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SDN Subscription program – The motivation behind


When we launched the SDN 4 years ago, we didn’t quite know what to expect and whether we would be successful in creating a vibrant community. The line that we knew we had to keep was to enable you – our community – and to give you – our partners and customers – the opportunity to succeed with SAP software through SDN. And this can only be done by providing you with the collaborative online tools through our platform and by allowing you to address issues, to share your thoughts, to express your wishes, and in return to show you that we care.

Thanks to your contributions, your enthusiasm and your feedback, we have today two communities with more than 800,000 registered users that help each other, make projects successful, answer forum questions within a few minutes, build up FAQs, How-to papers or just hang out at Community days and TechEds in the SDN clubhouse (and drink tons of coffee at our expenses).

This is also the time to think of where the communities are heading and what more of value we can add. Seeing the original SDN as the stage 1.0 of our community network, the launch of the BPX community a year ago and the technical separation brought us to community version 2.0. Even though there were the occasional bumps, we still cannot believe seeing the communities working so well. Each day working with the community is differently enjoyable and remunerating. It would be wrong to sit back and just watch and get into a routine. We need to continue improving, to make your job easier and more fulfilled. And after all, though we all earn money with our work, we also want to keep this work fun and exciting.

Next stages of our community

What’s next? How would the next stage of a maturing community network look like? We talked a lot to you, our users, partners, customers and analysts about how they see the SDN/BPX communities and what they would like being offered through the community network.

The overwhelming wish was something like a software subscription program, where you can subscribe to software for an annual fee for development, for testing and for evaluation.

Subscription program

Well, we complied, and bring you a very interesting program and – just to give you the full honest picture – the so far most sophisticated project for the colleagues on the community network and adjacent teams: we introduce the SDN NetWeaver Subscriptions program.

Through this subscription program we give you access to the full NetWeaver stack – for an annual and as we believe pretty reasonable subscription fee. When we say full NetWeaver stack, we really mean full. Developer Studio, Development Infrastructure, ABAP stack, BI, XI, MDM, Portal, VC etc. are all included. Once you subscribe, you’ll not only get a box with the DVD ROMS, but also access to the Service Marketplace, the OSS, the Enterprise Services Workplace and the Virtual TechEd sessions, as well as some other goodies like premium presence in the forums.

This program is a signal to the changes the community faces. We are reaching out to the strongly growing segment of small and midsize partners, creating an opportunity to realize their business ideas in the SAP environment with SAP tools.

Feel free to register now, so that you are under one of the front runners in this program.

We need your opinion

And don’t hesitate to give us your feedback. In fact, we welcome feedback about this program. Is this what you need? Is there something you’d want us to add to the program? Is there something that we screwed up? Let us know. Without you telling us, we won’t know. You can directly email me, I take the task of listening to you and compiling your feedback.

But first: enjoy and discover the new program. Stay tuned for the next days…

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  • Hi Mario:

    Without having the chance to test it…I can say that this is a must for all SDN/BPX community members! I already sign up to recieve more info as soon as the program starts -:D

    I must thanks the team for this great new!!!



  • Hi Mario,

    – when (I know it’s not part of subscription now)
    will rampup versions be part of this package
    what can SAP loose except releasing of better
    tested products ? 🙂

    – will this subscription be free to some users ?
    (for example SDN/BPX top contributors )?


    • Michal,

      besides the point that we do already have ramp up software available for download (composition environment), your point is more complicated as you might think: ramp up is a process to make sure that we can handle support even if something goes wrong (that’s why only a small group of customers gets them).

      Now, you might say you don’t want support for it because it’s worth to know new software before release. Unfortunately the legal situation in several countries is that no matter what- if we sell you a product we have to support it. It is irrelevant what kind of agreement we open, as soon as there is any money flowing this changes the legal situation.

      So, the only way to offer you something without support is as a free download. And here we are at what we already started…


      • hi Benny,

        >>>> Unfortunately the legal situation in several countries is that no matter what- if we sell you a product we have to support it.

        so you don’t have to do it with composition environment? why is it any different ?

        maybe you could also check how ms does it with MSDN ? maybe this could help

        thank you for the info 🙂


        • Hi Michal,
          the version on SDN for CE is a trial version. So technically, it’s not sold there. That’s also why you don’t get support.
          But as soon as we include the CE as rampup version in a subscription program (where you have to pay), we need to offer support.
          Anyways, as soon as CE is out of rampup and in GA, it will be included in NW – because it’s part of NW)


  • Great news. I remember talking with Thomas Jung last year about it during SDN Day in Vegas.
    Sneak Preview is great, but we need more.

