SAP's Business ByDesign gets software development kit

The 2.6 release of SAP's Business ByDesign includes the SDK, which will spur a partner ecosystem

SAP on Monday announced the 2.6 release of its SaaS (software-as-a-service) suite Business ByDesign, which contains a highly anticipated SDK (software development kit) that partners will use to create extensions and add-ons.

Observers, as well as SAP, consider the SDK crucial to ByDesign's success. "If we can get this out ... and allow these partners to grow profitably, we are potentially sitting on something really, really fantastic," said Chris Horak, global head of ByDesign marketing.

One industry analyst agreed, albeit with a caveat. "The most important thing right now for any software company is making sure they have a strong developer ecosystem," said Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. However, the tools have to be good, he said. "[The SDK] has got to grab people."

In good news for SAP, "early indications from some of the partners is that it's definitely easier to use than NetWeaver [SAP's main technology stack], but you still need some training and SAP knowledge. For people schooled in SAP, it's a much more productive environment than NetWeaver," Wang said.

SAP first announced ByDesign in 2007, but later scaled back the rollout of the software while it worked to ensure it would be profitable at scale.

Some 250 customers are now using ByDesign, and that number should grow to 1,000 this year, SAP has said. That represents a much less ambitious goal than the original one of 10,000 customers and US$1 billion in revenue by 2010.

SAP won't be able to drive enough demand to reach those thresholds without a strong partner program, which will uncover what customers really want from the product, suggested independent analyst Jon Reed. "A lot of the most important industry add-ons are going to come directly from customer feedback and need."

So far SAP has about 50 ByDesign resellers and 40 development partners, according to Horak. The company is proceeding slowly in order to ensure the right mix of companies are involved and all the add-ons that get developed are supportable, he said.

SAP is anticipating a range of development scenarios for ByDesign, from more complex "micro-vertical" applications to alternative user interfaces.

It will depend on the situation whether SAP or a partner hosts the add-on functionality, Horak said. "If they are leveraging our data types, it makes sense for it to reside on our blades."

ByDesign will also serve as the underlying platform for on-demand applications aimed at large enterprises, although efforts in that area aren't set to ramp up until later this year.

Other aspects of the 2.6 release include iPad and BlackBerry support, as well as a focus on selling it into subsidiaries of large enterprises. This represents a change from SAP's original positioning of ByDesign for small and medium-sized businesses, and could be seen as a response to companies such as NetSuite, which has gone after similar business opportunities with its on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.

ByDesign customers will gain some analytics capabilities as well in 2.6, which are powered by in-memory technology, Horak said.

Pricing for ByDesign starts at US$149 per user per month. As for partner-developed software, SAP has finalized a revenue-sharing model but is not yet sharing those details publicly, Horak said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags netsuiteapplication developmentresearch in motionapplicationsMicrosoftenterprise resource planningSAPsoftwarecloud computinginternetApple

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?