Just in case if you haven’t heard anything about SAP HANA, you should try to up your knowledge game as it is the latest, in-memory database, and wondrous platform that can be conveniently deployed on-premises or cloud.
The very first question that pops up in mind is what does SAP HANA stands for? SAP HANA (High Performance Analytic Appliance) is an ideal combination of hardware and software, which integrates various components like SAP HANA Database, SAP SLT (System Landscape Transformation) Replication server, SAP HANA Direct Extractor connection, and also Sybase replication.
SAP HANA Data Integration
As far as SAP HANA is concerned, it integrates data from various areas within an organization, such as:
- Traditional business documents while including contracts as well as spreadsheets
- UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) – comprising website forms, emails and several other customer interactions
- IoT (Internet of Things) – data from the several sensors that run in every feature of a business, from warehouses as well as trucks to stores and offices
- Mobile – information from the mobile devices of customers and your workforce
The amazing thing about SAP HANA system is that not only it integrates all of this data but also can apply machine learning and AI to examine it instantly and deeply, speeding up real-time decision-making by offering key insights into a company’s activities.
What is SAP?
SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) is an iconic German software company that develops Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and several other business suites to easily manage operations as well as customer interactions.
SAP stepped into cloud-based products in 2012, when it initially developed the SAP HANA appliance. SAP launched SAP S/4HANA, a next-generation business suite specifically designed only to run on the HANA server, in 2015.
SAP HANA Database
SAP HANA Database is a hybrid in–memory database while being the heart of SAP in-memory technology.
In SAP HANA, there are two types of Database table:
- Row Store
- Column Store
SAP HANA Platform
SAP HANA Platform is a professionally-built development platform with an in-memory data store that can easily allow the customers to professionally analyze a huge volume of data in real time.
SAP HANA Platform works as an exceptional development platform that can offer infrastructure and tools for establishing a high-performance application based on SAP HANA Extended Application Services (SAP HANA XS).
SAP HANA Edition
There are various types of SAP HANA edition; the most significant of them are as follow-
1. SAP HANA Platform Edition
This edition offers Core database technology. It ideally integrates SAP components such as SAP HANA database, SAP HANA Studio as well as SAP HANA clients.
This edition is for customers who want to use ETL-based replication and have in the first place a license for SAP Business Objects Data Services
2. SAP HANA Enterprise Edition
It mostly contains data provisioning (SLT, BODS, DXC) components comprising core database technology.
This edition is for customers who want to use either trigger-based replication or ETL-based replication while not having the entire necessary license for any kind of SAP Business Objects Data Services.
3. SAP HANA Extended Edition
It contains more of the data provisioning (Sybase) features than the Platform and Enterprises edition.
As far as SAP HANA Extended Edition is concerned, it is for customers who want to use the real potential of all available replication scenarios while including log-based replication.
Why is SAP HANA such a big deal?
- Many companies have huge amounts of data that importantly sits in a data warehouse and offers no value, amounting to terabytes of untapped potential that could be ideally used to accelerate business influence and offer greater customer value.
- With its super-fast, in-memory processing and real-time data analytics influenced by machine learning, SAP HANA control tie-together a company’s data and puts it to work for them, streamlining processes, do away with errors, and offering benefits to clients, customers as well as employees. It can really improve customer satisfaction with up-to-date product availability that can be analyzed on any smartphone.
- In addition, you can also keep employees happy with convenient accounting processes, immediate updates on benefits or vacation time, and improve collaboration platforms.
- Besides, you can also help managers and executives plan for tomorrow with predictive analytics that can easily forecast supply chain issues, easily manage cash flow, and also integrate team workflows for sharp efficiency.
Key Features of SAP HANA
- SAP HANA in-memory, multi-model data management engine makes the most of the capabilities of its hardware to reduce data movements, thus enhancing application speed and agility as it examines real-time data.
- Depending on the requirements of an enterprise, SAP HANA can be organized on premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid system, joining together the privacy as well as control of an on-premises system with the minimum cost, more memory, and enhanced access of the cloud.
- Its ability to competently process huge amounts of data makes it simply scalable to suit a flourishing business without sacrificing security or stability.
- On the SAP HANA platform, developers can easily build their own tools as well as applications that put together business logic, control logic, as well as the database layer with unparalleled performance.
1. Data Management Enhancement
SAP HANA’s in-memory technology has in a true sense put an end to cumbersome batch processing rather than keeping all data really available with no latency and all processes occur in real time.
The interesting point is that companies can dramatically simplify their management systems while changing them as needed to enhance efficiencies.
2. Database Enhancement
Most database systems are ideally organized around a single data model that confines how that data can be ideally organized, stored, and maneuvered.
