What This Article Covers
- The LAW Transaction
- What Many SAP Customers Think LAW is Used For
- What the LAW Transaction is Actually Used For
- How the LAW Transaction Works to Provide Information to SAP
In this article, we will review the LAW transaction, particularly the interpretation of LAW versus true SAM software.
The License Administration Workbench (LAW)
This is what SAP says about their LAW transaction:
The License Administration Workbench (LAW) supports you during the License Audit Process for complex system landscapes. You use the LAW to collect and consolidate license-relevant measurement data (users and engines) for the component systems and the central system (LAW system) in which LAW is run. This provides system administrators with a better overview, and the system measurement is simpler and also more reliable.
Before you start LAW, you should classify the users in all measurement-relevant systems in accordance with their tasks; that is, assign them to a contractual user type (in transaction USMM, SU01, or SU10). During the consolidation that then takes place in LAW, the users for a person are listed and assigned one contractual user type. The multiple assessment of a person is therefore practically eliminated ‑ the Multi-Client/Multi-System classification is superfluous.
Actually this definition of the LAW transaction. A correction of the definition of what LAW actually is, would be the following:
The License Administration Workbench (LAW) supports you (No, it supports SAP) during the License Audit Process for complex system landscapes (No,the complexity of the landscape is immaterial. LAW is a transaction used for all SAP customers). You use the LAW to collect and consolidate license-relevant measurement data (users and engines) for the component systems and the central system (LAW system) in which LAW is run (True, but the output is not very useful for the customer, nor is it designed to be). This provides system administrators with a better overview, and the system measurement is simpler and also more reliable (No, this provides SAP with the usage of the system).
As should be evident from the corrections, SAP explains LAW as if it is some type of overall administration tool, and completely underplays how much SAP relies upon it during audits. This is why it is often the case that SAP’s technical literature cannot be taken at face value. This is not a technically accurate description of the LAW transaction.
This description, along with explanations by SAP consulting and SAP account executives is likely the reason that it is often assumed by many customers that LAW is SAM or software asset management software. It isn’t. SAM software is software that allows SAP customers to audit their SAP usage. SAM software is designed to be understood by the SAP customer. The LAW transaction is something that is primarily designed to provide information to SAP in order to audit companies.
How the LAW Transaction Works to Provide Information to SAP
The LAW transaction along with the USMM transaction are typically run once per year. This is the soft audit that SAP requires of all of its customers. The information is then sent to SAP so that SAP can review and determine if the customer is under licensed. If the customer is over licensed, the customer will not be informed of this fact by SAP. Instead over licensing is left to the customer to figure out for themselves.
SAP will not directly bring up the topic of SAM software. They will tell the customer about the LAW and USMM transactions but prefer that their customers not look beyond these transactions. This is because a SAM application allows a customer to determine their system usage, compare it to their licenses that they have purchased and to know their licensed position and which puts them in a better position to negotiate with SAP.
Companies should never accept SAP’s self-serving analysis of their licensing state. The LAW and USMM transactions are for SAP. SAP states that they are for the customer but that is a smoke screen.