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Why makes SAP this so complicated?

Have you ever visited Oracle’s, Microsoft’s or IBM’s web site? They offer the same functionality: software downloads. If I want to learn more about Oracles’, Microsoft’s or other vendors’ portfolio, I can download it and: I can start coding. Downloading software and trying it out, learning it, adding a skill to my CV: no problem at all.

Look at Oracles download site:

All software downloads are free, and most come with a Developer License that allows you to use full versions of the products at no charge while developing and prototyping your applications, or for strictly self-educational purposes.

From Microsoft you can download the Express Editions of their software, even Sharepoint is free. Want to learn C++, C#, Windows Phone development with the SDKs Visual Studio, Visual Studio C++, SQL Server? Together with a DB and some accelerators like Emulators? All there, even whole DVD images that contain all you need to get started.

Everything you need to develop apps for Windows Phone 7 for FREE including Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone, Visual Studio 2010 for Windows Phone Express, XNA Game Studio and the Windows Phone emulator.

You are more interested in Open Source software? Open Source Projects offer their source code and most of them also binaries for download. If you want to play around with a database , a column oriented DB, Java application server, servlet container, BI, ETL, system monitoring, functional testing, mobility: all can be downloaded, installed and tried out in minutes.

Developing mobile apps for Blackberry? No need to buy a BB or BES: all free for download. If you are more into Android or iOS development, also not a problem (iOS more a problem as you need a Mac to develop). SDKs, emulators, images, all available for everyone. Oracle even gives you special developer VMs:

For Java developers the developer VM contains a source control and a continuous integration system, and DB developers can experiment with their TimesTen In-Memory DB cache.

And SAP?

Yes, you can download software from SAP, you can try it out, use it to learn, develop. BUT: compared to the other vendors, why is making SAP this so hard and is only offering a very limited subset of their portfolio? You cannot even download the latest NWDS without having an S-User. Evaluating SAP’s Java VM? Trying out their Java application server? Their ESB? The web dispatcher? Downloading the newest version of SAPGui demands that you have access to the service market place (in the “good old times” it was at least possible to download SAPGui for Java from their FTP server). When you are lucky you need an S-User with download permission. If SAP is gracious to let you download a trial, you still have to register, getting a license, renew the license, and sometimes the license simply expires with no option to renew.

Currently you can download NetWeaver for ABAP and Java, but not the newest versions. NetWeaver Java is only available as 7.00, no EHP1, EHP2, and no sign of NetWeaver 7.3. That means: with the current SAP Portal version available for download you need Internet Explorer 6 or a really old Firefox version to be able to access the portal without errors. If you want to learn NetWeaver 7.3, gain knowledge about the new SAP Portal, see what Web Dynpro Java offers in the new version: the only way is to have access to a 7.3 at work or at your office. You cannot install 7.3 on your laptop to try it out, to keep your skills updated or even to show your colleagues, client, and managers that the new version offers the solution to an ongoing problem. Want to use the snapshot option of your VM to just “try it out to see if it solves the problem”? Not an option. This implies that every of you ideas have to enter the normal development and configuration process. And that means that your idea will just be that: an idea, unrealized.

The download section at SCN offers a small selection of software SAP has in its portfolio. It’s easier to find someone that had the chance to learn ABAP and Java using this software than someone that know how to apply a SPS, EHP, or knows GRC or PI. Having hands-on knowledge on a product is crucial; this is what at the end decides between a project failure and success. How to staff a team whose only chance to learn a product is by learning by doing? Want to build your own sandbox landscape, virtualized on your laptop? Consisting of ECC EHPx, SolMan, GRC, Portal, PI, BPM, PO, Gateway, SUP? You cannot.

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  • What’s even worse is that you have install another complicated system in your landscape that is more work than someone trying to figure out what patches you need if you want to patch a system in your landscape. 

    If SAP is serious above removing the layers with HANA, then they need to apply this approach to other areas.  Then again I must admit this approach is very effective in keeping SAP software from being used by those who don’t pay for it and even those who pay for it ;).

    Take care,


  • I always have a really bad time when I have to install a new release of the AS ABAP Trial. I know a bunch a friends who just gave up, after having many issues with the installation process.

    And I also find it sad that we have to “learn by doing”. That’s one the things that makes me lose motivation sometimes – the fact that you can’t trully learning everything by yourself, just because you can’t have a “developer’s edition” for some SAP Products.

    • Remember N4S? The 64it only NW 7.00 ABAP trial? Setting up the network so that the server was able to start up …
      To defend SAP: the trial for Gateway is WAY better, but also comes with a time limit 🙁
    • Hello Mauricio,

      it would be great if you can motivate your friends and colleagues to give the SAP NetWeaver Gateway 2.0 Trial/Developer Edition a new try. Both come with a detailed installation instruction. I think the Linux Trial is the easiest to install ever. Alexander Hass and Manfred Stein did a great job here. Hopefully we get soon an updated version with SP3 of NetWeaver Gateway. This trial also brings a 7.02 Java Stack with it.

