SAP is to launch an online subscription service for individual developers to create new applications on its NetWeaver integration platform. But the company is close-lipped about the cost of the subscription.

"We can talk prices when we get closer to launching the service next year," said Rolf Schumann, director and chief technology officer of EMEA solution sales for SAP NetWeaver.

SAP announced the new subscription offer at the opening of its TechEd developer conference in Amsterdam. The offer is aimed at "attracting really new people" who haven't been able to develop applications for SAP in the past, largely due to the company's closed platform and the cost of acquiring licences for its software products, Schumann said.

SAP's move to an open SOA and its planned subscription service should overcome previous hurdles for the vendor to create a thriving community of developers in addition to those already employed by the company and its customers, Schumann said.

The offering, which includes development and composition tools for SAP's NetWeaver middleware, will be available through the SAP Developer Network (SDN) site some time next year.