Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SAP Gouging Developers a Little Less

Let me get this straight.

SAP is slashing the price of developer subscriptions to its NetWeaver platform by 50%, from around $2300 per year to a little over $1100.

What ever happened to free?

Sure, developers would make money from creating new applications, and they wouldn't have to pay SAP a toll--the equivalent to ensuring all SAP offices have a year's supply of toilet paper.

But the bigger picture is that SAP's flagship products would be more attractive to customers. Why doesn't SAP get that?

This is taken from SAP's own filings: note that nowhere does SAP talk about the strategic importance of gouging software developers:

As part of our ESA strategy, we are currently working to transform the SAP NetWeaver platform as a business process platform. The business process platform will include enterprise services built into our own applications and the creation of a repository of enterprise services for use by customers and partners. The business process platform is intended to allow customers and partners to develop new composite business applications more easily using enterprise services, as well as allowing our software products and technology to provide greater flexibility and added value to customers. We expect this to create increased demand for our application software products and related technology and services. In addition, the business process platform will allow us to improve our efficiency and reduce time-to-market by allowing the reuse of software components in development, and by permitting the creation of composite applications more rapidly than traditional modes of application software development. Composite applications created by software partners will complement and extend our products, allowing us to reach a larger market.

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