I presented a session yesterday at the Mastering SAP conference, in Sydney Australia, that showed how to quickly and easily you can get a copy of the ABAP 7.02 SP7 / SP9 Developer Editions up and running.  I summarised the steps required to take publicly available Amazon Web Services images that I (not SAP) have created in the Amazon Cloud and save them as your own private copy of the ABAP 7.02 SP7 Developer Edition, running in the Amazon Cloud. There were various reasons behind this;
to demonstrate the power of the Amazon Cloud,
by making this system available, to as many people as possible,
while minimising the prerequisites so that, for example, you can access the 64bit Windows version of the software regardless of your working environment,
while minimising the number of steps, so as to reduce the opportunity for error, and reducing the need for you to become a Windows / MaxDb / BASIS expert.

However, do I have the right to share these installations in this manner? Have I created a derivative work (whether or not I have added IP and value by doing the installation work for you) ?

The fact that I have made some kind of software package, that contains software that was not created by me and for which I have no IP rights (apart from the installation and simple configuration I provide) may raise concerns within both SAP and within the target users of this software.

Bear in mind that these images, if I don’t share them with you, are the exact functional equivalent to me installing the ABAP 7.02 SP7 / SP9 Developer Editions on my own hardware. SAP’s attitude to what I have done is what will define the ‘user’; If SAP are willing to let these images stay publicly available, whether they take over management of these images or allow them to be managed by me and shared on a ‘buyer beware’ basis, as a shortcut way to deploy the Developer Editions, then I have no problem.

If SAP asks me to remove these images, then I will.  Again, no problem. Legally, anyway.

The problem with the second approach is that the process of creating these images as private (in Amazon terms) cloud images is trivial. Asking me to go to the download page and tick the EULA, and then start the installation and tick another EULA, every time I create a copy of an existing system (on the cloud or not), is unenforceable. In fact, we already have a similar situation anyway, when I download the installation files, then pass them to you for your own use (after I have already ‘used’ them to install a system). In short, people (including me) will create and share copies without ‘signing’ anything.

I would like some feedback from both SAP and from Community members. If there are issues I haven’t raised, by all means bring them up in the comments. If you think I’m a saint say so. If you think, I’m a crook, say so. But whatever you say, I’d like to hear your reasoning and logic behind your position

To report this post you need to login first.

18 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Ethan Jewett

    Hi Martin,

    I’ll just echo the comments I already made on Twitter. I think you putting this up is doing a great service to the community, however, there is no question that you have broken the EULA agreement that you clicked through when you downloaded the trial version.

    The problem, as I see it, is that SAP does a bad job of making trial software available. Further, SAP licenses these pieces of software under terms that make them more or less useless for developers that want to create add-ons or contribute to the ecosystem of SAP software outside of Code Exchange (which has it’s own severe TOU problems).

    So if we want to contribute to a thriving community of SAP developers, like you have, we must break the agreements that SAP has demanded from us. My choice is to honor the agreements and not participate in the community. I do not and will not contribute code to Code Exchange under the current TOU, and I cannot contribute to projects based on SAP technology that exist in the open ecosystem because I cannot access an SAP system under terms that will allow me to do this. So, in essence, SAP loses a developer. I base my private work on open software or software from other vendors.

    You have made a different decision, and SAP has gained a developer. But it has gained a developer that perhaps does not respect the legal agreements SAP demands.

    The argument could be made that breaking these agreements is for SAP’s own good. I think that is a strong argument, but as I said on Twitter, I am concerned that SAP may believe that the “informal” status quo is an acceptable situation. It is clearly not. SAP is training a(nother) generation of SAP developers to make a choice: Either don’t take SAP’s licensing agreements seriously or don’t take SAP seriously.

    What you have done is just the next generation of the informal economy of bootleg SAP systems passed around on DVDs that existed in the 2000’s.

    The cynic in me thinks that SAP legal is taking this approach purposefully, as a CYA tactic to push as much risk as possible off of SAP and on to developers. A more generous view is that SAP legal still just doesn’t get it. Either way, the continuation of this approach is pretty damning and does not bode well for SAP’s future.

    Cheers,

    Ethan

    (0) 
    1. Martin English Post author

      Jason, Scott,
          Thanks for your concerns and interest

      Ethan,
        Thanks for taking your time to ‘migrate’ your twitter comments. I’d like to touch on what I consider a major issue and that is whether SAP or SAP Legal ‘gets it’.

