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Microsoft chases Amazon in taking SAP to the cloud

On May 18, both Microsoft and its cloud rival Amazon made dueling announcements involving SAP and their respective cloud strategies.The difference? One is here now. One isn't.

On May 18, both Microsoft and its cloud rival Amazon made dueling announcements involving SAP and their respective cloud strategies.

The difference? Microsoft's SAP announcement is full of "future plans," while Amazon is offering certain SAP wares today via the Amazon Web Services platform. Amazon and SAP announced at the Sapphire conference that the pair will be providing a certified suite of SAP’s enterprise software – other than the SAP ERP products) – running on the Amazon cloud.

Microsoft and SAP announced plans for "innovations to people-centric applications development for SAP software as well as virtualization and cloud computing without disruption of customer IT landscapes." Somewhat more specifically, the pair said they will provide integration betwen SAP's "upcoming landscape management software," Microsoft System Center and Windows Server Hyper-V -- a k a, Microsoft's private-cloud stack. (SAP's landscape management software has nothing to do with gardening, in case you were wondering. It is SAP's name for its public and private cloud provisioning/management technologies.)

"In the future, SAP and Microsoft plan to continue their collaboration to support deployment of SAP applications on the Windows Azure Platform," the SAP press release added.

There is no timetable as to when SAP and Microsoft plan to deliver any of this private or public cloud management/integration.

There was some slightly less cloudy Microsoft and SAP news at Sapphire today, however. Microsoft and SAP are extending their existing Duet partnership. Duet is a jointly developed Microsoft-SAP product that integrates SAP applications' business processes and Microsoft Office and SharePoint.

Microsoft and SAP said they are connecting their respective development platforms, integrating future versions of Visual Studio and the .Net Framework development tools with SAP's Business Suite of applications. (Maybe that will happen next year, with Visual Studio v.Next, a k a Visual Studio 2012?) Again, no timetables were provided.) At some point SAP also plans to extend its SAP NetWeaver Gateway with a new software development kit for Windows Azure, enabling .Net developers to create private or public Azure apps that connect to on-premises SAP systems without leaving their development environment, according to the SAP press release.