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Author's profile photo Ravi Kant Raja

Smart Data Access (SDA)

Smart Data Access is a SAP Technology which transfers the data from the source system tables virtually in SAP Hana system in the form of Virtual tables. These Virtual tables in SAP Hana will point towards Remote tables of any type of source system (SAP/ Non-SAP).

This technology has many benefits Firstly in terms of DB space usage as it utilizes SAP HANA in-memory capability to model the data virtually without any loss of data.

Second benefit that it provides, it allows to connect any type of source systems irrespective of the type of the backend Database. The underlying technology for main connection setup still remains the same, which is ODBC connection.

Third, and the most important benefit of SDA is Real Time data accessibility. This allows the developer and business users to visualize the data on the fly, and delta changes can be captured on the dashboards the moment it is posted in the source tables.

Overall steps which are needed for setting up SDA (eg. Oracle DB) are listed below-

  1. For setting up SDA between SAP HANA and any non-SAP system we need to create a Remote Source first. Remote Source can be created from SAP HANA Studio under the respective Systems by following the path- Provisioning-> Remote Sources-> Right click and click New Remote Source.
  2. Prerequisite- To create a Remote Source from SAP HANA an ODBC connection needs to be
    established to the Remote Database.
  3. For creating ODBC connection, ODBC drivers must be installed in to the HANA system. This can be checked by logging on to the Home Directory using the SAP HANA admin profile/ roles.
  4. The version of ODBC drivers should be compatible with the External System’s database version, eg (Oracle 9i, 10g, 12c, etc). The list of compatible drivers can be find on the Oracle Driver portals or
  5. Once the Oracle Drivers are installed, we need to follow the steps from 3 onwards-
  6. Now, Restart SAP HANA, and under provisioning folder, create a new Remote Source and pass the parameters for DSN and Configuration file.
  7. Save the newly created Remote Source and check the connection. If the connection gets
    established successfully the source tables from Oracle Database will get visible in SAP HANA.


Please follow below steps for detailed overview –


Pre- requisite- When you use Oracle Database 12C, use the driver unixODBC version 2.3.2.

  1. Update unixODBC to version unixODBC-2.3.2.

Get the odbc drivers installed by the unix team.

2. Install the Oracle Database 12c driver.
Download two packages: and instantclient-odbc-

Download the drivers from link –

      3.  Directly unzip the driver packages after you download them. The folder instantclient_12_1 will

be generated. It will not conflict with other database libraries.

4. Create tnsnames.ora and tnsadmin.ora to establish the connectivity.

       5. Create the Oracle TNS name and DSN entry (.odbc.ini).

       6. Add the following environment variables to the file in the home directory of the

SAP HANA administrator user:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:your_oracle_driver_dir/instantclient_12_1
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/lib
export TNS_ADMIN=~/


       7. Restart SAP HANA.

8. Create the Oracle remote source with the following statement: CREATE REMOTE SOURCE


‘DSN=ora12c’ WITH CREDENTIAL TYPE ‘Character#123’ USING


Further proceed to configure in SAP HANA Studio.

        9. Remote source has been created successfully.


Conclusion: Smart Data Access (SDA) is a very powerful technology to virtually visualize the data in Real Time with very high performance leveraging in-memory power of SAP HANA architecture. The above steps are specifically required only when you try connecting the Oracle based databases with SAP. Integrating non-SAP databases with SAP is bit challenging as a single miss in configurations can create problems in Live connection but it is possible through SDA.

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      Author's profile photo Balaji Bysani
      Balaji Bysani

      Hi Ravi,

      Thanks for posting document on SDA.