Free SAP Software: An Overview

Seven SAP software packages you can download and use for free
Seven SAP software packages you can download and use for free

Whether it’s dashboard software, databases, cloud services, or smartphone apps, the SAP portfolio contains numerous products private individuals can use for as long as they wish at absolutely no cost. In this article, we introduce you to these free programs, fill you in on the limitations they may have, and show you where they are available for download.

  • Full versions of software
  • Cloud services
  • Smartphone apps

We have specifically selected programs that are not test versions with time limits. SAP does offer trials of many of its products, however; interested users can try out nearly the entire SAP BusinessObjects portfolio, for example, at no cost for 30 days. For an overview and links to the current trial versions, simply visit the SAP BusinessObjects homepage.

Next page: Full versions of software

Further articles on SAP BusinessObjects:

SAP MaxDB Community Edition 7.7

A free variant of SAP’s home-grown database, MaxDB, is also available. While their functional scope is otherwise unlimited, such databases are inaccessible to SAP systems.

Download: SAP MaxDB Community Edition

SAP MaxDB Community Edition is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Linux, AIX, and Solaris systems; with the former two systems, users can also choose between 32- and 64-bit versions.

In addition to the database itself, SAP’s servers also offer database maintenance programs such as Database Studio, Database Manager, and Database Analyzer. These include access to the extensive SAP MaxDB documentation.

SAP Crystal Presentation Design

An SAP Crystal Presentation Design dashboard on Google’s Android smartphone, Nexus One (image: Timo Elliott)
An SAP Crystal Presentation Design dashboard on Google’s Android smartphone, Nexus One (image: Timo Elliott)

SAP Crystal Presentation Design is –­­ at least in SAP’s nomenclature – the successor to Xcelsius Present. This change has had no effect on the software itself; all of its menus still reference “Xcelsius 2008.” After a brief familiarization period, SAP Crystal Presentation Design makes interactive dashboards and graphics nearly as easy as PowerPoint presentations. The free version of the software draws the data needed for dashboards from Excel files, which users can also incorporate and reference with just a few mouse-clicks. To visualize data from SAP systems, however, the full version of SAP Crystal Dashboard Design is required.

Finished dashboards can be exported as PDF or Microsoft Office files, as well as in Flash (.swf) format for use with Web browsers and smartphones.

SAP Crystal Presentation Design’s system requirements are modest: A 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM are recommended. Windows XP and Vista are the officially supported operating systems, but installations on Windows 7 servers should also present no problems. Linux and MacOS variants are not available. Finally, Microsoft Office 2003 or later must be installed on the server in question for SAP Crystal Presentation Design to function properly.

Important: Unfortunately, Office 2010 is not supported; the installation process will abort and display an error message. Meanwhile, SAP will only issue a download link and license key for SAP Crystal Presentation Design after receiving a registration with a name and e-mail address. As of October 2010, this offer will end on December 31, 2010 (link). For more information and screenshots of SAP Crystal Presentation Design, check out our detailed preview: “Save $195: SAP BI Software for Free.”

Download: SAP Crystal Presentation Design

Next page: Cloud services

Further articles on SAP Crystal Presentation Design:

SAP in the cloud

SAP has more free offerings in cloud services than in virtually any other area. Private entrepreneurs and small businesses can often take advantage of free introductory versions of more expensive enterprise services without any time limits.

SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand

With SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, SAP is promising a low-cost solution anyone can use to get started in business intelligence. A Personal Edition is even available at no cost at all, only requiring those interested to create a user account at Its functional scope corresponds to that of the Essential and Advanced Editions. While users will have to come to terms with database restrictions (100,000 rows, 256 columns) and less online storage (10MB), these limits will present no problem to those who only want start using SAP to keep track of their household expenses, for example. For a detailed comparison of these different versions, check out the article “On-Demand Software for BI Beginners.”

Before starting any analysis, SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand needs to import data. The solution is not particular about the source: With a few clicks, users can upload files in Excel (.xls, .xlsx, .csv) or various other formats to their online storage space. SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand can also handle RSS feeds and data from Salesforce accounts.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer – which is integrated into this online service – then takes over to produce the desired graphical analysis. In the article “Cloud for Free: BI on iPhone,” we take a closer look at how these two SAP technologies interact and how you can access your data whenever and wherever you wish on your iPhone or iPad.

SAP StreamWork


When the collaboration software SAP StreamWork was first introduced, the IT trade press quickly dubbed it a Google Wave killer. Despite SAP’s misgivings about this comparison, version 2.0 of SAP StreamWork was presented at the 2010 DSAG Annual Congress (see also “Introducing SAP Business ByDesign 2.6”), and Google has indeed halted its development of Wave.

With SAP StreamWork, multiple users can work on the same project (called an “activity” in the software) both simultaneously and at different intervals. On the whole, the format is similar to a thread in an Internet forum. Besides simple messages, users can access SWOT analyses, RASIC matrices, and cost-benefit analyses and publish PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and other files. In our article “Hands On: Constellation’s Latest Beta,” we present SAP StreamWork’s most important functions.

The free Basic Edition of the software limits the maximum number of open activities per user to five and the available storage space to 250MB. To read about the key differences between this version and the Professional Edition, click through to the article “SAP StreamWork: Facebook for the Office.”

Next page: Free SAP access through smartphones

Free SAP access through smartphones


A series of apps now makes it possible to access SAP systems from smartphones and tablet PCs. With these tailored mini-programs, SAP is currently catering to iPhone users in particular, but versions for Android-based devices and Apple’s iPad are also on the rise. Most of the apps are free, as is the mobile system access they provide. Those from SAP’s partners, however, often involve fees. Below, we introduce three intriguing iPhone apps from SAP; you can read up on similar exciting offerings in the articles “Best Business Apps for iPad” and “Best Business Apps for iPhone.”

SAP Business ByDesign 2.5

SAP Business ByDesign is essentially only accessible by Web browser, with the corresponding data housed in the SAP cloud. SAP’s on-demand ERP solution is thus tailor-made for mobile access. Since mid-September 2010, an app version of SAP Business ByDesign has been available for iPhone on Apple’s App Store. A variant optimized for iPad is set to follow yet this year.

The app enables companies that make general use of SAP Business ByDesign to access the areas of finance, accounting, and purchasing in the solution.

Download: SAP Business ByDesign for iPhone

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 2.0

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer was the first software SAP began offering as an iPhone app. With it, users can access in-memory data records in installations of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator (SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator); for more details, check out the articles “Grafik aus Daten” and “Turbo für Datenanalysen.” As such, this functionality requires an installation of SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator, but the app itself is available free of charge.

Combined with the aforementioned SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, customers can also analyze data while on the move without the need for an extensive IT landscape – and at no cost! To find out about the specifics, turn to the article “Cloud for Free: BI on iPhone.”

Download: SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 2.2.419

Sybase Mobile Sales & Workflow 1.1

Sales employees – including those in the field – are having to rely more and more on real-time data from their company’s network. The free app Sybase Mobile Sales & Workflow can help by facilitating access to SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) and other elements of SAP Business Suite 7. This does, however, require the Sybase Unwired Platform to serve as the interface between users’ smartphones and the target SAP system. For more details on how this works, check out “iPhone App for SAP Business Suite” (link to

Download: Sybase Mobile Sales & Workflow

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