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Is it even fair to compare openSAP with certification?

Even before I write this blog, I would like to confirm that I have no internal knowledge of who comprises of openSAP team and certification team at SAP and how these teams do operate. It has just happened that I appeared for Associate level HANA certification (did I clear it?) and then also attended openSAP course on HANA. The aim of this blog is to just express my personal opinion on these two and does not intend to undermine or judge any. I have already expressed my opinion of attending openSAP course here. Every now and then I see question posted on different channels as to if one would be able to take up the certification exam on HANA based on openSAP experience. I am not sure if people having similar doubts have visited SAP’s training and certification site for the relevant course. Taking example of C_HANAIMP_1, the certification course content is explicitly stated here. One of the explicit advantages of doing certification, that I have realized is, it expands the horizon of knowledge on the subject to a much greater extent.

In my view, openSAP’s course on HANA was completely centric on development exercises which appeal much to a developer’s heart. It was much focused on native apps building on HANA. On the other side to do a certification a much broader and of course deeper insights of HANA is required. One of the clear examples would be in modeling when we have to create joins. Shouldn’t have we to think which join type is required for a particular scenario. Did openSAP give the reason? This was a very minute level observation. The explicit ones are clear from the course content required for being certified. I don’t find it relevant highlighting contents which were not even touched in openSAP as it clearly stated ‘Introduction to software development on SAP HANA’.

If I have to represent the two courses diagrammatically, anyone reading this blog could help me in choosing from one of the below:


The little intersection part is inevitable as the subject of imparting knowledge remains the same.

The valid question in my opinion would be, will SAP training and education get influenced by openSAP style of imparting knowledge? I am not sure what triggered delivering free education on HANA in the form of openSAP but I very much appreciate this move. But at the same time it has certainly raised expectation of SAP consultants. Some of the inevitable questions have already started pouring in, like this course should be extended for functional domains as well. I just can’t stop thinking that any event is faced with questions on being developer centric. The same has been asked at many SAP events including SIT.

The next contradictory question would be, certification requires much broader knowledge then why does the training course lasts just for 3 days or likewise? The cost associated is altogether a different topic of discussion.

All these observation are based on the present form of openSAP. I am sure this program would evolve in many efficient ways. I have an idea that Graham would be able to share better insights on this topic. In the last group #mentorbuddy chat organized by Sue, Graham had shared his view which I had liked much. I was also happy to know that Jan Penninkhof thinks alike that openSAP does not provide skills for certification.

For now I would keep an eye as to how these two programs influence/grow in future. 

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  • Hi Kumud,

    You say explicitly, “openSAP does not provide the skills for certification”.

    Certification may have improved and be different between topics, but until recently, based on experience with candidates, employees and 3rd party consultants I worked with, I would have thought “excellent – so, it may provide the skills needed for real life projects”.

    Are you indicating with the emphasis on not good for certification, that openSAP courses may actually be right for the real job?

    I realise that certification is very important, as many large employers with very little thorough understanding of the skills required, go for the piece of paper, but if you are lucky enough to be in touch with employers, who make an effort to probe for real life skills and potential, then a course nit preparing for a test but for project work would be preferable, wouldn’t it? How, in your opinion, do the two courses compare in that respect?

    • Hi Sven,

      Thanks for this great thoughtful comment.

      My personal opinion:

      openSAP gets one started with HANA. I personally felt it to be a potential way for any developer to get into HANA development. I have seen repeated questions like ‘how to get started with HANA’?. openSAP certainly has addressed the question of masses and that is evident from impressive number of participants receiving Record of Achievement from openSAP. It is upto an individual to decide to what extent they would take the lessons learnt. There could be various scenarios here. Many of us already have exposure to SQL and Java, with learning and refreshing the knowledge we could get going which may not be as easy with people not having exposure to these languages beforehand. (I think this and I could be wrong!)

      Certification demands practical experience as a pre-requisite. I would not have dared appearing for the exam had I not been exposed to end-to-end business case scenario of using HANA. Preparation of certification exposes one to many areas that one may not directly get exposed to in current role at work.

      Coming to the question of readiness for a project, this question would hold true even after if someone has attended a formal training on a subject. So you could help me in answering your question by letting me know ‘how would you handle a situation when you need a resource on a new tool, say xyz and you cannot hire from outside due to budget constraints’?



  • Hi Kumud.

    I agree with you that OpenSAP does not provide skills for certification.

    It mostly covered a topic(XS) that has not been asked in HANA certification exams as of now.

    OpenSAP course will help anyone in making him familiar with HANA Studio.

    Most of the things related to HANA such as Data Provisioning, Modeling as you said and Reporting were not covered. These are most important parts of HANA.

    OpenSAP course is not for someone who wants to do HANA Certification – it is mainly for those people who are interested in developing web apps using HANA.

    I will go with second diagram of yours.

