Been a while since I’ve posted. I no longer look after the SAP SQL Anywhere SQL Reference Guide. Miss that guide – it had years of customer feedback reflected in it!

But I’m on the cool SAP HANA project now and look after the HANA SQL and System View Reference.

If you’ve noticed any radical changes (hopefully improvements) to the guide since HANA 1.0 SPS 12, you can thank the team I work with. We undertook some massive projects to improve the usability and navigability of the topics. Some of those projects are listed further down.

Handy Links for You

Here are some handy links if you want to see it in our new Help Portal. I’ll be updating this list each release, but only keep the latest SPS for each major HANA version. To access an older SPS, click the latest link below and switch SPS version using the Version dropdown you’ll find on that page.

Some other links you might like, although I do not author in them:

Usability and Navigation Improvements

Here are a few of the larger overhauls we’ve done since HANA 1.0 SPS 12

  • Added bulleting and improved whitespacing – Previously, statement topics did not have any formatting to help User distinguish content for one clause from content in another clause. Now, the body of the topic is a bulleted list to help you be sure what content belongs with which clause. If you ever had to use the ALTER TABLE statement, you’ll appreciate the changes 🙂
  • Unified, alphabetical lists – Previously, topics like statements were chunked together by category (e.g., Data Definition Statements). So if you wanted to find a statement but didn’t know how we chunked it,  you had to click to expand each subsection of a chapter to look for it (or hazard the Search wizard). Now, we have parent topics that still deliver info about the grouping, but we also have the objects listed alphabetically (e.g., Alphabetical List of Functions) so you can find what you’re looking for regardless of how we decided to categorize them.
  • Linked the clauses in the main syntax block with their respective clause descriptionsPreviously, really loooong topics like CREATE TABLE didn’t offer the ability to jump from a clause name int he main syntax area at the top, to the description of the clause somewhere in the bowels of the topic.  Now, the main syntax clauses in the top syntax of long statements are linked so you can jump right to the description. Try it out: CREATE TABLE Statement
  • Added cross references and new examples, fixed broken examples – although an ongoing initiative (that will likely never end) we will continue to add helpful links and improved examples. For example, the CONTAINS Predicate topic now has working examples you can try.
  • Split the ginormous Data Types topic into individual topics by data typePreviously, you had to do a lot of ctrl-F’ing to get around the content on data types (Data Types). Massive topics like that are a DITA/minimalism no-no, so we broke the content into proper chunks. Now, you read just the info you need and don’t have to scroll past the rest. However, you’ll have to wait for the 2.0 SPS 01 guide to see it!  (Note: we did a similar thing for the Expressions, HINT Details, and Operators content!)
  • Cleaned up thousands of XML artifacts – Unfortunately, you don’t really benefit from this huge project, but we do as authors since we fiddle at the XML level. There were things to fix, let’s just leave it at that.
  • Updated topics with more accurate and robust explanations – the title speaks for itself.
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4 Comments

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  1. Volker Barth

    FWIW, a big thanks, Laura, for the great work on the SQL Anywhere doc set – and best of luck to get the HANA docs as good as that one. Some of the upcoming improvements seem familiar for anyone used to use the SQL Anywhere docs daily:)

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    1. Laura Nevin Post author

       

      Nice to hear from you, Volker(!), and thanks. I’ll pass your observations on to the rest of the team who constributed to these intiatives. Our work continues! The types of feedback you provided on content in the SAP SQL Reference Guide deliverable was invaluable, by the way.

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  2. Tom Mellor

    Thank you for the big improvements to a great piece of documentation! As a daily user, I’m excited that it will only get better.

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