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SQL Server 2012 Developer Edition for SAP Development / QA environments?

Former Member
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Hello all,

I am a SQL Server DBA with approximately 20 years experience, and I am beginning the process of assuming control of my company's SAP BASIS responsibilities.  I have a lot of questions with regard to SAP's architecture, in particular the DBMS environment, thanks for taking the time to read.

Our SAP database environment consists of two (2) VMs - one for production, one for QA and Development.

We are consuming a SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition license for both servers.

These licenses are included in our Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.  The licenses were *not* purchased through SAP.

The Developer Edition of Microsoft SQL Server is functionally identical to the Enterprise Edition of Microsoft SQL Server.

     See the below link, in particular this note at the top of the page:

          "For features supported by Evaluation and Developer editions see the SQL Server Enterprise feature set."

               Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server 2012

I am trying to reduce the licensing costs incurred to support our SAP Development and QA environments.  All the information I've been able to find ( including the information in SAP note 1491158 - Information about the Microsoft SQL Server license scope) has indicated that "Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition is required for all SAP Business Suite / NetWeaver applications.  Other SQL Server editions are currently not supported."

Given that the features and functions are *identical* between the Developer and Enterprise Edition as illustrated above, can anyone help me to understand why this requirement exists?  What level of support would be lost if one were to utilize the Developer Edition of SQL Server to support the SAP Development / QA environment?

Any information or insight would be greatly appreciated.

-Steve

Accepted Solutions (1)

Accepted Solutions (1)

luisdarui
Active Contributor
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Hi Steve,

SAP does only test SAP NetWeaver on SQL Server enterprise editions. Therefore, we do only support Enterprise Edition. That is very clear on SAP Note 62988. That is, Enterprise is the minimum edition we support, as old versions like SQL Server 2008 has a Datacenter Edition, which has more features and support additional resources etc.

What happens to the Developer edition:

Even with Microsoft statement that it has the very same features of Enterprise Edition, SAP will not provide support on any SQL Server edition that is not Enterprise (or a higher edition). Even if Developer edition has the same features, it is not Enterprise Edition.

Now, it is just about the support. I can't comment on the Licensing, because from SAP perspective, customers that acquired SQL Server from SAP, does not have to care about this (using a developer edition), because they have a runtime licensing, that is, they can use for all systems in the landscape (DEV, PROD, QA) as they want. Even if they want to setup a DR database they don't need additional licenses.

I think that you should first contact Microsoft and ask them whether the usage of this license with SAP would be supported (e.g. compliant with Use Terms).

Consider also that you should have a contract with Microsoft in case you have not acquired SQL Server from SAP, as per SAP Note 398136.

Best regards,

Luis Darui

Former Member
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Hi Luis, thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply.

Unfortunately for me, your reply echoes a lot of the sentiments I've already heard regarding SAP's "requirements".

The Developer Edition of SQL Server - beginning with version 2008 - is full featured, allowing for developers to leverage *all* of the features offered by SQL Server to actually develop solutions without encountering edition imposed restrictions, or incurring significant cost.

  • For example, the SAP Dev / QA database server at my company has 8 logical cores.

  • Microsoft's per core licensing model dictates that using a SQL Server Enterprise license on this server costs roughly $55,000.

  • Using a SQL Server Developer license on the same server costs roughly $50 per developer.

My company does in fact have an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft, and SQL Server specific support is coordinated with them.

As I mentioned in my first post, I am a beginner to the SAP infrastructure, therefore I am extremely unclear as to what "SAP Support" entails.  For example, I am unable to access either of the SAP Note links you've provided - apparently I have a P-User ID, and I need an S-User ID - I have no idea what either of those things are, but apparently I'm required to maintain multiple logins to access the slightest bit of information about these things. 

Frustratingly, virtually every piece of research I've attempted to do on my own has led me to inaccessible links such as those, or answers that are essentially "SAP does not support that" in regards to industry accepted practices.

When you mention that "SAP will not provide support on any SQL Server edition that is not Enterprise (or a higher edition)", is there any way I can determine what level of service and support would be lost from SAP if we followed a more logical licensing model? (i.e. use a Developer SQL license on a Development server, and use a Production (Enterprise) SQL license on a Production server).

I apologize if the tone of my reply conveys frustration with you Luis, as that is not my intent whatsoever.  I am however frustrated with SAP's apparently deliberate architecture model, and lack of clarity with regard to my areas of expertise and responsibility.

I anxiously await everyone's replies.


Best regards,

Steve

luisdarui
Active Contributor
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Hi Stephen,

The problem is that you are not developing for SQL Server. You are developing or testing for SAP NetWeaver, which is a platform that runs on SQL Server.

In addition, we do never test our applications on SQL Server developer edition, and therefore we cannot guarantee that any functionality, even if Microsoft says "it has the same features", but we cannot guarantee that it will work on SAP NetWeaver.

We purposefully document in all BC-DB-MSS notes that we do only support SQL Server Enterprise Edition. SAP Note 1491158.