      The argument could be made that breaking these agreements is for SAP’s own good. I think that is a strong argument, but as I said on Twitter, I am concerned that SAP may believe that the “informal” status quo is an acceptable situation. It is clearly not. SAP is training a(nother) generation of SAP developers to make a choice: Either don’t take SAP’s licensing agreements seriously or don’t take SAP seriously.

      Obviously, I agree that it’s a good idea 🙂 , and I did realise that it might be considered provocative, but I hadn’t considered the logical conclusion i.e. either SAP as a whole or ‘just’ SAP Legal are not to be taken seriously. The SAP executives that I have heard speak seem to be getting it, but I don’t know about the lower levels, and I’m certain that SAP Legal don’t.

      What you have done is just the next generation of the informal economy of bootleg SAP systems passed around on DVDs that existed in the 2000’s

      I refute this completely.

      The SAP trial editions are not intended for production and have certain limitations built into them that make it very difficult if not impossible to use them for production.  I do not modify any SAP code, but the user is asked to modify a Windows ‘parameter’, assign a DNS Name and change a DEFAULT.PFL entry to match the chosen DNS name, so that they can communicate with their copy of the system. They have to save the entire changed image under their own Cloud User ID to retain these changes. The limitations inherent in the traditional download and local install are still present; I have not modified them (or any other SAP code) in any way shape or form.

      One thing I have been doing is examining the EULAs themselves. When I referred to two EULA’s, there’s one you accept when you download the software, and another that you select as accept as part of the install. For the SP 9 Trial 7.02 Win 64 bit Version, they are identical words and punctuation, with the only difference being formatting.

      My reading, with the assistance of an Australian lawyer, is that, as Ethan suggest, the terms are deliberately vague. For example, tthere is no definition of what or where the installation platform or server is, except for You are only authorized to use the copy of the Server Software that is appropriate for your Server.

      I had already accepted that if there is any IP or Value Add generated by anything I have done with making the system work on the AWS cloud, then it belongs to SAP (because I have created a Derivative Work). I don’t mind, and I know this is one of the reasons that many people don’t use SAP trial software, but thats OK. You and I both read the terms and conditions; I accepted and went on, you declined and stopped there. No problem.

      By the way, note the following clause, which suggests you can use this system to develop some software or product, and retain ownership…

      Under this Evaluation License You are entitled to use the Software Product for the purpose of developing certain applications interfacing with SAP Software, including but not limited to the SAP Enterprise Portal (hereinafter referred to as “iViews”). You are granted the right to distribute and sublicense iViews developed by you under this Agreement free of charge or for payment of fee.

      For what it is worth, we think the SP 9 Trial 7.02 Win 64 bit EULA does allow what I am providing, because I am providing one incomplete installation. Users will need to make three changes before the SAP system can be accessed from outside the image, then they will have to save the image under their own Cloud User ID to retain these changes. This means they will be using their own copy (i.e. not my installation) either as themselves, or as part of another legal entity (i.e. their employer), exactly as required in the EULA clause below;

      In case You download Server Software, in particular the following provisions shall apply:

      (a) You may install only once and use the Server Software on each computer used by you or (for entities) each computer within your organization. The Software Product may contain several copies of the Server Software, each of which is compatible with a different microprocessor architecture. You are only authorized to use the copy of the Server Software that is appropriate for your Server.

      (b) Solely for purposes of your use of the Software Product as authorized under this Evaluation License, you may permit three (3) authorized Devices to access or otherwise utilize the services or functionality of the Server Software.

      BTW, That limitation that you can only ever have a maximum of three devices (the definition of device appears to be software that allows an electronic device (“Device”) – or people or software interfaces – makes me wonder how many DemoJam entries I can get disqualified on legal grounds….

      In summary, I can understand your concerns, but so long as I do not reverse engineer or modify any SAP components, and I give ownership of the techniques I used to SAP (at least where they don’t infringe on the rights of cloud vendor …), then I believe the EULA allows me to perform an incomplete installation in the cloud, and to share copies of that incomplete installation….

      However, developers and other users of these systems need to be aware of the ridiculous three (3) authorized Devices limitation, the IP issues, and exactly how many copies of the system they are allowed to run, either in total or simultaneously.

      hth

      (0) 
      1. Ethan Jewett

        Hi Martin,

        It’s extremely unclear, isn’t it? Frankly, I believe that writing licenses in this way is unprofessional, and I don’t think much of SAP’s legal group based on their work that I have seen.