    I’ve approached SAP many times asking to sell me SAP licenses (individual user), but as you can imagine, I never got a reply.

    Now this initiative seems to really address this gap where individuals like us, responsible for implementing SAP solutions to our customers don’t have access to all SAP software.

    On the long run, SAP is the one to profit from the larger developer base on the market.

    I don’t know the details yet (cost, terms, etc). I just hope it includes all. (Access to ERP versions, IDES, patching, WinXP support, etc).

    That is great news. I’m already registered!

    I imagine this will be one of the big topics during SAPTechEd. I am glad I going….

    Leonardo De Araujo

  • I have been waiting for this to happen for more than 3 years now. 

    It will be fantastic to have my own NetWeaver development environment at home. Looking forward to the launch day …….

    Hopefully very soon ……..

  • .. that’s where the cookie crumbles, isn’t it?

    PAZ subscription currently is USD 440.00, so one could assume that the SDN Subscription Program is likely to cost more, as it entails more services and software.

    Kind regards,


  • Hi Mario,
    this offer sounds very good but at the end this is only the half game.
    If I get it right, the offer doesn’t include FI, CO, SD, MM …. But without that I can only develop against the good old flight table.
    For me this offer is not that interesting, because I can download the interesting parts as sneak preview. Only together with the business side it would be interesting for me.

    Best regards

    • Not completely correct: You have access to the ES Workplace, which has the enterprise services to those systems.
      If you need your own system, you can either contact ICC for hosted solutions, or look at the Discovery Server.
      There is also always the chance to buy an IDES system.
    • Well, with the current downturn in house prices you’d probably not get much money 😉

      With girl-friend prices I am not so familiar, haven’t sold a girl-friend in the past years…

      But it’s lower 4 digits…

          • I would not be surprised if the cost is going to be around 2-3 K per year.
            Now, considering it doesn’t have the modules (FI, SD, etc) and that we can already have 70% of it (from an ABAP perspective) from sneakpreviews, how can you justify this cost?

            From a development perspective, we would like to have a real ERP instance where we can use as a code repository, prototyping environment. With only the Flight model we can’t do that.

          • Good estimate.

            ABAP is only a small fraction of what’s in the complete NW stack. BI, PI, EP, Java stack, NWDI, DevStudio etc. are part of it. And with the sneak preview you can’t open OSS messages, or create your own name space. And the sneak preview is valid only for a limited time.

            Access to ES Workplace, Service Marketplace, PAZ access, is also included.

            For ERP, you have the possibility to use either ICC hosted systems, Discovery System or buy an IDES system.


          • Mario,
            I really appreciate this initiative. In fact, as I mentioned before I’ve been asking for this for a long time. The problem is that it seems that it may not really fulfill the needs of the majority.
            See, the vast majority of us (by far should I say) are ABAP developers in ERP environments. We develop solutions for SAP customers, based on SAP functionality. Having access to a system without the functional modules, for us, at least, is not much different then sneakpreview.

            I strong believe we should have access to IDES installations. Again, SAP is to gain from the fact that its functionality is known to a broader developer base.

            My 50 cents on it. Mario, if you are going to SAPTechEd, I would like to discuss this in more detail with you, maybe at the SDN club house.

            Leonardo De Araujo

          • Hi Leonardo,
            yes, I will be at TechEd Las Vegas. Meet me at the clubhouse, I will be there during most of the time. Then we can chat about additional elements for subscriptions.


      • What do you keep fee in a secret? This just causes hype around estimation and guessing. But what the advantage of not announcing price already?

        Another question, what is an NW subscription advantage over Discovery System, where you have ERP, BW, PI, EP etc along with hardware for like 10’000$?

        Thank you

        • Unfortunately, I am not allowed to speak about the price (yet). But I guess I gave you enough clues to get an idea of what the price range is.

          And yes, Discovery System is definitely more expensive than the subscription. On the other hand, you get everything preinstalled and get a physical machine, but no premium forum access or PAZ access.
          So it’s up to you to decide what is more valuable for you.

  • I guess it was inevitable but I feel bad for it.
    I loved the fact that SDN was an open, free for all community. In SAP courses I told my students that all they have to do to become better is to subscribe to SDN and contribute to others and that’ll make them better themselves. But the PAZ came along and now it’s an annual fee. Like I said it’s probably inevitable but it’s a shame.
    • Hang on!

