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Author's profile photo Riley Rainey

Exploring BTP’s New Free Tier Plans

There’s quite a bit of buzz in the SAP Community about the initial release of SAP Business Technology Platform free tier service plans and what it might mean.  Initial release is scheduled for today, July 1st.

I wanted to take a few minutes to explain what the free tier model for SAP BTP adds to your current SAP BTP landscapes and how you might start exploring it immediately.

Free Tier Adds Free Plans to Select SAP BTP Services

If you are familiar with operations in an SAP BTP global account, free tier service plans will be easy to understand.  An SAP BTP global account is composed of subaccounts.  Those subaccounts are created as needed within your team. Your organization likely has separate subaccounts for team development, build, test, and production. The exact details of the subaccount structure are up to your organization’s application architects, DevOps folks, and your global account administration team.  You enable SAP BTP services to support your application as needed in each subaccount.

Within SAP BTP consumption-based accounts, there’s an extra layer of control for enabling specific services known as entitlements.  An entitlement is assigned to a specific subaccount. Entitlements can be thought of as “permission” to create a specific number and type of services in a specific subaccount. In effect, entitlements combined with account access permissions to provide consumption and cost controls.

Each SAP BTP service has one or more plans.  A plan limits the quantity of the service that’s available.  Maybe you need a lot of some service in a production subaccount. Maybe you need less for development or test.  When you assign an entitlement to a subaccount, you also select the plan for use in that subaccount as well.

Here’s the key point: the free tier adds free plans to selected SAP BTP services.

You will find the list of new free tier services on this Discovery Center page.  We’re adding these across all SAP BTP regions (except China).  We’ll be adding more over time.

What If You Are Already Using the SAP BTP Trial Today?

It is important to understand that the SAP BTP free trial and the free tier model for SAP BTP are not the same thing.

SAP BTP trial has been around for several years.  It supports a range of learning and product evaluation scenarios.

If you have worked in both, the SAP BTP trial and in a commercial SAP BTP account, you probably have noticed that a SAP BTP trial account essentially operates as an isolated subaccount.  The notion of a global account is much more limited in SAP BTP trial. Your service entitlements were pre-allocated to you by SAP when you created the SAP BTP trial account.  There is an Entitlements section on the left-hand navigation panel of the SAP BTP trial cockpit, but that view depicts these pre-allocated entitlements.

Exploring the Free Tier Using Existing Learning Content

In tutorials and other learning content, you will enable the services you need on demand. For the most part, SAP Developer Center tutorials were written assuming they’d be executed in SAP BTP free trial – but it turns out that you can run these tutorials in a CPEA or Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account using the corresponding free tier service plans, too.  The learning steps will largely be the same — the differences will lie in the tutorial’s prerequisite or setup steps:

  • Isolate yourself so you don’t step on the work of others – Create (or have your SAP BTP global account administrator) create a new subaccount for you to use
  • Assign appropriate free tier service plan entitlements to your new subaccount – Assign (or have your SAP BTP global account administrator assign) appropriate free tier service plan entitlements to your subaccount
  • Navigate to your subaccount using the SAP BTP Cockpit
  • Enable the required new services in your subaccount
  • Run through the learning or enablement content you are interested in (the Developer Center Tutorial Navigator is always a great place to find things)
  • When you are done, you can remove the subaccount or leave it in place for future use – it is your choice

It’s quite likely that your global account is shared by a larger team.  There is a subtle but important feature to the steps described above: each team member can have their own subaccount for this sort of experimentation and learning use.  Each subaccount will have private instances of the required free tier service plans. Balance isolation and sharing by creating exactly the number of subaccounts that you need. You may allocate required free tier service plans to each.

Many tutorials may require services that are not yet on our list of available free tier service plans.  In such cases, you can always still execute these tutorials in your SAP BTP free trial account.  If you really feel the need, you may also entitle and enable the corresponding paid service plan and then disable the service when you are done. Your choice.

Free Tier Service Plans: Community Support

A few final notes: Free tier service plans are not designed for productive use.  SAP provides no SLAs associated with free tier services plans either.  If you think you have encountered a runtime issue with a plan, you can ask a question on the SAP Community Q&A site and tag the appropriate service as part of your question.  SAP product folks monitor these forums, so your request should get proper attention quickly.

Explore and Interact

The free tier is designed to give you more options to explore many SAP Business Technology Platform services at little or no cost.  As initially released, exploring free tier service plans will require and existing SAP BTP PAYG or CPEA global account.  Although I am not speaking for SAP when I say this, it is reasonable to expect further announcements later this year that will allow you to explore the free tier in your own personal SAP BTP account.

You can continue to use your SAP BTP free trial account as well.

Which one you choose for a task might best be based on whether your focus is on personal learning or a more formal company-sponsored project.  Both are approaches available to you, and most existing SAP enablement content and code samples will run on both, too.

Check out more posts and announcements on the SAP BTP topic page. There’s a quick link there to post your questions, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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      9 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Allen Chew
      Allen Chew

      Great blog to understand the difference between BTP free tier vs BTP free trial model 🙂

      Author's profile photo Xiaodong Li
      Xiaodong Li

      discovery-center.cloud.sap

      this free tier service on the Discovery Center Page is not working, can you please check?

      Author's profile photo Riley Rainey
      Riley Rainey
      Blog Post Author

      Hi.

      Is there a specific Free Tier Service are you referring to?  These should be searchable in the Discovery Center page I referenced by searching for "Free Tier" -- again, Free Tier service plans are available in all SAP Regions except those in China.

      Riley

      Author's profile photo Greg Robinette
      Greg Robinette

      If a customer has a set of SAP delivered success factor integrations/services running on a neo platform as part of a services contract would this new development provide a path to migrate those services? Does SAP plan to require moving productive paid services and integrations from neo to multi cloud and if so will they bear the cost or provide technical support to customers?

      Author's profile photo Riley Rainey
      Riley Rainey
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Greg,

      Take a look at this blog post from Steffen Schad. Basically, Neo services will be around in their current form until late 2022.  Around that time, there are plans in place to migrate Neo services to multi-cloud. In short, you might not need to be thinking about migrating at all. Neo will be around for a long time.

      Still, there might be considerations that would motivate you to move. If that time comes, you'd have to discuss commercial arrangements for any migration with your provider of course, SAP Services in this case.  While there are no specific tools today (at least that I'm aware of) to automate Neo to CF or Kyma migration, Free Tier should be able to provide free access to explore and evaluate the best architectural approach.  You can find some general information on such migrations on SAP Help.

      If it turns out that you are exploring any of this on your own, you can contact our SAP BTP migration experts to construct an individual roadmap for your transition and plan your next steps. To set up a call, email them at: sap.btp.migration@sap.com.

      Riley

      Author's profile photo Shaun Oosthuizen
      Shaun Oosthuizen

      Hi Riley,

      Thanks for a very well explained post. The free tier seems to cover many of the less-expensive services currently. Are there any plans to include services\subscriptions like HANA Cloud, Workflow Management or Integration Suite in the future?

      Thanks,

      Shaun

      Author's profile photo Riley Rainey
      Riley Rainey
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Shaun,

      Yes, all those you mentioned and many more are in the works for release in the next few months. I'll check to see if there is an official Roadmap document covering the release schedule.

      Riley

      Author's profile photo Shaun Oosthuizen
      Shaun Oosthuizen

      Fantastic. Thanks Riley.

      Author's profile photo Riley Rainey
      Riley Rainey
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Shaun,

      I consulted some folks on this. We are working on functionality in the services discovery function within Discovery Center to allow for a "coming soon" visualization of such free plans.  Stay tuned.

      Riley