        To me, this is very clear:

        (a) You may install only once and use the Server Software on each computer used by you or (for entities) each computer within your organization.

        I suppose that maybe you are not breaking the EULA technically, but the software you downloaded is being installed on/copied to a large number of servers. And none of those users are agreeing to the EULA. I can’t imagine that this is allowed under the spirit of the agreement. But IANAL, so maybe the spirit of agreements doesn’t matter 🙂

        Regarding the ability to develop a product and retain ownership, I’d be extremely careful. As you point out, the license says

        Under this Evaluation License You are entitled to use the Software Product for the purpose of developing certain applications interfacing with SAP Software, including but not limited to the SAP Enterprise Portal (hereinafter referred to as “iViews”). You are granted the right to distribute and sublicense iViews developed by you under this Agreement free of charge or for payment of fee.

        All rights not expressly granted are reserved by SAP. Software Products used for other than the approved usage will be considered a breach of this Evaluation License.

        (my emphasis)

        Ok, so it sounds like I can develop software that interfaces with the SAP Enterprise Portal. Or do they mean to grant only the ability to develop iViews that can be embedded in the Portal? Or do they mean to grant me the right to distribute SAP Enterprise Portal (“(hereinafter referred to as “iViews”)“) free of charge or for payment of a fee (which appears to be the right they actually have granted me, unintentionally I’m sure)?

        Wait … this is a license for the “SAP NetWeaver ABAP SP 9 Trial 7.02 Win 64 bit Version”, so it doesn’t even include the Portal. How on earth could I use it develop iViews or applications interfacing with the Portal? Ok, so Portal applications are out – I’m legally allowed to use this software to create them, but technically it is impossible. What other right to create and distribute applications do they “expressly grant” me? None, it would seem.

        So, SAP has unintentionally granted me the right to distribute their own Portal software free of charge or for a fee (yay!), but has failed to grant any clear right for developers to develop applications based on SAP software and distribute them (boo!). Confused yet? I sure am, and I think SAP legal is as well.

        Ugh.

        Ethan

        (0) 
        1. Martin English Post author

          Hi Ethan,

          It’s extremely unclear, isn’t it? Frankly, I believe that writing licenses in this way is unprofessional, and I don’t think much of SAP’s legal group based on their work that I have seen.

          I think we are in violent agreement on this !!

          I suppose that maybe you are not breaking the EULA technically, but the software you downloaded is being installed on/copied to a large number of servers. And none of those users are agreeing to the EULA. I can’t imagine that this is allowed under the spirit of the agreement. But IANAL, so maybe the spirit of agreements doesn’t matter 🙂

          I am not being provocative or playing dumb when I say, regardless of the technical language, I cannot discern the spirit behind these EULAs. As my friend the lawyer (aka MFTL) said, “There are so many better ways to write this, that would make things more explicit from a legal standing, irregardless of how restictive or open a license was being granted”.

          Ok, so it sounds like I can develop software that interfaces with the SAP Enterprise Portal. Or do they mean to grant only the ability to develop iViews that can be embedded in the Portal? Or do they mean to grant me the right to distribute SAP Enterprise Portal (“(hereinafter referred to as “iViews”)“) free of charge or for payment of a fee (which appears to be the right they actually have granted me, unintentionally I’m sure)?

          Wait … this is a license for the “SAP NetWeaver ABAP SP 9 Trial 7.02 Win 64 bit Version”, so it doesn’t even include the Portal. How on earth could I use it develop iViews or applications interfacing with the Portal? Ok, so Portal applications are out – I’m legally allowed to use this software to create them, but technically it is impossible. What other right to create and distribute applications do they “expressly grant” me? None, it would seem.

          So, SAP has unintentionally granted me the right to distribute their own Portal software free of charge or for a fee (yay!), but has failed to grant any clear right for developers to develop applications based on SAP software and distribute them (boo!). Confused yet? I sure am, and I think SAP legal is as well.

          MFTL says, in reference to using the SP 9 Trial 7.02 Win 64 bit system to aid in the development of software on other systems, that because there is no explicit statement about licenseing of the other systems, then the “All rights not expressly granted are reserved by SAP” clause becomes operational.

