SAP expanded its product portfolio after acquiring the intellectual-property rights of PaaS (platform as a service) vendor Coghead, but has indicated it will only use it as an internal tool.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Coghead recently told customers that it planned to shut down its service due to economic factors. It did not mention the SAP deal in its announcement.

SAP will reveal more about how it plans to use the technology in coming weeks, but has no current intentions to sell it as a commercial service, according to the spokeswoman. The company is "working to help Coghead customers transition to new service providers without interruption."

Coghead's platform provides a visual editing environment, workflow and integration tools and a database, along with underlying infrastructure through Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud. It is one of a wide range of PaaS offerings from the likes of Salesforce.com, Google and Microsoft, as well as smaller players such as Caspio.

A number of these vendors are offering Coghead customers incentives to migrate their applications.

As for Coghead's technology, it fits well with SAP, having been popular among SAP's developer community, according to Redmonk analyst Michael Coté.

There is also a "thriving subculture" of SAP developers who are interested in using emerging technologies, he said.

One example of this is the Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment, a Twitter-like messaging service being developed by SAP community members, Coté said.

In addition, SAP's venture capital arm had made an investment in Coghead, a move that "sort of blessed it for use," Coté said.

Meanwhile, SAP is moving more broadly into web-based commercial software, both through its nascent Business ByDesign on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for the midmarket, as well as as-yet unannounced cloud-based services for on-premise software systems.