      Best regards

      • Hi Gregor

        Thanks for the flowers, we are doing our best. Colleagues in LinuxLab, with the help of SAP GateWay team and folks working on SAP EMR (SAP Electronic medical Record) , have just finished the SAP GateWay SP3 based trial. I hope, the download version will be refreshed within the next few days. Alexander and Wayne will know more about the status.

        Have fun with it


  • Great post.

    It’s difficult to comprehend that SAP wants to  scale number of developers to millions in it’s ecosystem, but still makes developer’s life so difficult. What a paradox!

    How they are going to achieve their vision.

    • The developer access does not scale. NOt only in regards to access, but also when a new Java/WDJ developer project starts. Developers need some time to set up their environment: that is, adopt what they know from other Java projects to what SAP wants you to use.
  • This is a far simpler but related problem.  Where can you download the latest SAPgui?  What about SAPgui for Mac OS X?  What about the latest front end patches?  On the web?  Nope… have to go through SolMan or SMP.  But not everyone has access to either one.  And the only place I can find the OS X version is at some public sector customer’s website

    This ranks very high on my things-that-really-annoy-me scale.

    • and I didn’t even write about why you cannot install SAP’s Eclipse plugins into a vanilla Eclipse (like WDJ or – omg- the new ABAP for Eclipse) and run it on … Linux or Mac. It’s Eclipse, it’s Java, and still SAP managed to write something that only worked on 32bit Windows XP.

      Yes: making it so hard to download a new version of SAPGui … I don’t get it.

      • Thanks so much for the blog.  I went out and googled for a FEP and found the latest one.  SAPGUI 7.20 FEP 10 was released just a few days ago and it’s already out on a filesharing site… 

        I found other links through SMP but you have to use the SAP Download Manager to get them.  I’ve never gotten the download manager to work…  I’ll give $100 to anyone who can get mine to work.  Until then, I’ll have to take my chances on the internet.

        • Nathan,

          I could probably get your download manager working for free, provided you have the correct service marketplace permissions and you are on windows.

          SAP GUI and the patches are actually the easiest things to download from the marketplace and I would scream if they ever require MOPZ for that.  Installing a SAP GUI is very easy once you have a source CD image.  The installation server is more of a pain however.

          Take care,


          • You actually don’t need the download manager to download things like the SAP GUI. You just need to know which links to click in order to trigger the direct download 🙂

            The killer is, of course, the need for a Service Marketplace ID. How can someone get one of those if not through a partner or customer? You can’t! That fact shows huge disrespect to all the independent consultants and developers out there.

          • I suggested last fall that SAP reward their mentors, mods and top contibutors with a Service Marketplace ID.   How great it would be to reserach a question in OSS?  Get downloads of the newest stuff and be able to test it and comment on. 

            It would be a very low cost thing for SAP to provide and a great way to tap and use the knowledge of the independent consultants and developers.  I bet some of those developers could even link the marketplace ID to your badges.  Lose the wrong badge and your ID gets locked automatically.  Gain it back, and your ID is unlocked automatically.


          • I like the idea, but in my opinion it would be a huge mistake to link this access to some sort of status in SCN. Everyone who is interested in SAP software should be able to sign up and have access to downloads and all available documentation (including OSS notes, since SAP hides a lot of necessary documentation in notes). If Joe-random-developer cannot gain this access in 30 minutes then there is something seriously broken about the process.

          • Folks,

            I had one post removed from this thread so I will try again 😉

            Historically the barriers have been there for a reason.

            Lest we not forget history we should not forget why the barriers are there.

            Folks, be careful what you wish for.

            Speaking for myself, I’m an independent, I get to play with the newest latest and greatest toys by getting assignments at customers with the most interesting landscapes, every customer I go to I get an S number of course because I need it to do my job.

            So what is the problem ?

            All the best.

            Most importantly, be careful what you wish for, and don’t forget the history of decisions.

            To put it in a nutshell for the hard of hearing, put this stuff in the public domain and the business model will be destroyed and we’ll all have to find alternative careers which might not necessarily be a bad thing but will be a temporary inconvenience.


          • Hi Petr,

            I couldn’t disagree more. Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft (to name three examples) all make their software easily available to independents and people who have no prior relationship to either of them. Microsoft charges a significant but manageable yearly amount while Oracle and IBM provide the software for free. As far as I can tell, all three have thriving developer, consultant, and partner ecosystems.



          • Good Morning Ethan,

            with the greatest of respect have you ever compared the rates for MS work to SAP work ?

            As far as I understand in the majority of Oracle areas the rates are destroyed.

            It is only SAP which remains interesting.

            Open this up, and mark my words, we’ll be looking for alternative careers because the rates will be destroyed.

            It is as simple as that to put it plainly.

            Be careful what you wish for.

