SAP to license NetWeaver to non-customer developers

In a long-anticipated change in policy, SAP will announce next week at its TechEd conference in Amsterdam it will make NetWeaver licenses available to individual developers.

Up until now SAP delivered its developer licenses only to companies with which it had a customer relationship.

The licenses will be made available through the SAP Developer Network site.

Prior to NetWeaver "those who wanted to play in the SAP space were in the SAP space," said SAP spokesperson Bill Wohl. However, once NetWeaver was opened up to Java and .Net developers the company has been pushed to give access to NetWeaver and its toolset to many more developers.

SAP would not discuss price until next week's announcement date.

Josh Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting, said that anything SAP can do to lower the barrier of entry for NetWeaver is good for them because it needs a critical mass of developers.

It is also good news for independent ISVs who see in SAP a huge base of potential customers for their software products.

"Some startups may also see this as a well toward potential acquisition by SAP," said Greenbaum.

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