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Author's profile photo Erwin Tenhumberg

Open Source at SAP in 2009

In 2009 SAP was quite busy with respect to Open Source. And since Matt Asay recently said on Twitter: “SAP is much more active in open source than usually credited.Needs to better tell its story” I thought it can’t hurt to provide a little summary of what SAP has done in 2009 with respect to open source.

SAP’s 2009 open source story started with Open Source Meets Business – Postlude in Nuremberg, Germany in January. My impression was that many people in the audience were quite surprised to hear in how many different areas and ways Open Source plays a role at SAP.

In May SAP organized the very first Eclipse DemoCamp at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany which turned to be a This was the Eclipse DemoCamp in Walldorf. Therefore, I’m pretty sure that there will be more Eclipse DemoCamps in Walldorf in the future.

In June SAP moved up its membership level at the Eclipse Foundation from Strategic Consumer to Strategic Developer, meaning that SAP commits to having at least 8 full-time developers on the project. However, what is more important than the membership level, is that SAP contributed a lot more code than in the past. SAP now has 13 active contributors at Eclipse and contributed more than 1.8 million lines of code in 2009 which makes SAP the third largest corporate contributor to Eclipse. In 2009 SAP even initiated or co-innitiated two new projects at Eclipse, i.e. the Eclipse Pave project and the Eclipse EGit project.

At SAP TechEd 2009 in Phoenix and Vienna in October Karsten Schmidt and I presented about SAP’s open source strategy as well as the benefits and risks of open source. In Phoenix we had more than 50 attendees and in Vienna we were even able to attract more than 90 people with the subject. BTW, people who are wondering why and how SAP is participating in Open Source, might want to watch the SAP TechEd Live interviews with Hervé Couturier, Claus von Riegen and me recorded at SAP TechEd 2009 in Phoenix and Vienna.

In October SAP also announced that SAP will start contributing to a number of projects a the Apache Software Foundation and that SAP signed Apache’s Corporate Contributor License Agreement. As people might have noticed, the names of SAP employees have already appeared on a number of Apache mailing lists and various incubator projects.

SAP’s increasing interest in Apache projects also encouraged me to invite Justin Erenkrantz from the Apache Software Foundation to SAP’s very first internal Open Source Summit.

The 2-day internal SAP Open Source Summit took place in Walldorf in November and was organized in order to foster knowledge sharing and community building within SAP around the topic of Open Source. In addition to Justin Erenkrantz from Apache, Matt Asay from Alfresco as well as Dirk Riehle (former SAP employee and now the first open source professor in Germany) agreed to present as external guest speakers. Like with the public Eclipse DemoCamp, the attendee feedback regarding the internal SAP Open Source Summit was encouragingly and overwhelmingly positive which makes me believe that there also will be more internal SAP Open Source Summits in the future.

Even though the summit was an internal event, so that SAP employees could discuss experiences and issues openly, there are a number of sessions which can be shared externally. One of these sessions is Justin’s keynote, which Justin allowed me to publish and which I’m doing with this blog entry.

Thanks again to all summit speakers and attendees, and to the external guest speakers Dirk Riehle, Justin Erenkrantz, Matt Asay in particular for turning the internal SAP Open Source Summit into such a valuable and useful event which one attendee even called “One of the most informative and collaborative events at SAP ever – and a holistic view on all dimensions of open source.”

O.k., enough words, here is Justin’s keynote presentation about the Apache Software Foundation:



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