The following blog is written by Ned Falk – Senior Education Consultant in the North America SAP Education Delivery Organization. Ned specializes in the areas of SAP CRM and BW. He has more than 15 years of CRM consulting experience and is certified in SAP CRM and BW and an Advisor for BW and CRM Expert Magazines. You can contact Ned via email at Ned.Falk@sap.com. Please limit your questions to those related to training classes.
I just took a training class! I know this sounds odd, but as an instructor, our job is to teach courses and not necessarily to take them. But as you can imagine, we need to stay current on the product and the only way to do this with our busy schedules is to attend courses during our downtime. I just finished the TZHANA course on the relatively new SAP HANA – High Performance Analytical Appliance. Here is a quick summary of what I learned…and why you should care.
What is SAP HANA/History?
- HANA uses a separate server/data base lots of CPU and MEMORY to do very large data volume queries very, very fast. Its purpose is to take data from various sources (mostly SAP Business Suite) and make reporting with Business Object Reporting tools much faster.
- HANA is targeting Operational Reporting from the Business Suite.
- In memory computing started with BWA (Business Warehouse Accelerator (previously BIA)) where BW info Cubes were put in to a separate BWA appliance for very, very fast reporting (10 – 100 times faster).
- HANA will take data from a source (using SAP business Objects Data Services) and accelerate it for reporting.
- HANA will take data from SAP Business Suite Data in real time and accelerate it for reporting.
- Soon, it is planned that HANA can replace BWA for use with BW. This will mean you only need one device to make BW-based and Business Suite-based reports run much faster.
What does HANA include?
- A technology stellar hardware (memory and CPU with a separated DB) and software platform.
- A HANA studio design tool where you can monitor the hardware and model information Views which will be exposed to BOBJ reporting tools.
- Information views can include filters/calculations/Master and transaction data in “cube-like” structures, and privileges (authorizations).
- Integration to Business Objects Data Services and a new SLT (System Landscape Transformation) tool set for real time and scheduled loading of data to HANA.
Where/how do end users access HANA-based super fast reports?
End users will be able to access HANA reports from SAP Business Objects (SAP BOBJ) tools such as:
- BOBJ Analysis for Office (the new BEx analyzer replacement) that is integrated into both BW and the BOBJ suite. This tool uses either (Excel or Powerpoint)
- BOBJ Explorer (An easy to use Executive Information discovery tool)
- BOB J Crystal
- BOBJ Dashboards (previously Xcelsius) via the semantic layer (previously universes)
- BOBJ WEBI (Web Intelligence) via the semantic layer (previously universes)
- Excel (via ODBO)
So why should you care?
I originally took this class just to know more about the buzz around HANA. However, I can see the writing on the wall. Any report in ERP/CRM can run so much faster; BW will soon also use it then the dream of one common reporting tool set (SAP Business Objects) will be realized for operational and strategic reporting. I think the days of LIS, report writer/painter, and pure ABAP reports will give way to BOBJ over HANA and BW in your near future.