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Developer Tools for SAP HANA: What’s in it for the Business User?

This post is part of Transformational Tuesdays: A Series on SAP HANA Business Value from the SAP HANA Solution Management team celebrating 10 years of SAP HANA in 2020.

  • How does a cost increase of raw materials affect the margins of end products?
  • Where do you deploy limited health resources more effectively to positively impact individuals, families, and society?
  • How do you unlock the insights from your data?

SAP launched SAP HANA, the first data platform to deliver real-time analytics on live transactions, in 2010.  Since then, we have seen our customers use SAP HANA to deliver business value in amazing and exciting new ways.  In keeping with the theme of this blog series, I thought it would be interesting to consider the value developer tools bring to the business user.

Very early on in my career, in another time, place and technology landscape, I was very happy with my poorly written SPUFI queries.  Let me say it this way, I was happy to be able to provide the marketing team price plan customer distribution per region for a telecommunication company.  I had SPUFI to provide SQL access to the data.   Did I mention, I am not a programmer? The idea of an index, index order, table size consideration, and summaries with group by and counts were new concepts to me, and those reports would run for hours when not canceled by an observant administrator.  Still, I had found a way to answer some key business questions at the time with a developer tool.

Times have changed!   Fast forward to SAP HANA and the focus is on agility so that developers can focus on the business solution.  SAP HANA comes with features to increase the efficiency of database and data life-cycle management, multi-temperature storage tiers, modelling, and application development.  SAP HANA is open to all applications (SAP, custom and 3rd party) and data types including spatial, graph, or document with standard SQL access.

You may be familiar with SAP HANA’s native support for Spatial, ​Graph, embedded Machine Learning​ and Python / R machine learning clients.  Do you know that the SAP HANA AFL, Application Function Library, has several libraries: PAL, EML, and APL?

  • SAP HANA PAL, Predictive Analysis Library, provides a host of classic and universal algorithms and when paired with SAP HANA’s ability to host execution engines and perform local calculations in-memory and in parallel, it provides a unique capability to accelerate machine learning models.
  • SAP HANA EML, External Machine Library, enables access to TensorFlow models from SAP HANA.
  • SAP HANA Automated Predictive Library, APL, exposes the data mining capabilities of the Automated Analytics engine in SAP HANA through a set of functions. A developer can use these functions to develop a predictive modeling process that allows business analysts to answer simple questions on their customer datasets stored in SAP HANA. APL is designed to solve time series, clustering, binary classification, regression and recommendation use cases

These engines and function libraries help answer business critical questions and provide insight for “what-if” scenarios to determine strategy.  Be sure to watch the replay of What’s New in SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 05: Advanced Analytics for the latest updates.

Are you aware of SAP HANA’s integration with GeoServer, an open source server designed for sharing geospatial data, especially focused on interoperability and DBeaver, a free open source multi-platform database tool​?

  • With GeoServer, SAP HANA can be used as data storage for geospatial data​ and GeoServer can render data which resides in SAP HANA. To learn how to connect SAP HANA to GeoServer, refer to this blog post.
  • DBeaver helps developers helps with the data preparation of complex visualizations, it is handy to have a tool to do quick intermediate visualizations in order to check partial results or quickly do a feasibility check of the data. Learn more here.

SAP HANA capabilities and tools help IT organizations reduce time to value and improve IT operational efficiency to bring true business value to IT.   But what does this mean to the business?  How about higher revenue, fast time to insight, and 5x developer productivity?  Please see IDC’s study which demonstrates the significant value organizations can achieve by using SAP HANA to innovate with new business-critical custom applications.

Developer tools for SAP HANA make it easy to build and deploy intelligent applications on one copy of the data – without duplicating data to achieve acceptable performance, moving data around to create unified views, or using multiple programming models to process different data types.  Getting answers to questions that can drive strategy, optimize profits, while driving lower TCO is game changing for the business user.

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