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Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen

A Short History of SAP HANA Platform Lifecycle Management – by the SAP HANA Academy

Update January 2018

For the latest version of this blog, see



In the world of software, lifecycle management is the process that involves activities as installation, configuration and upgrade of a product. For SAP HANA, we make a distinction between platform lifecycle management and application lifecycle management. The first concerns the in-memory database and all its components, the second the applications powered by HANA.

Platform lifecycle management for SAP HANA has seen quite a few changes over time with the different support package stacks (SPS). Overall, the process is being simplified and converges towards a single tool. However, it has been a bit of a bumpy ride at times and at the SAP HANA Academy we often get questions about this topic.

What’s the difference between HANA lifecycle manager (HLM) and lifecycle management (hdblcm)? When to use what?

Why does lifecycle management change with every release?  Hint: it does not.

Will it change in SPS 09 again? Hint: Yes, probably. After reading this blog, you will know how.

IMPORTANT: As of SPS 07, hdblcm is the recommended tool for all lifecycle management activities on a SAP HANA (distributed) system.

Using the low-level lifecycle management tools hdb* (hdbinst, hdbsetup, hdbuninst, hdbaddhost, hdbupd, hdbrename, hdbreg, hdbremovehost, hdbupdrep) will result in an incorrectly installed SAP HANA landscape due to missing information on the SAP HANA hosts, e.g. no presence of the lm_structure file (bill of material) required for identifying software components for SAP Solution Manager.

However, you will need to use the single software component installer (hdbsetup or hdbinst) when performing an installation on the client side, i.e. SAP HANA studio or SAP HANA client.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 22.08.30.png

The topic is explained and the available tools demonstrated in a new tutorial video, part of the SAP HANA SPS 08 Installations playlist:

Lifecycle Management Tools

For those that want a little background, below a short history about SAP HANA platform lifecycle management.

Unified Installer

The unified installer was introduced in SPS 02 and deprecated as of SPS 07.

The SAP HANA platform comprises a number of software components, SAP terminology for separately installable units. Initially, the SAP HANA platform just consisted out of server (database), studio (administration) and client (drivers). Each component included an installer both in command line (hdbinst) and as GUI (hdbsetup), an updater (hdbupd) and an uninstaller (hdbuninst).

To automate installations, the script was added. This allowed for multiple-component installations in one run and also handled more complex tasks like the installation of a distributed system, that is, a single HANA system running on multiple hosts. The script, referred to in the documentation as “unified installer“, called the above-mentioned single component utilities with the necessary parameters. It got more complex over time as components were added: SAP Host Agent, Application Function Library (AFL), Software Update Manager (SUM), etc.

Software Update Manager – SUM

SUM functionality was merged into Lifecycle Manager (HLM) as of SPS 06.

The Software Update Manager was introduced in SPS 03. The name was a little unfortunate as for SAP Netweaver a different product with the same purpose and name already existed. To distinguish both products on the Software Download Center, the name SUM4HANA was used cf. Software Update Manager (SUM): introducing the tool for software maintenance and Distinguish SUM and SUM for SAP HANA.

SUM and the unified installer were intended to work together and issues occurred when they were mixed with the usage of the single component utilities like hdbinst or hdbupd, i.e. install with the unified installer and update with hdbupd, or install with hdbsetup and update with SUM. Serge explains it all in his 2013 blog Which tool to use for SAP HANA Update: SUM for HANA or hdbupd?

In this video tutorial, you can see how you could update a SAP HANA SPS 05 system using SUM. As this process is no longer supported, you may want to watch it at double the speed. 😉 If you do not see the speed settings under the gear, go to and enable the HTML5 video player.

Note that with SUM you could also import SAP HANA content, an application lifecycle management activity.

Onsite Configuration Tool – OCT

OCT functionality was merged into Lifecycle Manager (HLM) as of SPS 06.

In a similar fashion, earlier SAP HANA releases included the script to bundle post-installation configuration tasks like adding (or removing) hosts to a distributed system, renaming a system, or configure the System Landscape Directory (SLD) for integration with SAP Solution Manager. This script was referred to as the on-site configuration tool (OCT) and called the utilities hdbaddhost, hdbremovehost, hdbrename, etc. It was available in both command line and GUI mode.

HANA Lifecycle Manager – HLM

Most HLM functionality is deprecated as of SPS 08, cf. SAP Note 1997526.

The update and post-installation configuration processes were redesigned for SPS 06 with the introduction of HANA Lifecycle Manager (HLM). HLM is very similar to SUM: runs inside HANA studio, browser or from command line; allows for an auto-update and is on a different release cycle than SAP HANA; uses the Java-based OSGI framework and, like most things running Java, is sometimes not as responsive as you would like. Main difference is that HLM combines the activities of OCT and SUM, so now a single tool could be used for all post-installation tasks, including update.

