Generally, SAP licenses can be divided into two categories:
NetWeaver Based Licenses
Non NetWeaver Based Licenses
NetWeaver Based Licenses:
NetWeaver based licenses can further be categorized into three groups.
SAP Business Suite
SAP ERP License:
SAP ERP license is issued/released/used for all new SAP ERP implementations. This license covers both the ERP Central Components (ECC) 5.00/6.00 and NetWeaver Components. So, essentially this license should allow the organization to implement ECC and integrate it with Enterprise Portal (EP). One could always argue that this has been made possible in part due to SAP NetWeaver architecture. The ERP License covers up to eight installations.
SAP NetWeaver License:
SAP NetWeaver license is issued/released/used for all new NetWeaver 04/2004s/7.0/7.1 implementations. This license essentially covers two engines (AS-Java and AS-ABAP). Individually, this license covers the following products:
SAP Business Intelligence 7.0
SAP Enterprise Portal 7.0
SAP Process Integration 7.0 and 7.1
This type of license is ideal if your organization already has a SAP R/3 or R/3 Enterprise system running and you would like to take advantage of all/some of the NetWeaver products. This license covers up to four NetWeaver System installations.
SAP Business Suite License:
SAP Business Suite license is issued/released/used for all new SAP Business Suite implementations. This license covers applications like CRM, SCM, and SRM etc. A separate business suite license is required for each application. So, if an organization wanted to implement CRM, then they would require a CRM specific license. One thing that should be pointed out here is that like the ERP license, SAP Business Suite license also allows the organization to implement CRM and integrate it with Enterprise Portal (EP). The Business Suite license covers up to four installations as well.
Non NetWeaver Based Licenses:
Non NetWeaver based licenses can further be categorized into at least two groups.
SAP R/3 and R/3 Enterprise
SAP Solution Manager
SAP R/3 and R/3 Enterprise License:
SAP R/3 and R/3 Enterprise license is issued/released/used for all new R/3 4.6X, 4.7X and ECC 5.00/6.00 implementations. So, essentially this license should allow the organization to implement R/3 and/or ECC but without integration to NetWeaver. An organization would go for this type of license if they have heavily invested in non NetWeaver type applications and have found that they do not want to go through the implementation lifecycle for those applications again. However, they have seen advantages within SAP and would like to implement the SAP solution only. Just like the ERP license, this license also covers up to eight installations.
SAP Solution Manager License:
SAP Solution Manager License is issued/released/used for all new NetWeaver 04/2004s/7.0/7.1 based installations. This license is issued free of cost as part of all new SAP implementations. As most of you know that Solution Manager is now mandatory for all landscapes that either have ERP, NetWeaver products and/or SAP Business Suite. Maintenance Optimizer is now required to approve all support package downloads. At present, Solution Manager is not required if you are running R/3 or R/3 Enterprise systems. Just like the NetWeaver license, this covers up to 4 SAP Solution Manager System installations.
I would like to point out that this by no means can be considered complete and thorough. Pretty much all of it is related to my experiences, and I would like to invite other resources to have their input in this as well. I hope that this allows all SAP resources to get an independent view of SAP licensing. And hopefully this would allow them to make better decisions regarding their SAP growth.