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Running SAP HANA Express in CAL – by the SAP HANA Academy

Update November 19, 2018

For an update an about this blog series, see the post




Recently, we have published a number of new tutorial videos to the SAP HANA Express playlist on our SAP HANA Academy YouTube Channel.

As you can see on the videos, you can run SAP HANA, express edition in a virtual machine, or download the software and do a DIY installation. You can get the software and the VM from the SAP HANA, express edition website.

However, you can also get straight to work developing amazing applications for the SAP HANA platform using SAP HANA, express edition as a solution in the cloud, deployed using the SAP Cloud Appliance Library [].

Depending on how you setup your CAL account, you can have the express edition hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, and use either a 4-core 30.5 GB instance, or a 2-core 15 GB instance.

CAL is using the Fiori user experience, so you can easily access the web site on your phone to manage the instance, for example, to activate or suspend, make a backup or terminate.

For the 4-core 30.5 GB instances, AWS charges me USD 0.45 per hour when active. Try to get a coffee at Starbucks for that!

[disclaimer: depending on your account with AWS, your charges may vary]

For storage and the optional fixed IP address – same IP address each time the instance starts, which allows me to add a hostname alias to my local hosts file for easy access – a small monthly fee is added to that. Pretty good deal, all-in-all for run SAP HANA express edition.

So how can you access SAP HANA, express edition in CAL?

Simple, the same way you would access HANA when running in the data center of your company, or when running the express edition VM on a PC:

  • your favorite browser
  • SAP HANA studio or any other SAP plug-in for Eclipse that connects to SAP HANA
  • terminal for command line

So, how do start an instance in CAL and how do you connect? It is simple.
1. Watch the video

2. Configure SAP HANA XS Advanced edition (XSA) for external access.

3. Get Started
Blog Series
This blog is part of a series:
SAP HANA, express edition

SAP Cloud Appliance Library
SAP Cloud Appliance Library Community
SAP Cloud Appliance Library FAQ


Thank you for watching

The SAP HANA Academy provides free online video tutorials for the developers, consultants, partners and customers of SAP HANA.

Topics range from practical how-to instructions on administration, data loading and modeling, and integration with other SAP solutions, to more conceptual projects to help build out new solutions using mobile applications or predictive analysis.

For the full library, see SAP HANA Academy Library – by the SAP HANA Academy.

For the full list of blogs, see Blog Posts – by the SAP HANA Academy.

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    • Hi Dionisio,

      Good question and thanks for asking.

      You need to configure XSA to use the external (public) hostname (FQDN).

      When you start up an instance of SAP HANA express it is still configured to use the internal hostname. You have to change this to use the unique external hostname of your instance.

      The system parameter is default_domain under communication in the xscontroller.ini configuration.

      To get the value, run nslookup on the external IP (or use the IP, that works as well).

      # nslookup <insert the external IP here>
      default_domain = <>

      The different steps are explained in the video:

      • Hi Denys,
        thanks for your answer. What I’ve been doing so far is something different. Alternativelly, I’m updating the hosts file in my Windows laptop (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts) every time I re-start the CAL instance, writing there the SAP HANA External IP Address I find for the instance in CAL. Then use the web browser to go to https://vhcalhxedb:53075/watt/index.html
        However, I’ll try to use your method next time I have a chance.
        Thank you very much!

      • Hi Denys, I am considering to run HXE in CAL with AWS/MSA but very unfamiliar with all the environments above. I am pondering this option after I have been desperately trying to run HXE and HXE2 on my private imac  (mid 2012, 16GB RAM, intel i5, MacOS Sierra). Check my comments to this blog:
        So my questions here are:
        1) should I proceed to run SAP HXE on CAL immediately?
        2) should I better wait till SAP HXE2 is released on CAL?
        I am looking at it from perspectives of effort and $. In your first video  it shows “USD 16.8 per month when suspended”. So is it a monthly subscription model? or can I quit at anytime?
        3) why does SAP not offer SAP HXE/2 on SAP HCP trial account?
        Thank you for a reply.


        • Hi Sunny,

          Technically, 16 GB or RAM is enough to run the server only VM for HANA 1.0 SPS 12, allowing for ± 4 GB for the OS and allocating 12 GB to the VM. However, this means that you cannot really do much on the host, for example run Ecliipse. Also, when starting to do any serious development it would be wise to create a tenant database first, which allows for easy transfer between different environments be it on-premise or cloud. For this reason, for on-premise development using a NUC with 32 GB of RAM would be a great choice.

