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Author's profile photo Ujjwal Singh

Understanding HANA has never been this easy

Though a lot of materials can be found online talking about HANA, its features/advantages and so on. This blog is for newbies in HANA and will brief about HANA in very simple words.

Before we embark on our journey, lets define 3 most confusing terms which often thought to be similar by beginner.

   HANA                  Suite on HANA                   S/4 HANA

HANA is a database and S/4 HANA is the application that uses this database.

ECC 6.0 and below versions were mainly running on Oracle database that can be seen from System->Status->Database System.

And moving the database from Oracle or any other db to HANA DB is Suite on HANA.

SAP S/4 HANA Full form :

SAP Business Suite 4 (generation) for SAP High-performance ANalytic Appliance

Now, lets start with the topic “HANA”.

HANA is much more than a database, it is also a data processing platform. Now task of application layer is to mainly display what the user has asked for.

Note: Though HANA is doing all the calculations but to achieve complex scenarios, application layer is still used for data processing and calculations.

Features of HANA :

Data Source Independent : 

HANA enables customers to analyze huge volumes of data in real time, data aggregation can be done irrespective of data sources.

HYBRID In-Memory Database :

In-memory, because it stores data directly in main memory and Hybrid, because it stores data as Row store and Column store both.

Row Store : Data is stored as a sequence of records i.e. all the fields of one row are saved in contiguous memory locations.

Column Store : Data is stored as a sequence of fields i.e. all values in a column are stored in contiguous memory locations.

Parallel processing and Partitioning of data :

Parallel processing means that at least two microprocessors handle parts of an overall task.

e.g. In below snap it can be seen for processing or searching for a specific record Core 1 is dedicated to column 1 and core 2 is for column 2 and in case of partitioning two cores are dedicated to each half of the column 3 to speed up the data processing time.

Multi- tenancy :

This is an architecture which allows multiple tenant/customer to share the same computing resource here HANA DB.  Each tenant’s data is isolated and remains invisible to other tenants.


  • System tables and other data are stored in System DB which are required for proper functioning.
  • Benefit while using cloud.
  • Cost effective: Here we need not to pay for whole DB but for occupied memory only.
  • Virtually we are creating a database inside HANA system.

Dynamic Tiering : 

It is classification of data into temperatures (Hot, Warm, Cold) based on its importance and performance expectations.

Hot data : Data is accessed frequently thus stored in main memory.

Warm data : Data is not accessed frequently and stored in disk based persistent storage.

Cold data :

Data is rarely accessed or inactive and is stored outside SAP HANA database.

Supported Data type :

Text data :

Data from Social media feeds, help desk tickets, logs etc.

e.g.While commenting on social media platform we use SMS language, short forms such data falls under text data.

Spatial data :

Data that relates to locality, maps etc. e.g. GPS map based data.

Graph data : 

Data that related to highly networked entities like social network etc.These are real-time data that keep changes with high frequency.

e.g. followers count on social media, likes on a particular page/post, stock market indices.



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      Author's profile photo Sai Prasad G
      Sai Prasad G

      Hi Ujjwal

      Nice Post !!

      Author's profile photo Ujjwal Singh
      Ujjwal Singh
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sai,

      Thanks for going through the blog and sharing the feedback 🙂


      Ujjwal Singh