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Author's profile photo Dmitry Kuznetsov

Education: HANA Modelling vs. S/4HANA Analytics


I have been asked for an education advice by the folks from my BW past. In this blog I will discuss the pros and cons of two career options for SAP BI specialists: HANA Modeler vs. S/4HANA Analytics developer. Being both, I am sharing my subjective thoughts.

For those lost what I am talking about, this video will serve a good intro into S/4HANA Analytics.


First things first: what do we believe in?

While technically both modelling approaches are possible on both types of the systems: traditional Business Suite @ HANA and S/4HANA (subject to SP levels), to me it all comes down to the question which type of the systems will prevail in the long run? If I were to believe in S/4 as much as SAP does, certainly the latter will be in majority.


Customer choice between the two

Now, a little situation to decide which approach will the customer take if they have an S/4HANA system. Let us compare pros and cons of using the two different environments:

HANA Modelling: build Calculation Views S/4HANA Analytics: build CDS views

  • GUI available!
  • Quite mature environment, potentially less bugs
  • A lot of literature, courses, best practices
  • May be used to build a HANA-native Data Warehouse (subject to licenses)

  • Something that SAP bets on
  • SAP-delivered content needs 0-installation
  • SAP-delivered content is evolving a lot
  • CDS views are ABAP entities. Thus, contrary to marketing naming (S/4HANA something), these are DB-agnostic and knowledge reusable
  • ABAP-managed users and authorizations
  • Enough (nearly-) free education. I will make a separate post on that

  • SAP-delivered HANA Live content is not evolving anymore
  • In many cases DB users require creation & role admin (aka “red tape”)
  • HANA Modelling knowledge is not directly applicable on other DB’s
  • Loses out on simplifications (think sFin, sLog, etc.)

  • No GUI, only coding. Many consultants will drop out at this point, but is it bad?
  • New environment, more bugs, notes, etc.
  • Education just starting
  • Not suitable for building an integrated Data Warehouse (without BW).

Now, which one will the customer take? In the long run, I think they will follow SAP with their S/4HANA vision and modelling using CDS technology.



All-in-all, if you:

  • think S/4HANA implementations will take off
  • haven’t invested HANA Modelling education
  • don’t mind a bit of coding

taking the S/4HANA Analytics route, i.e. learning to build CDS views and expose them to the preferred front-end(s), makes much of a better sense. Take S4H410 or follow my future blog posts on a (nearly-) free way to obtain the same knowledge.


If you:

  • think there will be more migrations of existing environments to HANA DB
  • have unrecovered investment in HANA modelling education
  • willing to wait for a decent GUI for CDS’es (fingers crossed here)

take HA300 and a certification exam and enjoy yourself.

#s4hanaanalytics #hanalive #cdsviews

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      The SAP business suit real time framework which is also known as SAP HANA Live is the most efficient architecture as it does not have any latency and it does not result in any data duplication. It provides with content that is ready to use. One of the best things about the SAP business suit is that it consists of integration scenarios with SAP BW.

      Author's profile photo Dmitry Kuznetsov
      Dmitry Kuznetsov
      Blog Post Author

      Jennifer, you are absolutely right! For S/4H, Embedded Analytics do just that, too (no duplication, real-time on the same tables, etc.). Efficiency-wise that is a good one. I may post on that separately.

      Here I was discussing what are the overall differences and what to choose for educating yourself in. In case you are to choose between HANA Live and CDS technologies.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Dmitry,

      Nice post. Is there a chance SAP will release GUI for designing CDS views? Also, how do CDS Views integrate with the SAP Analytical tools - Lumira, Analysis for Office, BO Cloud, Digital Boardroom etc.? I read somewhere that a BEx query needs to be created on top of each CDS views for them to be available to the BI tools. Is that true?

      Author's profile photo Dmitry Kuznetsov
      Dmitry Kuznetsov
      Blog Post Author

      Bijesh, I really do believe GUI will be there. Matter of time. I have tried integrating CDS views with:

      • BW
      • BI Platfrom (OLAP connection)
      • Analysis Office (standalone)
      • BO Design Studio

      And it works as expected. BEx is not needed to expose them - you design your query in the same environment as building other views with a few additional annotations, e.g. @Analytics.query:true, @VDM.viewType: #CONSUMPTION, etc.

      I am yet to check Lumira & BO Cloud..

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Dmitri!

      Looking forward for your future blogs.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      This is a great info Dimitry.
      Eager to read your future blogs.


      Author's profile photo D DURGA THRINAD

      Excellent Dmitri!

      Indeed you showed a hope how we can consume the CDS view's through BI platform directly.

      Thanks for the info and  eagerly looking for exciting blogs from you..



      Author's profile photo Nicola Segnali
      Nicola Segnali

      Great post Dmitry, thank you.

      What about performance differences between the two approached?




      Author's profile photo Yuveer Popat
      Yuveer Popat

      Hi Dmitr,

      In terms of S/4HANA Analytics from a developer perspective to do data modelling, does one need any experience with ABAP, or would SQL be enough to get started?




      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Dmitry,

      The only thing that worries me is that customers with SoH and who have done massive developments on top of Hana live for their operational reporting needs are stuck in the old world. They cannot upgrade to S/4 HANA without re-developing impacted calculation views. I think SAP should seriously consider to keep "evolving" hana live content - at least do something not-to-break reuse and query views in S/4 world.

      SAP should not remove a mature concept from its S/4 roadmap.

      I read many blogs, and could see only three USPs for CDS against calculation views. Is that a sufficient ground to abandon nice old methodology from the S/4 HANA roadmap completely?

      1. Life-cycle management of HANA views is not in sync with SAP life-cycle management --> Disagree. There is a tool available "HANA transport for ABAP (SCTS_HTA)" through which we can include all HANA artifacts in ABAP transport lifecycle.
      2. Additional overhead of database security --> Agree, but is this enough ground to come up with totally new development concept? CDS has other advantages, but this shouldn't belittle HANA information models in S/4 HANA world. SAP has provided a nice methodology of synchronozing BW analysis authorizations with HANA analytic privilages (via tcode RS2HANA_AUTH_RUN). Why can't something like this be applied to SAP security in general?
      3. Data types are available in ABAP. --> Agree, probably this is the only reasonable USP.

      Do let me know your thoughts about this.






      Author's profile photo Teemu Jokinen
      Teemu Jokinen

      Great content Dmitry! You explain the S/4HANA CDS concept vs. HANA modeling in clear and concise way. I keep returning to this every now and then



      Author's profile photo Dmitry Kuznetsov
      Dmitry Kuznetsov

      Now, some additional writing on the subject. For those who already made a (correct) decision to learn S/4HANA Embedded Analytics