          To answer your questions:

          1.) Personally, I think running HXE on CAL is, from a cost perspective a very interesting option. No investment needed, just pay-as-you-go.

          2.) Why wait? To upgrade from 1.0 SPS 12 to 2.0 will be easy. If you are not familiar yet, you will need some time to look around. By the time you are more at ease, 2.0 will be there so you can switch. You will have to read the small print from Amazon and/or Microsoft but yes, you can quit anytime. The monthly quote is an indication. If you create an instance but you do not run it, that will cost you somewhere between 15 and 20 $ last time I looked. In other words, not 50 cents but not $ 500 either. When you run the instance, the running costs apply, which will depend on the compute power you selected.

          3.) The SAP HANA Cloud platform is – to quote the page – “an open platform-as-a-service that provides unique in-memory database and application services. It is the proven cloud platform that enables you to rapidly develop new applications or extend existing ones. Enabling anyone to extend SAP applications in minutes, all in the cloud.”

          In other words, HCP serves another purpose. For sure, it will provide HANA 2.0 services very soon, if not already. But is a platform as a service, not infrastructure as a service.

          Makes sense?

          • Hi Denys,
            thank you very much for encouraging me to give SAP HXE on CAL a try! I am really excited.

            What I have done:
            1) Create user on AWS (root user) as well as IAM user and assign appr. Policies to the user /group
            2) Upgrade my SAP S-User to CAL user
            3) Create instance HXE with the settings as per video

            1) With Corporate Notebook (Win-7 32-bit 4GB RAM): all works fine as per 2 videos above
            IF I do not go through corporate VPN-Firewall
            (i.e. working from home)
            2)With Corporate Notebook – in office: as expected, no access possible because of the Firewall. An exception is the http-port 8000 to check the XS Engine running which works. I have already sent an email to the Network team to open up the port ranges listed under section “Access Points” of the instance.
            Given the dynamic IP Address on CAL (contrary to your video I did not click the option “static IP Adress” to avoid unknown/unpredictable cost) I hope ports opening without IP-Address range restriction will be granted.
            3) With private imac (16GB RAM,MacOS Sierra):
            I got following issue upon performing the “ssh -i command as seen below:

            sunny-iMac:.ssh sunny$ ssh -i hxe.pem root@
            The authenticity of host ‘ (’ can’t be established.
            ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:/<long string which I have masked here just to be safe>.
            Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
            Warning: Permanently added ‘’ (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.

            Connection to closed by remote host.Connection to closed.

            Question: does the message mean that an instance can only be accessed from a machine (i.e. my corporate Notebook)?

            4)With private imac: despite issue#3 above I can add a system in Eclipse to connect to the instance HXE. Question: is there a way to avoid having to add a system every time I activate the instance due to the changing hostname?

            Thanks for a reply.

          • Hi Sunaryo,

            Concerning 3) see

            Your computer warns you that it cannot establish the authenticity of the host. This is because the host (hosted instance) is using self-signed certificates. Certificates need to be signed by a valid certificate authority for SSH to work correctly. Otherwise, it is printing your own bank notes.

            If you are using AWS, this doc might be useful. It is about another topic ‘CodeCommit’ but it covers setting up SSH between your computer and AWS.

            4) For a small cost, you can configure your AWS instance to use a fixed public hostname.


  • Hi Denys,

    Thanks for the  excellent BLOG and videos.  They are really helpful.  I do have the SAP WebIDE for SAP HANA up and running for AWS HANA 1.0 Express Edition SP 12.  The problem is that I am not able to build anything.  I get the error -Builder ‘mtabuilder’ is not available for workspace.

    I have created a question which would be great if you can answer:

    HANA Express – Builder ‘mtabuilder’ is not available for workspace workspaceg5wib2oxjp9lp853