            All the best,


          • Hi Petr,

            I’d be interested to know where you get your rate comparison information. My information is anecdotal, but as far as I have seen, rates for on-premise consulting in similar applications for Oracle and SAP are within similar ranges. I’m not as sure about Microsoft, but in my experience it seems like rates for Navision/Dynamics are similar to rates for SAP’s B1, for example. But rate analysis is really far from my area of expertise. What are you seeing in the market?



          • Hi Ethan,

            in the market at the dirty end of our business we see…

            SAP Market in general = good

            Non-SAP Market = bad

            Everybody from non-Sap Market wants to get into the SAP Market but cannot because of the barriers this thread is discussing

            Break those barriers down, even with the best of intentions and voila, game over.

            Apologies for being so blunt, but that’s life.

            As I keep saying folks, be careful what you wish for

            All the best


          • Folks,

            if you want to keep your skills up then be the best at what you do and get work at the Customers with the most interesting landscapes

            It is again darwinism in action, the Customers with the most interesting landscapes will attract the best talent and the best talent will keep their skills high



          • Hi Petr,

            I’m curious whether you would be happy to have your employers hear / see your word.  Perhaps we should ask the SAP Customers what they want ? An expensive hard to enter developer base, where they either have to wait their turn for knowledgeable people or take pot luck with someone improperly trained, or an expansive wide ranging developer ecosystem ?

            Just as importantly, what does SAP want ? Based on the April 10 Press Conference, they want to open the ecosystem up to millions of mobile developers. Well, those developers already have plenty of platforms to use… If they can’t verify their apps against a real backend, why should they bother ? That could easily lead to the situation where SAP itself becomes irrelevant, and that will do more damage to the job market than anything else.


          • Hi Martin,

            as a freelancer I only have Customers, but I know where you are coming from. To be honest I am open on this subject and have discussed this in detail with most Managers where I have contracted and most understand the status quo and know which side their bread is buttered. Of course at Board level they’d like an ABAP WebDynPro Developer or Basis Administrator to be as common as a 7-11 but in the real world it’s not like that.

            My comments might be considered not politically correct for some, but, I represent the way the world is.

            I sympathise with the ideologists and wanting SAP to put everything on source forge, but at the same time these ideologists should be careful what they wish for as I have already tried to explain.

            SAP won’t become irrelevant, simply because of the broad base of the product. There’s no chance of that.

            All the best and nice weekend,


          • Barriers? If a non-SAP professional wants to enter SAP market, he/she just needs to get hired by one of the big SI. They will sell the person as a senior SAP <choose your module> and sell it as an attractive working environment with (on-side) training. This is happening today already and caused that a lot of SAP customers don’t want to pay anymore high rates because of this behavior.

          • Hi Tobias,

            this is why I wondering if there shouldn’t be more to do with being certified and a certified community and not just training as a cash machine for SAP, but a certification programme to protect potential Customers from unqualified technicians, it would then be down to the Customer if they went for the premium certified consultants or the wild west uncertified consultants.

            This would take a huge change of behaviour because today, the majority of SAP consultants are not certified and so this would need to be done in such a way as to get momentum and get the community to buy in to be certified and getting certified.

            Just some thoughts and I totally sympathise with you.

            And it’s good you said that because now this thread is going full circle because my worry is the more SAP puts the software out there for anyone to play with the more there will be people who just download it and then mascerade as a time served SAP consultant – so making the software more accessible will only increase the problem you are talking about.

            Unless the is a proper community certification programme which bites.

            SAP could even say, if a Customer’s SAP human resources across all areas of SAP do not contain a certain percentage of certified people then the price for support is 20% higher

            There you are voila problem solved

            Then that would force Customers to take more certified people and maintain the market.

            What do you think ?


          • on top of the above suggestion, that SAP gives customers an incentive to have a high percentage of certified basis and functional staff by reducing the support bill if a certain percentage are certified

            I strongly believe that over recent years as the quality of SAP resources has fallen, the gap must have been filled by SAP support doing more and more for customers than they would have in the past

            which makes one think that this suggestion would be a win for everybody


          • I don’t disagree with your desire to have the downloads freely available.   I think there are several reasons why it would be good to give an S nuber account to Mods, mentor’s and top contributors.  i jsut thought that in the immediate short term it would not only be a nice “reward” for people contributing to SCN but is also a very low cost thing for SAP to provide.  General downloads for ‘everyone’ won’t happen overnight.  For SCN contributors, it could be done overnight.  (well.. relatively speaking here..).


          • FF,

            why to give an S Number ?

            If one is at a Client and working with SAP (I can only speak from the Basis Administrator perspective) then one will always be given an S number because one cannot do one’s job without an S number.

            The key to it all, is to work at the Customers where they have the most dynamic approach to SAP and consequently have the latest toyz for one to play with – simples.

            All the best and nice weekend.


          • Mainly because relying on a customer’s S number is can be a royal pain.

            Most of my customer’s change their password’s on a semi-regular basis.  Pharma’s and chemcial firms usually are, unfortunately for me, usually pretty anal about them.

