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Like last year, our SAP Open Source Program Office (OSPO) just published an SAP Open Source Year in Review to share our appreciation for the open source community and highlight some of the work done in 2021.

In this blog post I’m looking back at some developments that happened for open source this year and how they relate to SAP’s open source engagement.

Linux Turns 30

Linux has come a long way since 1991 when Linus Torvalds posted ‘… I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional …’ on the comp.os.minix newsgroup. As of today the Linux kernel has 22+ million lines of code, 1797 developers have participated in the 5.15 kernel release, and about 90% of the public cloud workloads are run by Linux.

I remember downloading SUSE Linux in 1994 for hours on end over land line with a 28K modem, filling around 40 floppy disks. The oldest CD distro still in my possession is DLD 5.4 from 1998, the year when SAP ported its ERP R/3 solution to Linux. R/3 on Linux helped establishing Linux in the enterprise space and expanding the market for companies like RedHat and SUSE providing professional quality assurance, and subscription-based customer support. To learn more about the long-running partnership and collaboration between RedHat, SUSE, Oracle and SAP in the context of SAP’s Linux Lab and about SAP‘s Garden Linux derivate of Debian for Containers, refer to chapter 1 & 2 of SAP Open Source Year in Review.

Open Source Momentum

The Open Source Contributor Index (OSCI) as of November 2021 is testament of the ever growing momentum of open source. Just comparing the numbers of active contributors of the top ten companies ranked by OSCI shows a 58% growth YoY. For SAP the OSCI shows a 47% YoY growth of active contributors. To learn more about SAP’s contributions and some of the projects that SAP released as open source, see chapter 1 of SAP Open Source Year in Review.

Open Source Management

Digitization and servitization increasingly transform companies, research institutions, NGOs and governments into software development organizations, too. Most of them turn to open source software to co-innovate with open source communities and to focus own developments on their core value propositions. This is where OSPOs come into play for professionally managing their open source consumption, engagements and contributions (see blog post). This year saw increasing demand for information, trainings, and best-practice guides/exchange for how run an OSPO. The Linux Foundation has a dedicated working group (TODO Group) where companies can collaborate on best-practices for open source management. OSPO++ is a community of collaborative OSPOs in universities, governments, and civic institutions. The OSPO Alliance is a non-profit organization founded this year by the Eclipse Foundation, OW2, and others that manages OSPO.Zone as an open knowledge sharing platform that facilitates the discovery of best practices and tools and helps documenting the state of the art in this domain. See chapter 2 of SAP Open Source Year in Review to learn how SAP is supporting and collaborating with the TODO Group and the OSPO Alliance.


Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) has shifted forward again, this year landing on July 29. EOD marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what earth can regenerate in that year. As individuals and businesses, we can help #MoveTheDate of EOD. If we cut CO2 emissions by 50 percent, we could postpone EOD by 93 days. A very small but necessary step in this direction are common scope 3 reporting practices for CO2 emissions, especially across the automotive value chain with its thousands of suppliers. IT systems of all involved parties must exchange CO2-related data via an overarching business network based on open APIs, open standards and open source. This is one of the goals the new Catena-X partner network and the Eclipse Dataspace Connector project are targeting for. See chapter 3 of SAP Open Source Year in Review to learn more about SAP’s engagement in Catena-X.

Let me finish with a big THANK YOU to all open source contributors and supporters. We are very much looking forward to the continued collaboration with you next year. We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and successful year 2022. May the source be with you.