SAP HANA database is already available and ready to deliver surprising performances improvements, and this is a real technological innovation.
As always, when we are at the early stages of a technological innovation, there are many doubts, and I want to talk about a specific doubt arising in the mind of virtually every manager of an SAP ECC ERP system:
Can I take benefit from HANA, providing a concrete improvement to the users that complain that “the system is slow”?
Actually, based on the experience, the SAP ECC system might not be slow at all, but maybe for some reports or transactions the amount of data to be processed is so big that the system takes some minutes (or hours) to complete the operation. This is even more likely to happen in the case of not optimized custom reports.
Anyway the answer to for the doubt is “YES”, since now it’s possible to accelerate that specific “slow” ABAP procedure in SAP ECC using the power of SAP HANA, without changing the database of SAP ECC but simply using HANA as a “sidecar” database, and replicating only the relevant database tables.
This leads to the next -implicit- question, that is:
Let’s use a metaphor: a current custom “slow” ABAP report in SAP ECC may appear “Easily accessible, slow and easy to maintain” like this car:
Then, maybe we are tired of the slowness of our old car, and we want to change the car for a new one, a hybrid car, that is “easily accessible and fast” like this one:
…or maybe we want to adopt a new generation super-electric-only-car, that is “less accessible, very fast, not compatible with old-fashioned garage” like this one:
- The traditional car represents the hypothetically “slow” custom ABAP report that make use of underlying RDBMS. The report can be easy to maintain, but even with heavy optimization efforts the performances will be pretty poor if compared with what you can get with HANA.
- Choice “Hybrid car” represents an acceleration solution based on HANA Application Accelerator Add On (aka SWT2DB, SAP Note 1696402) to be installed on SAP ECC, and you expect this car to run with usual ABAP-gasoline, with no (or few) changes required. The performance improvements you will get are great but not astonishing, since the major part of calculations will be performed as before, by ABAP (to be more precise will be performed by the SAP ABAP kernel, executing ABAP code)
- Choice “Super Electric Car” represents an acceleration solution based on “ABAP to SQLScript” migration, where all the ABAP business logic will be translated into specific SQLScript: the performance improvements will be astonishing, since the major part of calculations will be executed by HANA Calculation Engine. A true paradigm shift, challenging but rewarding
Both acceleration solutions by HANA are today available and implementable: the appropriate one to choose will depend from case to case.
In Techedge we are helping customers to discover the real power of HANA: see you soon in the next episode with some technical details about the two solutions.