            At many of my clients I have never gotten access to an S ID nor really needed to.  Some clients only want certain people working with SAP.  Also since putting in an OSS request usually requires a connection to be opened for SAP to access your systems eventually, they want this stuff to go through there BASIS people. (I tend to find BASIS folks are actually the ones that are protective of the S ID’s).

            And lets face it, if you are no longer working for a client, it is somewhat unethical to be using an S ID assigned to one of their employees after you have left.  I know it happens a lot, and most consultants are good about how they use them.  But technically, I believe it would be considered a violation of the client’s agreements with SAP.

            I could see SAP actually offering an read-only/download S ID to independents and developers for a yearly fee too.  As long as they wouldn’t charge a freaking king’s ransom for something I’d probably only use a dozen times a year, I’d be willing to pay for one.


          • FF,

            ok, I am Basis so I’ve never had this problem.


            what about….

            da da….

            giving a kind of S number a relative of the S number like a C number (one which allows holders to download with a sandbox license certain components) to SAP Consultants who reach certification level in their field and do at least xyz trainings per year.

            It’s a win win, you have to be certified to get the number


            you have to complete a certain amount of trainings every year

            and then you can have restricted downloads and license for components in your area of certification


            ok, I need to go and lie down now

            nice weekend,


          • Certification and a sandbox license?  Too much!  Why do you need to be certified?  And why a sandbox? I think you need to split the uses of the S ID.  S ID’s for full customers and partners.  R ID’s for anyone to use as read-only access.  D ID’s for developers to download.  Give a price structure for each. 

            100.00 for read only

            500.00 for full download access.

            I know the thread here is pushing to give all the downloads away, (which I’m not disagreeing with), I’m just offerring up another option.


          • Proposed that kind of “special” treatment some time ago in the old topic leader forum. Never happened. SAP is shy to give something away that actually costs money (still surprised that Marilyn was able to arrange for free certification for the topic leaders).

          • I’m willing to pay a nominal fee for it even.  But let’s face it, how much does it actually ‘cost’ to set up a user Id?  A junior, overeas guy/gal can probably crank out a hundred an hour and at the rate they would pay them it would probably be about <1.00 an ID.  The impact on usage could be limited even I’m sure.  I’d pay 100.00 USD/yr to be able to use a read-only OSS account.  That’s a pretty good profit margin.  Of course there would be some other costs and overhead but once the process is setup, it would be pretty cheap to do.

            So i don’t think cost is a valid reason.


  • Hi Tobias,

    Exactly my thoughts. Situation is even worse for independent consultants like myself, who try to keep on top of their knowledge but simply couldn’t because of the sheer unavailability of the software.

    (I really hate to admit it, but since I haven’t had the change to actually get my hands dirty on the latest SAP NW 7.3 environment, my knowledge about that particular version is, although extensive, purely theoretical….)

    So SAP AG, pleasepleaseplease pretty please, have your legal department act somewhat less strict and allow us developer licenses for any current available technology

  • Hi Tobais,

    compare to my situation, i downloaded Sharepoint 2010 free version, 2010 office infopaths, Visual studio trail versions and installed on my home PC and started hands on on that environment. Previously i installed Liferay free version by downloading directly from there site (Registration required)

    But in SAP this is not such simple, to upgrade knowledge on NWDS 7.3 version or EP 7.3 versions, we will not find any free/trail versions.The problems of a SAP developer/Consultants are clearly written. thanks for the blog.


  • This is especially relevant for fringe or cutting edge products like NW 7.3 or SUP. I’ve had the chance to work on the 7.3 Java with integrated BPM and it’s great, but it’s just plain luck.

    I work for a major consulting firm and yet it’s extremely hard to keep a SUP setup running. We need to constantly ask for license renewals and we always end-up wasting training time. The red tape is amazingly thick.

    And even if I have access to a SAP landscape, most of the times innovation comes from consultants who try new software, new software which isn’t available in the main landscape since it takes time and money to setup new solutions (or upgrade), just like in a customer. Trials are essential to keep developers updated.

  • Great article.  I absolutely agree with you.  SAP is virtually unknown in University settings, except for a brief mention in text books as an example of an ERP system.  While all other software providers try to push as much free software to students as possible to get them trained and “locked in” into being used to their software, while the only way to get into SAP is to get hired into a SAP job that will train you, or to get pushed into it while working in a company that implements it.  Otherwise SAP is an enigma.  Try to find out more about it ,and you hit a huge all of log in and registrations and cryptic explanations.  SAP has great potential, but it’s all behind high wall and many closed doors.  It’s the best kept secret in the industry, and it’s kind of sad.  This philosophy creates very closed end development, ridiculously expensive and painful implementations and constant shortage of SAP talent.

