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Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen

What’s New – SAP HANA Cloud Jan 2021 (QRC 4)

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

For the blog post series about getting started, see

For a comparison between SAP HANA and SAP HANA Cloud, see

Questions? Post as comment.

Useful? Give us a like and share on social media.

Thanks!

Latest Update:

  • January 19 – added Cloud Connector and updated road map section

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In a Nutshell

QRC 4

Earlier this month, SAP HANA Cloud Quarterly Release Cycle (QRC) 4 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 and other resources.

Related Services

The SAP HANA Cloud service comprises a database and a data lake but also several related services and components with sometimes a different release schedule.

  • SAP Cloud Platform cockpit (service management UI)
  • SAP HANA cockpit and SAP HANA database explorer (administration)
  • SAP Business Application Studio (development)
  • SAP HANA client

For this reason, we may find some features already available (self-service scale-up), while others are may require a bit more patience (self-service enablement for the JSON Document Store).

Below we cover both SAP HANA Cloud and the related services.

SAP HANA Journey

For the blog post with highlights from the SAP HANA Journey microsite, see

Documentation

For the documentation, see

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Road Map Explorer

Q4 – 2020

For the Road Map Explorer view, see

The Road Map Explorer lists 29 innovations for Q4 2020 SAP HANA Cloud categorised as

  • Administering and Monitoring Databases (6)
  • Application Development (3)
  • Cloud Availability Assurance (7)
  • Cloud Data Integration (1)
  • Data Anonymization (1)
  • Data Privacy and Protection (2)
  • Graphical View Modeling (3)
  • Managed Data Lake (3)
  • Multi-Model Data Processing (3)
  • Multi-Tier Storage (2)
  • Other (1)

Some innovations have been available for some time, as mentioned in the previous blog post What’s New – SAP HANA Cloud | November 2020.

Multi-Cloud

Other innovations concern cloud availability (see Data Centers for the list of locations).

Administering and Monitoring Databases

This category lists the innovations of the database explorer and database cockpit “tool-as-a-service” which come with SAP HANA Cloud like support for Apache Parquet, Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service, and Esri shapefiles.

More about this below, under SAP HANA Cockpit and SAP HANA Database Explorer.

Application Development

Under application development we find new features of the SAP HANA client to provide additional options to connect to SAP HANA Cloud and the new SQL Analyzer extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code.

We can also mention SAP Business Application Studio as the new IDE with support for native SAP HANA development (categorised under multi-cloud).

More about this below, under SQL Analyzer, Business Application Studio, and SAP HANA Client.

Cloud Data Integration

Cloud data integration innovations concern the enhanced replication tooling support from on-premise to SAP HANA Cloud.

Security

Data Anonymization and Data Privacy and Protection mention support for the unmasked privilege and support for X.509 certificate-based authentication.

More about this below, under security.

Data Lake

Under Managed Data Lake we find support for larger machine sizes, support for EFS as storage option, and SAP-managed backups.

More about this below, under SAP HANA Cloud Data Lake.

Multi-Model Data Processing

QRC 4 introduces an embedded JSON document store, new predictive and forecasting algorithms, and ESRI ArcGIS geodatabase certification.

More about the document store and algorithms below.

For more information (e-books and webinars) about the geodatabase, see

Multi-Tier Storage

This concerns the innovations for configurable storage provisioning for SAP HANA native storage extension and self-service resizing of the storage allocation for native storage extension.

As documented

Other

Amongst the remaining innovations we can mention the connection process between SAP HANA Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud and Integration for user-friendly reporting on calculation views with SAP Analytics Cloud.

Q1 – 2021

For information about future developments, see.

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SAP HANA Cloud Service

JSON Document Store

The document store is a dedicated, but fully integrated binary store in SAP HANA Cloud to store and process data in JSON format natively in the database while providing a seamless SQL integration.

As documented in the (new) guide on the topic,

A NoSQL store for JSON documents was introduced with SAP HANA 2.0 platform edition SPS 01 in 2017 but initially not available for SAP HANA Cloud. The QRC 4 release add the DocStore as additional persistence besides column and row store.

The Document Store is enabled using the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit SAP HANA Cloud management tool, similar to the script server for AFL (shared services are enabled from the system database for the instance managed by SAP).

For the Spotlight article from the UA development team,see

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SAP HANA Cloud Database

Administration

SAP Cloud Connector

You can enable the SAP Cloud Connector (SCC) for a database instance. Use the SAP Cloud Connector to extend your existing SAP HANA on-premise system with SAP HANA Cloud.

