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Creating SAP HANA, express edition (HXE) is a very good move from SAP. Now anybody can start playing with HANA and learn it for free. This is a huge step forward. In this blog I will explain why I am so excited about it and give you some ideas how to get started with it.

Let me compare the options to get started with HANA:

  • HANA, developer edition. It’s only available in the cloud, which means you have to pay a fee for the cloud service.
  • HANA Cloud Platform. You can create your HANA database instance, you can use the trial account, so it’s free, but you have no full access to HANA from an admin/basis point of view.
  • HANA, express edition. You can download and install HANA yourself or download it as VM, which is even easier to get started. It’s completely free and you have 100% access to the system, also from a basis point of view.

Let’s set up HXE

I am a lucky guy, I won an Intel NUC Skull Canyon edition from Intel at TechEd. It’s a mini PC, so it has no peripherals. First I had to buy a keyboard, I went for a Bluetooth keyboard with a touchpad, connect it to my TV via HDMI and now, finally my TV has valuable content 😉 Well, actually, first I had to put on OS on it. I went for openSUSE to follow the initial goal to have my HANA without paying license fees.

Whether you use a separate computer or your own laptop, you have to register first and download the software here: http://go.sap.com/developer/topics/sap-hana-express.html

I suggest to start with the VM, because it is just easier.

After starting up the VM, there are few easy steps to follow:
http://go.sap.com/developer/tutorials/hxe-ua-getting-started-vm.html

Now you have a running HANA system which looks like this:

I recommend you to make backups. During the first week of playing with the system I broke it few times. I am simply not used to perform basis tasks on HANA and I made mistakes. While it was sometimes frustrating, these were some of the best learning moments. This is exactly what I could never do on HCP, just because it’s a cloud service and now I was able to do anything, including mistakes 😉


Let’s set up SHINE

I am interested in the development aspect of HANA, and in this space SHINE is an excellent starting point. There is an important thing to know about SHINE, it now comes in two flavors: the XS Classic and the newer XS Advanced. In this blog let me start with XS and in part 2, I will cover XSA.

Follow the SHINE installation instructions and download the delivery unit.

There are several ways to import it, I selected the Studio, because I have just configured it above. It takes two minutes and SHINE is in your system. After assigning the right role (chapter 3.1 of the above doc), you can start your browser and open SHINE. If you see this screen, you are on the right track:

I must say the landing page of SHINE looks great on my TV:

Now I recommend to play with it and study the code, which is now in your HANA system.

This was really easy. In part 2, I will describe how to get started with XSA.

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