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What’s New – SAP HANA Cloud Q3 2020

With this blog post series we provide an update with the latest information about SAP HANA Cloud on the SAP Cloud Platform.

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In a Nutshell

Quarterly Release Cycle 03-2020

End of September, SAP HANA Cloud Quarterly Release Cycle (QRC) 03 2020 was released. In this blog post you will find most of the highlights for the service, the database, and the tools with references to the documentation.

Highlights are

  • Migration tool
  • Support for larger instances
  • Data anonymization for remote sources
  • Support for export and import to parquet files
  • Table-level backup and restore for SAP HANA Data Lake

For the blog post from product management, see

Road Map View

The Road Map Explorer lists 14 innovations for the Q3 2020 SAP HANA Cloud release. Most innovations are also addressed in the documentation with a few exceptions.

  • Data center availability in the Microsoft Azure data center in Singapore (AP21)
  • Python machine learning client that supports spatial and graph processing (hana-ml)

For the Road Map Explorer view, see

Documentation

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SAP HANA Cloud Service

The SAP HANA Cloud service references the service as listed on the SAP Cloud Platform. See the entry on the Discover Center for a general description of the features and service plans with pricing.

Memory Size

SAP HANA Cloud instances can now be configured with up to 3600 GB memory capacity.

Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning

Initially, SAP HANA Cloud did not include the script server process required to execute C++ code natively as application function libraries (AFLs). This complements SQL execution for more complex requirements and is used in the Predictive Analysis Library (PAL), the Automated Predictive Library (APL), and for any SAP product-specific AFL.

As of the Q2 release, the script server could be enabled with a service request.

You can enable the script server for new and existing SAP HANA Cloud database instances.

As documented

Data Migration

This QRC releases introduces a cloud-based service to migrate an SAP HANA database from the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA Service (provisioned after June 4, 2018) on Cloud Foundry to SAP HANA Cloud.

As you would expect, this service is free of charge. It automates the whole migration process including pre-migration checks to detect any potential issues.

For a bit of background about the different SAP HANA database-as-a-services, see

In short, all previous services were virtual machine-based (IaaS) whereas SAP HANA Cloud is based on containers, Docker and Kubernetes to be precise.

  • In the SAP Cloud Platform Neo environment, we find SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 12 release databases. Due to the end-of-maintenance of this version in June 2021, an upgrade to 2.0 will be made available.
  • The SAP HANA Service in the SAP Cloud Platform Cloud Foundry environment came in two flavours (prior June 2018 and after) related to the deployment technology (under the hood topic). The service with Azure as cloud provider is being retired. For AWS, the service is still available. These are all candidates for migration to SAP HANA Cloud.

As documented

A new learning track is available on the microsite.

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SAP HANA Cloud Database

Security: Data Anonymization

Business benefit: Enable on-the-fly anonymization in the cloud for sensitive data from remote systems, so workload is kept separate from source systems, but original data is not accessible in the cloud. 

Data anonymization is nothing new –the capability was introduced with SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 02 in 2018– but we now anonymize data replicated from remote sources. How this works? The same as for local tables. No learning curve.

As documented in the new SAP HANA Cloud Data Anonymization Guide

For the how-to tutorials videos on this topic, see

See also the micro-site

Administration: Smart Data Access

With SAP HANA Cloud as single gateway to all your data, Smart Data Access (SDA) and data federation has received a significant boost. We have one new feature and two enhancements.

  • Remote execution
  • Replicas and snapshots

Virtual Table Administration

For remote data sources with credential type password only the owner who set the password has the authorization to use the WITH REMOTE clause. A new remote data source capability extends this to all users (disabled by default).

ALTER REMOTE SOURCE <remote_source> SET PROPERTY
 'CAP_REMOTE_TABLE_ADMIN_TECHUSER_NO_OWNERSHIP'='TRUE';

As documented in the SAP HANA Cloud Administration Guide

(Cancel) Asynchronous Replication

Here is the SQL to add snapshot replicas to virtual tables. The clauses CANCEL and ASYNC are new.

ALTER VIRTUAL TABLE <table_name> [CANCEL] 
ADD SHARED [SNAPSHOT] REPLICA 
[PAGE|COLUMN LOADABLE] [ASYNC];
ALTER VIRTUAL TABLE <table_name> [CANCEL] 
REFRESH SNAPSHOT REPLICA [ASYNC];

The ASYNC option can be used to trigger asynchronous execution of the statement (for example, when the initialization of the replica takes too long). The CANCEL option stops the asynchronous job that is running and clears the replicas created by the previous asynchronous execution of the statement.

As documented in the SAP HANA Cloud Administration Guide

Development: Predictive Analysis Library

Now that the script server is available, we want to use it of course.