    • Fact is that a really large part of SAP professionals is doing what they are doing because at some point in their professional life they were more or less forced to use SAP (we are now using SAP). Makes me wonder how many really skilled people are not able to join a SAP career simply because their employer is not using SAP, and they have no chance to learn it. Innovation is done around software that is available and lets people “play” with it.

      Guess that’s sold as enterprise ready …

  • I had the same problem with NWDS 7.3 download. To download NWDS 7.3 I had to go through several links to get it. SAP doesn’t make things simple. May be it is good for me as I am consultant, but this is adding more cost to customers.

    SAP is never been user friendly compared to what is going in the internet world. Please make finished products, not raw products. I hope my comments will help you to develop business user friendly products.



  • SAP is really missing an opportunity if they don’t move aggressively to create easily installable/usable versions of SAP software that can be brought up easily on the Amazon Web Services.

    Martin English started some discussions on installing SAP Trial versions on Amazon Web Services (Install SAP on Amazon Web Services #1 – the Environment and Install SAP on Amazon Web Services #2 – the Installation) and the potential legal ramifications (Liscensing the SAP Developer Edition in the Amazon Cloud).

    There is a golden opportunity for SAP to maintain branded QuickStart Amazon Machine Images which would enable anyone interested in learning to use SAP Components to quickly set up a temporary environment without having to employ a Basis person (or be a Basis person) to do it. Students, Universities, independent consultants… the list goes one. All would welcome the chance to get affordable, easy access. SAP could charge a small premium (like RedHat does) for anyone using their image in order to pay for the program. SAP would also have the ability (I believe) to prompt each user to agree to the EULA in order to use the image.

    I wish I knew the right person within SAP who controls the Trial images. (Perhaps Alexander Hass or Manfred Stein  know the right people? Perhaps it’s under way already?) This could be a real slam-dunk public relations coup!



    • As you stated correctly: why not offer such an solution? A free OS like Linux, install SAP on it, host in in the cloud. IMO it’s a shame for the whole IT industry that a book seller was able to do cloud before SAP, MS, Oracle, IBM, et. al. realized the potential – and still don’t really do. AWS is more known to IT people than SAP.

    • Hi Tom, TObias

      There are quite a few internal projects on their way within the scope you have in mind, a visible example is

      Be assured that we are very active here, but as usual, it takes more time, in particular with making things available to the outside world. And I got to admit along with other colleagues working on the trials that much of this depends on individual commitment. Dicussions like this one can certainly help to bring this to the attention of the responsibles on higher management level, so keep going.



      • Hi Manfred,

        I’ve been running SAP systems, including SolMan 4.0 – 7.1, dual stack, Java and IDES systems, not just the Developer Editions, on AWS for over 3 years; You’ll note that my posts that Thomas Dulaney refers to are from mid 2009. The technical aspects of running an SAP system in the cloud are well known, and the limmitation I have found is the upload bandwidth from Australia. However, when I use a US based AWS instance, the downloads from are extremely fast.

        I’m a bit confused over the pricing for  Is this intended to drive me onto AWS or other Cloud vendors ?  Looking at, I reckon I’m out over $80 in fixed and monthly charges for an ECC6 IDES, before I get started !!!

        The real issue, even with the Developer and Trial Editions is the language of the Licencing Agreements.  These are not clear, are incomplete and provide no indication of SAP’s intent. For example..

        • There’s no legal way to get a copy of the SAP GUI or NWBC, if you don’t have an S-number.
        • There’s limitations on how many (in total) devices can connect;
        • There’s confusion over ownership of anything developed using the software;
        • There’s confusion over where the systems can be installed;
        • There’s confusion over what we can do with the Installation downloads;

        Many other development communities have an entry cost approaching or at zero. SAP need to make the License Agreements so clear that there is no possibility of FUD becoming a barrier to the take up of Developer Editions. Yes, I can tick and ignore the Licencing Agreement, but while I might think I’m too small for SAP to bother chasing, I might be the person they choose to use as a precedent. If SAP let me get away with ignoring the Licence Agreements, then when people or organisations start downloading and using the SAP systems for sinister purposes, SAP have a much weaker defence against these people.

        PS; Advice to independent consultants;

        I asked some of my regular clients for S-numbers with the Download Authorisation. They were cool with that, so long as any downloads I did weren’t via their ISP, and that I didn’t register any systems against their Installations. This means I have access to download the major system types on multiple OS and multiple DBMS.

        And from NW 7.3 / 7.03 onwards, you don’t need the Install Key, so you don’t need a SolMan system 🙂

        • I understand your comments very well, as I come from the corner promoting open source adoption among our customers (in the lower layers of the stack, though)

          We at least got a developers license into our Linux testdrive that addresses some of your points. Check out the

          Code Exchange section in SDN, at least a small step into the right direction.

          When it comes to SAPGui, perhaps now is the time to get rid of it …

          (Unfortunately) full of third party, legal hell for trials


      • Hi Manfred,

        Wow, if I want to use SAP EP 7.3 to learn, 3hs a day for 14 days a month for 1 year I’ll have to pay 1.245 US$. At Oracle, I get the download for FREE!! Yes, for FREE, a developer license, a software I can install on my laptop! Why can’t SAP offer the same?

