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SAP HANA Database: Advantages & Features [Update]

If you work in the SAP environment, you have probably been confronted with the topic of HANA more than once. In this article we would first like to briefly introduce you to SAP HANA and then present the 5 main advantages of the latest database technology from SAP.

What does SAP HANA stand for?

HANA stands for High Performance Analytic <Appliance. This cryptic name is intended to make it clear that HANA enables the analysis of large amounts of data with higher performance.

Basically, SAP HANA is a platform for connecting various databases with a database management system (DBMS). That is, it offers all the usual database functions such as collecting, collecting, reading, retrieving, updating and deleting data.

But, how could it be otherwise, SAP HANA is much more than "just" a really fast database. To clarify this, we now introduce the five most important features of HANA database technology.

The 5 main advantages of the SAP HANA database

In our view, the following 5 features of SAP HANA are also the most significant advantages:

Fast data processing

Of course, the speed of data processing and analysis is cited as SAP's most important selling point. The increase in performance results from a combination of various factors.

  1. Due to the in-memory technology, the SAP HANA database enables real-time data access across all business areas. This means that when using RAM as a storage medium, transaction data can be processed and analyzed immediately.

  2. In addition, transaction data in SAP HANA is stored in columns and not in rows . This simple customization results in faster data retrieval for queries because only a subset of the full table dataset is required. This storage format also enables significantly better compression.

Other database providers also always use a form of data compression, which results in a loss of analysis speed due to the saving of storage space. SAP HANA uses intelligent techniques to enable data compression without loss of speed.

In addition, a loss of speed is avoided by only inserting new data instead of editing existing entries.

By only adding new entries to SAP HANA databases and simply appending old records, the compression/decompression cycle is eliminated. With versioning, the system always knows to read the latest entry for a specific data set.

Single Source of Truth

SAP HANA databases are intended to represent the Single Source of Truth, i.e. the only relevant data source, in companies. This focuses on HANA as a central data source for immediate information needs, enabling more consistent reporting and faster decision-making across the entire organization.

The organizational benefit is based on linking different data sets within the HANA platform.

As an example, let's imagine a scenario where different data sources are used to create a report. HANA enables the consolidation of the various data sources within a database on which the most diverse data can be provided in a standardized manner.

For this to work as smoothly as possible, this also means that, in addition to all SAP applications, applications from other providers must also run together on HANA. For this purpose, SAP HANA was released as a development platform for third-party applications.

Cloud availability

Due to a large number of advantages, SAP has decided to also provide HANA databases in a cloud solution. However, for customers who are skeptical about a cloud solution, SAP HANA databases are still available as an on-premise installation.

The cloud version of SAP HANA is always up to date. SAP's end-to-end lifecycle management enables secure deployment of the software without customers having to worry about the costs or maintenance of the underlying have to take care of the underlying IT infrastructure.

In addition, the HANA Cloud subscription model makes the total cost of ownership more transparent and increases flexibility as the acquisition costs are lower.

Companies save costs for servers and other devices in particular.

This subscription model makes SAP HANA databases quickly and easily scalable, as customers can expand certain services according to their requirements and, thanks to the usage-based payment model, only have to pay for the resources that are actually used.

Predictive Analysis Library with SAP HANA

Predictive analytics? Machine learning? Recognize patterns, assess trends and develop new business models? All of this is possible with the Predictive Analysis Library (PAL) under SAP HANA.

With this library,advanced analytics and data mining applications can be integrated and executed directly on the SAP HANA database. If you want to simplify and accelerate customer segmentation, anomaly detection or forecasting, SAP HANA offers enormous possibilities.

The Predictive Analysis Library takes advantage of the enormous computing power of SAP HANA. Due to its in-memory architecture, SAP HANA enables short computing times even for computationally intensive algorithms with thousands of decision trees and a large number of variables.

It should be emphasized thatno additional expensive software is requiredand no database interfaces need to be set up. The data can be evaluated directly where it is generated or stored, e.g. in SAP S/4HANA or SAP BW.

This significantly reduces the scope of time-consuming additional processes. In particular, large amounts of data, such as transaction data at document level from S/4HANA, no longer have to be passed on to external analysis applications via interfaces or even manual exports.

Integrated development environment

In addition to the database and data analytics capabilities, SAP HANA is a web-based application server that hosts user-facing applications that are tightly integrated with the database and analytics capabilities.

A variety of applications are provided by SAP itself and by partners in the SAP HANA Cloud. The “Bring Your Own Language” concept is also supported, which enables software developers to develop applications in a variety of programming languages and integrate them into SAP HANA.

This means that SAP HANA customers can rely on countless external developments that are used by customers for appropriate application scenarios without having to put in any development effort themselves.

Overview of advantages of HANA databases

We have summarized the 5 core advantages of SAP HANA databases for you in a table:

Advantage of SAP HANA databases


Fast data processing

Enables real-time data access and analysis through in-memory technology and column-based data storage, resulting in improved performance.< /p>

Single Source of Truth

Provides a single, consistent data source for the business to support rapid decision making and consistent reporting.

Cloud availability

SAP HANA is available in both the cloud and on-premise, with the cloud version continually updated and offering a lower total cost of ownership.

Advanced Analytics

The Predictive Analysis Library (PAL) integrates advanced analysis functions directly into the database, making data processing more efficient.

Integrated development environment

Supports various programming languages and provides a platform for developing and integrating applications directly into SAP HANA.

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