Indirect access is SAP's mechanism to build extreme financial leverage against its customers within software audits via the integration of non-SAP applications.
Indirect access or usage occurs when humans, devices, or systems integrate with SAP software deemed by SAP to fall outside of licensed engines and users. While such integrations to non-SAP forms, custom-developed solutions, and/or third-party applications are common, SAP’s legacy metrics did not contemplate indirect access when originally written. The resulting incremental license and maintenance fees can be enormous given the user and data volume associated with web-based applications that integrate with core SAP.
Customers fall prey to indirect access shortfalls when submitting annual audit declarations based on SAP’s LAW–License Administration Workbench–tool. SAP follow up activities inquire about line-item entries such as purchase and sales orders where indirect access is suspected and the customer does not have the new(er) Digital Document licenses or the older Sales and Service or Purchase Order metrics. Note that third-party integration tools such as Process Orchestration do not avoid the additional license requirements created by indirect use.
The key to understanding indirect access is where the end-to-end process is triggered. But mostly, don’t send SAP the annual SLAW output until an independent advisor such as Remend has vetted it.