HANA Cloud Platform is a platform to build, extend and integrate on-premise & cloud solutions. Another good use case for HCP is around agile data mart scenarios.

Agile data marts refers to repository of data gathered from operational data originating in transactional systems and other sources. It is designed to serve a particular community of information workers by forming a basis for analytics, reporting, or a specific use in another type of application.


In the above image, the systems on the left hand side represent the source of data. It could be a combination of the following

  • ERP system running on anyDB
  • S4HANA system
  • any SAP/non-SAP cloud solution
  • Internet of things
  • Social feeds

HANA Database can be purchased in HANA Cloud Platform in a subscription model. You can now replicate data from any of your source systems to the HCP HANA DB using various replication tools. On the right hand side of the above image, within HANA Cloud Platform there are few other services which can be leveraged for the agile data mart scenario. When dealing with on-premise source systems, you can continue to leverage the HANA Cloud Connector to establish an SSL tunnel between your on-premise systems & HCP account.



Replication tools


In most cases you may not need new replication tools to replicate data from your on-premise system to HCP HANA DB. If you have tools like SLT or BO Data Services, you could continue to use them to replicate data from your on-premise systems to HCP HANA DB as long as it fits your requirements. Obviously, if you are dealing with Cloud solutions, it makes more sense to use some of the newer replication tools like HCI-DS or Smart Data Integration (SDI). There are many replication tools which are available and you need to see which best suits your need.

                             

                                           Using SLT to replicate data from on-premise SAP system to HCP

You can also use Smart Data Integration which is now available in HANA Cloud Platform.

                        

                              Using Smart Data Integration to replicate data from on-premise system to HCP

Visualization tools

Using any of the above replication tools, you can now replicate data into the HCP HANA DB. The data which arrives into this DB could have also transformed/enriched during the replication process. Sometimes, it might be ready for reporting purposes. Just as above, you again don’t need new Visualization tools. If you have existing tools, you could continue using them to create visualization on top of the HCP HANA DB.

For example, if you continue to use any of the below on-premise reporting tools

  • SAP Crystal reports
  • BO Analysis Office
  • BO Explorer
  • BO Dashboard
  • SAP Lumira
  • Design Studio


               Leverage your existing on-premise reporting tools to report on the data available in the HCP HANA DB


One of the scenarios of using HANA Cloud Connector (SCC) is around connecting on-premise Database/BI tools to HCP HANA DB. You can install SCC within your premise and connect your reporting tools to the HCP HANA DB.


HANA Live


If you have an ERP system (with anyDB) you can also consider using HANA Live on HCP HANA DB to provide operational reporting. HANA Live comes with Virtual Data Models (VDM) – set of calculation views which help in easily creating some of the standard reports. One of the big benefits of using HANA Live contents is it can help you build your own custom reports much quicker. For example, if you are working on CRM contents, you will notice there are bunch of views which have the logic to find the users Org Unit. You as a developer can reuse these views.


                   

SAPUI5

You can also build your own analytical applications on HANA Cloud Platform using SAPUI5. Build Fiori like applications which directly consume the data stored in the HCP HANA DB.


Reference blog – shows how to create great charts using SAPUI5 controls which consume data HANA system.


Business Objects Cloud

Business Objects Cloud (BOC) formerly known as Cloud for Analytics is a rich visualization tool available on HANA Cloud Platform. It has got various connectors to talks to BW/BPC or even HANA DB.


Reference blog – shows how to setup a HANA connection in BOC and quickly create a visualization.


Portal Service


With Agile data mart scenario in HCP, it now opens more opportunity to use other services in HANA Cloud Platform. Once you have created your application on HCP, it can be easily integrated with Portal service which can be used to create a site. You can create a site which represents a Fiori Launchpad and embed your analytical applications directly into the Portal. This way all the analytical apps which you build on HANA Cloud Platform can be easily exposed to your end users using the Portal service.


