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What’s New – SAP HANA Cloud April 2021

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

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In a Nutshell

Q1 2021

Last month, SAP HANA Cloud Q1 2021 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.

New Database Services

Two new database services have been added to SAP HANA Cloud

  • SAP HANA Cloud, adaptive server enterprise (ASE)
  • SAP HANA Cloud, ASE replication

In addition, SAP HANA Cloud, data lake is now also available stand-alone (next to the integrated version with the SAP HANA database).

For the Spotlight articles on these topic, see

For the announcement, see

For the webcast, see

Related Services

The SAP HANA Cloud service comprises not only a database and data lake but also several related services and components like SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) cockpit, SAP Business Application Studio, or the SAP HANA cockpit and SAP HANA database explorer tools as-a-service.

Release times for front-end tools and services do not always align with the back-end services which might cause a slight delay between the release of a feature and its availability.

SAP HANA Journey

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

Documentation

For the documentation, see

For the SAP HANA database, the Q1 innovations are labeled as Cloud Edition (CE) 2021.18 and 2021.19.

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Road Map Explorer

Q1 – 2021

For information about released innovations, current developments, and future plans see the Road Map Explorer for SAP HANA Cloud. The roadmap lists the highlights and includes topics like data center availability not covered in the product/service release notes.

For the complete list of released innovations, see

Q2 – 2021 and Beyond

For information about current developments and future release plans, see.

Multi-Cloud

As of Q1, the SAP HANA Cloud service is also available from the AWS data center in Seoul, South Korea. For the list of the available locations and cloud providers, see

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SAP HANA Cloud Service

The What’s New documentation (release notes) lists new and enhanced features for the overarching service, the database, the data lake, and the administration tools cockpit and database explorer.

Administration

Instance Management

Using the SAP HANA Cloud Central app, you can now add (link) a data lake instance to a database.

Scale-up of the SAP HANA Cloud database instance is self-service. Decreasing the memory size is now also possible although this still requires a service request (as with recovery and to remove the document store).

Documentation

SAP HANA Cloud Central

We manage and configure the SAP HANA Cloud service using a separate interface/app: SAP HANA Cloud Central. New for this release is a dedicated guide for the tool covering topics like

  • Creating SAP HANA database, data lake, ASE, and ASE Replication instances
  • Instance management using SAP HANA cockpit and the database explorer
  • Instance management using the Cloud Foundry CLI
cf create-service hana-cloud hana my_hana_db -c 
'{
	"data": {
		"edition": "cloud",
		"memory": 45,
		"systempassword": "<password>",
		"whitelistIPs": ["10.2.3.0/24"],
		"enabledservices": {
			"scriptserver": true
		}
	}
}'

As documented

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SAP HANA Cloud, SAP HANA Database

Security

LDAP-based authentication and X.509 client certificates and identity providers (as database objects) are now also supported for SAP HANA Cloud.

This functionality was already available for the SAP HANA platform (on premises) and for the SAP HANA Academy we recorded a couple of video tutorials about how to work with LDAP at the time

For more information, see also

The features are listed in the What’s New (filter on CE2021.08 and Security) and documented in the guide.

Administration

SAP HANA Cloud Central

Database backups are created automatically and continuously but should you want to recover, you need to create a service request. Recovery, however, is self-service (once the requested backups have been made available).

  • Start Recovery | SAP HANA Cloud Administration with SAP HANA Cloud Central

Smart Data Access

Smart data access (SDA) provides query federation and enables you to create virtual tables (metadata) with the actual data residing in tables stored in other SAP HANA Cloud databases, SAP HANA platform databases on premises, Google BigQuery, or Amazon Athena (for other sources we can use smart data integration or SDI).

In some situations, you might also want (some) of the data stored locally. For example, for frequently queried tables. For this, SAP HANA Cloud supports the use of virtual table replicas.

In some situations, you might even want to partition the snapshot replica. For example, to overcome the 2 billion row replica limit. This is now supported. Small print: single-level range partitioning only.

SQL syntax and statement samples can be found in the SQL Reference Guide.

