SAP needs Development Simulation / Emulation Environment

Last week I was hearing how difficult it is to develop solutions for SAP from developers. Vijay’s blog was specific to mobile, but I don’t think it really matters that much if it mobile or computer based development. What if SAP had an SAP simulation engine that all developers could plug into for free.

Imagine you want to develop simple SAP applications. You should be able to completely test drive the SAP programs without owning them. You simply write a program to a SAP provided specification and run it against the SAP simulation engine. The engine would validate your inputs and outputs were correct and then allow you to even drive some workload through your application and into the SAP application simulation engine.

SAP could roll out modules over time. If it works, there will be growing multitude of little applets for SAP applications making SAP easier to use. Since there are emulators for mobile devices, these coupled with these emulators accelerating the growth of the mobile market. While this is not complete mobile solution, it certainly jump-starts then engine.

The object for SAP should always be to own the core or the framework. The core is the business logic SAP wants you to buy and not the small stuff. You want to actively encorage others to develop in and around your platform. Facebook doesn’t worry about the mini-app revenue; instead, they encourage it. It makes the Facebook world a more valuable piece of Internet real estate.

This week I had client raving about how great Salesforce’s development environment along with the social capabilities. SAP needs to get out of the idea they want to sell any thing other than the core framework and business logic. Everything else just needs to reinforce the value of SAP’s core. Why not let SAP want-to-be developers start cranking out applications and applets for SAP. A free, friendly, easy to consume environment will go a long way

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When will Sybase ASE be FREE for all SAP system users

I am surprised SAP has not announced that the standard database from the Sybase acquisition is free to all SAP system users.  I will even be more surprised if they do not make the announcement at Sapphire 2012.

Why would SAP give away Sybase ASE?  They could make some amount of revenue by selling it, but by giving it away they improve the ROI of the migration.  Migration costs are the biggest barrier to any DB or OS change under an SAP system.  In addition, they take away the 20% maintenance and enhancement (M&E) fees their number #1 competitor, Oracle, is gaining from every SAP system running on Oracle.  I wonder how much of the reported $12B Oracle reported of support revenue in 3rd quarter is driven by SAP systems running on Oracle RDBMS.  That is potentially billions of dollars that Oracle does not have to attack SAP, develop new applications, or build a cloud business.  Oracle’s M&E, like everyone in the software business, is a substantial part of the revenue and more importantly profit stream of the business.

In addition, SAP can optimize the ASE database for SAP.  In fact they could make all other vendors’ database versions a port.  The best and brightest capabilities would be in found in the latest release of ASE coupled to SAP.  In addition, they can up sell Sybase Replication Services (SRS) as an Extract, Translate, and Load (ETL) engine, Disaster Recovery (DR) solution, and high availability (HA) solution.  They also can  up sell to HANA for higher performance.

Pushing out ASE will cost something.  SAP will have to support, develop, and move ASE forward.  They should have those resources from the acquisition and from previous DB efforts like mySQL.  Most of that cost is already accounted for excluding the go forward actions to stay on par with other major DB vendors in the SAP world; however, Sybase is are major player in the financials arena today, too.

SAP is going to break some glass with the big database providers, Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM.  While I’m sure they don’t care about Oracle’s opinion, they are strongly partnered with Microsoft and IBM.  It may be taken very poorly by IBM and Microsoft; however, I’m not sure either of them can let go of all the other areas they are linked into SAP especially IBM who has the world’s best (my opinion and Forrester’s) largest SAP practices.

HANA may be getting all the headlines, but the world is not done with RDBMS.  There is still a need.  There are still companies making lots of money, especially Oracle, on RDBMS software.  When is SAP going to give its clients something FREE to smile about and at the same time take so much away from their biggest competitor, Oracle.  Seems like a win-win for SAP and its clients.