To get started with this topic, see

For the documentation, see

New functions added to the PAL:

Enhanced PAL functions:

With modifications to local interpretability of models and background data support.

See the reference guide for all supported functions.

Cloud Data Integration: Native Access to Parquet Files

The previous release introduced support for the import and export of catalog objects from an Amazon S3 bucket or Azure storage.

With this release, the IMPORT and EXPORT statements now also support the parquet format.

<export_format> ::= CSV | PARQUET | BINARY [ <binary_type> ]

Big data aficionados will be familiar Parquet as it comes from the Apache Hadoop ecosystem which brought us Spark, Hive, Pig, HBase, Zookeeper, and many more. It is an open-source column-oriented data storage format quite suitable to SAP HANA.

Source: databricks.com/glossary/what-is-parquet

In addition the IMPORT SCAN statement was added which searches a path for objects exported with the EXPORT and EXPORT INTO statements and stores the results in a session-local temporary table.

# IMPORT SCAN <path> [ <file> ] [ WITH <import_scan_option_list> ] 
IMPORT SCAN '/data/import_path/data.parquet';
SELECT * FROM #IMPORT_SCAN_FILE_RESULT;

As documented

Security: SAML, JWT, and Tokens

As with SAP HANA on-premises, you can now create SAML and JWT providers and use JWT tokens in CONNECT statements.

CONNECT { <user_name> PASSWORD <password>
 | WITH SAML ASSERTION <xml>
 | WITH JWT <token> }

As documented,

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SAP HANA Cloud Data Lake

Administration: Backup and Recovery

Two new features

  • Table-level backup and restore
  • Disaster recovery via storage snapshots

The table-level backup creates an image of data (FP index in binary format) for all columns. Data lake triggers snapshots of underlying storage once every 3 hours, which can be used for recovery via  a service request. There is some fine print for both features so make sure to read the docs.

As documented in the SAP HANA Cloud, Data Lake Administration Guide

The Road Map Explorer also mentions

  • Materialized views for SQL results in the data lake
  • Use of stored procedures (IQ SQL)

For the differences between the cloud and on-premises versions, see

See also

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SAP HANA Cockpit and Database Explorer

SAP HANA Cloud gets to use the latest and greatest features of the SAP HANA cockpit and the SAP HANA database explorer.

Below a selection of the new features for Q3. Full the complete set, see

Navigation

Open cards (tiles) and links in new browser tabs or windows. You can even go incognito so your DBA won’t find out that you reset his password (joke, that’s a joke).

The header now includes Switch Application with a search bar and list of applications.

 

Navigate easily to other databases (including SAP HANA Service instances) from the header of both the SAP HANA cockpit and the SAP HANA database explorer.

As documented in the SAP HANA Cockpit guide

Buffer Cache Monitor

With the Configure Buffer Cache Size dialog of the Buffer Cache Monitor app we can configure the maximum cache size and provide a cap. New to this dialog is that it is a dialog! Enter a value and you get feedback on the result.

Memory Paging Monitor

A few enhancements have been made to the Memory Paging Monitor:

  • Filter on Load Unit
  • Information on Delta Memory
  • Sort according to Delta Memory
  • Unloaded Memory size calculation

The unloaded memory size is now calculated as: the physical disk size minus the total memory size.

As documented

Replication Service using SDI

The replication service allows you to replicate user privileges, tables, and views from SAP HANA on-premise to SAP HANA Cloud. This makes it possible to move a subset of the data and begin using SAP HANA Cloud without a full migration of your on-premise system.

This requires the SAP HANA Data Provisioning Server on the SAP HANA Cloud and the Data Provisioning Agent on the on-premises system.

As documented

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What’s Next

Before we look into the rearview mirror and see what has been released with QRC 03/2020, should you want to know what’s ahead visit the Road Map Explorer for SAP HANA Cloud on sap.com.

Road Map Explorer

For the complete list and the fine print, see the What’s New Guide and the SAP Road Map Explorer with filter on Q2 2020. For information about future development, filter on Q4 and later.

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How To

Update Available

The SAP HANA Cloud card for the instance indicates when an update is available. Select it to update the instance. During the update, the instance cannot be started, stopped, or deleted. The updating procedure involves some downtime.

As documented,

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SAP HANA Cloud

Free Trial

Probably not exactly news for most of the readers as we covered this topic in some detail in our getting started blog.

The YouTube video tutorial series has grown to 33 videos with views approaching 20K. Thanks for watching!

For the excellent learning track from the SAP HANA Cloud Product Marketing team, visit

You can sign up for the trial here:

The trial period is valid for 30 days but you have the option to extend your trial for an additional 30 days twice (90 day maximum).

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Share and Connect

Questions? Post as comment.

Useful? Give a like and share on social media. Thanks!

If you would like to receive updates, connect with me on

For the author page of SAP Press, visit

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