Reference blog – shows how easy it to integrate analytical applications within the Portal service.


Smart Business Service


If you are looking to provide KPI/OPI based tiles to your end users, you can leverage the Smart Business Services available on HANA Cloud Platform. With this service, you can now create KPI Tiles which can directly consume the data stored in your HCP HANA DB. When a user logs into their Launchpad, they could straight away focus their efforts based on the KPIs values which show up on each of the tiles.



The Smart Business Services provide drill-down capability to allow the users navigate into the details of the particular KPI and perform an action.


Reference blog – shows how to use HCP Smart Business services which leverage HCP HANA DB.


Value Proposition of having agile data mart on HCP


Agility: Customer can now innovate at a much faster pace using the Agile Data Mart approach. They can react much faster to changing business needs as they can now spin up or down the resources and quickly create reports which can be exposed to their users.


Flexibility: The development team can build reports directly on top of the data mart in HCP using cloud solutions like Business Objects Cloud without getting caught in the release cycle windows enforced in the core ERP/S4HANA systems.


BI Self-service: Power users can now design, develop ad-hoc reports on the fly and deploy them for the end users to access.


Big Data: With the rise of BigData and IoT, large data sets are generated and it becomes very important to find patterns and trends within these data sets to gain competitive advantage in the market.  Usually such projects engage data scientists who push algorithms in real time to test the outcomes. When we have a mission critical system which is stable and has a high SLA from the business, it is unlikely that such tasks can be performed on the core system. The data mart of HCP is a perfect option for running such initiatives. Also, it becomes easier to scale up the database size as and when large data set arrives. Together combined with other services like Internet of Things and Predictive services in HCP, it becomes easier to apply predictive algorithms to look for patterns and react to the changing market.



Few of the many reasons to have your HANA Database on HCP rather than setting it up within your premise.

  1. Time-To-Market: Provisioning of a new DB can happen overnight and the next day you can have access to a HANA DB in the cloud. You can pick from the range of T-shirt sizes according to your needs and start building you applications quickly
  2. Cost – You don’t need to worry about procuring your hardware. There is zero capex and less ongoing opex for this model
  3. Scale as you go – your database can be scaled up quickly, cheaply, and efficiently depending on your needs.
  4. Reduced IT burden – Your IT team would still be needed to manage the database on the cloud, but it would keep them away from some of the regular tasks which typically consume much of their time and efforts.
  5. Improved Security – The data centers which host the database go through a rigorous certification process to ensure the data is secured. SAP would also take care of patching and applying kernels to ensure that the dataset is operation and free from any threats. Customers IT team no need to worry about spending lots of time and effort in these activities.
  6. SLA – SAP warrants ninety-nine point nine percent (99.9%) System Availability over any calendar month. There are regular bi-weekly maintenance windows which allows SAP to introduce any bug fixes and small enhancements.
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7 Comments

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    1. Murali Shanmugham Post author

      Hi Pramod,

      Ben Hofmans has discussed about the role of DP Agent in one of his blogs. Smart Data Integration available for HCP


      The data provisioning agent is a small component you need to install on-premise, on his agent the adapters are deployed, who will take care of the communication with the source systems. The agent will get the data from the source, next compress and send over HTTPS (encrypted) to HCP. In order to establish the communication between agent and server, a third small component is needed: a proxy server packages as a delivery unit to be imported in your HANA database. The same delivery unit will also provide you with monitoring capabilities. Note that bi-directional data transfer is possible, so not only loading data into HCP, also write back to external targets.In both cases it is the agent that initiates the communication, so from a network point of view, the agent will always do outbound HTTPS calls. The response of such a call can be the data to be written back to the onPremise system. This means the agent can communicate with HCP without VPN tunnels or reverse proxy setup

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Murali

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  1. Rajesh Ragupathy

    Good blog Murali.

    Value proposition for customers to run analytical , smart business  apps with the HANA Data Mart and also transactional apps all on HCP using the App Services.

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