Today, we officially launch new packages as part of the HANA Cloud Platform and on behalf of the team I’d like to share further details with you in this blog post.
For us, this event marks the next milestone of our mission to drive the convergence of HANA and cloud forward. We have been relentlessly pursuing our vision of making SAP HANA available to the masses by providing it via our cloud platform as outlined in a previous blog post: The SAP HANA & Cloud Platform Symbiosis.
In this context, these new packages of the offering are part of a greater effort to drive simplicity and consolidate various HANA-based cloud offerings from SAP into one over-arching platform.
As most of you know by now, SAP HANA is more than just an in-memory database, but rather a complete application development platform in its own right. Given this unique characteristic and the wide range of usage scenarios we now offer three distinct packages that are logically based on each other:
- SAP HANA App Services
- SAP HANA DB Services
- SAP HANA Infrastructure Services
Let’s have a closer look at each of them starting bottom-up.
SAP HANA Infrastructure Services (IaaS)
This package provides SAP HANA infrastructure on a subscription basis for customers who already have a license and who want to get up and running quickly andwithout having to invest into hardware.
SAP HANA DB Services (DBaaS)
This package provides both infrastructure and license subscriptions for SAP HANA and it comes in two flavors: a Base and a Platform Edition. Both editions provide native development capabilities such as SQLScript, Extended Application Services (XS) and River. SAP HANA Cloud Integration for data services, an ETL-tool, is pre-configured and ready to be used for initial and delta loads.
In addition to all the features included in the Base Package, the Platform Edition also includes Advanced Engines (Planning, Geo-Spatial, Predictive, Graph, Text Search & Tech Analytics), the Planning SDK, the Predictive Analysis Library and Hadoop/R Integration. For more details about these features please consult this document.
SAP HANA App Services (PaaS)
This package includes all the capabilities of the DB Services package plus in addition provides shared Application Services and capabilities typically required for the development of new multi-tenant cloud applications or extensions of existing solutions residing either on-premise or in the cloud.
To facilitate the rapid development of cloud applications the platform provides a vast set of platform services for the most common pattern in software engineering such as persistence, connectivity, identity and document management and so forth. Addressing the needs it requires to develop first-class business applications these application management services are complemented by profiling and monitoring tools, logging capabilities and remote debugging of cloud applications.
In addition, SAP also offers a set of higher-level services based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, which provide specialized capabilities as needed for specific scenarios such as:
- (Mobile) SAP Mobile Platform Enterprise Edition cloud version
- (Portal) SAP HANA Cloud Portal
- (Analytics) SAP Lumira Cloud
- (Connectivity) Gateway as a Service (GWaaS)
- (Integration) SAP HANA Cloud Integration
Developers, Developers, Developers
All packages have one thing in common: to provide you with a world-class application development platform based on SAP HANA. Which package is the best suited for your needs greatly depends on your use-case and your preferences.
If you’re an ISV or SI and you want to develop a multi-tenant SaaS application or solutions that integrate with existing backend systems (either residing on-premise or in the cloud) you may be better suited to build on top of the App Services package. Yet, there are no strict lines and both offerings cater to a variety of use-cases. As said, it may boil down to personal preferences or other factors such as the existing skillset of your development organization. The App Services package also provides a certified Java EE 6 Web Profile application server and a broad set of platform services and APIs based on open-source and open standards. Consequently, developers who are familiar with developing Java web applications will be up & running in a couple of minutes as testified by customers already using the platform. In business terms, this results in a reduced total cost of development and time to market.
In fact, providing a first-class developer experience has been a key priority and design principle from the beginning. The SAP HANA Cloud Platform wants to empower developers to get their job done more efficiently and that implies making them more productive. Instead of imposing strict processes upon developers we want them to leverage their existing know-how and use their expertise to develop amazing apps.
This intention was also the motivation to use Eclipse as our primary development environment for both native SAP HANA development as well as for Java. In addition to the Eclipse-based IDE, the platform also provides a purely web-based integrated development toolkit called Web IDE. River, SAP’s Rapid Application Development toolset, is currently rolled out via an Early Adoption Program and will further strengthen the developer toolset. Soon this set of developer tools will see another great addition: a new web-based development tool with the working title “Web Application Toolkit”, which is currently in the last phase of internal testing.
While a development platform certainly has to cater to a wide range of use-cases we understand that it helps to provide some exemplary use-cases to help stimulate the conversation. As such, we have identified the following three key scenarios:
- Extending existing SAP solutions running in the cloud with custom extensions also running in the cloud (cloud extensions)
- Extending existing on-premise solutions with custom extensions running in the cloud (hybrid scenarios)
- Developing new consumer-grade applications targeting end-users (new applications)
As mentioned very prominently in recent SAP TechEd keynotes the SAP HANA Cloud Platform is SAP’s designated strategic extension platform for both on-premise solutions and SaaS applications (such as the Extension Package for SuccessFactors.) Going forward SAP will continue to develop extension packages for its various cloud solutions based on the HANA Cloud Platform and actively encourages its partner ecosystem to do the same (e.g. see Accenture HR Audit and Compliance Tool.)
Judging from the feedback received from customers, partners and other interest groups we understand that the future will be hybrid. To accommodate to such hybrid landscapes, comprising both on-premise and cloud components, the HANA Cloud Platform provides the means to establish a secure and reliable connection between backend systems and the cloud. Such a setup allows you to leverage your existing backend systems (protecting your investment) and benefit from the ease-of-use and global outreach of cloud solutions at the same time. Great examples for this type of applications are self-services or Fiori(-like) cloud apps, because they allow to roll out new capabilities with minimal requirements in regards to on-premise prerequisites.
Fiori applications are also a great example for another usage scenario for the HANA Cloud Platform: new consumer-grade applications targeting end-users. The platform provides everything needed to develop applications that adhere to the same design and architecture principles as the original Fiori apps; from the user experience level (SAP UI5) down to the connectivity layer (e.g. GWaaS). In fact, SAP plans to soon release a new platform service as part of the HANA Cloud Platform, which allows deploying existing Fiori apps to the cloud as well as extend them or create entirely new ones.
Ready when you are
If you are a customer or partner and interested in getting further information on how-to subscribe to any of the described packages please head over to the SAP HANA Marketplace.
If you’re developer and want to learn more about how-to develop applications based on the HANA Cloud Platform you may would like to check out these resources:
Please also note that we have been providing free online courses as part of the openSAP program. So in case you did not enroll for the course last year you may want to keep an eye out for the next iteration; in the interim you can find the corresponding video content here.
Oh… and did I mention that we offer free, perpetual developer edition for the HANA Cloud Platform App Services package? If you have not registered for one yet, what are you waiting for?