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Author's profile photo Renald Wittwer

SAP NetWeaver – free for private use – Why not?

These days are some discussions and movement in the area of licenses. On one side there is a discussion about bringing WebDynpro into open source, as discussed in the Web Dynpro for Open Source? of Benny Schaich-Lebek and in other blogs. On the other side there will be new developer licenses on the horizont, as described from New developer licenses for NetWeaver on the horizon. At least there will be a new SAP code exchange landing page now on SDNon SDN.


All these brings me to one idea:  A lot of software vendors have a “free for private use” version. Could this be a model for SAP Netweaver? Why not!


The possibility that SAP will earn money with private enduser seems very low. The attention created from such a license could be high.


Imagine WebDynpro and the Portal could be used for private application and homepages… Probably some developer would write and share private applications. This power could influence the commercial part, perhaps some of these private applications could be used in the commercial environment.


A further effect is, that more developer would take attention to the SAP NetWeaver, as without such a “free for private use” version.


What is the difference between the already existing Trail Version and the “free for privat use” version? At first the license should be unlimited or at least one year. Next it should be allowed to use the “free for private use” for private applications and homepages. My own portal on my private hompage – nice idea.


What do you think about this? Could such a “free for private use” version push SAP Netweaver? What is the danger of such a step?

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      Author's profile photo G Srivastava
      G Srivastava
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I completely agree with you. I have the latest SR1 ABAP trial installed on my home machine and would love to install portal, so that i could run BW queries, practice in the WAD and also explore Web Dympro. Unfortunately this is not possible because the Java trial was removed over 1 year ago 🙁

      I would like to get SAP's thought behind their reasons for removing the Java Portal trial and not the ABAP trial?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Author's profile photo Mark Teichmann
      Mark Teichmann
      IBM recently did a similar step when giving away Lotus Domino Designer for free (when you don't access a Domino server with it).

      This is definitely the way to go.

      Also it would be nice to release a version for developing/testing which runs on a 64bit OS because with 3GB of RAM the whole CE installation is always on its limit.

      Author's profile photo Lars Breddemann
      Lars Breddemann
      Maybe I never really realized how enormous the influence is that "at home" developers really have to big software lines as Netweaver is.
      Maybe I'm really just ignorant on this point.

      However, where are the loads of big contributions that come from "private use" licenses?

      To me the big promise SAP makes is not about delivering software and unlocking it to run for an unlimited time frame.
      Instead the software really is just the vehicle of what is given to customers - an approach to IT in business organisations.
      It's about reliability, predictability, stable operations, managed failure scenarios, business continuity...
      It's about getting things not just working but to guarantee that they will keep working. Even if things change (and they change a lot).

      So the know-how and the experience that allow to make THESE things are be the parts that developers should be interested in. Not just in the executables of the software.

      What use is it if somebody builds his private website and due to the lack of money, know-how and experience this site offers the worst possible user experience?
      Will that be beneficial to SAP?
      How will this strengthen the trust of others in the NetWeaver platform?

      To me the private-use-give aways are more a kind of backdoor marketing trick than anything else.
      People tend to think they are accustomed to the software, they believe to have made their experiences with it and will eventually report to their CIO: "Yes, we know this software - you can safely go for it. We can handle it!".
      The reality is somewhat different.
      Usually the private-level experiences don't match up with what business-reality demands.

      At worst this ends up with people being responsible for critical business systems (they got their because of their prior "experience") without the required knowledge on how to deal with them in a business friendly way.

      We see these people a lot these days - just check the forums!
      In customer messages the number of How-To questions of the most basic kind increased a lot in the recent past!

      I tend to attribute this to the "easy entry" to the SAP related jobs. Less professional education but more trial&error approach.

      Personally I think that it's the right decision to give business infrastructure software to businesses that can effort to handle it.
      I think it's better not to sneak into IT-departments via the "Developer"/"Admin"-backdoor.

      Therefore I'm against a free for private NetWeaver.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I wonder if a trail version opens the doors to IT users, some responsible and others other way round. However, developing and cracking may create a security risk for existing/potential customers from hackers.

      Where I support open functionality, I suppose there needs to be through understanding how such a move can improve or undermine the risks involved, essentially with the existing/potential customers.