What’s New in SAP HANA Cloud in December 2022
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, but for now, we are happy to announce the last quarterly release of SAP HANA Cloud in 2022 today. As always, with this blogpost I am aiming to give you a summary of the broad variety of innovations that have been introduced to our flagship product SAP HANA Cloud in the fourth quarter of this year.
In case you want to get a condensed overview of the most exciting features, you should have a look at my person highlights video on our SAP HANA Cloud YouTube playlist.
Updates to the SAP HANA Cloud tooling
Renovated Tooling for SAP HANA Cloud
With the Q4 release of SAP HANA Cloud, there have been some updates performed to our cloud administration & monitoring tools. I am excited to share that our offered tools are evolving to become a unified environment, including capabilities provided by SAP HANA database explorer, SAP HANA cockpit & SAP HANA Cloud Central. Instead of releasing new tooling, we will strengthen the already very powerful SAP HANA Cloud Central by integrating required functionalities to monitor and administrate your database landscape.
The renovated SAP HANA Cloud Central improves your user experience with a more intuitive approach for managing your landscapes and offers a couple of benefits you can take advantage of:
- First, you don’t need multiple tools anymore, a single interface is now sufficient to perform all your database administration & monitoring tasks.
- Second, with the updated tooling, there are significant performance improvements resulting ultimately in greater productivity.
- And finally, you don’t need to learn yet another tool as you can apply what you have learned so far. We just moved functionalities from three separate tools into one unified one.
This initial delivery will integrate selected functionality of the SAP HANA cockpit into SAP HANA Cloud Central, with subsequent versions incorporating more and more features from the SAP HANA Cockpit and from SAP HANA Database Explorer. Get all the detail in José Ramos’ blogpost.
Display of the end-of-maintenance date
We are staying in the administration and monitoring sphere for a little longer. Since our Q4 2022 release of SAP HANA Cloud, the end-of-maintenance date will be displayed when provisioning a new instance. Also, of course you can view the end-of-maintenance date when examining the details of an existing instance.
Informing the SAP HANA Cloud administrators about the end-of-maintenance date for their instances earlier significantly improves their user experience and eases landscape maintenance. Additionally, it helps to reduce effects any downtimes when encouraging unplanned upgrades of instances running out of maintenance.
End-of-Maintenance date in SAP HANA Cloud Central
Self-Service for memory scale-down
Since the Q4 release of SAP HANA Cloud, you can now scale-down the memory of provisioned SAP HANA database instances of SAP HANA Cloud autonomously. You therefore gain the flexibility to decrease the volume of the memory of SAP HANA Cloud according to your individual needs without having to open a ticket.
SAP HANA Database Explorer
Using the SAP HANA Database Explorer, you can browse and work with SAP HANA database objects e.g., tables, stored procedures, importing and exporting data, executing SQL statements, working with multi-model data such as graph, spatial and JSON collections, viewing trace files, and troubleshooting.
JSON Collection viewer
We are always striving to improve our tooling. Therefore, there have been a couple new features now included into the SAP HANA Database Explorer. New features include three new menu options to generate SQL statements for JSON collections: CREATE, SELECT, INSERT. Moreover, a JSON viewer was integrated.
Data Lake Relational Engine
There have also been a couple of enhancements to the SAP HANA Cloud, data lake relational engine. The new features include statement library support and run statements, in the background and against multiple instances.
Additionally, you can now choose setting for auto-commit, auditing and query plans.
SAP HANA Client
As for the SAP HANA Client, the installer now natively supports Apple ARM64. This brings improved performance and simplicity when working with the SAP HANA Client on Apple ARM64 machines.
For full details of the supported platforms of the SAP HANA Client, please see 3165810 – SAP HANA Client Supported Platforms and reference the 2.15 or QRC 4 2022 release.
