Small surprises, well documented
We all noticed it: SAP HANA has grown.
A lot, actually.
Let’s begin with a little sentimental look into the past
What had begun as an in-memory database management system with some funky development artifacts like attribute-, analytic– and calculation views has grown in a huge feature packed platform for data management and processing.
With it, the description of what SAP HANA does and how it can be used had to grow: the documentation.
Checking my Docu OLD folder, this is what I find:
That’s more than 18 times as much documentation content for SPS 8 than there was for SPS 2 back in 2011.
Size does matter or does it?
But it’s not just about the sheer size of the documentation.
The documentation page itself had been improved quite a bit:
Besides the better layout and content organization, the documentation page (as well as the documents themselves) now contain the revision this documentation belongs to and the date of the last update.
While it may not seem to be a big deal, in fact this is not the “usual SAP” way of updating the documentation only together with SPS levels.
This means, new and improved documentation can get to you much faster.
Suprises long wished for
The next thing is something I really love to have it: the option to simply download the whole documentation package as a single zip file.
As you can tell from my Docu OLD folder above, I like to have the documentation locally available and not just online or inside SAP HANA Studio.
With the search functionality of Windows 7 having all the documents in one folder makes it real easy to run a quick search in the documentation for some information.
(Note: depending on your Windows and Acrobat Reader version, you might need to install the PDF iFilter 64Bit from Acrobat to index the contents of PDF files in Windows Search)
If you’re like me and barely ever use the table of content links shown above, but just scroll down the page to find the actual links, then this is the section you are looking for from now on:
As far as I can tell, this section is now available on nearly all documentation packages, mostly “somewhere down the page”…
Maybe this can be changed to a better location some time.
Both of those features were things I (and I am sure others did as well) had asked for and seeing them now I feel a little bit proud, too 😀 .
Spoilt for choice
Another new “thing” with SAP HANA SPS 9 is that there are now additional features and functionality that is not part of the core SAP HANA package.
These SAP HANA Options can be licensed separately and thus require their separate set of documentation.
In order to keep the level of confusion as low as possible, the documentation developers put the a new sub-section into the left-hand sided navigation bar.
All SAP HANA Options documentation can be found just there.
And that’s it again!
I really do like the improvements even though I wonder why I always have to find out about them by accident.
After all, we’re all busy and if there’s something new worth reading, I don’t want to wait to find out about it a year later…
It would be a great thing to have more pointers to such things, just like the recent blog from the SAP HANA documentation developer team about the Information Map (Quick Access to the SAP HANA Development Documentation (for SAP HANA Studio))
There will always be more points on the wishlist (how would you feel about an RSS feed on the documentation page, announcing new document versions when they get uploaded? I’d love that!). And I find it a great thing to see them turning into reality one by one.
There you go – now you know!