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Licensing SAP Analytics Cloud – what is entailed in licensing

Karriere Cloud


Tips and information for companies

Companies looking to not only implement SAP S/4HANA but at the same time to also optimize their planning and reporting landscape, quickly come to the SAP Analytics Cloud. But this requires separate licenses.  That’s why managers should start thinking about the questions of privileges, access, licenses, and of course also processes, plenty of time beforehand.

Choosing the right license type for the SAP Analytics Cloud is therefore not a simple matter. But having seen a wide range of customer projects, we know what is involved in the decision. In the beginning, questions of price or allowances are not the main focus. What is more important is rather the concerns that are to be addressed individually, for which certain assumptions have to be made in advance. This involves, for example, questions of license quantities or license types – more on that below.

Reporting and Planning: central license components of the SAP Analytics Cloud

The SAP Analytics Cloud offers functions for reporting and planning. Suitable licenses are available for both of these.

The license for reporting offers a broad functional scope. These include, e.g., Dashboarding or Storytelling, but also Application Design (in-house developments with Java Script) and Predictive as well. But none of these functions includes a planning function, and version management is also limited. For that reason, this license is limited to reporting.

For planning, both the “Standard” and “Professional” licenses are available. The decision to go with one of the two planning licenses will depend on the functional scope that is needed. The minimum quantities of these licenses include at least one Planning Professional license. Creating and setting up specific technical objects, as well as the general setup of the system for planning, is only possible with such a license.

All licenses are constructed hierarchically with one on top of the other: the Reporting license stands alone, Planning Standard contains a Reporting license, and Professional Planning includes all three types.

How to determine the number of licenses needed

To answer the question of the number of licenses, you must estimate how many users will be using the SAP Analytics Cloud and what tasks they will be doing. Ultimately the licenses explained above are “user licenses”, i.e. each user requires at least one Reporting license to log into the system.

It is also important to know that the administrator does not assign licenses in der SAP Analytics Cloud directly. Rather, (authorization) roles or teams are assigned to the users. The system then determines the required license based on the particular functions being used.

How can the ERP be linked to the SAP Analytics Cloud through licenses?

The SAP Analytics Cloud is a standalone BI Tool. Data can be entered directly (planning), loaded to the SAC via file upload, or processed through a system connection. There are two ways of doing this, both of them relevant in the selection of a license.

  1. The Import connection imports the data into the SAP Analytics Cloud, where it is also then saved (redundancy). To do this, a technical user must be created in the source system or in the ERP whose login is being used by the SAC user. So, two users are used, one user for the SAC and another (technical) user for the source system. This scenario is frequently used when data is routinely loaded into the SAC and is available there for all authorized users.

  1. The Live connection, on the other hand, physically leaves the data system in the source system. Aggregations and calculations are performed in the SAC either in the source or “on the fly” without saving the data in the SAP Analytics Cloud. Unlike with the import connection, here each SAC user needs their own account in the ERP system. The SAP source system then derives the available data directly from the SAC user, who opens a SAC Report and has entered their S/4 user.

Last but not Least: Public or Private Cloud?

Another important question about licensing the SAP Analytics Cloud involves the license model – Public or Private Cloud? With the Public type multiple companies share the same hardware in the cloud while in the Private cloud each company has its own hardware provided in the cloud. The Public SAC type cannot be expanded.

Both types initially differ in access speed. Even more important for companies, however, is the extensibility of the particular cloud model. Especially with Private clouds, e.g., the working storage can be extended without any difficulty. If necessary, a 2 or 3 system environment can also be provided.


Anyone interested in implementing the SAP Analytics Cloud should consider a few aspects in a timely manner so that they can plan the licensing process that’s right for them. Only then is it possible to come to any definite conclusions about licensing costs. Especially if the roll out is to take place together with the implementation of SAP S/4HANA, a more detailed investigation of the various licensing types will be worthwhile in every case.

The SAP Analytics Cloud and license types: Do you have any questions?

The question concerning the right SAC licensing is a complex matter. In many customer projects, we are able to help companies with a customized solution. Do you have any questions about licensing the SAC? Then feel free to contact us – our expert Daniel Weiskircher will be happy to help you.

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