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Get Started with SAP Cloud Platform Trial

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Get Started with SAP Cloud Platform Trial
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Get Started with SAP Cloud Platform Trial

Get familiar with the SAP Cloud Platform basics to make the most of your trial experience.

You will learn

  • What SAP Cloud Platform trial offers
  • The differences between Neo and Cloud Foundry
  • The relationship between global accounts, subaccounts, organizations and spaces
  • How to navigate the cockpit
  • How to use the cockpit in-app help if you get stuck

Step 1: Introduction to SAP Cloud Platform trial

So you’ve signed up for a trial on SAP Cloud Platform but are not quite sure where to start? This tutorial is here to help! Let’s first learn a bit about what SAP Cloud Platform is and what you should expect from your trial.

SAP Cloud Platform logo

SAP Cloud Platform is an enterprise platform-as-a-service (enterprise PaaS) that provides application development services and capabilities which let you build, extend, and integrate business applications in the cloud.

A trial account on SAP Cloud Platform enables you to experience it for free, offering access to a comprehensive set of platform services, as well as early access to beta functionality.

Trial accounts are intended for personal exploration, and not for production use or team development. They allow restricted use of the platform resources and services. The trial period varies depending on the environment.

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Step 2: Neo versus Cloud Foundry

Now that you know what to expect from your trial account, let’s have a look at the 2 different development environments available on SAP Cloud Platform trial - Neo and Cloud Foundry.

Neo Cloud Foundry
Data centers Runs exclusively on SAP data centers Runs on third-party data centers from AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform
Trial duration Unlimited Limited to 90 days
Strengths A feature-rich and easy-to-use development environment Allows you to use multiple programming languages such as Java, Node.js and community/bring-your-own language options
Best suited for Developing HTML5 and complex Java applications
Complex integration and extension scenarios
Twelve-factor and/or micro-services-based applications
Internet of Things and machine learning scenarios
Developing applications using SAP HANA extended application services, advanced model (SAP HANA XSA)

Check out When to Use Which Environment? to learn more about the differences between them and what they are recommended for.

One thing you must keep in mind when choosing your environment is that the service offering differs from one region (data center) to another. Since the 2 environments run on different data centers, this means that service offerings also differ from one environment to another.

You can find the regions available on trial for each environment here and then you can look for those regions in this table to see what services are available in each one.

Which of these services are available to use in a Cloud Foundry trial account?
Step 3: Global accounts, subaccounts, organizations and spaces

Let’s learn about how things are structured on SAP Cloud Platform.

SAP Cloud Platform uses two levels of accounts: global accounts and subaccounts. Your global account and subaccounts in SAP Cloud Platform are the way in which all of your activities in SAP Cloud Platform are structured.

A global account is the realization of a contract you made with SAP (be it enterprise or trial). It is region-independent, and it is used to manage subaccounts, members, and quotas. You receive quotas to use platform resources per global account and then distribute the quotas to the subaccount for actual consumption. A global account can contain one or more subaccounts in which you deploy applications and use services.

Subaccounts let you structure a global account according to your project’s requirements with regards to members, authorizations, and quotas. Subaccounts in a global account are independent from each other. Each subaccount is associated with a region, which is the physical location where applications, data, or services are hosted. It is also associated with one environment. The specific region and environment are relevant when you deploy applications and access the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit. The region assigned to your subaccount doesn’t have to be directly related to your location. You could be located in the United States, for example, but operate your subaccount in Europe.


When you register for a SAP Cloud Platform trial, you automatically get a Neo trial account. This consists of a single Neo subaccount, where you can deploy apps and use services.

Neo trial subaccount

You do not get a global account with your Neo trial and therefore do not have the option of creating additional Neo trial subaccounts.

Cloud Foundry

As opposed to Neo, a Cloud Foundry trial account is not automatically created when you register for a trial account on the SAP Cloud Platform website. You must create one yourself from the cockpit (more details on how to do that later).

In addition to global accounts and subaccounts, Cloud Foundry includes another hierarchical level represented by organizations and spaces.

Each Cloud Foundry subaccount contains exactly one Cloud Foundry organization. They have a 1:1 relationship. When you create a Cloud Foundry trial account, you get a global account with one Cloud Foundry subaccount in it, where the organization is created automatically. You have the option of creating additional Cloud Foundry subaccounts within your trial global account, however in those you must create an organization yourself by clicking on the Enable Cloud Foundry button.

In your organization you can then create one or more spaces, where you deploy apps and use services. Similar to subaccounts, spaces enable you to once again structure and sub-divide quota if you want to. When you create your Cloud Foundry trial account, one space is also automatically created within your organization. You also have the option of adding additional ones if you like.

Cloud Foundry trial account model
What do you get with your SAP Cloud Platform trial account?
Step 4: Access your Neo trial account

To access your Neo trial account, simply click on the Neo Trial tile on the cockpit homepage.

Environments on SAP Cloud Platform trial

This opens your Neo trial subaccount, where you can then enable services and deploy applications.

Neo trial overview
Enter the name of your Neo trial subaccount:
Step 5: Create a Cloud Foundry trial account

As previously mentioned, a Cloud Foundry trial account is not automatically created when you register for a trial on SAP Cloud Platform. To create one, you must do the following:

  1. Click on the Cloud Foundry Trial tile on the cockpit homepage.

    Environments on SAP Cloud Platform trial
  2. Select a region (data center) for your Cloud Foundry trial subaccount

    Choose a region for your Cloud Foundry trial

A Cloud Foundry subaccount, organization and space are then automatically created, and you have the option to directly navigate to your space where you can deploy apps and use services.

