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From zero to Analytics pt1: Setting up your own SAP HANA instance

This blog post is the first of a series showing how to go from zero to building analytics using SAP HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud.

The series will cover (even if pointing at existing source):

  • How to get your own on-premise SAP HANA instance
  • How to configure your HXE instance
  • How to build a basic Multi target Application using SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA
  • How to build (or clone) a calculation view with data privacy functions
  • How to configure the HANA Analytics Adapter to consume models from tools such as Analysis for Office or SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Some KPIs (not exactly the sample dashboard) to verify the installation

Get you own instance of SAP HANA

You can get your own on-premise instance of SAP HANA for free even for productive use. In order to use the latest tools, you will need to download or deploy the full image.

By “full”, I mean the one that has XS Advanced and includes tools such as SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA. All of the installation options and instructions for HANA Express are here: https://developers.sap.com/topics/sap-hana-express.html, on the right side of the diagram BUT…

(I like big BUTs and I cannot lie...):

…this image needs at least 16GB of RAM though I would recommend 24GB for it to run smoothly and avoid network issues if using SAP Analytics Cloud.

If you are planning on using Analysis for Office locally, here is how to check the RAM memory in your Windows or Mac machine if you are unsure. You could run it locally and make it swap if your operating system allows it, but you have better chances of running it smoothly on any of the cloud providers.

What I would recommend as a starter

If you want to go the easy way, here are the easiest deployments on the Cloud providers:

Although they ask for your credit card for verification purposes, some cloud providers give you initial credits so the entire experience will be for free. Read the fine print, it probably says it will not charge you after you run out of credits.

Running in the cloud will also make it easier for you to access the instance from outside your network, like from SAP Analytics Cloud. Running locally on your computer will require further configurations (including network) that I will not be covering here.

I personally use a mix of cloud with a manual installation based on Ubuntu most of the time.

Tweak your instance

Access your instance from outside your network

If you are planning on connecting from SAP Analytics Cloud, you will need to be able to access your instance from outside.

By default, the host and XSA domain name in HANA Express is called hxehost. You are instructed to modify the hosts file in your computer to map hxehost to the IP of your instance. However, you cannot do this mapping in SAP Cloud Platform and any request coming from outside your computer will not find the host hxehost.

Here are the instructions for renaming your instance: https://blogs.sap.com/2018/06/20/hana-express-and-xs-advanced-when-you-cannot-modify-the-hosts-file…/

Prepare XSA to use the tenant database

SAP HANA has been multi-tenant for some versions. The tenant database is the one with the power to perform real SQL, so you will map the default Cloud Foundry space (development) to the first default tenant, called HXE.

The commands are as easy as:

xs enable-tenant-database HXE
xs map-tenant-database -o HANAExpress -s development HXE

Make sure the mapping has been successful. If it’s not and you continue to use the space, you will find out quite late in the process thanks to a scriptserver error.

Get the CLI for XS Advanced

If you are NOT using the command line from the operating system in your virtual machine, you will need to download the Command Line Interface for XSA.

If you do not have access to the SAP Service Marketplace, you can get it from the client package for SAP HANA, express edition. Here are the instructions:

https://developers.sap.com/tutorials/hxe-ua-install-xs-xli-client.html

You are now set for success. You can continue with the next blog post on how to create a calculation view: https://blogs.sap.com/2019/01/15/from-zero-to-analytics-pt2-creating-a-calculation-view-with-data-privacy/

And if you are celebrating, merry Xmas!

Cheers,

Lucia ( @LuciaBlick )

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