ALTER VIRTUAL TABLE "VT1" ADD SHARED SNAPSHOT REPLICA 
 PARTITION BY RANGE ("l_orderkey") 
  (PARTITION 1 <= VALUES < 10000, 
   PARTITION 10000 <= VALUES < 20000, 
   PARTITION OTHERS) 
 ASYNC

Table Management

Temporal tables enable us to manage historical data. One example are system-versioned tables,  which maintain a history of changes to support time-based queries. Another are application-time period tables. For more information, see the Administration Guide, Temporal Tables.

Previously, system-versioned tables used the timestamp when a transactions was started. Now, you can also use the commit timestamp.

SQL syntax and statement samples can be found in the SQL Reference Guide. A system-versioned tables with transactional system-time is created with the COMMIT clause.

CREATE COLUMN TABLE my_table_history
(x INT,
 y DOUBLE,
 valid_from TIMESTAMP NOT NULL,
 valid_to TIMESTAMP NOT NULL GENERATED ALWAYS AS ROW COMMIT);

CREATE COLUMN table my_table
(x INT PRIMARY KEY,
 y DOUBLE,
 valid_from TIMESTAMP NOT NULL GENERATED ALWAYS AS ROW START COMMIT,
 valid_to TIMESTAMP NOT NULL GENERATED ALWAYS AS ROW END,
 PERIOD FOR SYSTEM_TIME (valid_from, valid_to))
WITH SYSTEM VERSIONING HISTORY TABLE my_table_history;

Development

Machine Learning: Predictive Analysis Library

Six more functions have been added to the Predictive Analysis Library.

Classification Algorithms
Time Series Algorithms

Most of our readers will be familiar with the math, but here is a reminder of the formula:

Let W = {wj,k}(P + 1) × C be the model, where P is feature dimension, and C is the number of class labels. When P = 0 it represents the intercept term in model. Given one observations z = ⟨x,y⟩, where y ∈ {1,…,C}, and x = {xj}1×P, the probability with a given model and given observation will be:

The other functions require some more explanation (see the documentation) but you get the picture.

Text Processing Algorithms

In addition, several text mining functions have been added to the library for term analysis, text classification, and related and relevant documents and terms, for TF-IDF (frequency–inverse document frequency) calculation, and for text mining.

call _SYS_AFL.PAL_TEXT_TFIDF
 (PAL_TFIDF_DATA_TAB, PAL_TM_TERM_IDF_TAB, "#PAL_PARAMETER_TAB",?);

Machine Learning: Automated Predictive Library (APL)

Several enhancements have been made to the APL like optimised memory usage for gradient boosting, new statistical reports, and debrief tables.

Graph

Enhancements were made to GraphScript functions (vertex, edge, weighted path operations), built-in graph algorighms, time functions and the OPENCYPHER_TABLE function.

The features are listed in the What’s New (filter on CE2021.08 and Graph) and documented in the reference.

Spatial

A new polygon method has been added plus support for the SEED parameter for K-Means clustering.

SELECT ST_MakePolygon
 (NEW ST_LineString
   ('LINESTRING(0 0, 10 0, 10 10, 0 10, 0 0)')) 
  FROM dummy;

 

The features are listed in the What’s New (filter on CE2021.08 and Spatial) and documented in the reference.

In addition, the open-source QGIS Desktop client now support SAP HANA Cloud (and the platform) as native database provider. For the details, see=

SQL

Some of the innovations mentioned above are reflected in the changes made to SQL statements to support the functionality, e.g. ALTER VIRTUAL TABLE statement, plus the support for LDAP.

Worth mentioning is a macro to support syntax that distinguishes between SAP HANA Cloud and the SAP HANA platform (on premises).

CREATE PROCEDURE testproc AS 
BEGIN
    ##ifdef HANA_CLOUD  
    CREATE TABLE cloudTable(d int);
    ##else  
    CREATE TABLE opremTable(d int);
    ##endif  
END;

Note that there have been a few changes to some of the system views.

The features are listed in the What’s New (filter on CE2021.08 and SQL) and documented in the reference.

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SAP HANA Cloud Data Lake

What’s New

For Laura’s Spotlight post

For some more background about IQ

See also support note

You can now add data lake IQ to an existing data lake instance.