    The HANA Express – I see the following SAP and development:

    hxeadm@sid-hxe:/usr/sap/HXE/HDB00> xs spaces

    Getting spaces in org HANAExpress as XSA_ADMIN …

    name          user


    development   <not set>

    SAP           hxeadm


    hxeadm@sid-hxe:/usr/sap/HXE/HDB00> xs set-env di-core DEV_SPACE SAP

    Setting env variable “DEV_SPACE” to “SAP” for app “di-core”…


    TIP: Use ‘xs restage’ to ensure your env variable changes take effect


    Then I did the

    hxeadm@sid-hxe:/usr/sap/HXE/HDB00> xs restage di-core


    I added the SpaceDeveloper role to XSA_DEV user – I am using this to create a project:

    hxeadm@sid-hxe:/usr/sap/HXE/HDB00> xs space-users HANAExpress SAP

    Listing users in space “SAP” of org “HANAExpress” by role …

    role             users


    SpaceManager     XSA_ADMIN XSA_DEV XSA_SHINE

    SpaceDeveloper   XSA_ADMIN XSA_DEV XSA_SHINE

    SpaceAuditor     XSA_ADMIN XSA_DEV XSA_SHINE


    Do you have the steps needed to perform to be able to build projects on HANA Express on AWS – because it is not working after accessing the SAP WebIDE for SAP HANA.

    Thanks for your help in advance,









    • Hi Jay,

      Thanks for asking. I would have to look into this but this week we are focussed on the upcoming SPS 02 release so you will have to be a bit patient.

      In the mean time, please check the video tutorial series that Philip created on Web IDE and XSA. I’m confident that the topic of your question is covered.

      You might also want to look at the Building Solutions playlist starting with video 11:


      Also, Google returned this post:

      Let us know if you find the solution.



      • Hi Denys,

        Thanks for your reply.  I will check out the videos that you have listed.  The videos on SAP HANA Academy are excellent.  I have been going through them to get the HANA system up and running and also working on the development.

        I have been doing a lot of NodeJS development so I just wanted to do nodeJS development on HANA.

        The HCP trial account by default does not support this NodeJS development – so Frank Schuler recommended me to look into the Cloud Foundry part which supposedly gives that functionality.  NodeJS in WebIDE for HANA Trial account

        I spun up the HANA 2.0 Platform Edition instance on AWS but this did not have the SAP WebIDE for SAP HANA installed.

        So I spun up the HANA 1.0 SPS 12 instance on AWS – I can launch the SAP WebIDE for SAP HANA but cannot get the build to work.  I was getting the error – Tried all kinds of approaches….

        Here is the question I posted:

        HANA Express 1 SP12 AWS SAP webIDE for SAP HANA- Builder ‘mtabuilder’ is not available for workspace

        Here is an question with someone else having that issue:

        Builder ‘mtabuilder’ is not available for workspace in SAP HANA WEBIDE

        So based on the answer from:

        Dear Jay,

        I saw you are working on this issue along with another question raised with the link below:

        How to get di-space-enablement-ui for SAP HANA Express

        Could you keep us informed whether this issue would be solved as well once you download and install HXE HANA 2.0 SPS01 successfully?

        Should you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

        Best regards,



        So I finally got the HANA Express edition 2.0 SPS 1 VM and with the SAP WebIDE for SAP HANA I can get the build to work.  But I am running this on an older MacBookPro with 16 GB RAM and I have some issues with the build timeouts.  I am not sure if adding a MDC tenant database makes any sense if it would just overload my system – so I may have to just develop of the SYSTEM database – which you have stated is not the way to do this.  But with a laptop of 16 GB – I’m not sure how it will behave but I will try it out.

        The main thing I am trying to do though is to help a client who just upgraded to HANA 1.0 SPS 12 to get the SAP WebIDE for SAP HANA working and also develop node applications.  If anyone could shed some light into getting this to work on the AWS HANA 1.0 SPS12 edition, that would be very helpful.

        Thanks!  And keep up the great job with the SAP HANA Academy training videos!




  • Hi all,

    I have deployed HANA Express on CAL.

    Now I tried to change API endpoint.


    My host name is sid-hxe. If I execute xa API I am receiving  https://vhcalhxedb:39030 as API endpoint in stead of https://sid-hxe:39030 like described in the video.

    If I try to registier  https://vhcalhxedb.dummy.nodomain:39030 I get the error message like in the video. But later on if I add  –cacert /hana/shared/HXE/xs/controller_data/controller/ssl-pub/router/default.root.crt.pem I still get the error message.

    So it is not working…

    Can someone explain what I have to do?


    I checked also the host file.

    This looks also different to the one from the video:

    #host file entries for # added by a service of the CAL Appliance Agent vhcalhxedb.dummy.nodomain vhcalhxedb # added by a service of the CAL Appliance Agent
    #end of host file entries for # added by a service of the CAL Appliance Agent

    The host file inside the video has also real host name after vhcalhxedb