    • Thanks Vivek. The thoughts expressed by you echo much with mine. Are you also attending the next course on openSAP? Thanks!



  • Hi Kumud,

    Interesting thoughts! I would hope that the ‘right’ picture would be the first one, as I think that certification on HANA really should include HANA XS development. But since HANA XS and native development have not been around for very long, we probably have to wait for the next ‘version’ of the certification.

    I’m intending to get certified myself, and I’ve deliberately attended the openSAP course as a first step in that direction. But since no programming was/is needed to complete the course (the single worst aspect of the course IMHO), this course won’t do for serious certification, nor, as Sven Ringling is asking about, for the real job.

    It will be interesting to see how these open courses as well as traditional education and certification will evolve over the next year. Even if I had a crystal ball, I’m not sure I’d dare to publish any insights from it here ๐Ÿ™‚ (shorter version: I don’t have a clue).

    Cheers, Fred

    • Thanks Fred! It is always a pleasure to read your detailed comments. I am wondering if you just read between-the-lines of this blog. While writing this blog, I could not express myself to the fullest as I did not want to divulge any information about certification, I am not supposed to. This gave me a feeling of writing an abrupt blog at times.

      All the best for your certification!



  • Hi Kumud,

                    First of all, A thought provoking blog i should say ๐Ÿ™‚ . I am new to SAP and working on Netweaver gateway , when i enrolled for the openSAP course all i thought was, it would probably help me kickstart things in the right direction.

    I think the second depiction seems more appropriate .



    • Hi Prathik,

      It is always good to year different opinions. Good to hear that you are working on Netweaver gateway.

      So have you registered in Codejam Bangalore for netweaver gateway on Sept. 6, in case you are in Bangalore? Thanks.



      • Hi Kumud,

                       No, I havent…I  tried yesterday but the registration is closed ๐Ÿ™ I’m new to SAP and was not aware of it, will make sure i’l be there for the future events keeping a track of it from now…thank you for informing ๐Ÿ™‚

        Are there any other stuff like this which i can keep a track of ? please let me know.



  • Hi Kumud

    Great blog and a fair comparison,  between SAP Certification and OpenSAP. I do agree that Certification covers more wider concepts but non the less – we cannot ignore openSAP as openSAP covers those topics which are yet not covered by SAP HANA Certification.

    I would go with your first diagram and IMHO people should take OpenSAP learning as an independent learning, and should continue to learn. ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Hi Kumud,

    I think Open program are more of continuing education programs and are a great way to continue your passions. For e.g. I love sports and sports management , there is a program for the same. It educates me and I don’ t care if I get a certification or not. More importantly it provides a medium where I can explore beyond work. Now if you start comparing a certification with open programs , then you are mixing personal and professional programs. SAP certification is a professional program and open programs from SAP could be a precursor/introduction to it.

    There is great joy when learning is not forced and pursued without any pressure ( read Certification). Then the perspectives are enlarged once and forever. Let there be open programs and Certifications.


  • I am just taking a OpenSAP Course on Mobile and will continue into the HANA repeat course by OpenSAP. I stumbled upon this blog and my feeling is that these courses should NOT be taken in the Certification perspective, but in knowledge perspective. I think OpenSAP is a great source of knowledge and they are just doing what they are meant for. The primary purpose of this program seems to evangelize the technology and not prepare one for Certification Exam.

  • Hi Kumud,

    I know its not a proper thread to ask this question. But I could not find any better place. Please help me with my question.

    I hold a BE degree in Computer Science[2012 batch] and I  am currently working as  .Net developer with an IT firm in Bangalore. I have 10 months of experience. I want to switch my carrer to SAP. I have no any relevant experience in SAP. But I want it. Could you please suggest me some way.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.

    Warm Regards,


  • What I have observed is that :

    You learn fundamentals ,syntax ,concepts etc ,and apply them where you work

    That means even Certification will cover a HUGE base ,how much brain retains it and actually where you work (company ,domain ,project ) are all unknown factors ,only known when you really work in the project

    No project will use all the features of SAP HANA db ,it also depends on the project what existed before ,and what is needed now and for future as per requirements so yes SAP HANA DB as a whole will always be a vast circle out of which you always apply parts of it but what is always needed are Fundamentals and core concepts if OPEN SAP will cover these,(I think it does ) then it is valuable as well


    Rama Anne

  • To me OpenSAP looks like a marketing tool for SAP new products.

    You probably can start there and if you are a good ยซdiggerยป can develop your knowledge on the job, But if you can pay for a full course and certification it might raise yuur value on the market, specially if you are a new comer to SAP.

    If on of the goal is to prepare for the certif exam, then SAP Learning Hub might be a better place, but it has a cost for full access.


    Eric Richard.


    • Thanks for the comment Eric. I find openSAP extremely useful tool especially when many of the consultants don’t get access to Learning hub. It gets you started with the newer developments in SAP.