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SPS07 (born the 3rd of December)

Here the major changes which I like in this release:

  1. Smart Data Access
  2. Scaling SAP HANA
  3. Productivity in SAP HANA Studio
  4. Spatial References
  5. … and lots of PAL enhancements!

Smart Data Access
1.Support of virtual tables in calculation view definitions. When you create a calculation view, you can add virtual tables as data sources. As a result, a virtual table can also be referenced by calculation scenarios. The support for adding virtual tables in the calculation view was also added to SAP HANA Studio. Some optimizations, such as push down of filters, are also supported.

Making virtual tables more usable, less memory usage for HANA less cost for the customer (but also less speed).

2.New data sources (Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server for SQL Server 2012). New remote data sources have been added to SAP HANA SDA. These data sources are Oracle Database 12c and Microsoft SQL Server version 11 for SQL Server 2012.

Opening up to the larger audience, not everyone has Sybase IQ … positive!

3.Support of inserts / updates / deletes on virtual tables (with limitations). Inserted data is transferred to the remote database on-the-fly. It is updated transactionally and deleted transactionally from the remote database. Insert/Update/Delete support is provided for the supported data sources.

This is rather cool, I didn’t expect this to happen for a while. Consistency guaranteed by transactions was a must, but I wonder how much it will be used. Considering the direct update to the source database is much faster, but harder to manage to be consistent with HANA data updates.

Please post if you are using this!

Scaling SAP HANA
Table Replication (New)
In a scale-out system it is now possible to replicate tables to multiple hosts. This is useful when slowly changing master data often has to be joined with tables or partitions of other tables that are located on multiple hosts and you want to reduce network traffic to optimize performance.

Time Selection Partitioning (New)
The SAP HANA database offers a special time selection partitioning scheme, also called aging. Time selection or aging allows application data to be horizontally partitioned into different temperatures like hot and cold. This improves the performance of large tables as old data can be moved to an aging partition.

Some nice performance improvements which are a bit cumbersome, but could accelerate query times quite a lot – keeping in mind that this comes in real use for a RDTP reporting just on the last couple of weeks/months of data.

Productivity in SAP HANA Studio

The order of attributes is preserved in the semantic node. -> Can take a long time to reorder things – thank you
Input parameters can be used and are selectable as filter values in data foundation nodes. -> Will try this one out ASAP
The editor now supports where-used analyis for columns from the semantic node and the output pane column list. -> I posted this just 2 weeks ago in another blog of mine, that “Where used” could be expanded so much more and can be so useful.

Data Preview with enhanced query generation for analysis preview and option to open the SQLEditor with a default query example.

Once I am on SPS07 I  think that is one of the first new features I will be testing.
The “select *” approach from the past was a real pain before.

Referenced models can be opened from the SAP HANA Studio where-used list.

DateTime
ADD_WORKDAYS
Computes a result date by adding a number of workdays to a starting date.
WORKDAYS_BETWEEN
Computes the number of workdays between a start date and an end date.

Long overdue, it’s so basic! Who wants to activate the BFL and use up 6GB of RAM …

SAP HANA Spatial Reference (New)
Spatial data is data that describes the position, shape, and orientation of objects in a defined space. Spatial data in SAP HANA is represented as geometries in the form of points, curves (line strings and strings of circular arcs), and polygons. This data can be represented in SQL and presented in SAP HANA by a multi-layered spatial engine, which supports spatial columns, spatial access methods, and various spatial reference systems. With these enhanced Graphic Information System (GIS) features, the SAP HANA platform now provides a common database for storing your business data, as well as information such as geographic locations, routing information, and shape data.

Sounds like the base for 3d objects, like “Right Hemisphere” being supported by HANA? Better Google maps support, or TomTom “directions to”?

SAP HANA Predictive Analysis Library

Statistics Algorithms
A new category in the Predictive Analysis Library which includes five functions: Univariate Statistics, Multivariate Statistics, Chi-squared Test for Fitness, Chi-squared Test for Independent, and Variance Equal Test.

and the list goes on for a while, I read from other posts that this is mainly to support integration with SAS and KXEN

Which feature did you like the most? Exploration starts today!

Here the full list: http://help.sap.com/hana/Whats_New_SAP_HANA_Platform_Release_Notes_en.pdf

SP06 (born the 28th of June 2013)

was a rather quiet release compared to SP05 (SPS05)

Lifecycle Manager

The SAP HANA lifecycle manager includes the functions of the Software Update Manager for SAP HANA and tasks formerly performed by the on-site configuration tool.

So just a name change mostly …

Security

The password policy and password blacklist can now be configured in the Security editor of the SAP HANA studio.