As documented

For the Spotlight article from the UA development team,see

Instance Sizing

You can change the disk storage space independent of the memory size of an instance.

As documented

Import / Export

You can now use SQL commands to import and export data directly from AliCloud Object Storage Service (OSS). This complements AWS S3 and Microsoft Azure introduced with QRC 2 and the IMPORT FROM and EXPORT INTO statements.

IMPORT FROM CSV FILE 
'oss://<access_key_id>:<access_key_secret>@<region>.aliyuncs.com/<bucket_name>/My_lineitem.csv' 
into MySchema.LINEITEM with field delimited by ',' threads 4;

As documented

Table Management – Partitioning

It is now possible to create dynamic range partitions which are time-based.

CREATE COLUMN TABLE T 
  (A NVARCHAR(5) NOT NULL, NUM INTEGER NOT NULL) 
PARTITION BY RANGE (A AS INT) 
  (PARTITION OTHERS DYNAMIC THRESHOLD 3000000);

A table consistency check has been added for illegal non-numerical data.

CALL CHECK_TABLE_CONSISTENCY
 ('CHECK_PARTITIONING_DYNAMIC_RANGE', 'MYSCHEMA', 'MYTABLE01,MYTABLE02')

You can improve performance by using time functions with the TIMESTAMP data type to prune partitions based on the value returned by the function.

create table t(col timestamp) 
  partition by range(month(col)) ( 
    partition '2020/01' <= values < '2020/07', 
    partition '2020/07' <= values < '2021/01', 
    partition '2021/01' <= values < '2021/07', 
    partition '2021/07' <= values < '2022/01', 
    partition others);

You can use the SQL TRUNCATE statement to delete the content of specific partitions.

TRUNCATE TABLE T1 PARTITION (2,3);

As documented

Table Management – Table Replication

Table groups can be applied to replica tables and partitions so that you can manage replicas in groups in a SAP HANA scale-out landscape.

CREATE COLUMN TABLE "SYSTEM"."T1" (A INT, B INT) 
  WITH REPLICA 
  GROUP NAME GROUPB 
  GROUP TYPE type1 
  GROUP LEAD AT LOCATION 'MyHost:31340’;

As documented

Workload Management – Workload Classes and Admission Control

Two new workload class properties have been introduced to apply admission control thresholds so that if the current workload level is too high, statements can be queued and executed later (the reject clauses were already available).

create workload class "MyWorkloadClass" set 
  'ADMISSION CONTROL QUEUE CPU THRESHOLD' = '70', 
  'ADMISSION CONTROL QUEUE MEMORY THRESHOLD' = '80', 
  'ADMISSION CONTROL REJECT CPU THRESHOLD' = '100', 
  'ADMISSION CONTROL REJECT MEMORY THRESHOLD' = '100';

As documented

Plan Cache

You can now delete individual plans from the Plan Cache.

-- ALTER SYSTEM REMOVE SQL PLAN CACHE [ WHERE <condition> ]
ALTER SYSTEM REMOVE SQL PLAN CACHE WHERE EXECUTION_COUNT < 5;
ALTER SYSTEM REMOVE SQL PLAN CACHE WHERE IS_VALID = ‘FALSE’;
ALTER SYSTEM REMOVE SQL PLAN CACHE WHERE ACCESSED_TABLE_NAMES LIKE ‘%AAA%’ ;

As documented

Development

JSON Document Store

Described above under SAP HANA Cloud service.

Predictive Analysis Library (PAL)

New PAL functions have been added like Attention and Unified Regression with others enhanced like Accelerated K-Means and MCMC Sampling. For those interested, best to consult the What’s New with filter on Machine Learning as the list is fairly long and rather unintelligible for the non-initiated.

As documented

Automated Predictive Library (APL)

New aliases, some (minor) syntax changes, new samples, and a JavaScript runtime.

As documented

For the documentation portal, visit

Security

Authentication using X509

The identity of users accessing the SAP HANA database from ODBC client applications can now be authenticated by X.509 client certificates issued by a trusted identity provider.

This includes SSO support and complements the SAML and JWT authentication mechanisms for SAP HANA Cloud.

-- Create provider
CREATE X509 PROVIDER MyProvider 
  WITH ISSUER 'CN=DigiCert Global Root CA, OU=www.digicert.com, O=DigiCert Inc, C=US';
-- Create (or alter) user
CREATE USER JOHN 
  WITH IDENTITY 'CN=JOHN, OU=SAP SE, C=DE' FOR X509 PROVIDER MyProvider;

As documented

SAML and JWT Provider Management (New)

SAML and JWT providers are now database objects that follow standard ownership and authorization principles. They can be authorized using the new object privileges ALTER, DROP, and REFERENCES.

