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SAP Licensing and Modifications – What is Allowed?

Introduction to SAP Licensing and modification

Navigating the complexities of SAP Licensing and modifications is crucial for businesses to ensure compliance with SAP’s terms and conditions.

This article provides a detailed overview of SAP Licensing and modifications, focusing on Add-Ons and Modifications and what is permissible under SAP’s licensing agreement.

Critical Definitions in SAP Licensing

  • Add-on: In SAP Licensing, an Add-on refers to any development that adds new and independent functionality but is not a Modification and uses APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). APIs are interfaces or codes that allow other software products to communicate with or call on the SAP Software or Cloud Service.
  • Modification: A Modification refers to any development that changes the delivered source code or metadata or uses APIs but does not add new and independent functionality. Instead, it customizes, enhances, or modifies the existing functionality of the Software or Cloud Service. Note that customizing and parametrization of Software or Cloud Services are not considered Modifications but are allowed for the contractually agreed-upon use.

Permissible Actions Under SAP Licensing

Under SAP Licensing, customers may:

  • Use any API or tools contained in the contractual SAP Software or otherwise obtained from SAP to develop or use Modifications or Add-Ons, subject to fulfilling their obligations outlined with Modifications and/or Add-Ons.
  • Make Modifications only to contractual SAP Software delivered by SAP in source code.

However, any Modifications or Add-Ons developed by SAP or any of the SAP Affiliates on behalf of the End User or as a product are exclusively subject to the provisions of the respective agreement and not subject to the provisions of this section.

Responsibility and Risks Associated with Modifications and Add-Ons

End Users should be aware that:

  • They are responsible for any deficiencies in the running, security, or performance of the contractual SAP Software and other programs and in communications between the contractual SAP Software and other programs (“Deficiencies”) caused by Modifications or Add-Ons to the contractual SAP Software.
  • SAP points out that Add-Ons to and even minor Modifications of the contractual SAP Software may lead to unpredictable and significant Deficiencies. Such Deficiencies may also arise because of an Add-On or Modification not be compatible with later versions of contractual Software.
  • SAP is entitled to change the SAP Software, APIs, or both without care for the compatibility of any Modification or Add-On that the End User uses with any later version of the SAP Software.
  • SAP is neither responsible for Deficiencies caused by Modifications or Add-Ons to the contractual SAP Software nor obliged to provide remedies under warranty or other obligations about Deficiencies caused by Modifications or Add-Ons to the Contractual Software.
  • SAP is not obliged to provide any contractually agreed SAP Support services if and to the extent such SAP Support is aggravated because of Modifications or Add-Ons to the contractual SAP Software.


In conclusion, while SAP Licensing allows for certain Modifications and Add-Ons, businesses must understand the rules and limitations associated with these changes.

By understanding what is allowed and what isn’t, businesses can ensure they are leveraging their SAP software to its fullest potential while maintaining compliance with SAP’s terms and conditions.


  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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