAP customers were lead to think themselves safe. However, the latest news DSAG released to its members proves that this a rather deceptive safety. After the announced “results presentation” on March 23rd, both parties remained quiet for a long time. Then suddenly the news: nothing is decided. One can only wonder and try to read between the lines.
What do SAP customers have to be aware of now? The DSAG website states that they are trying not to actively pursue the licensing obligation for 3rd party scenarios for contracts signed before 2010. This would mean that licenses purchased before 2010 could use SAP NetWeaver technology without additional fees. The basis for this decision are the so-called runtime usage rights, which allow users to use products including all future changes and extensions. Therefore, a SAP NetWeaver Foundation license is not necessary.
As long as there is no final decision, SAP will still not sell the SAP NetWeaver Foundation license. However, a final settlement is expected to take up to another three months. The fact is that in the end there is no alternative to using NetWeaver technology. SAP is well aware of that and it seems inevitable that customers eventually will have to pay for it. In the interest of all customers, SAP promises to make a decision rather sooner than later. However, whether the decision itself will be in the interests of the customers, time will have to show.
Source: Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe e.V., Update April 2017: Netweaver Foundation, https://www.dsag.de/news/update-april-2017-netweaver-foundation, 04-Apr-2017