SAP HANA’s multi-model database maintains multiple data models against a single integrated backend while making it convenient to establish the relationships among data points.
3. Application Development
Running on peak of the SAP HANA database is a sleek software stack system that ideally acts as a tech-agnostic server for any kind of web-based applications – SAP or non-SAP – which a developer selects to create.
Since the server can easily interact with all kind of file types and exchange data with any kind of software, businesses can quickly develop and deploy customized queries as well as processes that are exclusively helpful to them.
4. Advanced Analytics Processing
Real-time analytics makes it perfectly possible to tap into enormous amounts of data, such as that coming from IoT sensors and mobile.
SAP HANA’s machine learning engine efficiently extracts data from and writes to the server in exact time, quickly recognizing problems and engineering solutions in every feature of an enterprise, from payroll to human resources to support to supplier management and more.
5. Tools Enhancement
SAP HANA’s futuristic analytical processing allows developers to ideally build simple tools that business teams can conveniently use to ideally produce custom reports – without any help from IT or other external consultants.
Why is it a wise decision to move to SAP HANA?
- Just in case if your company is in mood to excel in the competition, you should be well aware of the fact as to how you should utilize and manage your exceptionally huge amount of unorganized data.
- In addition, without the appropriate tool for analysis, you won’t be able to properly leverage the significant amount of data you possess as it will then mean nothing to your organization.
- SAP HANA is an ideal solution for this mess and will always be there for you to make things simpler for you. You will be amazed to know that companies like Hershey’s and Eissmann Group Automotive have reaped the perks of migrating to SAP HANA in the best way possible.
- The aforementioned companies have truly gained new insights and were successfully able to ideally explore market opportunities through the mesmerizing SAP HANA’s data processing and analytics.
- With its superior analytics and machine learning potential, SAP HANA will ideally make it possible for you to handle a huge amount of data and gain depth insights from it but also right to make the most of the information in real-time.
- Currently, if your ERP system handles innumerable transactions per day, SAP HANA can conveniently reduce the time it takes to process the data needed. With its in-memory capability, SAP HANA will also be able to produce even the most comprehensive report with a much faster processing time.
- The best part is that it allows organizations to make most of the decisions based on real-time data and also then take suitable measures to professionally overcome business challenges in a timely manner.
- So, SAP HANA can easily equip your organization with the ideal technology to professionally process big data and, above all, make the most of it.
- But then the important question is how most likely is it that this new SAP HANA database platform will influence your current or upcoming ERP strategy?
- SAP HANA can ideally integrate your data from both internal as well as external sources flawlessly. In addition, it also offers the flexibility of integrating it with several other databases and ERP software, so you don’t have to leave your current system interface.
- However, as we all know, SAP’s latest ERP, S/4HANA, only operates on a HANA database. So, if you are not presently using HANA and wish to upgrade your SAP ERP to S/4HANA, you must migrate the entire database too.
- In a nutshell, all of SAP’s latest applications and software will run in the best possible way on a HANA database, so migrating to SAP HANA can be a wise move.
What are the challenges of moving to SAP HANA?
While having a detailed look at the advantages of SAP HANA, you will be more convinced by now as to what are the benefits associated with the migration.
However, there is also another side of the picture as well and prior to deciding to make the move, you should be well aware of the challenges that you can face during the process.
Here are some of the things that you should be cautious about during your SAP HANA migration:
1. Technical problems in migrating to SAP HANA
- It is worth mentioning here that challenges can come from the technical aspect of the migration itself.
- Just in case if your system is still using a non-Unicode language, then it can be a big challenge to migrate to SAP HANA. SAP HANA only supports the Unicode system, so all new SAP applications and SAP Net Weaver technology will just be available in Unicode.
- Therefore, the benefit for Unicode system conversion has to be performing cautiously before moving to SAP HANA. Many organizations require knowledge about this conversion, making in system failures as well as waste.
2. Planning is the key
Many organizations cannot identify the actual paint points of their existing database infrastructure and, as a consequence, miscalculate the scope of the project.
This in turn can lead to wasted effort as well as resources. Without a solid project plan as well as accurate estimation of project cost, you won’t be able to have a proper roadmap to digital transformation and can thus adversely affect your Return on Investment (ROI).
3. Execution demands caution
As in any migration project, it all initiates with an early migration in the sandbox for testing. Only then does the migration proceed to Development and Quality followed by finally moving into Production.
The main concern when migrating to Production is the downtime as users won’t be able to access the system during this process.
If you won’t pretest the new database system completely, there might be a great chance of system failures during moving to SAP HANA and which can lead to more downtime and worse, failures are analyzed too late while resulting in even greater outages.