Good one, I was getting annoyed about this, development systems don’t require really complex passwords.

The standard role SUPPORT has been renamed SAP_INTERNAL_HANA_SUPPORT
Good to remember, but self-explanatory

BACKUP OPERATOR is a new system privilege that allows you to implement a finer-grained separation of duties.
Required for very secure systems, where you can’t give to much and to little to a Backup operator. Admins like to control what a user can or cannot do.

Administration

If you have your own SQL statements for monitoring purposes, you can now save these statements in the Administration editor for convenient repeated execution.

Good idea, I currently keep a seperate word document with all these queries.

The SAP HANA studio now provides support for system replication.

Not used so for, but I thought this was already in the product…

It is now possible to display zipped diagnosis files, that is files ending with *.gz, on the Diagnosis Files tab. The file is unzipped to a temporary file in the local SAP HANA studio workspace.

Quite useful, if you are working on Windows and the file extension is not known.

The display of crash dump files on the Diagnosis Files tab has been improved. A hyperlinked table of contents allows you to navigate the content more easily.

Definetely worth, as it is quite a feat to find how this all links together. More useful if you have the source-code, but dumps can sometimes hint to where the issue comes from and provide inputs to a workaround.

Backup

It is now possible to delete data and log backups from the backup catalog only and both from the catalog and the physical backup location.

I had some issues around this in the past, where I tried to delete backup files and then the database was looking for them. Should be a doddle now.

The secure store file system (SSFS) is now automatically included in each SAP HANA data backup and restored during recovery.

As usual there are always things missing in a backup … lets include the .ini files optionally

SAP HANA studio option that allows you to force the system to check that all required log backups are available before the recovery starts.

Great, saves me 10 minutes waiting for progress only to find out there is a problem …

Data Provisioning

Unified Data Provisioning: The aim is to separate the modeling of the data flows used for data provisioning from the administration of actual data provisioning, independently of the data provisioning technology used (previously only with SLT).

Makes sense, lets unify & simplify as much as we can. And it sounds like you can do more than before – worth investigating further.

Data flows can be included in delivery units and transported between systems.

Thinking ahead +1 point

SAP HANA smart data access makes it possible to connect remote data sources and to present the data contained in these data sources as if from local SAP HANA tables. This can be used, for example, in SAP Business Warehouse installations running on SAP HANA to integrate data from remote data sources.

The biggest feature in this release (imo) – performance problems on the horizon, but it was necessary, space in HANA is expensive.

Development

Core data services (CDS) is a new infrastructure for defining and consuming semantically rich data models using a a data definition language (DDL), a query language (QL), and an expression language (EL).

Maybe we can add SAP Business Objects Dataservices Workbench directly.

XSJS-based applications can now use the following new authentication methods: SAML 2.0, X.509

Good, noted.

SAP HANA Interactive Education (SHINE) , SAP HANA XS provides a set of tools that customers and partners can use for self-study and to learn how to develop.

I need this one badly to get a good start in development, the videos of the SAP HANA academy are just too basic.

Modelling:
==========
One editor for all the three information views – calculation view also opens in the same editor as that of the attribute view and analytic view. Also, the creation wizard for all the three view types is same.

Same again, unify and simplify, easier to find your way around.

Display Folder – for Multidimensional Reporting Clients, display folder can be defined to better structure measures.

Finally – such long lists of measures need to be more user friendly

Support to resolve missing object inconsistencies – you can now open the models in case of missing objects or element references with the error markers. These conflicts with error markers in red color can now be easily resolved.

Another great and really necessary feature, happens so many times you need to find out where the error actually comes from. Detailed error messages need to be copied into notepad and really search for the error.

The SAP HANA engine will try to determine the correct cardinality before the query is executed to select an optimized execution path.

Wise feature “detect cardinality” is something which could be resolved automatically.

Support for Eclipse Modeling Framework(EMF)-based Model 3-way merge/conflict resolution of multiple instances of the same model from the SAP HANA development perspective.

Sounds interesting, just in case you want to find out why the new model doesn’t work and the old one does … will check it out.

Enhancements made to the Variables and Input Parameters

Getting closer to Business Objects List of Values and Prompts functionality.

Predictive Analysis Library
The SAP HANA Application Function Modeler is a new graphical editor

Less scripting more wizards …

Link Prediction: An algorithm mainly used in social network analysis.
Interesting algorithm if you are looking at analysing Social Media Data.

That’s my list – which feature did you like the most?

Here the full list: http://help.sap.com/hana/Whats_New_SAP_HANA_Platform_Release_Notes_en.pdf

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