Introducing Business and Technical Aspects of SAP HANA Cloud

Objectives
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Discover the value of SAP HANA Cloud
  • Explain SAP HANA Cloud: modeling

SAP HANA Cloud

Business Introduction

Your company needs a reliable database with high performance for creating custom developments, managing data for analytic topics, and extending on-premise capabilities with capabilities of the cloud. SAP HANA is the main SAP offering for these use cases. Today, data is more important than ever. But even the best data gathered has no value if it isn't utilized. At SAP, we refer to the process of deriving maximum value from your data as 'data-to-value'. Our combination of data and analytics capabilities is key to this process. You want to analyze or aggregate your data to get insights that can contribute to better planning. Your company needs a data warehousing solution and an analytics solution for building dashboards, telling stories, and getting deeper insights.

SAP Business Technology Platform: Data

The SAP intelligent, sustainable enterprise strategy helps companies to make impactful changes to run their business better by growing more resilient, more profitable, and more sustainable.

The SAP Business Technology Platform provides one persistence strategy for all data-driven innovations to turn data into value.

The software components placed into the category Data includes all SAP databases such as SAP HANA Cloud but also other databases such as SAP ASE service and SAP IQ. This category also includes tools for managing and extracting data and metadata such as SAP Data Services, SAP Data Intelligence, and SAP Information Steward. The main topics of this area are Data Storage, Data Processing, Data Integration, Data Orchestration, Information Governance, and Master Data Management.

SAP HANA Cloud Value Proposition

What is SAP HANA Cloud?
SAP HANA Cloud is a fully managed in-memory multi-tier cloud database as a service (DBaaS). As the cloud-based data foundation for SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP HANA Cloud integrates data from across the enterprise, enabling faster decisions based on live data. SAP HANA Cloud is one of the four pillars of the SAP Business Technology Platform and provides the data services to handle constantly growing data volumes in central place.

SAP HANA Cloud Tooling

Once SAP HANA Cloud has been provisioned and is up and running, there are three main interfaces used by the various roles. All of the interfaces are browser-based. There is no software to install:

SAP Business Application Studio
Used by developers to build and maintain applications.
Database Explorer
This is an interface that is used by developers and also administrators. The Database Explorer is used to explore the runtime objects of the database, for example, tables, views, and stored procedures. It includes a built in SQL console where SQL statements can be executed against the database.
SAP HANA Cockpit
Used by administrators to monitor the platform, optimize performance, maintain security, and trace and analyze errors. This interface was originally developed for SAP HANA on-premise and uses a SAP Fiori style interface design with tiles that provide KPI information at a glance.
Note
For completeness, we should also mention two more interfaces: SAP HANA Cloud Central is used to create and configure database instances. SAP BTP cockpit is used to manage global and subaccounts in SAP BTP.

Learn more about provisioning SAP HANA Cloud in our learning journey: https://learning.sap.com/learning-journey/provisioning-and-administration-with-sap-hana-cloud

Read more about SAP HANA Cloud on product page: https://www.sap.com/products/hana.html or in the SAP Discovery Center: https://discovery-center.cloud.sap/serviceCatalog/sap-hana-cloud?region=all

SAP HANA Cloud Modeling

Pushing Down Data Processing to Database

Traditional databases provided storage capabilities and offered limited (if any) data processing capabilities. This means that applications would read raw data from the database and, using application code such as ABAP or JAVA, develop complex data processing code to run on the application server.

SAP HANA Cloud database provides sophisticated, multi-tier data storage and, also, advanced data processing capabilities so that instead of an application requesting raw data from the database, it can request information. Data processing is now pushed down from the application layer to the in-memory database of SAP HANA Cloud. This means, not only is data processing faster, applications are leaner as they do not have to handle data processing logic. Leaner applications means more agility.

Modeling With Calculation Views

Calculation views are defined on top of tables to provide the data processing layer. Calculation views are usually stacked so that the lower calculation views provide opportunities for reuse by defining only the basic data layer. On top of those are more calculation views that add further calculations and semantics until they are ready for consumption by clients. Calculation views do not persist data but calculate results on-the-fly based on live data in source tables. Source tables can be local tables in the SAP HANA Cloud database or remote tables in any database.

A graphical editor is used to define calculation views. Graphical calculation views are converted into optimized SQL code at runtime. The exact generated SQL code depends on the requirements of the query that is calling the calculation view, but advanced pruning is applied to create the most efficient and high performance query.

Turning data into information with calculation views

Calculation views allow the modeler to turn data into information by applying data processing function such as aggregation, filters, and ranking. Data from multiple sources can be combined using joins, unions, and intersections. The modeler can generate new columns based on any type of calculation.

Data can be organized as a hierarchy to provide drill-down navigation possibilities. When the standard functionality of calculation views is insufficient, SQL code can be added to provide custom data processing logic. Input parameters can be defined to prompt the user to provide missing values during runtime such as filters or calculation values.

Advanced multi-models with SAP HANA Cloud

With SAP HANA Cloud, you can combine any type of data: text, geometries, IoT data, and so on to create multi-models that power high-performance, advanced analytics.

Learn more about modeling in SAP HANA Cloud in our learning journey: https://learning.sap.com/learning-journey/modeling-in-sap-hana-cloud

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