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Where is my place in HANA as an experienced ABAP developer?

Most of the Abap developers and BI consultants are trying to find the answer of this question even Basis collegues are whispering the same : where is my place in HANA?

Today I will try to guide you to find the answer for ABAP developers, since I am leading a program to transform tens of experienced ABAP developers

Before trying to address the answer let’s have a look what is HANA?

Offical SAP HANA page says here: About HANA | SAP HANA

“What is SAP HANA?

SAP HANA combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in-memory. The platform provides libraries for predictive, planning, text processing, spatial, and business analytics.

This new architecture enables converged OLTP and OLAP data processing within a single in-memory column-based data store with ACID compliance, while eliminating data redundancy and latency. By providing advanced capabilities, such as predictive text analytics, spatial processing, data virtualization, on the same architecture, it further simplifies application development and processing across big data sources and structures. This makes SAP HANA the most suitable platform for building and deploying next-generation, realtime applications and analytics.”

If you are an ABAP developer, there is very much space for you in order to transform and built your career in HANA. However you need to transform very much, in order to be as effective as today. SAP HANA has application platform services which simplifies the development of real-time applications with scalable web server, business rules and user interface library. Good news abap is available on HANA at the moment, this might be used as leverage in order to get used to HANA. But you need to improve your expertise about following topics:

  • Technical concepts of SAP HANA
  • Introduction to ADT (ABAP Development Tools, also known as ABAP in Eclipse)
  • Analysis Tools (Runtime Analysis, SQL Trace , Code Inspector)
  • Optimization of classical ABAP in SAP HANA Context
  • Open SQL Performance Rules for SAP HANA
  • Accessing SAP HANA using native SQL and ADBC (ABAP Data Base Connectivity)
  • Consuming SAP HANA views in ABAP
  • Consuming SAP HANA stored procedures
  • Debugging SAP HANA stored procedures
  • Using SAP HANA Fuzzy Search in ABAP
  • ALV (ABAP List Viewer) for SAP HANA
  • Creating HANA views

Those are available here in this offical training programme :HA400 – ABAP Programming for SAP HANA | SAP Training and Certification Shop

SAP HANA Studio will be the new enviroment for you, I know it is totaly different if we compare it to the existing ABAP workbench, but once you get used to you will fall in love for sure. This is pure eclipse and full of functionality in order to manage all the components of the new framework.

Another important topic is SQL , ABAP workbench helped us with its unique functionality in order to develop amazing applications, however in new era you need to be very good at SQL usage.  Very good resource here for further information The Road to HANA for Software Developers

Finally there is some time for transformation but not much remaining, all other platform developers are now ready to compete, we need to act fast !


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  • The basis on which HANA was created was to push the application logic down into the database layer...hence in my view the creation of SAP HANA is a 'Developers Chocolate Factory'. I sometimes envy the developers that they have such a unique opportunity to play with SAP code never seen since it's creation in the 1970's..

  • Any advice (outside of play with the HANA trial version) addressing your topic "wheres is my place in HANA, for those that are not working on/with HANA based systems currently -and working for companies not intending to make the switch until required to do so by SAP?

    Being allergic to cocoa... the 'chocolate factory' analogy would seem to fit my particular case, in that it seems sweet but only serves to upset my stomach when I think about it.

    • The down side of not developing an allergy to cocoa is that you start to develop a generous waist-line.

      Coming back to your quandary, well it seems you need to develop a 'Center of Excellence' where you are allowed to Collaborate, Innovate, Incubate and Nurture your development cravings. I've written first part of that in my earlier blog..your welcome to have a read.

      Essentially, you need an environment but more importantly a reason to develop those skills. There has to be a reason, a focus and unfortunately without some kind of investment due to the prohibitive entry to market nature of HANA its not widely used. Watch this space I guess!

    • Hi Robert,

      Without HANA environment it is not easy to develop real funtionality unfortunately. However, SAP is trying to create some kind of opportunities to the programmers like you. Here you can taste the environment as a starter.

      Try | SAP HANA

      Try SAP HANA One

      From thought to prod in 4 easy steps:

      Step 1: Create an Amazon Web Services account
      Step 2: Start an SAP HANA One instance on the AWS Marketplace
      Step 3: Use SAP HANA Studio to build your apps
      Step 4: Go Live! (Use and Sell your apps)
    • Sarhan, this is all cool but I believe ABAPers like Robert Jamerson above and myself are not exactly the 'waiting to be discovered' kind. I was hoping this blog would be helpful to those who work at SAP customers (usually supporting the SAP systems) and have other obligations outside their full time job (like children and family, for example). For us unfortunately the option to "run HANA Cloud in a basement" is just not feasible. Also if realistically we won't see HANA in our workplace for years, learning "in advance" is not always effective - either you'll just forget what you've learned (if there is no practice) or SAP will change everything 5 times over by the time you get there. 🙂

      It does not mean though that we should just give up and do nothing. But more practical suggestion would be: 1) to learn the basics of in-memory database technology (either by taking an openHPI or openSAP course); 2) to become the best ABAPer you can be today. Many tools mentioned here (Runtime Analysis, SQL Trace) are not new and are already available to us. And even without HANA we should already be writing efficient SQL statements. There is nothing preventing us from getting better with what we already have today. Being a better, smarter developer is always the most valued skill.

      • Hi Jelena, Sarhan,

        Yes, openSAP is the key. Coincidently there is an openSAP Course for ABAP on HANA development available. It started 2 days ago. It's on the top of here: Courses



        • i think the HANA ABAP class started 2 weeks ago, so some exam points are not available until the next run. so far, the class seems to be geared toward ABAP developers with some tweaks available to HANAbies like Open SQL or view-specific syntax. there is a concurrent class, in its second week and second advanced run and that is offering more than just ABAP and seems to be showcasing the whole IDE extending Eclipse. yet another development environment is one geared toward cloud as a hosting environment and at this point furthest away from the historical ABAP, imho. 

          the jury is still out on which tool(set) prevails in the marketplace.

      • Hi Jelena, many thanks for your detailed comment. When I added the comment " developers do not wait to discovered" I tried to mean the non-ABAP developers who are always want to engage SAP somehow. So Paas might be a good chance for those who want to join SAP.