As documented,

Previously, these objects could only be managed from the system database using SYSTEM procedures.

SAML and JWT Provider Management (Changed)

Collections (PSEs) with purpose SAML, JWT, or X509 must now be qualified.

As documented

User management

Stored procedures are available to resolve a situation in which a user group cannot be managed because no user has the USERGROUP OPERATOR object privilege on the user group.

As documented

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SAP HANA Cloud Data Lake

Administration: Backup and Recovery

Two new features

  • AWS EFS Storage Provider
  • Backup and recovery of data lake data

Storage Service Type

When creating a new instance, you can now choose between the types SAP Native (backed by NetApp) or AWS Elastic File System (EFS).

Ticket-based Recovery

Recovery is performed from automatic database backups for data lake instances. The recovery point objective is 3 hours. To initiate a recovery, open a service request with SAP Support.

As documented

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

See also

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SAP HANA Cockpit and SAP HANA Database Explorer

For administration, SAP HANA Cloud uses the latest version of the SAP HANA cockpit and the SAP HANA database explorer.

SAP HANA Database Explorer

New features for the SAP HANA database explorer were released mid-December 2020.

  • Ability to filter and group database connections
  • New import and export functionality
    • New import type: Esri shapefiles
    • New import/export sources: Amazon S3, Azure Storage, and Alibaba Cloud OSS
    • New formats: Parquet and Binary

As documented

For a step-by-step guide, see

The tutorial video from product management highlights the new features.

SAP HANA SQL Analyzer

The SAP HANA SQL Analyzer extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code provides graphical analysis of SQL execution plans as successor of the SQL Analyzer tool of the SAP HANA cockpit and the HANA Plan Visualiser (PlanViz) of SAP HANA studio.

 

The tutorial video from product management highlights the new features.

SAP HANA SQL Analyzer in action.

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SAP Business Application Studio

New Extension: SAP HANA Native Application

SAP Business Application Studio, also AppStudio or BAS, was made generally available in February 2020.

New is the support for “native” SAP HANA database development.

As documented

Learning Tracks and Missions

For the SAP HANA Journey tutorials, see

Video Tutorials

For the video tutorials from Digital Partner Engineering / SAP HANA Academy, see

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SAP HANA Client

2.7

For the latest features of the SAP HANA Client 2.7, released December 2020, like X.509 authentication support for SQLDBC-based clients, SQLDBC Tracing to stdout and stderr, and a 32-bit Python driver for the Microsoft Windows platform, see

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How To

Update Available

When an update is available, a notification appears in the SAP HANA Cloudmanagement tool. For the elipsis (…) menu, you can update the instance. This takes a few minutes and requires a restart.

As documented,

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SAP HANA Cloud

Free Trial

For detailed information about how to get started with the trial, including native database development with SAP Business Application Studio, working with SAP HANA Graph, HDI, SDI, PAL, APL, data masking and data anonymization, the HANA Analytics Adapter (HAA) and more, see

To signup for the trial, go to:

The trial period is valid for 30 days but you have the option to extend your trial for an entire year.

Learning Track

For the learning track, visit

SAP HANA Academy YouTube Playlist

The YouTube video tutorial series has grown to 40+ videos with views approaching 30K. Thanks for watching!

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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

For the SAP HANA Cloud e-bite, see

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      5 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Bryan Avila Araya
      Bryan Avila Araya

      Wow, there are tons of exciting new features, thanks Denys.

      Regards.

      Author's profile photo Remi ASTIER
      Remi ASTIER

      Hi Denys, there is also partial MDX support that support could activate upon request. That's useful for compatibility with third party tools such as Power BI.

      Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen
      Denys van Kempen
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks, Remi

      For the reader, concerns

      Author's profile photo Jayson Parker
      Jayson Parker

      Hi Denys,

      When migrating from HANA Service to HANA Cloud in BTP, we're required to purchase HANA Cloud entitlements in order to execute the migration.

      Once the migration to HANA Cloud is complete, what happens to the HANA Service entitlements that are no longer being used?  There is no mention of this in any documentation or notes.

      Any idea?

      Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen
      Denys van Kempen
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Jayson,

      I am not familiar with the commercial fine print. You will need to take this up with your account manager.

      SAP support can help you find the right person.