Main features of SAP HANA Database Platform include In-Memory Database, Parallel Processing, Columnar and Row-Based Data Storage and Compression. Do these features which are best appealing for a HANA switch in case of BW or SAP Business Suite, impose a valid business case for PI/PO to have HANA as backend database?
Unlike SAP Business Suite, in PI we do not have huge demand for transactions or reports that typically take a long time or data-intensive. All PI objects have always been in runtime cache. In Production environments, we archive the messages from the database every few days.
One compelling use case for HANA in PI/PO product portfolio is the new SAP Operational Process Intelligence, Opint. Typically, any significant business process spans multiple Systems – SAP, Middleware/BPM and one or more legacy/downstream/satellite systems. To be just aware of the status of an Inquiry, Purchase Order or a Delivery, business users need to communicate with multiple business application owners, and when things go wrong in any of these systems, need to speak to multiple IT Support folks in different technologies SAP/Middleware/Legacy etc…which is anything but productive. This will only get complicated as we talk about critical BIG processes in the Organizations. We have seen Business asking, how I can reconcile, did anything got lost and where it got lost etc…If we are still bogged down in getting the status of one complete process instance, how can we guide these processes towards the required Business Goals, Volumes, KPIs and SLAs and then getting into optimizations (curb the weak spots etc..) and finally process innovations.
SAP Operational Process Intelligence, Opint is a new SAP HANA-based technology solution that enables process participants and lines of business managers to drive the execution of their operational business processes through process visibility and performance management by defining their goals, milestones, and KPI’s and measuring the process success along easy-to-understand process phases, simulations, and predictions. SAP Operational Process Intelligence can leverage a variety of operational data providers from SAP and non-SAP to rapidly build real-time process intelligence solution. Using Opint, Business users can get a clear and complete process view and answer typical analytical questions like how many sales orders are created for a particular customer or how many deliveries are missing the target dates or what is the % completion on time etc. This enriches the business user experience and productivity. SAP Opint is planned for co-deployment with PI/PO on HANA.
While Opint and the planned co-deployment of PI/PO and Opint are great functionality use cases for HANA in PI/PO product portfolio, we hope to see if SAP publishes any metrics on apparent performance benefits of In-Memory Computing and Parallel Processing in PI/PO like handling of – large/huge files (for instance end-of-day POS files in Retail) or increased message sizes or XSLT mappings and in general PI/PO optimizations for HANA.