SAP LAW: What’s the difference between the old & new version?

sap law tool

SAP’s License Administration Workbench (LAW) is a tool that enables end users to consolidate and deduplicate the USMM measurement results. Apart from using it for the annual SAP audit, you can also use LAW to conduct internal reviews of the actual SAP license consumption.

When SAP introduced LAW in 2002, consolidating measurement results during the course of an audit was seen to be its primary purpose. It has been operating as such for years, without any innovative features or updates performed. In 2014, SAP launched a new version of the tool (LAW 2.0), after which they started to promote its use for internal consumption reporting purposes as well.

In this article, we focus on the functionalities of the new version of LAW, while revisiting the purpose and concept of the first version. We will also highlight the challenges and traps that end users might be facing when using LAW 2.0.

LAW 2.0 – What is new?

The new LAW version proved challenging for many end users. Administrators were surprised to learn that LAW 2.0 runs in a Web Browser session – not like the ‘original’ LAW tool, which operated as a traditional SAP GUI program. In addition, LAW 2.0 presented a number of new functions including:

  • Standard Mode (i.e. basic consolidation steps not dissimilar to LAW 1.0, but graphically designed and wrapped with the new presentation style)
  • Extended Mode (i.e. built around entirely new features not available in LAW 1.0)

One of the most interesting new features of LAW 2.0 is the ‘Manage System Data’ function.

Through this function you can perform a number of tasks, including:

  • Maintain non-SAP systems
  • Create consolidation groups for your internal company purposes (i.e. departments -> call center, retail outlets)
  • Transfer system overview from previous audit(s)

Another new functionality of LAW 2.0 is called “Group Users”. This functionality enables LAW to select a second criteria to combine the users who have not been already grouped by the first criteria. In addition, you can assign external user attributes and use them as a ‘grouping attribute’. This is a major improvement compared to LAW 1.0, which did not have the same or similar capability.

Advanced User Consolidation

Both LAW 1.0 and LAW 2.0 automatically take into account SAP’s named user definitions based on the SAP Price List (i.e. the rights of a Professional User include the rights granted under the Limited Professional User, a user who has been assigned to both user types is consolidated to only one Professional User).  In LAW 2.0, it is however also possible to set up individual consolidation rules. In some cases, end users have ‘non-standard’ license users. SAP will refer to these licenses as ‘Special Type Users’, whose rights and scope are bespoke as per the contract signed between the end user and SAP. Example: the rights of a “Manager Self Service User” might include the rights granted under a Special User ABC: an individual who has been assigned to both user types would need to be consolidated and respectively counted to only one Manager Self Service User. It is however important to note that setting up individual consolidation rules requires input from SAP. SAP must provide you with the appropriate file containing the ‘bespoke rules’ applicable to the particular situation.

Another interesting feature of LAW 2.0 is the option to display a partial consolidation using a group consolidation as previously created. This can be used for internal purposes and it cannot be transferred to SAP.

Let us support you

LAW 2.0 has a number of new features and potential benefit for you as an end user. Yet, for many administrators, transitioning to LAW 2.0 proved to be complex and time consuming. The many new features of LAW 2.0 turned out to be quite challenging, even for the most experienced SAP administrators. We frequently encounter customers who simply do not want to use the new version of the LAW tool just because it is too complex. The complexity of LAW 2.0 makes end users quite often underestimate its potential.

We do understand your challenge and the complexity you are confronted with. We also understand that LAW 2.0 can help you achieve significant cost savings. Our experienced SAP consultants have successfully supported customers in transitioning to LAW 2.0. Let us help you in the process to overcome the obstacles and make sure you obtain the value for your business.

This article was published on 15-10-2020