      I am not a particular fan of the PAZ either, but in fairness it’s not like SDN is going to charge for everything from now on. PAZ provides access to what was formerly delivered on SAPTechED-to-go disks (whether you like that or not, but that’s a different issue).

      Mario explains in his post that a fee will need to be paid for subscription to the SDN subscription programme, which enables you to use the full Netweaver stack (and the PA as it happens). No one mentioned for only a second that the trial versions or even the SDN forum will be charged for in the future.

      Kind regards,
      Michael Koch

    • As Michael says:
      1) The PAZ gives you access to content that you could only access by attending a TechEd
      2) The Subscription program gives you access to software (and systems) that you could only get by paying much much higher fees

      The rest of the SDN is as before. Blogs, articles, forums, wiki…. is for free.

  • Hi Mario,

    you asked
    >> Is there something you’d want us to add to the program?

    I didn’t found the “SolutionManager” in your description. In my opinion it should be part of the package.

    (Hope you keep the annual fee low and available for freelancer)

    Best regards

  • Hi Mario,

    Christian already asked the question about Solution Manager but never got an answer; will SolMan be included and if not, how does the whole patch/SP process work?
    Also, you mentioned that “there is always a chance to buy an IDES system”; could you be a little more more specific? As far as I know it is currently free for customers, so  how would the pricing model look like for subscribers?

    BTW, did I mention that I was waiting for this since the first sneak previews came out (I still remember TechEd in LV where IBM gave away the 4.6 Linux disks).

    Thanks Guenther

    • 1) We just clarified the SolMan topic now, so I apologize for my late answer.
      No, the SolMan is not part of the subscription package. The reason for that is that the SolMan is basically for large customers, but the individuals that we aim at for the subscription program might find it too difficult. We had long discussions, and this is our decision.
      As individual subscriber you have not disadvantages with that, you can still go to the SMP and download all SPs etc.

      2) I am not sure how it is included for non-subscription customer, but you can also get the IDES system independently from the other licenses. Unfortunately I have no link at hand, perhaps somebody else can share light on that.


      • Hello Mario,

        the decision this is not comprehensible for me.

        You wrote:

        >> “the SolMan is basically for large customers”
             The SolutionManager is not(!) basically for large customers.
             In the past the SolMan was more and more pushed by SAP to be installed at each customer.
             It started with the constraint, that
             – EarlyWatchAlerts for productive-systems have to be generated by a SolMan on customer-side.
             – you need a SolMan even to get an Upgrade-Key to reach a current SAP-Release (=> every customer needs access to a SolMan).
             – you need a SolMan to profit from the UpgradeRoadMap-Guide included in the SolMan.  (similar to the old ASAP-approach).
             – you need a SolMan for the MaintenanceOptimizer to get access to the download area for current products (!!!)
           Have a look at:
        “All corrective software packages, including Support Packages (Stacks) for SAP NetWeaver 2004s and subsequent versions, as well as all applications which are based on this software (including SAP Business Suite 2005), released after April 2, 2007, will be available exclusively through the Maintenance Optimizer in SAP Solution Manager.”

        You wrote:
        >> “individuals that we aim at for the subscription program might find it too difficult”

        There are some much more complex products announced to be part of the subscription. If you have the infrastructure and knowledge to install XI and Portal, you are for sure able to install and adminstrate a SolMan.

        You wrote:
        >> “give you access to the full NetWeaver stack “

        As far as i know, the SolMan is part of the NetWeaverStack. And the SolMan is for free if you already have a license for other SAP-products.
        Why should it be handled in a different way in the upcoming subscription.

        My opinion:
        As long as the SolMan is forced by SAP to be a central part of each(!) small and large landscape, it should be available for test-purposes as well.

        I hope that you can discuss this again before you finally define the subscription.

        Best regards

        • In discussion with the SolMan Team, we agreed to offer the subscription program for NW without the requirement of an onsite SolMan, as this is handled by a central SolMan at SAP.


  • Hi,

    I find that the right move from SAP, e.g. only if we can get the hands on the latest and greatest with SPs we can show our customers what cool solutions we can deliver with the SAP Netweaver package. So please make it not too expansive and then also SAP will have a huge gain with this.


  • Hello Mario,

    frist of all the subscription program is a very good initiative to leverage SAP into midsize and small
    ISV and freelancer space. 

    My question is:
    Why is not possible to open own namespaces
    in stack you offer?

