Yes, a license is required to operate on the HANA database. There are two types of license keys, temporary and permanent licenses. The temporary license is automatically installed with a new SAP HANA installation. It has a validity of 90 days. Once the license expires then one should install a permanent license in the database to continue working in the database. The HANA licensing is based on the amount of memory in the HANA database. If it expires, a temporary license key valid for 28 days is automatically installed. During this time, you can request and install a new permanent license key again.