Alerts and metrics
Alerts and metrics provide an additional tool to monitor your SAP HANA Cloud and data lake instances. With the Q4 2022 release the following new metrics are now available:
- HDBEstimatedMemorySize which is the lower limit up to which instance can be downsized safely
- HDBBackupTotalSize which is the total size of backup catalog files
The recently added new alerts are
- HDBClientUnsupported which triggers an alert if a connection occurs from an unsupported client occurs
- HDBClientVersion which triggers an alert if a connection using an outdated client version occurs
- HDBCPUUsage which triggers an alert if the average percentage of CPU usage for the last 10 minutes is above a threshold value
- HDBEstimatedMemorySize which triggers an alert if the estimated memory size on the host is above a threshold value
- HDBSynchronousInstanceReplicationSourceInRestrictedAvailabilityZone which triggers an alert if the source node is located in a restricted availability zone
- HDBSynchronousInstanceReplicationSourcesInDifferentAvailabilityZones which can be used to trigger an alert if instances are located in different availability zones
- HDBSynchronousInstanceReplicationTakeoverAcrossAvailabilityZones which triggers an alert if there was a takeover to a different availability zone
For additional details on these and other available metrics and alerts, please see Overview of Available Metrics, SAP HANA Cloud Service Database Events, and Explore SAP HANA Cloud Alerts and Metrics.
Innovations in SAP HANA Cloud, data lake
Let’s continue the summary with taking a look at the SAP HANA Cloud, data lake, which is an integral part of our cloud database solution. Its petabyte scale allows users to store and manage all their data in a single solution. From hot to warm and even cold storage, SAP HANA Cloud offers all in one box.
Are you looking for a standalone data lake? Our SAP HANA Cloud, data lake can also be deployed as a stand-alone solution. You can learn more about this option in our Discovery Center mission.
This quarter I am happy to mention three improvements to the data lake in SAP HANA Cloud.
Support for character-length semantics for VARCHAR fields
The SAP HANA Cloud, data lake is already supporting byte-length semantics for VARCHAR fields. With the recent release, character-length semantics for VARCHAR fields in the relational engine in SAP HANA Cloud, data lake are now also supported.
This addition reduces or even eliminates confusion over the reported size of NVARCHAR and VARCHAR fields compared with the size declaration in the SAP HANA Cloud, SAP HANA database and provides you with a more consistent user experience.
Support for schemas that are compatible with SAP HANA
In addition, strengthening the integration between SAP HANA database and data lake in SAP HANA Cloud, we have introduced support for schemas that are compatible with SAP HANA within the data lake.
This feature does not only increase the level of compatibility between the services, but also preserves the logical groupings of database entities within a single SAP HANA Cloud, data lake instance.
New Data Center in Mumbai, India
Finally, improving our data center landscape build-out is a continuous effort. In Q4 2022, we are once again strengthening our data center coverage. This time specifically for the SAP HANA Cloud, data lake, for which we now also offer a datacenter in Mumbai, India.
With this additional Google Cloud Platform data center, we are once again enhancing our offer of multiple cloud service providers, so you can pick the cloud storage service provider that fits your needs best.
Innovations In SAP HANA Cloud, SAP HANA database
Moving on from the SAP HANA Cloud, data lake, we are now diving deeper into the SAP HANA database within SAP HANA Cloud.
Calculation View Modeling
Next up on stage: Calculation View Modeling. Calculation views are often used to prepare and provide data for time-critical online analyses. Therefore, we are keen to innovate strongly in this area of our cloud database.
First innovation I want to mention is that you can now map filters to additional columns in join nodes. This new feature improves the performance by filtering additional columns. Additionally, it ensures consistency during the data analysis by applying the same filter to joined views. Support in the graphical modeler will come with the SAP Business Application Studio release end of January 2023.
Tip: Use filter mapping whenever a filter on one column can also be applied to another column.
Additional Options For Managing Snapshots
Moreover, users are now enabled to skip the automatic data inserts after deployment and decide whether they want to retain data in snapshot tables across deployments. You are benefitting from better control of data in snapshot tables e.g., for testing purposes or to accumulate snapshot data over time.
Undo / Redo Buttons
Undo and Redo Buttons are commonly used. You can now also use them when modeling your calculation views, jumping backwards and forwards in time. They offer a list of selected actions for easier navigation to certain points in time. Attention! Keep in mind you can only undo actions that have been performed since the view was opened.
