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SAP for Beginners 101: Try SAP for free

I received multiple questions from SAP newcomers about how they can try SAP for free and install it on their computers. Well, it is not an easy questions since:

  • There are a lot of different SAP systems such as SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP BusinessObjects, etc. The question “How can I install SAP on my computer?” is incorrect.
  • SAP uses a 3 layer architecture in almost all of its products. Usually the end-users run the client on their computer and the server runs the SAP system and the database. This means that you will need a lot of resources as memory, CPU, disk, etc. in order to run SAP in your computer. For example, running an SAP ERP system on HANA requires about 125GB and 4 CPU as minimum requirements . Do you have a computer with at least 135GB for running a virtual machine with SLES and Windows?
  • All the SAP products need a license in order to work. License are linked to Customers and Installations on the Support Portal and for having them you would need to have a contract with SAP. This means you will be paying the required license for the product which means you will have to pay thousands of euros.

Those were the first 3 obstacles that came to my mind but I’m sure there are some others. Despite of this there are several options we can use if we want to try SAP using free trials:

On-Premise Software

This software is installed and runs on the permises of a person or organization. Meaning it runs on your computer or server so you will need to have enough resources. In this case we have the following options:

  • SAP HANA Express Edition:
    • Description: SAP HANA in a smaller and slimmed version. You’ll still need 32GB of RAM for installing and running this small brother of HANA.
    • License: In-memory databases up to 32GB of RAM memory.
    • Download link: Download.
  • SAP BusinessObjects BI, Edge Edition:
    • Description: License key for the SAP BO BI for the Edge Edition. You’ll still need to download the software from a different source. TIP: There are a PDF file with Emergency keys for the Analytics product, try to find the PDF file for a 3 months key…
    • License: 30 Days.
    • Download link: Register and get the key.

Cloud Software

Software that runs on the Cloud, meaning that a remote provided have the software installed and running on their own architecture. You won’t need any resources at all for running this applications:

  • SAP S/4HANA:
    • Description: The new SAP S/4HANA available for connecting on the Cloud. You can find an interesting course on OpenSAP.
    • License: 30 Days.
    • Registration link: Register and connect.
  • SAP B/4 HANA:
    • Description: New version of SAP BW for SAP HANA on the Cloud.  You can find an interesting course on OpenSAP.
    • License: 30 Days.
    • Registration link: Register and connect.
  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform:
    • Description: HANA on the Cloud, as having an on-premise HANA but without expending tons of money on buying RAM memory. You can find an interesting course on OpenSAP.
    • License: 14 Days.
    • Registration link: Register and connect.
  • SAP Hybris Cloud for Customers:
    • Description: The more and more popular CRM from sale, customer service and social CRM.
    • License: 30 Days. Careful becauase you will be charged $23 for each user at the end of the 30 days.
    • Registration link: Register and connect.

Bonus track

Some interesting links for free trials of other SAP products and free courses and MOOC of SAP technology:

There is also the possibility of buying access to one SAP system using some non-legal methods as Chinese/Indian sellers but I won’t go deep into this (for the moment). You can also install a SAP system on a Cloud provider as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, etc. if you have the software and the license. Most of the SAP Products have a temporary license for a minimum period of 1 month so you can install and test them

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