SAP: Open Source’s Friend or Foe?

Article Source Linux Journal
June 10, 2009, 6:21 am

For an outfit that calls itself ‚Äúthe world’s largest business software company‚Äù, the German software giant SAP is relatively little-known in the open source world. With 51,500 employees, a turnover of 11.5 billion euros ($16 billion) last year, and operating profits of 2.7 billion euros ($3.8 billion), SAP is clearly one of the heavyweights in the computer world. Given that huge clout, SAP’s attitude to open source is important; and yet it is hard to tell whether it is really free software’s friend or its foe.

On the positive side, SAP has invested in many of the top open source companies, through its SAP Ventures arm. Well-known names it has backed include Alfresco, GroundWork, Intalio, JasperSoft and Zend; earlier investments included MySQL and even Red Hat…