Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

When it comes to applications, ecosystems tend to have a multiplier effect in spurring adoption. The more applications that are developed on a particular platform, the more success that platform tends to enjoy as more developers flock to be on the same platform.

Recognizing that need, SAP launched the PartnerEdge program for Application Development to foster the creation of an application ecosystem around the SAP HANA in-memory computing platform.

Christian Baader, vice president of platform ecosystem and eChannels for SAP, described the SAP PartnerEdge program for Application Development as a formalization of two pilot programs for mobile and HANA applications that are designed to entice developers to build apps on top of HANA.

“We’re trying to shorten the time to value for our partners,” said Baader. “We already have about 600 partners in the program.”

While HANA applications will run both on-premise and the cloud, it’s clear that SAP partners view the SAP HANA cloud as an opportunity to create faster routes to market.

Case in point is gicom, a longtime SAP-systems integrator based in Germany. After deciding the time was right to build a contract-management application that runs on the Apple iPad, participating in the SAP PartnerEdge program only made sense because it gave gicom access to the SAP marketplace running in the cloud, according to gicom CEO Stefan Hilger.

“SAP HANA in the cloud provides a go-to-market model for us,” said Hilger. “Previously, we would not have not been able to really bring an application like to this market.”

In addition, Hilger noted that via SAP’s acquisition of Sybase in 2010, the mobile-device management capabilities that gicom requires to manage the application are built into the SAP Mobile 3.0 platform. In the context of a mobile application, the SAP HANA cloud effectively functions like a mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) platform.

Application developers are clearly the key to the ultimate success of SAP HANA. The simple fact is that rival providers of in-memory computing platforms clearly have much stronger relationships with application developers.

As the nature of how applications are built on in-memory computing platforms fundamentally changes, SAP is betting that, going forward, many developers will, at the very least, be willing to reconsider their vendor platform options as in-memory computing starts to inevitably find mainstream adoption.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.