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From R2 to R3 to now S4 the SAP innovation and journey has come a long way. SAP announced the launch of S4 Hana today in a press event. It’s a game changer.

So let’s try to understand what exactly is S4 Hana?

In two words, “S” for Simple, and “4” for Fourth Generation. That’s what SAP S4 HANA is – a highly evolved suite of simple applications (or sERP) running on the HANA database system.

Is it just old wine (Business suite on hana) packaged in a new bottle (S4Hana)?

The answer is no. With Business suite on Hana, there were no changes/modifications done on the core application. Instead of running the core application on anydb, the switch to Hana DB gave the advantages that a in-memory/ columnar database offered. But the core application was not optimized for Hana.

With S4Hana, the core ERP business suite is being simplified and the underlying table architecture is being reengineered to leverage the speed and large volumes of data that HANA can support. Its data models have been simplified and contain no materialized aggregates, indices, code has been simplified (due to the fact that no material aggregates need to be maintained)…and all this means, it will amazingly use the benefits of compression, real time analytics, landscape simplification, and ease of configuration

The first application to be fully re-written to take full advantage of SAP HANA is Simple Finance / sFinance focusing on Accounting, Cash Management and Integrated Business Planning.  This will allow organizations to have real time views of their financial positions and allow end of month closing to be done in hours not days.

SAP did a table clean up. For example the very old Material Master Database Tables from R/2 times (MARA, …) are finally no longer around, only views on the data. The result is dramatically higher speeds and a 1:10 reduction in Data Footprint. Imagine – a 1 Terabyte SAP Database is down to 100 GB.

This year will see the arrival of sLogistics, the next wave of re-written SAP applications for HANA

With S4hana SAP is offering Fiori for free, to allow for all SAP customers to leverage the enhanced user experience through innovative user interface across multiple devices.

Key points to remember about S4Hana are:-

  • Reduction in data foot print by a factor of 10
  • Transactions are 3 to 7 times faster
  • Simpler Configuration
  • Test scripts and test data is built in
  • Reduction in DB maintenance
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  1. Chris Vinson

    Great points, although it is looked at as a risky move having SAP S4/HANA be specifically only for SAP HANA, I believe that it will work out for SAP in the end. Having their software run on multiple databases limited SAP applications to all run at the maximum performance at the lowest common denominator database could handle. SAP’s decision to specialize SAP S4/HANA allowed it to jump performance of enterprise application to a new level not seen before. If your interested in a more in depth look, check out this primer for SAP S4/HANA.

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