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Author's profile photo Krishna Tangudu

Launch of SAP’s next generation Data warehouse BW/4HANA

SAP has recently launched BW/4HANA for running a real-time digital enterprise, you can see the replay of the event here . I was privileged to witness the event live in person. Thanks to  Stacey Fish from SAP blogger team and Saiprashanth Venumbaka for the hosting & inviting me in this event. In this event I have met many people and few people which I only interacted via online like Infosys colleague & HDE Harald Reiter and other fellow HDE’s Rajesh Gupta & John Appleby in person which made the day memorable. In this blog , I would like to share the experiences and the information I have learnt about SAP BW4HANA during the event.

     In Today’s digitally competitive world, SAP launches BW4HANA new product (not a legal successor of any existing SAP Business Warehouse solution) to address the needs of data explosion and to effectively manage & use the data to transform your business in a simple and modern fashion. You can see the evolution of SAP’s data Warehouse over the years shared by SAP below:


General Availability of the product is from September 7,2016. For more information have a look at here

What are the design principles?

     We have data everywhere coming in different source systems like Social Media, Sensors, Legacy systems etc.., and with the increase of new demands like real-time, flexible analytics there was always a need of modern data warehouse. BW4/HANA is natively written on HANA (and runs only on SAP HANA ) with driving goals of Simplicity, Openness, Modern Interface and High Performance. Below diagram shared by SAP depicts the same.


(a) Simplicity:

There is a drastic reduction in the number of different object types in BW4HANA as depicted in the image shared by SAP below:


Due to the decrease of persistence layer it will solve many consistency issues, which further result in reduction of layers, total memory used, total lines of code and ultimately reduction in TCO.

In addition it also supports advanced multi-temperature management option with which BW4HANA knows the usage of data in the tables and categorises them accordingly i.e. hot store (active data ) and warm store ( not so active data) to effectively utilise the memory as shown by SAP below:


(b) Openness:

To give the user the option to manage both SAP and non-SAP source systems and access the models via SQL interface.


BW4/HANA Models can be exposed as HANA views in HANA system and also vice-versa is possible. With these capabilities, it means there is no need to replicate the data between the systems and supports any native SQL data warehousing approach which is very important considering customers comprising users and engineers from different SQL backgrounds to ease the usage of BW4/HANA.

(c) Modern UX:

They have further simplified the access for every user by giving new intuitive UI’s for all the users as shown by SAP below:


As shown in a live demo during the launch of an example business which sells the bikes and the business wanted to launch a new marketing campaign. To select the targeted audience the topologic & demographic data which resides in HADOOP. The Demo showed the ease of connecting with HADOOP and flexibly changing the data model to gain additional insights of data to have a better marketing campaign to make business better.


(d) High Performance:

     With HANA being the driver of the product strategy, High Performance in BW4/HANA is always given priority with unified data load management approach and supporting high frequent data loads in real-time. The Algorithm pushdown to HANA and also to minimize unnecessary overheads to the performance while trying to connect with data on Hadoop to HANA were taken care in BW4/HANA

AWS Collobaration with BW4HANA:

It has been a long partnership of AWS with SAP which helps to increase speed by using quick start guides to quickly install SAP HANA or to Scale up the systems in matter of minutes or hours. Which will help them customers to innovate faster and also thereby reduce the costs. And if by any chance the intended POC’s do not work as expected they can easily scale down as well. The recent launch of X1 system for HANA has an improved scale up and scale out w.r.t memory as shown by SAP below:


What does customers say?

     As quoted by Berndt during the launch event, SAP already has close to 4000 customers using BW on HANA , As I was present during the launch I also witnessed 3 customers Fairfax Media, ConAgra & Colgate customers views on how BW4/HANA benefitted them.

     Diego Lombardino, Head of Finance from Fairfax Media, describes the importance of real-time availability of the reports for their business users to be more self-serve and quotes an example of how it is important for their business users to not only know how many users read a web article but also what advertisements they have found interested and clicked up on. He also mentions about the benefits of using cloud like easy to setup, scalability (from 244 GB to 2 TB) and agility are the reasons to use AWS instead of on premise system

     Andy Xydakis, VP of Business Applications from ConAgra Foods mentions the ease of moving 4 TB of production data to AWS in 10 hours. He focusses on simplification of the analytics environment being the major benefit of implementing BW4/HANA on AWS

     Declan Roche, Director of IT Analytics from Colgate Palmolive speaks about flipping 80/20 rule & spend more time with customers on opportunities than building plans along with speed being the major benefit of implementing BW4/HANA.