        If the lawyer are the problem, why can Oracle offer developer versions and SAP not?

          • Hi Feng

            I agree, a good opens source strategy is essential for the success of modern software companies. Coming back to Tobias’ original post: after 2 years of SAP Cloud Appliance Library, I believe we have come a long way in establishing availability of trial versions free of charge. The cloud is a good platform for running such trials. I am confident that we will also be able to provide a refresh in our SAP CAL trial portfolio for TechED / d-code timeframe, hopefully including a dedicated Portal trial.


          • At that point I can only repeat myself: yes, SAP did A LOT to get trials out there over the past few years, but the cloud only approach and the costs are a big problem when you are not in the US or Europe.

            For the real “letstry something out” approach nothing better than a local trial.

          • Addition to the Tobias point, i can say SAP is trying to change from past few years in Open source area.

            we can now have a open source UI5, Free trail versions for theme designer, Hana Cloud instances, Gaateway servers, Beta version free trail for SAP RDE environment etc. Welcoming the change and Expecting more from SAP



          • Hi Tobias

            I will pick up your suggestion and discuss with the colleagues about providing download versions for selected CAL offerings. Our technology allows for producing download versions with “relatively little” effort. I personally believe (think I stated that before, but still true) that the CAL offering is sufficient for Hana based appliances, as the average SCN user will not have a PC with 256GB RAM under his desk. For small footprint trials like an ABAP running on top of Sybase ASE we had download versions in scope, only took us a little longer than expected to enable our internal tool chain. So let’s see.

            Best regards


          • Hi Manfred,

            we all know it is possible to install Hana on a laptop with a few tweeks to the scripts which check hardware capability.

            We all know SAP wants to increase the Hana deployed base, whether on or off premise.

            One way to help this would be a, as Tobias puts it,


            which anybody interested in Hana could conquer build skills and give their companies more confidence of building the skills base to support the deployment of the new techology.

            Thinking aloud,

            alternatively, another approach could be, Customers who send a clear signal to SAP of their intent to move in the Hana direction, could be given access to the installation dvd’s for local trial abap and java based Hana instances for their developers and technicians to install locally and become familiar with. This would control the availbility, while targeting the availability to where it is most needed, existing Customers with an intent to move in said direction.

            Thinking along these lines, the trial versions wouldn’t have to be generally available to the world through the SCN, but could be available as a download from SWDC under the Customer’s existing license for the Customer to use as local Windows/Linux based domestic sandboxes. Maybe this approach would be easier on the legal eagles.

            Best regards,


          • I appreciate that SAP is of the opinion that HANA needs a ridiculous amount of RAM for development purposes, but that’s a bug not a feature. For development purposes, most people aren’t going to need more than a GB or so for their local test database (much less, in almost all cases). So what are the other 255GB for?

            The question is why a machine with more than 16GB of RAM (many developers run with this much RAM) is required to run HANA for development purposes. Really, I’ve tried numerous times to find an answer and requested one from SAP on many occasions, but I’ve never seen it explained. 🙁

        • Tobias,

          As you stated in your orginal post, you can download much of the key software and load it on your own laptop from That’s fine for technical folks who can complete the install. The biggest improvement a reasonably priced option would provide is for Functional folks and others who have difficulty either with the install itself or procuring the necessary hardware. Charging something to provide a service, is fine, it’s just that sapcloudcomputing’s pricing model is not where most of us would find it affordable today.

          I am encouraged to hear that work in this area is ongoing. SAP used to have a publicly available IDES system, but my guess is the cost of maintaining that got cut during one of the global business downturns. The beauty of SAP creating licensed trial versions in partnership with Amazon is that SAP could charge a marginal ($.01 to $0.05 per hour) surcharge that Amazon would automatically collect to fund the Trial software project. That should make the public trial software project immune to business cycle budget cutting since it would be self sufficient.

          Also, that would hopefully fund the kind of fully integrated, complex landscape that many folks would like to explore. I have no data to support his, but I suspect one of the reasons that more of SAP’s software is not available to download as Trial version is due to budget restrictions. Collecting a surcharge for folks using a cloud based solution could fund enough resources to work on the various trial versions so that more of the solution set could be made available (still for free download for those who can do the installs themselves but also on the cloud and preconfigured for a surcharge for those that can’t do the install themselves).

          The other option would be for SAP to amend it’s licensing so that individuals could create images and essentially accomplish the same thing but only for software that is released as a trial. Without the surcharge, this might still remain limited.

          In the long run, it doesn’t matter how it gets done as long as Trial versions continue to part of SAP’s offerings. The program as it stands is still far better than not having any publicly available Trial version at all. It’s a thankless job, I’m sure, so I would like to go on the record here thanking Manfred and all the other folks who have worked tirelessly all these years to get the program where it is today. I, and others, stand ready to do our part should there be any assistance we can render (including constructive criticism and unabashed praise as required and/or merited).

