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Author's profile photo Carlos Basto

SAP HANA – An Introduction (demystifying)

SAP HANA - Top.png


     Applies to:

     SAP HANA Appliance. For more information, visit the and In-Memory Business Data Management homepage.


     This is a document that tells about SAP HANA Conceptions.

     SAP HANA will be covered as a solution for Big Data and IN-Memory Market needs.

     Author(s):    Carlos Basto

     Company:    Accenture

     Created on: 17 January 2013

     Author Bio


Carlos Basto is a Senior Programmer at Accenture. He has been involved in SAP BW Consulting and Support Projects.

Table of Contents


  1. Introducing SAP HANA APPLIANCE. 3
  2. IN-Memory Computing and BIG DATA Concepts. 4
  3. BIG DATA. 5
  4. Demystifying SAP HANA. 6
  5. Conclusion. 7
  6. Related Content 8

        Disclaimer and Liability Notice. 9


     Looking for documents can describe what SAP HANA is, I’ve faced problems in encountering an easy-understanding files about it. That’s the why
     I’m trying to explain it for you by using simple conceptions.


     SAP HANA came through the time trying to support new and elevant business needs.


     It’s known that since Business Intelligence was born there ere be real time needs just like how to support fast access to the analytical
     data and how to handle it.

     By a purpose, SAP has focused on Big Data and IN-Memory solutions.

      Then, let’s understand how that works and how SAP HANA can solve these tough tasks to deliver make-decision information faster.

2. IN-Memory Computing and BIG DATA Concepts



     The idea of running databases in memory is nothing new; it was one of the foundations of the business intelligence product QlikView, back
     in 1997. 


     As this overall technology (in-memory) has matured, and memory prices have plummeted, it has become a viable and realistic option for
     organizations. This has opened the door for other software companies — for example, SAP—who have been working on ways to take advantage of this
     convergence of technology and affordability to build new and faster solutions for their customers.

      In database technology, atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID) is the set of requirements that are assessed for reliability:


  • A transaction has to be atomic. Meaning if part of a transaction fails, the entire transaction has to fail and therefore leave
    the database state unchanged.
  • The consistency of a database must be preserved.
  • Isolation ensures that no one transaction interferes with another transaction.
  • Durability means that after a transaction has been committed to the database, it will remain there.


     And what happens to my data if I lose power?.


     Considering the image above, let’s understand what happens if the power is lost using SAP HANA appliance.

     Every time a transaction is committed the record is sent to the main memory (RAM) and Redo Log synchronously. In-memory databases can save
     changed pages in savepoints, which are asynchronously written to persistent storage in regular intervals (for SAP HANA, every five minutes by default).
     This log is written synchronously. In other words, a transaction does not return before the corresponding log entry has been written to persistent
     storage—in order to meet the durability requirement that was described earlier—thus ensuring that in-memory databases meet (and pass) the ACID test.


     One of the reasons that in-memory computing is becoming such a big deal is because of changing information consumption trends. The need for
     and requirements of data and visualization for organizations are rapidly changing, and are becoming more and more vital for the future. The importance
     of historical or trend reporting is decreasing, while data visualization and the ability to drive change continue to increase in importance.

      It does not matter the amount of data you have, SAP HANA will handle this.


      Big data presents five main challenges:


  • Volume


How do you deal with massive volumes of data coming from multiple source systems in a heterogeneous environment?


  • Scope


How do you determine the breadth,depth, and span of data to be included in cleansing, conversion, and migration efforts?


  • 360 degree view


How do you build consensus in an organization to build 360 degree views of master data domains?


  • Data integrity


How do you establish the desired data integrity levels across multiple functional teams and business processes?


  • Governance process


How do you establish procedures across people, processes, and technology to maintain a desired state of governance?


     With SAP HANA all these challenges can be supported.

     Volume is being totally supported by MPP (Massive Parallel Processing) using memories up to 100TB.

4. HANA’s Chronology

     SAP first began with its Search and Classification Engine commonly referred to as TREX. TREX, as a search engine, is a key part of various SAP      software offerings.


     TREX stores its data not in the way traditional or classicdatabases would, but as flat files in a file system. Although not the full use of in-memory      computing, this was the first foray into this technology and solution.


     SAP then moved into liveCache. SAP liveCache technology can be described as a hybrid main-memory database. It is based on MaxDB, a
     relational database owned by SAP that introduced a combination of in-memory data storage with special object-oriented database technologies supporting      the application functions, especially within SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) and SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (SAP APO).


     With this validation of in-memory technologies and how they can help improve the usability and responsiveness of SAP solutions and applications, SAP      took their next step with an appliance-based solution that was specifically targeted to improving the reporting and analytic capabilities for its SAP      NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) install base: the BW Accelerator (BWA), which SAP introduced in 2006.


     The SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator is specifically—and only—for speeding up the responsiveness of queries and reports written against SAP      NetWeaver BW. In a nutshell, after you attach the BWA appliance, you identify the InfoProviders that will be “accelerated” via that BWA. Then, when
     queries are executed that require data from those InfoProviders, the query engine will first look for the data on BWA. If it cannot find the data on BWA,
     the query engine will revert to the traditional (and slower) database to retrieve the data. So, if the data is available on BWA, it gets fed into the
     query engine almost instantly. If the data has to be retrieved from the traditional database, you can go get a cup of coffee.

5. Demystifying SAP HANA


     It’s important to understand that all or, almost all, concepts used in SAP HANA technology were not new conceptions. SAP HANA brings together various      database technologies.



     Schema, Dimensional and Multidimensional database relations, procedures are very known concepts that have been used for many years by
     database administrators. The main base for reporting purposes is views:attribute, analytic and calculation views.


     There are a lot of comparisons between SAP BW and SAP HANA Studio, but, don’t get it as the only truth because to develop solutions on SAP HANA is      important think as a SAP HANA Consultant than SAP BW Consultant. Of course, it’s easier bringing what we already know as base to understand basic
     concepts in SAP HANA, therefore, you need be based on Business Intelligence Concepts, Database Concepts and Solution Architecture Concepts.

   6. Conclusion

     SAP HANA is a flexible, data-source-agnostic appliance that allows customers to analyze large volumes of SAP ERP data in real-time,
     avoiding the need to materialize transformations.


     SAP HANA is a hardware and software combination that integrates a number of SAP components including the SAP In-memory database, Sybase      Replication technology and SAP® LT (Landscape Transformation) Replicator.


     SAP HANA is delivered as an optimized appliance in conjunction with leading SAP hardware partners.


     Disclaimer and Liability Notice

     This document may discuss sample coding or other information that does not include SAP official interfaces and therefore is not supported by SAP.      Changes made based on this information are not supported and can be overwritten during an upgrade.

     SAP will not be held liable for any damages caused by using or misusing the information, code or methods suggested in this document, and anyone using      these methods does so at his/her own risk.

     SAP offers no guarantees and assumes no responsibility or liability of any type with respect to the content of this technical article or code sample,      including any liability resulting from incompatibility between the content within this document and the materials and services offered by SAP. You agree      that you will not hold, or seek to hold, SAP responsible or liable with respect to the content of this document.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very good documentary... it starts up with introductory of DBMS and ends up with advantages.. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Carlos Basto
      Carlos Basto
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you very much for your comment, KD J.

      I appreciate that!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Excellent, many concepts explained clearly and objectively...

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great help for someone new like me! It's so much usefull!

      Thanks for sharing!