Those who were not at SAPPHIRE Now might be forgiven if they missed what John Appleby termed 'possibly the most important news for SAP developers in a decade.' I don't know whether I would go quite that far but it sure was one HUGE milestone. What am I talking about?
FREE HANA LICENSES for DEVELOPERS
I know - sounds incredible doesn't it? Especially given the amount of carping, bitching and outright yelling some of us have been engage in with SAP management.
A few of us were privy to the fact of the announcement in advance of Vishal Sikka's keynote on the last day of SAPPHIRE Now. For those of us who have been lobbying on this topic for many a month, this was a hugely important milestone. As many will know, getting SAP to shift its years' held beliefs about licensing is nothing if not a foot slog and you really do have to be persistent with these folks if you want to see action.
I don't know how the pieces finally fell into place but I do recall having a conversation with Vishal where I said that if it wasn't fixed (as a general topic) then I could see the best and most loyal SAP developers giving up and moving away. He acknowledged the problem, regarding the then SAP practices as being rooted in a '19th century way of thinking.' I'm sure that was communicated widely inside SAP.
When the announcement was made, there was a collective roar of approval from the SAP Mentor benches to the left hand side of the stage. I turned to a few of those folk and asked: 'Happy now?' Smiles all around.
Anyhoo - to put this all into context, Jon Reed and I filmed a number of pieces on this topic. The vids are included here.
The top one with Bernd-Uwe Pagel sets out what the new licensing for HANA (and mobile) means, how you can go about it and where you can find resources.
The next with Aiaz Kazi contains the welcome many will like to here: 'Come all.' You don't need to have S numbers or any of the stuff, no 27 page faxes to Walldorf. A simple 2-clicks sign up is all it takes. And if you don't have a HANA appliance then you can always get going in the Amazon Cloud.
Finally, we have a round table where the people who are closest to delivering on developer enggagement discuss what this means, some of the events that surround the topic and how you can participate.
There's a lot more to come on this with SAP putting its money where its mouth is in offering startups the opportunity to take their ideas forward with the help of SAP Ventures.
Craig Cmehil has ideas in place, I'm feeding back thoughts to SAP.
It's now down to developers to start their engines and get cracking.
As a taster, here's a video I shot with IBM. There's another coming from Deloitte in the not too distant future. Elsewhere I saw a really simple yet highly effective application that deals with expense exception handling in a workflow related to period close.
Endnote: if you are an SAP HANA developer and have a really cool idea, Jon and I want to hear about it. We've already created a channel for surfacing some of the more interesting things we've stumbled across the last couple of months. There are 14 videos there that talk to a variety of topics. Want to get showcased? Drop us a note and we'll make it happen.