    All the best,


    • You can already now apply and create your own namespace. But you need the developer license, as this information will be centrally stored at SAP so that nothing happens with partners who might choose the same namespace. And for this, you need a business relationship with SAP, i.e. being the owner of an e.g full or developer license.

      With a trial license it’s not possible.

      With the subscription program you also can do that now.

  • Hello Mario,

    to have access to pure software stack is
    for me only half part of the game.

    SAP is strong in delivering technogolgy AND
    business processes.

    Is there a chance to have some core
    business objects (A1S-based (?)) in stack?

    This might allowed BPX’ler to leverage
    business processes to SAP’s ecosystem.
    For SDN’ler the stack will allow subcribers
    to coopete with SAP. 😉

    All the best,


    • At the moment, we have the NW subscription. We are considering additional offers and got the feedback from multiple people, but at the moment it is too early to talk about them.
  • Mario, SDN,

    This is (for me) the perfect solution, can’t wait to have it arranged, already subscribed. To bad for the BC guys (like me) that Solmann isn’t included.
    I which time frame can we expect to get going with this ?

    Regards and keep this going, Patrick Rieken..

    • We are in rampup right now, so the first daring developers got an invitation. If everything goes fine in the next few days, we probably will soon send a mail to those of you who registered.
      • Hello Mario,

          The idea for subscribing to the Netweaver components sounds good. Would the ERP components (SD/MM/PP) etc. be part of the package? The previous blogs did not answer this point clearly.

          If this is not the case, what suggestions do you have to integrate these components? Would there be any discounts etc. that we will be able to avail of, in this case?

          As mentioned in one of the blogs, the true benefit of paying the subscription fees is to be able to develop SAP-based process solutions, rather than prototypes like Flight booking.


    • 3rd party products that are shipped with NetWeaver in an OEM agreement will be part of NW subscription. E.g. the Adobe components for Visual Composer.
  • I found this link

    According to the link, subscription would cost 2300 USD.
    Why not allow us to pick and choose rather than paying for all even if you don’t want. Any case most  consultants would be interested  in some combination rather than all. (I would personally be interested in portal and xi but not interested in teched or premium support) 2300 USD is very very high for an year.

  • Mario, when you say a subscription for all of the NetWeaver stack, is this from a SDN info perspective, or from a Licensing of NW product perspective?
  • Mario,

    You mention of small businesses leveraging it. Would this price be per user? Or are you targetting only single individual developers?
    Or, will it be for n users (say 5)?

    • This price is for the individual. This license is a named license, that means your name is tied to the license. You cannot hand the license to somebody else.

      Note: this is different from our traditional license models.

      • I thought as much, though it is disappointing.

        One developer cannot have much use of full-stack. you cannot be working on EP, MDM, XI, Portal, Java , ABAP etc, and if you are, chances are you already work for SAP 🙂

        So, a three person firm pays 3x the price. I don’t see how different it is from an ERP license (money wise – comparable user license cost per user for a complete ERP suite – ofcourse you don’t have an option to buy one or 3 license there).

        You said – ” We are reaching out to the strongly growing segment of small and midsize partners, creating an opportunity to realize their business ideas in the SAP environment with SAP tools. ” – Somehow I am not much encouraged.


        • Hi Ajay,

          sure, you need to evaluate this offer, depending on the situation. Are you in a company that is better off buying the traditional license, or is this the first affordable solution for a freelancer or small organization?
          As the package also includes additional components beside just the software, it might be worthwhile thinking of it.


  • Hello Mario,

    The idea for subscribing to the Netweaver components sounds good. Would the ERP components (SD/MM/PP) etc. be part of the package? The previous blogs did not answer this point clearly.

    If this is not the case, what suggestions do you have to integrate these components? Would there be any discounts etc. that we will be able to avail of, in this case?

    As mentioned in one of the blogs, the true benefit of paying the subscription fees is to be able to develop SAP-based process solutions, rather than prototypes like Flight booking.


    • Hi Anand,

      also for me ERP components should be in in order
      to have the glass full and half full, but …

      you can still developing solution for
      functional gaps of SAP technology stack.

      Regards & Thanks & Nice weekend,


    • What the NW subscription does not include, are the business application stacks, like ERP, CRM SCM etc.
      For that we currently offer the following:
      1) ES Workplace access (for all the Web services from those systems) which is included in the subscription
      2) ICC hosted systems (you have to pay a monthly fee)
      3) Discovery System including the server
      4) IDES system
  • Just to clarify that with this subscription programme we will actually be able to develop solution and then deliver that software (via transports) to the customer who will import this into their production system? This is allowed?