Dear CAL users, Dear Community,
We launched SAP Cloud Appliance Library 1.0 on November 19, 2012. From back then until today we launched a mind blowing (at least for SAP products) 16 new releases of our product – this is basically a new release every 5 weeks. What did we actually deliver in such a rapid release cycle? Well, we’ve been adding new features to the product, fixed a couple of bugs and kept the business running. However, at some point you have to decide to make the next bold move and it was high time for a new release. So we extended our development takt and decided to incorporate much more than just a few features but deliver a completely new release – SAP Cloud Appliance Library 2.0 – for SAPPHIRE Orlando, FL which was concluded last Thursday.
So what did we include in this new release?
We’ve been working a lot on getting the performance right. It is important that a user can access an on-demand solution not only securely (which is the case through SSL) but also quickly. Users like me don’t like to wait more than 2 seconds for a web page to load or refresh. So what about you? You don’t need to answer because we already implemented various performance improvements. You can now access the SAP Cloud Appliance Library page even from remote locations having a high latency / small bandwidth faster than before. Every user that is located outside Europe (where http://cal.sap.com is hosted) will also feel a boost in performance (despite having a high speed connection already) because the application now loads the internal information much faster than before.
- New Cloud Provider
We added a new cloud provider platform to CAL: Microsoft Azure.
Since last week or so you can deploy the first appliance from SAP Cloud Appliance Library (the HANA Developer Edition) on Microsoft Azure as well. As said, today not all appliance are available but with the next releases we will make the entire library available step by step.
- New UI
Besides working on the performance we also did a replacement of our standard theme. The CAL 1.x release line was using the SAP Gold Reflection as the standard theme which we now replaced with the much more consistent and responsive SAP Blue Crystal design. SAP Blue Crystal is not only used throughout the various SAPUI5 applications but is also used as the default design for the SAP pages like SAP Store or saphana.com. With this move we align SAP Cloud Appliance Library with the new look and feel of SAP in general.
- New Appliances
Also on the content side we’ve been very busy. We announced new trials as well as new content in the paid section of CAL on SAPPHIRE last week. The most prominent additions to the trial family are:
You now have the chance to get a Trial of SAP ERP Business Software! Have you ever imagined that?
Furthermore, we also made these appliances available in the paid section of SAP CAL where you can use the SAP Software beyond the limitations of the Trial. Together with a BW on HANA system for which we have a Trial already running since SAP TechEd last year we now have ERP on HANA, CRM on HANA and BW on HANA available. The Trial license entitles you to use the Trial system for 30 days with certain limitations. If you want to use these systems beyond the 30 days or you want to upload your own data you would need to 1) purchase the SAP license for the product and 2) the SAP Cloud Appliance Library subscription. Just compare: with CAL the ERP on HANA system just takes 20 minutes to be up and running in your own AWS account – looking at the market – nobody is able to deliver this functionality to you other than SAP.
- New Features
Last but not least we also implemented new features which make your life easier when using SAP Cloud Appliance Library.
We did a lot of changes to the scheduling feature in CAL. The most important change for me personally was the introduction of the “Terminate at a certain time” option. I am now able to start an SAP system with CAL and then CAL automatically terminates it for me. You won’t believe how many money goes down the drain for running cloud resources which you simply forgot to terminate. In case you don’t want your SAP system to be destroyed you can of course configure a “Suspend at a certain time” option which also allows you to participate on cost saving as you don’t pay for the costly run time. However, storage costs will still apply.
Data center selection in quick launch
We added a new field to the quick launch in CAL. The quick launch is available for a couple of the Trial solutions. This feature allows you to start an instance of a Trial solution with just 2 clicks. Now it is 3 clicks but you can select the geographic region of the AWS data center in which you want to start the SAP trial. This feature is still limited to AWS but will be extended to Azure in one of the next releases. Allowing you select the region in the quick launch is key to have the trial running close to where you are. In the next releases we plan to integrate the quick launch into the standard procedure for every CAL solution to save you even more time.
Cost Saving for Trials (automatic suspend)
Costs are always an important topic to consider because they actually affect the amount of monetary resources you have. For the Trials we now provide a new feature: CAL automatically suspends the instance that you started with the quick launch after 8 hours. Then only minor costs for the storage apply and you won’t be surprised at the end of the month when the cloud provider sends you a large bill.
Having said that, enjoy the time exploring the various SAP Solutions available in SAP Cloud Appliance Library (http://cal.sap.com).