In regards of the access to the Service Marketplace/SAP Launchpad, I'd suggest to contact the Account Executive or SAP Contract Department. We are not experts in this area (access to the portal, etc). SAP official documentation plus Microsoft blog SAP Applications on the Microsoft Platform (along with this space are official sources where you can get information about SAP NetWeaver on SQL Server. A considerable portion of this information is yet customer-only therefore you have to be logged in with your S-user.

Best Regards,
Luis Darui

Matt_Fraser
Active Contributor
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Hi Stephen,

Just jumping in here (I'm not with SAP at all, I'm a customer like yourself). Welcome to SCN, and to the world of SAP!

On the question of SQL Server licensing, I recall in the past that some Microsoft Enterprise agreements would allow for the use of SQL Server on non-production systems without paying the per-core fees, as long as you were paying for a related production system (not sure, maybe this was through MSDN subscriptions?). I.e., you could use Enterprise Edition on your DEV/QAS instance and it's covered by the license on your PRD instance. That would be customer agreement specific, of course, but you might double-check and see if that's the case for you, and/or talk to your Microsoft account rep and inquire. Can't hurt, right?

In my organization we license SQL Server from SAP, as Luis discussed earlier, so we don't have this particular restriction. As long as it's an SAP system, we just go for it. We do also use SQL Server for other systems (non-SAP), but I'm not responsible for nor involved with those, and they are separately licensed from Microsoft. I'm not entirely sure what our agreement entails for non-PRD systems in those environments.

On the question of the S-user vs P-user for access to the SAP Support Portal, as an SAP customer you have at least one S-user as a "super-administrator" assigned to your organization. That super-administrator is then able to create/request additional S-users for all of your SAP support personnel, such as yourself. So, if you aren't the super-administrator, you need to find out who in your organization is, and request that person to create an S-user for you. It is critical, if you're going to handle the Basis responsibilities, that you gain this access. It's also not unusual for the Basis admin to be the super-administrator, but different organizations may assign this role to different people.

If no one there knows who your super-administrator is, then you'll need to work with your account rep to find out and/or to have that account created or password reset.

The P-user can be used for SCN, or alternatively you can use your S-user for SCN and the Support Portal both. There are pros and cons both ways. Using the S-user simplifies the login and connects everything together, but as S-users are tied to employers, if you later change to another employer that also uses SAP, you could lose your SCN history and have to start over (there is a long-running project in place to change this, but this is the situation at the moment). P-users, on the other hand, are "personal" accounts not associated with an employer, so it can follow you wherever you go.

Cheers,

Matt

Former Member
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Hi Luis,

Again, I appreciate your taking the time to reply.  Unfortunately, I'm having a problem comprehending the answers you've provided. 

You said - "you are not developing for SQL Server.  You are developing or testing for SAP NetWeaver, which is a platform that runs on SQL Server."

This implies that the people that *developed* the SQL Server component of the SAP NetWeaver platform were either;

  •      - Somehow not aware that Microsoft provides a cost effective way to develop platforms that run on SQL Server

  •      - Somehow not aware that the Microsoft SQL Server Developer License is identical in every way to the Enterprise (and higher) editions of SQL Server Licenses

  •      - Aware of the above scenarios, yet nevertheless chose to force clients to incur significant costs in potential licensing fees (again, in my company's case $55,000USD) in order to obtain "SAP Support" for the installation.

Let me pose a hypothetical scenario / question:

If an SAP Customer (with their own Microsoft Enterprise Agreement / Licenses) was utilizing an Enterprise license for their production SAP environment, and a Developer license for their SAP development environment, and required "SAP Support" to resolve an issue with their production environment, what course of action would SAP take against the customer?

Best regards,

Steve

Former Member
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Hi Matt,

Many thanks for your reply, I'll definitely double check with the people in charge of our EA with Microsoft, that's a possibility I hadn't considered.

It's funny, it sounds like my role up to this point is the exact opposite of yours - I'm responsible for our SQL Server Environment (over 100 instances, over 1000 databases) for all areas except for SAP. 


The biggest hurdle I think I have to overcome at this point is coming to grips with the thought that SAP just does things differently.  It's just that I see a potential cost savings of 55k, and I feel like even though it's not my money, I'd be a fool to not do everything in my power to try and realize those savings

Thankfully, I have a good relationship with "The SAP guy" here, so I shouldn't have much of a problem obtaining an S-User login......assuming it's a simple process

Thanks again for your reply!

Steve

luisdarui
Active Contributor
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Hi Stephen,

Questions about how the support would work are likely to be best answered through contract channels like SAP Contract Department / SAP Account Executive. I just wrote you what is available in one of the SAP Notes I have referred to. I am not entitled to define what is supported or what is not, therefore, Contract department or Account Executive would be best channels to provide such answers.

And I really think that discuss over the point of SAP NetWeaver and the SQL development will not advance. I think at this point, if you are interested in finding the differences, to go through the SQL Server licensing terms for SQL Developer edition and what is SAP NetWeaver (which is really different than developing something on Visual Studio, etc).

Best Regards,

Luis

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