How to migrate to SAP BW4/HANA and further Road Map?

For Customers on BW 7.5 Powered by HANA,must have already benefited from performance improvements, reduced data layers and simplifications based on the consolidation of modeling objects.Though BW 7.5 will be supported , BW4HANA may receive more upcoming innovations and developments.

It is fairly a simple conversion to SAP BW4HANA via transfer tool,  which will enable them to receive further innovations like simplified Big data access or more modern UX.

For Customers on BW 7.3 or 7.4 , SAP recommends to upgrade to BW 7.5 and then apply the add-on for further moving to BW4HANA..

For Customers on older versions of BW on other Db have an option for fresh green field implementation depending on the use case or can choose to upgrade to BW 7.5 and further move to BW4HANA

The same is illustrated by SAP  which suggested 3 Paths for migration to SAP BW4/HANA depending on your existing landscape as shown by SAP below :


From the launch on September 7,2016 customers can expect continuous innovations and incremental for the product and its maintenance ( like new choices for cloud. Modern UX, Performance etc.,) . Details on further Road map can be found here:

SAP BW/4HANA Roadmap

SAP BW/4 HANA – Technical Overview

Addons support: Have a look on this SAP Note 2189708 to check what add-on’s are supported on SAP BW4HANA

What is the overall impact S/4HANA+ BW4/HANA impact on landscape? :

With the launch of S/4 HANA, BW/4HANA the new possible landscape shared by SAP looks like below:


With the power of HANA operational reporting can be handled via S/4 HANA but if you want to have the historical analysis or connecting multiple data sources coming in different formats BW4HANA will be very helpful. Which was depicted by SAP as shown below:


     It has been a wonderful event and it was a pleasure to see the special shutouts to all the delivery partners and especially the company I work for i.e., Infosys which has already proven its implementation experience by serving different customers globally 🙂 .


Some Important links & References:

BW/4HANA Website

Data Warehousing


SAP AND AMAZON WEB SERVICES SPECIAL EVENT SAP AND September 7th 2016 | sap-amazon-web-services</title></head&…

Hoping that my blog helps you to understand about BW4/HANA and brings you a 1 step closer in your journey towards next generation data warehouse i.e. BW4HANA.


Krishna Tangudu 🙂

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      Author's profile photo Selvarasan Subramanian
      Selvarasan Subramanian

      Nicely compiled krishna 🙂

      Author's profile photo Krishna Tangudu
      Krishna Tangudu
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks a lot Selvasaran 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks for the nice share and a consolidated view.
      Any idea on the BW/4HANA certification?

      Author's profile photo Krishna Tangudu
      Krishna Tangudu
      Blog Post Author

      Haven't heard anything about certification yet. I will update back here once I get to know.


      Krishna Tangudu

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Krishna. I am also keeping my eyes and ears open for the certification accouncement. Will also try to keep the info updated here: #BW/4HANA - What, When, Why & Whow !

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Well depicted. Thank you for the share.

      Best Regards


      Author's profile photo Krishna Tangudu
      Krishna Tangudu
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Venkat


      Krishna Tangudu

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Well Articulated Swaroop.Very Informative

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Krishna, this is good document.

      I think dynamic tering is HANA platform server that works through Native HANA not with NetWeaver yet.

      HOT      = In-Momery

      WARM  = Sybase IQ, NOT A Dynsmic tering

      COLD   = Hadoop

      Please  correct me if I'm wrong.

      Still clarity missing on extraction and BI Connect point of view

      BW4Hana both real time and ODP extraction. I'm looking for consistent approach.

      I think SAP will be releasing common connector for S4HANA Ebedded Analytics(OAnalyis) and BO tools I.e. HTTP INA (XML for Analysis) for MDX queries. But I don't find clear document on the new connector.