Enter the name of the space which was automatically created in your Cloud Foundry trial account:
Step 6: Services in the Neo environment

Now that you’ve set up your Neo and Cloud Foundry trial accounts, your probably want to know how you can start trying things out and using services.

It is important to note that services are consumed differently on Neo and on Cloud Foundry.

In the Neo environment, you enable services in the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit in order to be able to consume them.

  1. From the Neo subaccount overview page, navigate to Services using the left hand-side navigation:

    Navigate to the Services page
  2. Once on the Services page, you can see all the services available to use in your Neo trial subaccount, grouped by capability. This includes a short description for each service, as well as a status informing you whether a service is enabled or not.

    Neo trial services page
  3. To enable a service, navigate into it by clicking on its tile from the list and choose Enable.

    Neo service tileNeo service overview
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Step 7: Services in the Cloud Foundry environment

In the Cloud Foundry environment, services are not enabled. Instead, you create service instances in your Cloud Foundry space and bind them to applications within that space.

A service instance is a single instantiation of a service running on SAP Cloud Platform. Service instances are created using a specific service plan. A service plan is a configuration variant of a service. For example, a database may be configured with various “t-shirt sizes”, each of which is a different service plan.

To integrate services with applications, the service credentials must be delivered to the application. To do so, you can bind service instances to your application to automatically deliver these credentials to your application. Alternatively, you can use service keys to generate credentials to communicate directly with a service instance. As shown in the figure below, you can deploy an application first and then bind it to a service instance:

Using services in Cloud Foundry

To create a service instance:

  1. Navigate to your space in the Cloud Foundry environment where you want to create the instance and choose Service Marketplace from the left hand-side navigation.

    Cloud Foundry space
  2. Choose the service for which you want to create an instance (let’s choose HTML5 Application Repository as an example).

    Cloud Foundry services
  3. In the left hand-side navigation, choose Instances.

    Cloud Foundry service overview
  4. Click on the New Instance button.

    Cloud Foundry service instances
  5. Follow the wizard that appears to finalize the creation of the instance. This includes choosing a service plan and optionally parameters and an application to bind the instance to.

    Cloud Foundry new instance wizard
  6. Finally, enter a name for your instance and choose Finish.

    Cloud Foundry instance name
  7. Your new instance will appear in the table:

    Cloud Foundry service instances table
  8. You can then click on it to bind it to an application or create a service key.

    Cloud Foundry service instances table
Where do you create service instances in the Cloud Foundry environment?
Step 8: Navigation in the cockpit

There are 2 ways of navigating in the cockpit:

  • using the left hand-side navigation
  • using the breadcrumbs at the top of the page

Remember all that stuff about global accounts, subaccounts we talked about earlier? There are certain actions you can perform at each level - we will refer to the sum of these actions as a scope. For example, when you are in a global account you can add global account members, create subaccounts and add entitlements to subaccounts. They represent the global account scope.

This scope is reflected in both the left hand-side navigation and the breadcrumbs. This step helps you understand how to use both of them together to navigate through the cockpit in the most efficient way possible.

Left hand-side navigation

The left hand-side navigation changes depending on where you are in the cockpit. It reflects the actions possible in that scope. You can see some examples below:

Neo Subaccount Scope:

Neo subaccount scope

Cloud Foundry Subaccount Scope:

Cloud Foundry subaccount scope

Cloud Foundry Space Scope:

Cloud Foundry space scope


You may ask yourself - if the left hand-side navigation changes depending on where you are in the cockpit, then how can you navigate back? Simple - you use the breadcrumbs at the top.

The breadcrumbs coincide with the hierarchical path you’ve travelled in order to reach your current scope in the cockpit. For example, to reach an application in the Cloud Foundry environment you will have to go to your global account, then to the subaccount, then to the space and then finally to the application.

The last item in your breadcrumbs always represents the scope you find yourself in at that moment. To go back, simply follow the breadcrumbs to retrace your steps.

In the trial cockpit, the first 2 items in your breadcrumbs are always constant, regardless of what environment you are in.

Let’s have a look at the following screenshot, taken from a Java application in the Neo trial subaccount:

  1. Trial Home - here you can select your Neo or Cloud Foundry trial account. This is handy for switching between the two trial environments.

  2. Subaccount region - this is where the data center for your SAP Cloud Platform trial subaccount is.

  3. In this case, the 3rd item represents the Neo subaccount. Since there are no global accounts for Neo on trial, this is the highest hierarchical level available.

  4. Java application - this is the scope you find yourself in.

Enter the second item in the left hand-side navigation of a Cloud Foundry application:
Step 9: Guided tours in the cockpit

One more thing before you go! If you ever get lost in the cockpit, we have a few guided tours ready to help you and make sure you can always get to the page you need. To access them, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the homepage of your trial account on SAP Cloud Platform (you can just click the first item in your breadcrumbs, it will always take you there).

  2. Click on the help icon next to your name in the header, which opens a carousel on the right hand-side of the cockpit.

    Help icon
  3. In that carousel, you will see a tile called Guided Tours - click on it and choose the tour you’re interested in from the list.

    Guided tours tile
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That’s all you need to know to get started with your SAP Cloud Platform trial. You’re all set!

Want to learn more? Check out our other SAP Cloud Platform tutorials and missions on the Tutorial Navigator.

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