Part-1: Journey to SAP S/4HANA
“The only thing that is constant in this world is Change”. It is very much true for technology, as it is changing day after day. SAP as a leader in making Enterprise Software, keeps in pace with time and technology. Just a glance of SAP timelines, how SAP evolved along with technology shift.
1979 – SAP released its first business software on Mainframe Platform called R/2, R Indicates real-time and 2 indicates two servers (Presentation + Application and Database). It is an instant hit.
1992 – The ever-growing data and increased solution portfolio had demanded a need for R/3 Architecture, that is when SAP introduced R/3, 3 tier architecture ( Presentation + Application + Database).
2004 – The Internet changed the way business has been done. Since then SAP adopted SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) called Net weaver Platform. Now R/3 has become ERP.
2015: The world around has changed over past 10 years, Mobile revolution has dominated all the industries. It has changed the consumer behavior with a handful of years. The growing ever growing data and business need for consuming the data from social networks has called for S4HANA. S4HANA is a business suit, can be considered as simplified ERP called Enterprise Management.
What’s is so good about S4HANA?
Let’s start with HANA, HANA Stands for High ANalytical Appliance. It is a SAP Propriety Database, a groundbreaking technology, Its called as an Appliance because it is built by exploiting the advancements hardware. Some examples:
- Minimum of 6 TB of RAM is required, which means the whole active data of organization can be held in the cache, so is the reason it’s been called as “in-memory” database.
- a minimum of 320 Cores processing in Parallel, which means a HUGE processing power. Pumping billions of records in a split of a second.
- Any number of Application servers can be added, which can scale its processing power further.
- Huge capacity Flash Disks are using to hold the warm memory instead of traditional spinning disks, which makes data retrieval lightning speed.
The power of HANA is not just out of hardware advancement. HANA database combines row based (OLTP) and column based (OLAP) and object-oriented technology. This makes SAP HANA as 3600 X Faster than a traditional database, which means it can process 460 Billion records can be read and analyzed in a second. The developer can decide and can change the table type anytime.
Now that we understand how powerful is HANA, let’s see the SAP strategy for HANA.
Just the way Rome was not built in a day, SAP started its first step towards HANA in 2005. SAP has worked with leading chip manufacturers to identify the optimal design for the database that can exploit the full power of next-generation powerful processors.
In 2011, SAP Has first released its HANA as an appliance to the customers. It is positioned as a standalone database like DATA MART, which means customers can use sidecar method to existing SAP or Non SAP system to back up on HANA DB. A customer can use this for both as Data Mart and for reporting purpose.
In 2012, SAP has started deploying its product lines on HANA DB, started with BW, called BW powered by HANA or BW Suite on HANA.
In Nov 2015, SAP has released its first S4H 1511, it’s a complete business suit, simplifying the business processes, The entire S/4 HANA application were re-wrote the code to work only on HANA. Which means S4HANA works only on HANA unlike ECC, to maximize the processing power of HANA.
SAP HANA Platform:
Considering the fact that HANA is nothing but the database, it is equipped with all the capabilities required for a next generation database, i will explain it detail.
1. Application services:
2. Processing Services:
SAP HANA supports new data types such as special, graphs, texts and much more. Fuzzy search, text analytics, predictive analytics etc are brought into the platform with this new elements.
3. Integration Services:
HANA can analyze continual data stream with is given by IOT (Internet of Things), Social Media etc. HANA has inbuilt capability as ETL tools, which means it can EXTRACT data, TRANSFORM and LOAD from Legacy or other SAP systems to HANA DB Platform. HANA can be synced with Big Data stores like HADOOP remotely.
4. SAP HANA is full memory column and row store database, it supports OLTP for transactional and OLAP for Analytical purpose built on High-End Hardware