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Now I have my SAP NetWeaver Development Subscription for a year – and I extended the subscription. Today I want to tell you why and I also want to review the last year.

The SAP NetWeaver development subscription

Maybe you have heard something about the SAP NetWeaver Development Subscription; if not then you can check the corresponding sites on SCN. Anyway the pages of the subscription offers you that you have access to the whole SAP NetWeaver software stack and that you have online access to the Virtual SAP TechEd and many more. Maybe you have thought in the past about the subscription – Why should I buy a development subscription? – Today I will give you an answer why the development subscription is very important, not only for the subscribers, also for the SAP customers, partner and the whole SAP eco system.

I needed the subscription, because things have changed…

I have to go back in time to the year 2008. I worked for another SAP consulting company almost for two years and everything was great. Good salary, great colleagues and an innovative environment, but things have changed. I and five other colleagues were unsatisfied with the situation in the company. We decided at that time to found our own company – the idea of FIVE1, our company, was born. You can imagine that a company is not founded within one day, so we started with our business plan. I can tell you the business plan is one of the most important documents during the foundation phase – I will tell you in another blog about the important steps to found a company.
Anyway, part of the business plan was of course how do we acquire new customers? – Or in other words, we need a SAP NetWeaver installation to build demos for a showcase for our customers. Before we founded FIVE1 I became a subscriber, because I was always interested in having my own development system – maybe you can call me a geek. 😉

… and the subscription was the enabler for success

I also must tell you the story about our first demo at the customer. At that time we have had neither our office in the SAP Partnerport nor our own hardware for the server installation.
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The first installation was on my own pimped private PC with dual core processor and 8 GB RAM. The SAP NetWeaver installation runs with a good performance on this machine – Never let it be said that a SAP installation requires expensive hardware. 😉 We had our first live demo at our customer based on my private PC with SAP NetWeaver installation and a VPN connection to my private PC at home via dynamic DNS, because I have no fix IP address at home. The network access at the customer we realized via UMTS broadband connection. I can tell you it was awesome – presenting a demo and to know how the infrastructure was set up. At another customer I arrived with my car – and guess, yes I had my private PC in the trunk, because at the customer we had no internet connection so we needed the system with our demo there. My colleagues are kidding sometimes today when I come to the office “Where is our SAP NetWeaver mobile server? Is it in your trunk?”  
Of course we have today a better infrastructure, but it is amusing to talk about these stories.

 
But what I wanted to tell you is, that without the subscription I couldn’t have done this live demos and I don’t know if FIVE1 would have had these projects at our customers without the subscription. I also remember about my last project I developed the solution for the customer on my SAP NetWeaver system – so you can say I did a proof of concept on our system. You see, that the subscription was very useful for me in the past. Also our customers had a benefit from the subscription, because the subscription was the enabler for some proof of concepts and prototypes for the customers.

Win-win situation

I always think the subscription is a win-win situation for SAP, their customers, partners, freelancer and the whole SAP eco system. Why? – Because freelancers have the opportunity to educate their self on their own SAP NetWeaver system. Partners and small startups like me with FIVE1 have the chance to build demos solutions and add-ons for the SAP NetWeaver platform for their customers. The customer benefits from the add-ons, the well educated freelancers and startups and of course if there are more consultants then the prices will decrease – think about the supply and demand and you can read it often in the news that there are not enough SAP experts for some topics. Last but not least SAP benefits from the ecosystem, that means from the new startups, which also can sell licenses and from the lower cost for consulting, because then there is more budget for SAP licenses. Solutions that are built by subscribers can complement the SAP products to a great solution. You can imagine you can extend this list with several other arguments. For me it is a necessary step so that the SAP ecosystem will grow in the future. Other software vendors already demonstrated that it is a win-win situation when you think about Microsoft and MSDN subscription.

Future of the subscription

I hope that SAP extends their subscription offer with other products from the business objects portfolio, the solution manager, the ECC 6.0, SAP BOPC and so on which are not part of the subscription.

Usage of the subscription today

But not only in the past had the subscription made my life easier as a consultant. Today I use the subscription to analyze customers issue on my system and solve the issue offside the customer.
I’m also working currently on a book for SAP Press and therefore I also need a system. I also use the subscription for developing small add-ons and solutions, which is the basis for my blogs on the FIVE1 Blog (our blog in German language).

Conclusion

In a nutshell after a year I can absolutely recommend every consultant, freelancer or geek out there to buy a SAP NetWeaver development subscription.