          In other words, you need a seperate license for the other systems; It may be a fully licenced development SAP portal, a Cognos system, even a non SAP System Management suite. Irregardless, this EULA does not grant you a licence to use the other systems; You still need to get that via the appropriate channels, but it does give you a licence to distribute the changes required to the SP 9 Trial 7.02 Win 64 bit system to make your development on the other systems work.

          So long as you adhere to the “You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the Software Product” clause …. So long as the licence agreements for the other systems do not disallow this and do not contradict this EULA …. 🙂 .

          Ugh.

          Exactly. Neither of us are legal experts, we are both used to following tortuous logic (from installation manuals and list of co and pre requisites), yet we can read the same legal documents and come up with extremely different interpretations.

          This is why we need SAP to speak up here, and make their intentions clear. I can’t afford the time or money to engage a lawyer to decipher this crap every time there’s a new trial edition to download. I have reached out to some senior SAP executives asking for their imput; I will push a bit harder !!

          PS MFTL asked me to add this bit – “Even though I’m a lawyer, this advice is worth what you paid for it”. In other words, neither I nor anyone else has a claim on his professional indemnity if it turns out he is wrong. This is because he’s examining the EULA’s for me for free and his working knowledge of IP and Contract Law is based on Australian law and case history.

          hth

          (0) 
  2. Jason Scott

    I also think this is a fantastic idea and I hope SAP come to their senses on the TOU. Whats the difference between what has been done here by making an instance “image” available that can be cloned to your own OR simply having a website that links to the SCN download page.

    (0) 
  3. Scott Wallask

    This is a good debate to have. I always worry about people flouting copyright rules on the web, because the hammer will fall someday on regular folks who know they’ve posted or accessed something they don’t own. This holds true not just for SAP, but for online images, illegally streamed videos, etc. If SAP legal doesn’t explicitly grant permission to use the software, I think its position is clear, regardless of whether it chooses to enforce its copyright.

    (0) 
  4. Tobias Hofmann

    Martin,

    I believe you are playing here with fire when making the image public. One part of the EULA states:

    “You may install only once and use the Server Software on each computer used by you or (for entities) each computer within your organization.”

    When you make the image public and do not want to break the license, you’ll have to pay for the image usages. If not, it’s not your server anymore => big problem, as the part where the EULA says: only once. Several copies of the image means that the software is used more than once.

    I once was told that when you have to click through license agreements and you have to have a user account to download the software, you cannot distribute it, you can only link to it or “automate” the download for the user, but they still have to be registered and click through the license. That’s – I think – is also one of the reason many open source software is not shipped with all parts but contains a download script that downloads the software.

    (0) 
  5. Christopher Solomon

    Martin! Kudos! I understand what and why you did it…and support it. I won’t go off into the “political” arguements of the inner workings of SAP versus the outside expectations of users and developers….what’s “fair” or “unfair”…..”right” or “wrong”. I am actually going to go have a peek at what you have done over on the Cloud……

    (0) 
  6. Martin English Post author

    FYA:

    Install SAP on Amazon Web Services #1 – the Environment and

    Install SAP on Amazon Web Services #2 – the Installation

    These are fairly old now, and I have found simpler ways of doing this.I will write a better version sometime real soon now 🙂

    However, if follow these, all you need are access to AWS, access to the SDN Downloads (to install the trial / developer editions) and a bit of Windows knowledge / skill.

    hth

    PS sorry about the spelling in the title !!

    (0) 
    1. Glen Simpson

      Hi Martin

      I’ve been thinking lately that I’d like to get my trial ABAP system off the VM on my laptop onto something with a bit more grunt (ultrabooks are good for some things, but not everything!) so thanks for sharing these links again.

      A question, if I may: how long do you think it will be before SAP releases their own one-click-to-deploy-to-AWS version of an ABAP trial system like they’ve done with the HANA trial in the Developer Center? What do you think the pros/cons might be to using SAP’s version vs “rolling your own”?

      Cheers

      Glen

      (0) 
    2. Jason Scott

      Just as an info share…

      Last week I tried setting up an AWS instance using the ABAP7.02 + Gateway install provided here: http://scn.sap.com/community/netweaver-gateway/blog/2012/05/16/now-available-sap-netweaver-abap-trial-702-sp11-win-64-bit-version-with-sap-netweaver-gateway-20-sp3

      Setting up AWS was nice and easy as expected. However when it came to downloading the install file off SCN I had great difficulty using IE (it was a windows instance as req’d by the install).

