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Importing shapefiles into SAP HANA Cloud using the Wizard

In this blog post I will try and show you the easiest way to import shapefiles data into HANA Cloud, via the wizard.

There are alternative ways of importing spatial data, that can be used.

  • Import shapefile via wizard
  • Import CSV via wizard and convert to spatial data types
  • Import CSV from Cloud Object Store (S3, GCS, ADL) and convert.

For clarification, spatial data means geometries, shapes such as polygons that will be stored as spatial data types.

Prepare the Data

To use the shapefiles import wizard, your spatial data needs to be using one of the supported spatial references. HANA supports 1000s of spatial references, currently the wizard only supports 5.

The wizard supports the following spatial references IDs (SR IDs)

  • Default
  • 4326
  • 3857
  • 1000004326
  • 2147483646

The wizard expects a .tar.gz file containing both the .shp and .dbf file of the the same name.

The file I’m using is the English geographic regions from UK Office National Statistics (ONS).


Figure 1.1 Download Shapefile


Figure 1.2: Feature layer metadata

Viewing the associated metadata of this file shows that the spatial reference is 27700, which is not one of the supported ones for the wizard.

We can open the shapefile with QGIS to convert this to a supported spatial.


Figure 1.3: QGIS – Save Feature As


Figure 1.4: Save Vector Layer as Options


Create a .tar.gz containing the .shp and .dbf to upload.


Figure 1.5: Create .tar.gz

Database Explorer

The easiest way to import a shapefile is using the Database Explorer, via Import Data

Right Click and select Import Data, open the wizard.  We can use that with an appropriate .tar.gz and follow the steps.


Figure 2.1: Import Data



Figure 2.2: Import Type, ESRI Shapefiles



Figure 2.3: Select file, must be .tar.gz containing .shp and .dbf


Figure 2.4: Import Target Schema, table name will be the original filename without extensions



Figure 2.5: Specify Spatial Reference (SRID)



Figure 2.6: Import Complete



Figure 2.7: Check Table



Figure 2.8: Database Explorer Data Preview, SHAPE column not so readable here


Figure 2.9: DBeaver, much better to validate spatial data


In summary, in this blogpost I described how to use the Import Data for ESRI Shapefiles. With this wizard we can quickly and easily import spatial data into SAP HANA Cloud.

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  • Hi Ian, thank you very much for the tutorial. I was able to import a SHP file successfully into a Hana table. Now my question is how to show the polygons in SAC. Thanks a lot! Liliana

    • Hi Liliana,

      Great stuff.

      I have checked with some colleagues, yes this is feature is available.  However the documentation has not yet been completed.  I plan to create a blog that covers this.  I will let you know once it's available.