          Best regards,


          • Thomas,

            the download link you posted isn’t a good example as SAP is taking away trial downloads. Currently you get ABAP, NW ABAP+Java (no portal) but no NetWeaver CE. CE 7.1 and 7.2 are not available anymore on SCN. If you want to learn NW > 7.0 you are out of luck, and don’t even try for other software releases from SAP.

            IDES? Yes, would be nice to have, but almost impossible for independent developers, students, non-partners.

            AWS + a charge for SAP? Why? SAP only has to change the license and put out software so people can create their own AWS images. Or download them and use them locally. Not everyone ones to spend money on AWS or cannot (access blocked).

            From the feedback gathered from SAP, the problem are not the developers or product managers. They actually want to give people the chance to test and experience their software and have to deal with some great work to get it through legal. To get the trial through SAP Legal is the problem. And that’s a real shame as other software companies like Oracle are able to do that.

          • Tobias Hofmann wrote:



            the download link you posted isn’t a good example as SAP is taking away trial downloads. Currently you get ABAP, NW ABAP+Java (no portal) but no NetWeaver CE. CE 7.1 and 7.2 are not available anymore on SCN. If you want to learn NW > 7.0 you are out of luck, and don’t even try for other software releases from SAP.

            IDES? Yes, would be nice to have, but almost impossible for independent developers, students, non-partners.

            AWS + a charge for SAP? Why? SAP only has to change the license and put out software so people can create their own AWS images. Or download them and use them locally. Not everyone ones to spend money on AWS or cannot (access blocked).

            One virtue of SAP (or me) making images available on AWS or other Cloud Vendors is that it allows for the student (or anyone on a limited budget) working on a 32bit machine.

            From the feedback gathered from SAP, the problem are not the developers or product managers. They actually want to give people the chance to test and experience their software and have to deal with some great work to get it through legal. To get the trial through SAP Legal is the problem. And that’s a real shame as other software companies like Oracle are able to do that.

            Exactly the problem. Every one who reads these licence agreements appears to get a different interpretation, both of what it means and what SAP is trying to do with it.

            thanks for keeping up the fight 🙂

  • AFAIK this lack of developer version has seriously resulted in many customer loss. Especially certain products like NWDI, SUP etc…

    I have seen a customer went to another mobile solutions because SUP didn’t have any trial or developer version which is easily accessible. I think time is running out for SAP in enterprise mobile computing, Google is planning for its on dashboards which might soon became defacto market standard, I fore-see a  real battle in enterprise mobile race.

    Another product NWDI has got no trial version. if you wanna branch and merge tracks, many customers went for subversion which was really easy and now many customers dont want NWDI. Sad situation product demand is going down

    • Hi Vivek,

      ‘I have seen a customer went to another mobile solutions because SUP didn’t have any trial or developer version which is easily accessible’

      There are two sides to every story.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t simply a question of the Customer not having the £$£.

      Giving the disclaimer that I am not 100% familiar with the whole licensing model, most Customers I go to either have enterprise licenses and therefore can try pretty much everything, or use their relationship with the SAP Account Management  and can get temporary access to do proof of concepts.

      An NWDI trial version, if you have the NetWeaver license then you’ll have NWDI. And NWDI as you know is not plug an play, it’s a whole eco system, including… SLD, NWDI, NWDS, and of course an EP or CE to deploy the work to, so thinking aloud a trial version of that eco system a, is not necessary if you have the NetWeaver Enterprise license and b, wouldn’t be worth it anyway because of the infrustructure which has to be put it to get the eco system operational. But there is of course the CE developer version on SDN.

      All the best,


  • For a great example of how inhibiting the practice of locking up software behind red tape is lets look at the SAP ecohub store for mobile apps:!search:0

    I’ve attended webinars where sap said they have sold hundreds of millions in licenses and how mobile is the fastest growing sector in their business. What do they have to show for it? 11 mobile apps produced by partners.

      • Give them time? Unwired Platform came out in 2008 and in a
        webinar yesterday SAP admitted to having a grand total of five mobile apps for

        You can’t make everyone bend over backwards and go on a
        scavenger hunt for the development tools and then expect to have a groundswell
        of apps and innovation popping up. The current state of SAP mobile apps
        reflects this.

        Check out the mobile apps store on ecohub and look at the
        app breakdown:!search:0

        iOS: 45

        Android: 4

        Effectivly dead platforms:


                        Windows Mobile (6.x): 6

                        More Windows Mobile mislabeled as Windows Phone OS (7.0 and above): 5

        • checked it out and whats interesting is the fact that only 3 out of 64 apps have any rating at all.

          another funny thing is the app Recalls Plus. Obviously meant to be a consumer app,

          Designed for you, the busy parent, Recalls Plus can monitor recalls of YOUR child’s items.

          it nevertheless has following information:


          Solutions integrated to SAP Products may require additional SAP  licenses, please contact your SAP representative for more details by clicking  the “Contact Me” or “Buy” button above.