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17 Comments

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  1. Rasheed Al-Odah
    Hi,

    That was really a great story, especially when I share the same dream of having my own consulting company that deals with consultancy from a different angle, not only caring about closing the project and eating the money (Grrrrhhhh).

    But what is really killing me is why SAP neglecting Middle East, while they have a great opportunities and huge markets!!

    I have been digging for a long time to find a way to have this subscription to be a freelancer, but shockingly SAP replied by the following:

    ”  Dear Rasheed Al Odah,

    Thank you for your interest with the Software Subscription.

    Currently we have no plans to expand the subscription program to other countries in 2009. We are looking into other options to provide the community with additional subscription program services. If you are an SAP partner, you could purchase a partner license through your local partner manager in Saudi Arabia. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

    Regards,

    Ram. ” 

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    1. Marcel Salein Post author
      Hi Ram,

      thank you. I can understand your situation, but I can also unterstand SAP. At that time I started with the subscription I had a call with the responsible person for the subscription and I also asked if they are planning to extend the subscription to other countries. They told me that this is not very easy, because every country has another law, especially the custom dutys are different in every country. Maybe they will have a solution for your country in the future. Of course it is not a solution, but you can try to work in the meanwhile with the free trial versions which are available in the download section on SDN.

      Best Regards,
      Marcel

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      1. Rasheed Al-Odah
        Hi Marcel,

        I appreciate your suggestion, however through the free trial versions, i can’t communicate with R3 models-BAPI…

        Am i right? please correct me if I am wrong?

        Regards, Rasheed. 

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        1. Marcel Salein
          Hi Ram,

          I’m not sure what exactly do you want to do and what do mean with BAPI R/3 communication. Anyway with the free trial you can set up a SAP NetWeaver installation with ABAP AS and Java AS and you can also access BAPIs of the ABAP AS for instance from Visual Composer. But you have for instance no SAP BW business content and you can not use the SAP BW. This is only possible with the subscription. The subscription itself does not contain a SAP R/3 system, but you have access to the Enterprise Service Workplace (ESW). The ESW contains an ERP system which can be accessed.

          If you give me more details then maybe I can answer your question in detail.

          Best Regards,
          Marcel

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          1. Rasheed Al-Odah
            Hi Marcel,

            First of all thank you for you kind support. As you are offering me some consultation here, let me give you the whole picture.

            I am working in a Petrochemical’s Company implementing SAP Netwaever with the following: ECC 6.0, EP 7.0 and PI 7.1.

            My role is to develop innovative solutions to facilitate effective utilization of business daily tasks into our SAP landscape. Since I am a Java Developer, i become interested with Webdynpro Java and just last Thursday I have taken the exam to be a Certified Development Consultant.

            Hence, i would love to have my own development environment at my home to be free with what i want to do, which will lead me in developing a lot of useful applications to my company.

            But to have a really useful application in the context of my Company needs, i need to do some coding against RFC Models in the ECC system.

            But what I understand from your previous reply that i can’t have the ECC with all its data in the trial version, Which i don’t mind as far as i can have other ways to code against and RFC Model…

            Can you help me in assessing the right way to do it with the current SAP trial system?

            Regards, Rasheed.

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            1. Marcel Salein
              Hi Rasheed,

              well, now I understand what you want to do. There are several opportunities to do this.

              1) You can download the trial of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 from https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/downloads?rid=/library/uuid/60d6c8b7-5d8f-2910-31bf-ebdf74fefd8b.

              This includes the ABAP and Java stack for an installation under Linux with the MaxDB database. You only have to install the Java AS.

              Then you have your own Java AS to deploy your Web Dynpro for Java application. Now you need a VPN connection to your development machine of ECC in your company to access the BAPIs/RFCs or if this is not possible you can access the ESW. For accessing the ESW you need a valid S-User (access to the service marketplace) then you can register an user for ESW https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/soareg.

              2) Another option is to download the trial of the composition environment https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/nw-ce-downloads. Then of course you need the new NWDS for 7.1. I don’t now how are the plans of your company, because the CE (NW7.1) is based on Java 1.5. Maybe you plan to use to setup a CE in your landscape to develop Java 1.5 applications. With 1.5 you have of course the latest features.

              The step to access to ECC resp. to ESW is the same as I have described in 1).

              I hope that helps.