      I switched to Firefox and was then able to download the install? Why won’t it download with IE. I hate IE!!!

      Installed the system which largely went without issue. But after the install the given developer keys wouldn’t work and the instructions on licensing were wrong or out of date.

      Managed to find a new developers key in a discussion post luckily.

      But the performance of the system was woefully slow and I selected a HIGH instance size. I was running RDC on my Mac to connect. Maybe that was the issue. My instance was based in the US east coast which may have been another issue but the instructions provided said to let Amazon choose which is best.

      I’m just trying to work out why the performance was sooooo bad. Would be impossible to write abap on.

      A 1-click AWS instance is definitely needed for those of us without Basis skills. And the 7.03 abap stack would be an improvement as well.  😉

      (0) 
      1. Ethan Jewett

        Hi Jason,

        What instance type did you actually use? Large? Hi-CPU Medium? Hi-Memory Extra-Large? I would think even a Large instance type should have been OK. I haven’t had trouble with Netweaver ABAP installs via RDC on my Mac, so I don’t think that was the problem 🙂

        One issue could be if you weren’t using an EBS volume as your installation volume. Generally those will be faster than the instance storage – or at least that is my understanding.

        If you happened to try this on June 14th, then you just got really unlucky. EC2 in the US east region had some major issues on that day that could definitely have resulted in slowdowns – http://status.aws.amazon.com/

        Cheers,

        Ethan

        (0) 
        1. Jason Scott

          Hi Ethan,

          It was “Large (m1.large, 7.5GB). I figured that once I had it setup I could test scaling it down until I got a good price / performance.

          Performance at this level was woeful though. The internet connection to the server was fast as it took hardly anytime at all to download the 3.5GB install file. It was just the generaly resposiveness which makes me think it was RDC. I’d hover over a menu item and there would be a delay until the mouse got there and highlighted it as an example.

          It may have all worked quicker if I had a local install of the sapgui to connect to the abap instance. But… I couldn’t get the connection to work from local into the abap instance. Nothing would happen soI had to use sapgui on the server via RDC (on my mac).

          (0) 
          1. Ethan Jewett

            Hi Jason,

            A local GUI should work better. To let the SAP GUI locally connect to the ABAP instance on AWS you would need to open the necessary ports in your security profile. What are those ports? No idea 🙂 Very strange that you are having this problem though. Are you particularly far away from the US East Coast (like in Australia or something)?

            Also, was this the NW GW instance that installs on a virtual machine? That could really hurt you since you’re nesting a virtual machine in a virtual machine. My installation was a standard SAP installation, not a virtual machine.

            Cheers,

            Ethan

            (0) 
            1. Jason Scott

              Hi Ethan,

              Yep – had all the necessary ports opened as per the installation istructions provided by SAP: for sapgui, icf, rdp, etc.

              Yes it was an east coast instance and I am about as far from that point as you can possibly get: Perth, Australia.

              Still – why would that be an issue. There are hundreds upon hundreds of US hosted websites that perform fantastically over here…

              Unfortunately you can’t just copy an image between regions (easily) so next time I setup a system I’ll try it in the Singapore region. But that won’t be until we get perpetual developer licences on everything. So I might be waiting a while.

              No – no VM’s. This was a Windows 64bit server install. The combined ABAP + NW Gateway offering. Unfortunately its only a *stupid* – I repeat *STUPID* – 3 month trial licence.   😉

              (0) 
              1. Ethan Jewett

                Hi Jason,

                Ha! Agreed, the trial license is … a problem.

                I really think the Singapore region might work better for you. The reason that big US websites work well in Australia is usually that they are using a content delivery network (CDN) so most of their content is actually hosted in Australia.

                You can ping the server from where you are and see what the round-trip time is. I think you’d probably notice anything consistently over 300ms, possibly less.

                Cheers,

                Ethan

                (0) 
  7. Said BILGEN

    Dear Martin,

    What you have tried here is great effort and it is helping developers to reach content. As engineers we are all evolving in the era of cloud computing. Sap also trying to help environment by reducing carbon usage. You have put on cloud a trial software which can reduce download on internet , time spent by individuals and effort of understanding how to install the software. I think your approach and SAP’s green environment sense is meeting in one point. But there has to be legal corrections in the EULA terms as the technology is keep changing. I would really like to hear SAP comments about your approach. Please keep us posted when you get some formal response.

    Best Regards.

    (0) 

Leave a Reply