          Me, the busy parent is kind of scared away but the prospect of having to call MY SAP representative and having to buy additional SAP licenses.

          So, I think this store is not yet in SAP’s tissues despite Mobile being in their DNA. 😉

      • Petr,

        if (!!) I remember correctly, SAP stated last year at SAPPhire Orlando that the plan was to have 100 mobile apps in the market at the end of 2011, with a large part (>30) from partners.

        There are only a few apps available from partners, and at least 1 comes from COIL (co-developed with SAP). In my dictionary success is defined differently.

        Although here the blame cannot be given entirely to the missing freely available SUP SDKs but also to what it means for SAP clients to go for SUP and that to take full advantage of SUP your landscape needs to be up to date, something SAP clients have a certain reputation to not have.

        • I’m sorry, but SAP is to blame for this. As a partner, and mobile developer I’ve tried really hard to embrace SUP. I’ve had in-class training, and I’ve tried to use SUP for development purposes, but the red tape is just insane.

          To start, installing SUP is a nightmare. Not the installing of the solution, but the install of the license. Trials don’t work, temporary licences fail (in SUP 2.1)… I can say I’ve spent more time managing the landscape then actually working on application development. Dreadful.

          And I’m one of the lucky ones that actually has partner access to SUP, Most people can’t even get their hands on the tool. I’m certainly one of the people that could have developed one of those partner apps, but SAP failed to win me over.

          Edit: You talk about client landscapes, but you should be thinking about partner landscapes, the one who are going to develop those 30> apps.This is what is wrong with the mindset of SAP, and shows they have failed to understand why Apple was such a sucess.

          • Gentlemen,

            granted, however I look at the maturity of SUP today as being where EP5 was in 2002.

            How many Business Packages were there for EP5 in 2002 ?

            What I am hearing from you is, there is a huge business opportunity for a Partner Developer to deal with SAP, as a foundation, get all the tools and access that they need so that their developers can develop, and then go in full power and knock out a suite of SUP Mobile Apps.

            Whoever makes that effort, and gets through all of the barriers will be the biggest winner.

            They will then succeed because the barriers which they overcame will be too big for others to overcome and they will conquer the SAP SUP Mobile Apps market.

            And then, at that point, they will be thankful for the barriers.

            So I say and suggest, it’s like any project, if you are a Partner company and you have a goal to develop a suite of apps, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE, get in there first and the market will be yours.

            So get in touch with SAP get through the painful part find a way to get everything foundation item that your company needs so that your developers can begin developing a suite of Apps for Mobile and then get in there and be the first and claim the territory. Fly to Waldorf if you need to, meet the b ig suits and get it all agreed and get going.

            Mobile Apps in SAP area is today like the Klondike, it is a land of opportunity for somebody to be the first and be the dominant player.

            Get on with it.

            All the best,


          • Gentlemen,

            1, barriers = opportunity

            2, no pain, no gain

            3, the road to success is paved with failures

            4, what are you waiting for ?

            All the best,


          • Gentlemen,

            you know the more I think about this the more, I am confused,

            you have a closed market !!!

            you have no competitors !!!

            the customer base is huge and wealthy !!!

            you have the platforms to promote your products in this closed market !!!

            why are you complaining and what are you waiting for ?

            or alternatively, you prefer, that any Tom Dick and Harry can come in

            and develop a suite of mobile apps and market them – like in the other

            world ?

            I know which I prefer.

            Be thankful for small mercies and careful what you for

            All the best


          • Gentlemen,

            Please calm yourself down.

            You assume that SUP is the only tool available to build mobile solutions. It is not.

            Best regards

  • Your post is great. SAP did not listen to developers.They can start from free software download. Better document site. Easy software installation. Every developer need environment to learn and try,

  • I came across this blog just now and kind of wonder – has a lot changed since 2012? We do quite frequently ask on SCN why does SAP do this or that, but it seems usually we get just “crickets” in response and hardly anything changes.

    Personally I’m happy with the tools I have at work and happen to have no need to download anything myself, but based on reading some more recent posts this is still very far from being a truly simple process.

    • it improved because of the Cloud, and SAP doesn’t need to be as paranoid about the software. We still don’t have on premisse versions, but for most things there is some cloud trial functionality.

      But I still remember the days we had to pay SAP to have a 30 day trial license for Sybase Unwired Platform, which we had to renew each month.

    • I’d still like to get OSS access.  I understand it’s provided if you take a SAP training class.  But what about us folks that once taught the classes!!! I’m not going back to take a class I use to teach!  From what I know.. (which isn’t much anymore!), not much has changed.

      And someone mentioned that clients/customers give you an S Id.  Yes.. at some clients that happens.  At others, it doesn’t.  I’ve had more that don’t provide it then those that do.