              Best Regards,
              Marcel

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  2. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Marcel:

    First of all, congratulations for your new company! -:D
    Second, I got the problem of “Not available in your country”…of course I got the NSP but I can’t use i to make any profit or to build my own company…I understand the legal problems that SAP must overcome to surpass this…so I can only wait…
    Anyway, I love to see how the Subscription Program helps other people to achieve their goals…

    Greetings,
    Blag.

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    1. Marcel Salein Post author
      Hi Blag,

      thank you very much. I also hope that SAP extends the subscription programm, because it’s also a chance for SAP that the SAP eco systems.

      Best Regards,
      Marcel

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  3. Nick de Groof
    Hi Marcel, congrats indeed, and happy for you…
    however as for so many of us out there, beyond Germany and US, we have been awaiting access to this program since it was launched at SAP Teched 2007! 

    For over 2 years our colleagues based in these countries have been able to leap themselves and form a knowledge gap without having to wait for opportunities raised at customer engagements to narrow this gap again.

    Have gone low and high inside SAP, yet with no avail.

    Dissapointing from a company that benefit in many ways from our work by implementing their products at their customers (admit that SAP also allowed me to build a career based on their products, yet it works both ways), opening up the program would unleash the power/innovation of so many more like Marcel and only add to the benefit of producing skilled professionals.

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  4. Elham Mortazavi
    Hi Marcel,
    Congratulation.

    We ordered our subscription a couple of days ago and still waiting for the processing.

    We would like to start as ISV with developing some application or add-on.
    Do you know if we need to reserve a SAP namespace for ourselves? Also, do you know how much would that cost?
    Thanks,
    -Elham

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    1. Marcel Salein Post author
      Hi Elham,

      thanks. With the subscription you can reserve a development namespace on the service marketplace. This is included in the subscription price.

      Best Regards,
      Marcel

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  5. Sanjay Gera
    Hi Marcel,

    Thank you for this post. It really helped me in further understanding the use of taking Netweaver development subscription.

    I have following couple of questions though. Could you please help.

    As you mentioned, Netweaver development subscription itself does not contain SAP R/3 system, but gives you access to ESW (Enterprise service workplace).

    1. Can I make configuration changes using SPRO in the ESW as required for my custom developed portal applications or iViews ?

    2. Will I get a dedicated access to ESW as part of my Netweaver Development subscription, I mean, will my configuration changes in ESW stay isolated and no other user can overwrite them.

    Any insight you could share on these points will help us in understanding the challenges if we are preparing a demo that utilizes services from ESW (SAP R/3 functionality).

    Please advise. Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
    Sanjay Gera

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    1. Marcel Salein Post author
      Hi Sanjay,

      1) I’ve never tried to change the configuration, but I assume that this isn’t possible due to the fact that the systems are used by several people. The main purpose of the ESW is to offer a systemlandscape to discover the enter services that SAP Business Suite offers you and that you are able to built composite apps based on that enterprise services.

      2) No you share the system with all the other ESW users.

      Best Regards,
      Marcel

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    2. Marcel Salein Post author
      Hi Sanjay,

      1) I’ve never tried to change the configuration, but I assume that this isn’t possible due to the fact that the systems are used by several people. The main purpose of the ESW is to offer a systemlandscape to discover the enter services that SAP Business Suite offers you and that you are able to built composite apps based on that enterprise services.

      2) No you share the system with all the other ESW users.

      Best Regards,
      Marcel

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    3. Community User
      Hi Marcel,
        Thank you for your post.  It helped me understanding I have few more questions and concerns.  Could you help me to clarifying them?

      Questions:

      1.     What is the difference between SDN subscription – NetWeaver Development and SAP RAC service in terms of development, configuration and testing?
      2.     After I sign up the SDN Subscription, do I have access (or able to ) configure SAP modules (like MM, Financial,  etc.)?    
      3.     Do I have sample test database (or pre-configured) environment?  And is it installed in my own environment or do I need to login remotely to access the testing environment?
      4.      I understand that SDN subscription comes with MaxDB.  However, since I have Microsoft SQL license, will I be able to install the SAP system against my own SQL server?
      5.     Can I create/modify/evaluate ABAP programs with NetWeaver Development Subscription?
      6.     Do I have access to Data Service with NetWeaver Development Subscripton?

      I am very new to SAP, so please help me as detail as possible.  Thank you very much.  I sincerely appreciate your help.

      Regards,

      Rachel Chiu

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