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Digital Access Adoption Program

Are You Ready For SAP’s Digital Access Adoption Program?

If you’re a SAM enthusiast, this might be old news, but SAP extended their Digital Access Adoption Program (DAAP) until December 2021. In this article we’re going to explain what it means, what is new compared to what we already knew about the program, and more importantly, why you should go for it. Or should you?

Usually, every year around the time the SAPPHIRE Conference is planned, SAP announces different changes in their strategy or licensing/pricing model. Following the same trend, this year they announced that DAAP has been extended for another year and a half.

SAP’s Digital Access Adoption Program has been launched in 2019 as a result of the licensing disputes with Diageo and AB Inbev. The program targets the compliant use of non-SAP applications integrated with SAP ERP and supports the conversion of user based and order based licenses into a easier to quantify type of licensing: number of documents. Although this doesn’t change the licensing policy, DAAP provides potentially significant discounts for customers who move from the old licensing model (user/engine) to the “documents” model.

Long story short, the Digital Access licensing model doesn’t give you access to any new software, but grants you with extra use rights of the software you’ve already licensed (the integration with non-SAP applications) in a simplified way.

What’s New Besides the Extension?

Last year when it has been launched, there was a controversy related to the measurement of Digital Access, more specifically how do we count the documents?

Meanwhile, SAP published more details about the measurement techniques: the SAP Note (that measures documents already exchanged) and SAP Passport tool (that will look into the consumption of documents from the moment of its implementation onward). Nevertheless, the process itself still leaves plenty of room for estimation (e.g. differentiating the documents exchanged among SAP-SAP interfaces versus SAP-NonSAP Interfaces).

Although it’s more of an experimental program, more than 2,000 customers chose to migrate their legacy licenses to the new model in its first (and supposedly last) year, according to SAP. Considering that SAP has more than 440,000 customers in more than 180 countries (check SAP’s Corporate Fact Sheet), the targeted population to migrate to Digital Access must have been significantly higher than 2,000 customers. So this could explain the extension of the program until the end of 2021.

Are You Prepared for SAP’s Digital Access?

If you haven’t migrated yet to Digital Access but you have this in mind, or you’re not sure if this is something you should do, it is important to check some things before doing so.

As this program is dedicated to companies having integrations of non-SAP Applications with SAP ERP only, find out if:

  • You are using SAP ERP;
  • There are any integrations of SAP ERP with third party or in-house developed applications.

If the answer to both these questions is “yes”, then you can move on identifying the legacy licenses that you can use to obtain credit for licensing the new model (such as spare named user licenses, Sales and Service Order Processing, Purchase Order Processing, Enterprise Management user licenses).

Note that you might be under risk of indirect access even though you never used order based engines before and as such you don’t have licenses for any of them. In this situation, prior to continuing with the investigation for indirect access, it is recommended to run a measurement of your ERP systems using USMM and LAW. Check our article on the most common challenges encountered when running SAP’s measurement tools.

The next step is to identify the non-SAP applications integrated with SAP, understand the business process these connections support and what type of data is being exchanged. This step is very important because it will help you understand for which ones of these integrations you’re not covered from a licensing perspective.

If your current licensing model is comprised of enough order based engine licenses and enough user licenses to cover indirect access besides regular, “direct” access, then you can stick to the legacy licensing model at no additional cost.

However, if you are not sufficiently licensed to support indirect access as well, you can choose one of the conversion models SAP offers to obtain credit for Digital Access.

As it is the case with many licensing situations, it is not mandatory for everyone to migrate to Digital Access either because you might not be using SAP ERP integrated non-SAP applications, but also because you might already be properly licensed under your current licensing model.


Spending additional money on unnecessary use rights, especially during these uncertain times for business is definitely not something you want to do. Although this adoption program has a new deadline, take your time in identifying your actual need.

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Catalina Ceapraga, Senior Consultant

Catalina Ceapraga

Senior Consultant for SAP Licensing

SAP Licensing & Technical Consultancy, Oracle Applications Licensing & Technical Consultancy, SAP Audit Support & Negotiation Advisory and SAP Contractual Optimization Advisory

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