SAP’s ByD Microsoft Silverlight vs Adobe AIR choice

Earlier this year I posted a piece on SAP’s new SME product Business byDesign where I covered several different aspects of the back then not-yet released product.

One aspect I covered was the Adobe AIR vs Microsoft Silverlight discussion which has surrounded Business byDesign and subsequently also the SAP ecosystem. I am not going to discuss here whether or not they made the right decision, I simply want to present the ByD team’s reasoning behind their decision here.

The passage below is from a session with SAP’s Rainer Zinow in which he explains why Silverlight was chosen for Business byDesign.

Adobe AIR is the first choice for larger enterprises and also for SAP so far, so why was Microsoft’s Silverlight chosen for Business byDesign?

With Feature Pack 2.5, it was clear that ByD wanted to move away from an HTML based architecture. Some of the factors the team looked at before deciding which platform to use were adoption rate, how fast the communities were growing and what was delivered out of the box.

First of all they felt that Silverlight is moving at a higher pace than Adobe in the product development and that Microsoft has a bigger community of developers.

There were a couple of other factors which were important for choosing Silverlight. According to the team it had the best desktop feel and because the market recommended Visual Studio/.NET for the SDK, choosing Microsoft’s Silverlight seemed like a natural choice. Another advantage in their opinion is the tight Microsoft Office integration. Rainer Zinow ended it by saying that it is important to note that if Silverlight should disappear it would be a trivial piece to move to Adobe AIR.

Even though one of SAP’s many products chose to use Silverlight, SAP still continues to use Adobe AIR and Flash in other products and solutions, for instance in their Business Objects portfolio and Web Dynpro Flash Islands.

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