This new feature preserves a more fine-granular close-in-time action history to complement the Git history.
Have a look at this blog post provided by Jan Zwickel for an overview of recent new features with examples.
Native Storage Extension (NSE)
Integrated in the data pyramid, the native storage extension supports the TCO reduction immensely.
Support for dynamic aging constraint for range partitions
First innovation I want to mention regarding NSE is the support for the dynamic aging constraint for range partitions. In applications, historical data is often less-frequently accessed. The application tables may have columns that provide a partitioning key to “split” a table in current and historical value ranges, also known as partitions.
Since our Q4 release of SAP HANA Cloud the dynamic aging constraint on range partitions is supported via SQL.
As an optional extension of the dynamic range partitioning feature, dynamic aging makes it possible to automatically manage at which point in time older partitions can be moved to the ‘warm’ data store (NSE).
Through auto-aging partitions using SAP HANA Cloud’s Native Storage Extension you can increase your productivity and lower the total cost of ownership.
Monitor input-output volume of Buffer cache
Moreover, to even further have your TCO under control, we are introducing the possibility to monitor buffer cache input-output volume, allowing to you better size the overall buffer cache. Enrich the buffer cache statistics with data read from the disk regarding page misses. This allows you to faster identify problematic native storage extension objects in the SAP HANA system.
HANA Deployment Infrastructure (HDI)
The SAP HANA Deployment Infrastructure (HDI) provides a service that enables you to deploy database development artefacts to so-called containers.
Partition Admin privilege
With the recent release partition administrators are gaining a new privilege that helps them to reduce the administrative overhead. The privilege PARTITION_ADMIN allows administrators to change the partition on any table in the database including HDI containers.
This way partitioning with SAP HANA Native Storage Extension (NSE) is enabled regardless of who owns the table. Additionally, the number of partitions for tables with more than 2*10^31 rows is increasing, performance portioning is adjusted, and you can now act without explicit altering rights in HDI. Please note the latter one is not set as default.
The following ALTER TABLE commands are allowed to be executed with the PARTITION_ADMIN privilege
Furthermore, since our Q4 2022 release we provide functionality to schedule in HDI. This enables you to create scheduled jobs and allows to use time-based events for calling a stored procedure.
This innovation significantly improves the ease of use regarding scheduling in HDI. You don’t need to create a scheduler in a separate schema anymore. Moreover, this simplifies the deployment, completes the functionality of HDI, and it finally substitutes the data warehouse foundation task chain as a scheduler.
News from SAP HANA Cloud’s Graph capabilities
SAP HANA Cloud has great multi-model capabilities. One of them being graph data processing. With the recent release there have been two new innovations introduced in this area:
Create workspaces based on edge tables
Users are now able to create a graph workspace based on edge tables only. In case the graph’s vertices do not have attributes (but just a key), this conveniently allows you to create graph workspaces without having to generate “dummy” vertex tables
New priority queue data structure
The second innovation I want to mention is the support for a new priority queue data structure in GraphScript, which is available now. Just like queues in other programming languages, you can now easily work with an ordered set of graph elements, e.g. vertices. This new feature adds value especially to existing traversal algorithms (like Dijkstra’s) by tracking unexplored routes.
You can’t get enough of the Q4 release of SAP HANA Cloud? Then take a look at the full scope of the release here.
To get a detailed overview of the latest features added and updates made to SAP HANA Cloud, and to be able to address all your open questions, don’t forget to register for the “What’s New in SAP HANA Cloud“ webinar in January 2023. Together with my colleagues from the SAP HANA Cloud product management team, I will share more details about the release highlights.
Apart from that, as always, don’t forget to follow the SAP HANA Cloud tag to not miss any updates! In case you have missed the What’s New webinar in Q3 2022, you can find it and all future webinars in this playlist on YouTube.
In case you want to discuss some of the outlined innovations or have any other questions related to SAP HANA Cloud, feel free to post them in our SAP HANA Cloud Community Q&A or in the comments below.
Have a fantastic start into 2023!