App-happy SAP Santa offers partners free access to Cloud Platform

All the better to lock customers into its fluffy white services

So desperate keen is SAP to lure more developers to write apps using its cloud tools that it is promising them a year's worth of platform access for free.

SAP's Platform-as-a-Service allows devs to build applications in a managed cloud environment. SAP has already this year launched a private cloud with IBM to win over customers in regulated industries, and last year made it's PaaS available on public clouds from three vendors.

Now the German ERP giant is dangling free access to the PaaS, the SAP Cloud Platform, to allow devs to test, demonstrate and develop licensing services. It said it believes the partner "economy" will double, from $100bn to $200bn, by 2024.

The ultimate aim, of course, is to convince customers to move to SAP's cloud. "SAP is committed to bringing its partners to the cloud and, as a result, making it easier for customers to bring their business to the cloud as well," said Björn Goerke, chief technology officer and president of SAP Cloud Platform.

"Now that over 3,700 SAP partners have joined our cloud strategy, the free resources will help them accelerate application development in a way that best fits their customer base."

The partners can also sell the solutions they build on the Cloud Platform on SAP's App Center. SAP said there were more than 1,100 third parties using it to sell more than 1,600 apps.

To qualify, devs have to be an SAP partner, which in itself involves paying an annual fee based on the model you choose, of up to about €2,000 per year.

Current dev partners can renew their subscriptions to the core SAP Cloud Platform for up to 12 months at no charge, while new partners can subscribe to one of the options of the core platform.

SAP is also throwing in up to 64GB of storage from its HANA business data platform – HANA being SAP's flagship in-memory data platform. ®

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