Documentation

For the stand-alone documentation, see

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SAP HANA Cloud Adaptive Server Enterprise

What’s New

SAP HANA Cloud, adaptive server enterprise (ASE) is now available as part of SAP HANA Cloud. ASE enables extreme online transaction processing (XOLTP) in addition to the real-time analytical capabilities offered in SAP HANA Cloud.

We can use SAP HANA Cloud Central to create and configure ASE instances (service). For monitoring and administration, a dedicated Overview app has been added (see below under SAP HANA cockpit). As SQL Console, we can use the SAP HANA database explorer.

For the community blog posts, see

Learning Track

To familiarise yourself with SAP HANA Cloud, adaptive server enterprise, sign up (free) for onboarding guide

Documentation

For the documentation, see

ASE service is available on Azure only in the region Europe-Netherlands Azure and US East-VA Azure. ASE service is not available on the SAP HANA Cloud trial.

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SAP HANA Cloud ASE Replication

What’s New

SAP HANA Cloud, adaptive server enterprise replication (ASE replication) is available as part of SAP HANA Cloud. ASE replication is a log-based and high performance replication system that supports real-time replication from ASE to ASE instances on SAP HANA Cloud.

We can use SAP HANA Cloud Central to create and configure ASE replication instances (service). For monitoring and administration, a dedicated Overview app has been added (see below under SAP HANA cockpit). As SQL Console, we can use the SAP HANA database explorer.

For the community blog posts, see

Documentation

For the documentation, see

ASE replication service is available on Azure only in the region Europe-Netherlands Azure and US East-VA Azure. ASE replication service is not available on the SAP HANA Cloud trial.

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SAP HANA Cockpit

What’s New

New features for the SAP HANA cockpit released in March and April.

What’s New for SAP HANA Cockpit is documented in the SAP HANA Cloud Database Administration with SAP HANA Cockpit guide.

Administration

A new Overview is available for monitoring and configuration of SAP HANA Cloud, adaptive server enterprise.

A new Overview is available for monitoring and configuration of SAP HANA Cloud, ASE replication.

A new Overview is available for monitoring and configuration of SAP HANA Cloud, data lake.

The Collection Diagnosis Information app now includes a Document Store Server entry.

Workload classes have been integrated with admission control.

Security

As mentioned above, SAP HANA Cloud, SAP HANA database now supports X.509 certificates for user authentication in single sign-on (SSO) environments and for system to system integration.

The X.509 Identity Provider app has been added to the cockpit plus support for the feature in the User Management and Certificate Collections app (similar to the SAP HANA platform on-premises).

The set of recommended audit policies from the Basic Setup wizard has been enhanced. It also now possible to download audit entries to a CSV file for archiving.

The Role Assignment app now also shows indirectly (inherited) assigned roles

Monitoring

A notification icon has been added to the header bar indicating the number of unread messages.

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SAP HANA Database Explorer

What’s New

New features for the SAP HANA database explorer released in March and April.

What’s New for SAP HANA Database Explorer is documented in the SAP HANA Database Explorer guide.

The information is now also directly accessible from the Help menu.

Administration

SAP HANA database explorer supports SAP HANA Cloud, data lake, adaptive server enterprise, and ASE replication.

Explain Plan for SQL statements are now searched for parameters.

You can now import ESRI shapefiles in ZIP format. Previously, only the TAR.GZ format was accepted.

When exporting data into a parquet file, you can now select the compression type and the number of rows for each row group.

Smart data integration (SDI) tasks are now executed as background activity and no longer tied to your session. As with other background activities, progress is shown in the Background Activities Monitor.

Data Lake Containers are displayed in the database catalog browser

Some system statements have been removed (house keeping).

Monitoring

The Messages tab now shows detailed SQL statement resource consumption metrics.

The object editor view now displays public synonyms.

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SAP HANA Client

What’s New

The latest SAP HANA 2.8 client introduces mostly fixes with a few minor enhancements. SAP recommends to use the latest client release to take advantage of the latest product updates and fixes.

For further details about maintained client versions, see

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Learn More

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.

SAP HANA Academy

For a deep-dive, visit the SAP HANA Academy on YouTube. The SAP HANA Cloud playlist numbers 40+ videos, viewed 40K times.

For the blog posts with background information and references, see

Learning Tracks

For the learning tracks, visit

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

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For the author page of SAP Press, visit

For the SAP HANA Cloud e-bite, see

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