In this video tutorial, you can view how to update SAP HANA SPS 06 using HLM.

HANA Lifecycle Management

As of SPS 07, hdblcm is the recommended tool for all lifecycle management activities.

For SPS 07, the installation process was redesigned. Stephanie explains why in Installation in SAP HANA SPS 07 – welcoming hdblcm(gui) to the family. The unified installer had outlived its purposes and the times (read customers and partners) called for a more sophisticated alternative.

With SPS 08, the usage of the hdblcm tool was further enhanced and now includes a locally installed (resident) version. With the resident hdblcm tool, you can now run the same post-installation configuration tasks, previously launched by OCT and HLM, like add or rename host, uninstall, etc.

As a consequence, the functionality of HLM was reduced and most services are no longer supported, or as it is written in SAP Note 1997526:

In order to provide efficient and harmonized lifecycle management procedures (such as installation, update, and technical customization) for your SAP HANA platform and the SAP HANA applications running on top of it, we are in process to consolidate available tools and transition corresponding processes completely to user-centric new tools.

Here we can see the differences in functionality provided by the lifecycle management tool when executed from the installation media …

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 14.14.54.png

…  and when executed from the shared installation location, e.g. /hana/shared/SID, the resident hdblcm tool (SPS 08).

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 14.15.48.png

You can configure automatic startup of the SAP HANA instance at system boot (SPS 08). In previous releases, you had to manually edit the system profile for server autostart, cf. SAP HANA Academy – Installing SAP HANA: Configuring Server Autostart – YouTube.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 14.16.47.png

In this video tutorial, you can view how to install SAP HANA SPS 08 using hdblcm from the installation media.

… and here how to perform using post-configuration tasks using the locally installed (resident) hdblcm:


SAP Help Portal

SAP Notes

SAP HANA microsite

SCN Blogs

Thank you for watching

You can view more free online videos and hands-on use cases to help you answer the What, How and Why questions about SAP HANA and Analytics on the SAP HANA Academy at, follow us on Twitter @saphanaacademy., or connect to us on LinkedIn.

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      Author's profile photo Joe King
      Joe King

      excellent - solid content !!

      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      5* Denys.

      Very nice overview and authoritative explanation of the history and the future, on a SP by SP basis.

      I was wondering, with so many Hana blogs being produced, to enable readers to easily identify the material coming from Experts at SAP, what if material produced by Experts from SAP had some kind of prefix in the title like [SAP Authored] or something like that to explicitly show the origin of the material.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen
      Denys van Kempen
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Andy and also thanks for the suggestion.

      I have added the suffix "by the SAP HANA Academy",  would this work for you?

      Using a suffix may not work so well when the titles are trimmed in search engine as then all the blogs have the same first 20 characters and there is no way to quickly find out the topic.

      Your view?

      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Denys,

      I have nothing against a suffix 🙂



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Denys,

      Are the slides or the PDF available for your HANA academy video's?

      Many Thanks,


      Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen
      Denys van Kempen
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Asif,

      Typically we do not use a lot of slides in our videos at the Academy. I typically just print screen the ones I need and discard afterwards.

      Did a quick Google and found the ones for LCM from SAP Product Management to be on slideshare:

      The originals were posted to



      Author's profile photo Marian Canciu
      Marian Canciu

      Hi Denys

      If missing, how can the hdblcm resident be installed ?


      Author's profile photo Henrique Pinto
      Henrique Pinto

      In later releases, you don't install it, it comes with the installation.

      I'd suggest upgrading to SPS9 or SPS10, that should be solved.

      Author's profile photo Marian Canciu
      Marian Canciu

      I'm aware of that but the HANA DB is

      The System was just installed (no upgrade from a previous version without a hdblcm resident) and the resident hdblcm is missing,.

      So one scenario would be to upgrade and it should theoretically appear automatically.

      An upgrade is currently out of question.

      I'm assuming that an installation should be possible but I can't find the KBA/Document where the procedure is described.

      So what options are available?

      Author's profile photo Henrique Pinto
      Henrique Pinto

      Hmm being on rev93, it should be there...

      Back until SPS7 or 8, there were separate installers for the hdblcm, but there is no separate installer for SPS9 anymore.

      Are you sure it's just not on a different folder?

      Author's profile photo Marian Canciu
      Marian Canciu

      I'm quite sure it's missing and like you mentioned above it should be there.

      I performed a search and all FSs were included but unfortunately it's missing.

      Author's profile photo Henrique Pinto
      Henrique Pinto

      This used to happen in our internal installations using a readymade installation template in our internal cloud. Not sure there is a quick fix for this. I'd open an OSS message.