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Author's profile photo Morten Wittrock

An in-memory database by any other name would be as fast

What’s in a name? Ever since SAP started talking about the HANA database in public, a great many people have speculated as to just what HANA might be an abbreviation of. Several possible answers made the rounds, with “Hasso’s New Architecture” and “High-Performance Analytic Appliance” being two of the most popular ones.

SAP quickly made it clear, that HANA is, in fact, not an acronym for anything, but rather a name. That didn’t quite put an end to the speculation, however, so I feel it’s necessary to reiterate that message, as clearly as I can:


There, that should settle the matter once and for all. You’re welcome 🙂

Updated later: Well, this was written in jest, obviously 🙂 Geeks are fond of recursive acronyms. That is, acronyms that refer to themselves in a recursive manner. One of the most well-known examples is probably the GNU open-source project: GNU is an acronym for “GNU’s Not Unix!”. In the above example, there’s also a logical paradox of sorts thrown in, since this acronym claims to not be one. I’ll leave pondering that to you. Oh, and there’s a bit of Shakespeare in there as well, just because.

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      Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen
      Denys van Kempen

      For those interested, for the story about how

      • August 2006: a tip-of-the-hat from a former CTO (Hasso's New Architecture) changed into
      • May 2010: repurposing of the Business Warehouse Accelerator's nickname High Performance Analytics to High Performance Analytical Appliance (HPAA spelled as HANA)
      • 2013: until this made no sense anymore after the introduction of the TDI program and later move to the cloud.