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Author's profile photo Frank Schuler

The real power of SAP HANA unfolds only with optimized applications

Have you been wondering whether you should migrate your SAP ERP system onto SAP HANA to benefit from pure in-memory processing?

In fact, while writing and retrieving data from memory rather than from hard disk is by an order of magnitude faster, this potential has already been mostly taken advantage of by clever caching strategies of modern database management systems.

The real power of SAP HANA therefore only unfolds with applications that make use of its column store and analytical capabilities. A nice tutorial that shows this effect can be found here. We augmented this scenario slightly to run the SAP HANA analytical view and the ABAP on HANA query in parallel to compare their runtimes:


While the SAP HANA analytical view retrieves the list of all open invoices, including the average number of days the invoices of a customer are open, the sum of the amount of these open invoices (including currency conversion) and a flag set by customization values to identify critical customers, in about 9 seconds:


a very similar ABAP on HANA query continues for nearly 2 more minutes:


Fortunately these SAP HANA optimized applications exist in the form of the next wave of SAP Fiori applications called: SAP Fiori for SAP Business Suite 7 Innovations 2013.

Therefore you would in fact have to move your SAP ERP system onto SAP HANA, if you wanted to benefit from these SAP HANA optimized applications, because that is an architectural precondition both for the SAP Fiori Facts Sheets as well as for the SAP Fiori Analytical Apps:

Fiori Analytic Apps.jpg

To summarize:

  • Just migrating existing ABAP solutions onto SAP HANA without optimizing them might not cut the custard especially if you have already been using a state of the art database management system with clever caching strategies.
  • However strategically moving solutions onto SAP HANA to benefit from applications that are optimized for SAP HANA is the way forward.

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      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby

      Hey Frank,

      This is true - and even more so if you reinvent the app using an entity model. If you migrate an existing app onto HANA then you will get some benefit.

      But if you rewrite the app from the ground up then you get much more benefit - for example if you migrate financials onto HANA, you will get roughly a 5x compression, considerable performance enhancement etc.

      But if you use the new simplified financials that SAP has built, you will see another 4x compression and a huge simplification in operation, information consumption and even more performance.

      Question is how to get from existing systems to this end state.