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Its been six weeks since I started to fill myself in with the HANA buzz. The most common reaction to any announcement of new technologies is what does that mean to us. Were does that place us( the developers) the most buzzing questions that come up are

  • What is this and will the new thing outrun our skill set?
  • What will be the efforts/cost to upgrade skills to this next trend?
  • If its adapting how much efforts and what is the impacts of not embracing the buzzing trends?

Well after going through it and soaking in the new HANA buzz ( My special thanks to OpenSAP team and Thomas Jung). It felt good to get a sneak peak into the future trends of the most popular ERP package on this planet, and it does look very interesting. SAP HANA looks like a conscious effort from SAP to increase its share into the market of the DB vendors (thats usually non-SAP) and also bring in a slow yet effective change to adapt its ERP package for future needs of the large organization it caters to. This will make words like Apps, Cloud etc a common terminology and virtually bring more fluidity to the way business is conducted by these organizations using SAP.

Now where does that place us(the ABAP’ers). Well it will not outrun anything immediately as it will take some time for the buzz to go popular and before SAP can sell this to all the entries in their KNB1 table. The learning from ABAP side would be to know how to leverage the efficiency of this new DB for the programs we write. Well it boils down to few more new KEYWORDS to help us code efficiently and leverage the features in case we have a HANA DB.

That does not sound much of a effort does it? Well that’s not all. The effort comes in when we want to learn all things HANA. As expected all future releases are always downward compatible considering SAP is sold to large organization and they dont change things overnight. (It takes a few months even years and a bunch of good salesman to convince them.) So ALL existing ABAP programs can still be used with this new HANA Database, but to truly leverage the benefits we might have to change code for the existing programs.

But the learning curve will be to get to know the HANA IDE ( built on eclipse ) and building Objects in it. As its eclipse based anybody with acquaintance with the eclipse IDE will get along with it quickly if not may be couple of weeks more. Then comes knowing how to create the various artefacts within this so that this can be leveraged through Web or as App as services. This is a learning curve that all ABAP’ers might have to go through to add on skills and become ABAP-HANA developer.

Now the cost factor, all might have to get registered to Amazon, Cloudshare and other providers to learn and practice, also if they can get access to test and development servers of their organizations if they are bringing in HANA.

So, so sum it up. ABAP and HANA are friends so it might hit Other DB manufacturers more that ABAP’ers albeit we have to pick up on new KEYWORDS and syntax that is to be applied to ABAP program to make all future programs work better with HANA DB.  As for learning about all the HANA development in its own IDE. Its a choice that’s up to the individuals they can do so to add on few more things apart from ABAP. 🙂

Cheers,

Arindam

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  1. Muthukumar Pasupathy

    Hi Arindam,

    On attending the course – “Introduction to Application Development on SAP HANA” on opensap.com, I got the feeling that native application development in HANA is not like a natural next progression for an ABAP professional. It is a separate technology in itself and ABAP professionals can ease into this area by first learning to create the catalog objects, learning SQLScript and how to do code “push-down”. And for ABAP applications running on top of a HANA database, ABAPers can start with learning how to optimize existing code, existing queries so that the capabilities of HANA may be leveraged. The next step would be to move to javascript, html, UI5 etc.

    The second thing is how much of this HANA “buzz” is really true. In my opinion, HANA is big on the internet with lots being talked about it in on Twitter, Youtube, SAPTechEd, SCN….there is a separate space for it in SCN and consequently many might get deceived by it. But most of this is hype from SAP. Its popularity on the internet does not mean it is popular among customers. At the moment, HANA is insanely expensive to buy (and so prohibitive for most companies…not many have implemented). It is targeted at enterprises that deal with a large amount of data like Telecomm, FMCG, banking etc only (those that have like 100,000 or more records per day). It is not for every enterprise.


    So in my opinion, this is a powerful technology with bright prospects. But I would take statements like – “HANA will take the ERP world by storm” etc with a pinch of salt. It is definitely not going to make ABAPers obsolete immediately.

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