Identifying the Need for SAP HANA


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify the need for SAP HANA

SAP HANA History

In 2011, SAP launched SAP HANA. This in-memory platform fully utilizes the power of modern hardware. SAP HANA stores all its data compressed and row-store oriented in memory. Customers can use SAP HANA as in-memory data marts for real-time reporting.

In 2012, SAP released SAP BW powered by SAP HANA. Now, the SAP HANA database system can be used as a supported database for the SAP Business Warehouse application. The SAP HANA in-memory technology gave SAP BW the possibilities to perform real-time data analysis and real-time reporting, thus bringing the SAP BW application to the next level.

In 2013, the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA was released. With the SAP HANA in-memory technology, the SAP Business Suite could bring transactional processing (OLTP) and analytical processing (OLAP) together in one system. With the combination of OLTP and OLAP in one in-memory system, SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA (later renamed to SAP Business Suite on HANA, in short SoH) allowed customers to perform real-time operational reporting on the SAP ERP data using the SAP HANA Live add-ons.

In 2014, SAP released SAP Simple Finance. This product was later renamed to SAP S/4HANA Finance. With SAP S/4HANA Finance, SAP reinvented the finance application to be ready for the digital age. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) financial software runs in real time on the in-memory platform of SAP HANA, and supports financial planning and accounting, accounting and financial close, treasury and cash management, accounts payable and receivable, risk management, and more.

In 2015, the SAP S/4HANA product was released. In the name SAP S/4HANA, the S stands for both Suite and Simplified, and the 4 stands for fourth generation and in addition for the need to use SAP HANA as a platform.

In 2016, SAP launched SAP BW/4HANA, which is SAP’s next generation data warehouse solution. It is a new product (not a legal successor of any existing SAP Business Warehouse solution), built entirely on one of the most advanced in-memory platforms today – SAP HANA. It provides a simple set of objects that is well suited for modeling an agile and flexible layered architecture of a modern data warehouse. SAP BW/4HANA manages all sorts of data, whether from SAP applications or other systems, structured or unstructured, and allows access to all models through an open SQL interface. SAP BW/4HANA comes with state-of-the-art user interfaces for administrators, developers, and end users, as well as completely SAP HANA-optimized processes that let you leverage huge amounts of data in real time for competitive advantage.

The core functionality of SAP BW is preserved and the transition to SAP BW/4HANA can be compared with the transition of SAP Business Suite to SAP S/4HANA. As part of this transition, SAP BW/4HANA will drastically reduce the number of data objects to be stored and maintained. All future innovations will take place in SAP BW/4HANA. Prior releases of SAP BW powered by SAP HANA (later renamed to SAP BW on HANA, in short BWoH) moved into maintenance, receiving little development or new functionality moving forward.

In 2018, SAP released SAP C/4HANA, which is an integrated offering designed to modernize the sales-only focus of legacy CRM solutions. Following the completed acquisitions of market leaders Hybris, Gigya and CallidusCloud, SAP now ties together solutions to support all front-office functions, such as consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, sales, and customer service.

The SAP C/4HANA portfolio includes SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Customer Data Cloud (including the acquired Gigya solutions), and SAP Sales Cloud (including the acquired CallidusCloud solutions). Additionally, SAP Sales Cloud unites the SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud solution and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (comprised of SAP Hybris Sales Cloud and SAP Hybris Service Cloud solutions).

These cloud solutions, formerly on the market under the SAP Hybris brand name, as well as SAP’s commerce and customer engagement organization are now consolidated under the SAP Customer Experience (CX) business unit to support a consistent brand experience.

In 2020, SAP launched SAP HANA Cloud. This brings the in-memory technology of SAP HANA on-premises to the cloud. SAP HANA Cloud is available as a service in the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).

SAP S/4HANA Overview

SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s next-generation business suite, providing a digital core for your organization. It is a new product fully built on SAP HANA, one of the most advanced in-memory platforms today, employing modern design principles with the SAP Fiori user experience (UX). SAP S/4HANA delivers massive simplifications in areas such as customer adoption, data model, user experience, decision making, business processes, and models. And it offers innovations for the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, business networks, and mobile-first. SAP S/4HANA brings the next series of innovation to customers, similar to the transition from SAP R/2 to SAP R/3.

SAP S/4HANA is designed to integrate with and utilize the IoT, Big Data, mobile, business networks, third-party systems, and more. SAP S/4HANA helps our customers create a truly live business.

From an IT value perspective, this means that SAP S/4HANA creates unique opportunities to simplify the landscape and reduce the total cost of ownership, with SAP HANA as the main driver.

Enterprises can now significantly reduce their data footprint and work with larger data sets in one system (for example, SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP SRM, SAP SCM, and SAP PLM in one system). This saves hardware costs, operational costs, and time. With one common source of live data on one system, enterprises no longer face discrepancies between different systems.

Business users can use a simple, role-based user experience based on modern design principles created in SAP Fiori to minimize training efforts while also increasing productivity. Note that clients are also supported with simple configuration, such as setting up the system and so on during usage.

Enterprises have a choice of deployment to drive easy adoption: cloud, on-premise, and even hybrid.  

SAP S/4HANA is built on SAP HANA because only the SAP HANA platform can deliver such a significant level of simplification and innovation.

This new type of architecture has been piloted in SAP S/4HANA Finance (initially named SAP Simple Finance) and adopted for SAP S/4HANA Logistics (initially named SAP Simple Logistics). It fully utilizes the in-memory and real-time capabilities of SAP HANA, which is the target architecture for all other simplified components.

Previously, indices and totals tables were created to prevent systems from continuous calculation. This ensured that the overall system performance was good, but it increased the complexity and created inflexibility. Both have now been eliminated from the system.

A typical booking in SAP Financial touched 15 tables; now it touches 4, working on document level.

On the data side, the underlying data structure is simplified to produce a high performing and optimized system. The underlying data structure is based on no indices, aggregates, or redundancies.

Migration to SAP HANA

Technically, a migration to SAP HANA is only a change of the database and it does not affect most of the other components in the landscape. An SAP Business Suite system running on SAP HANA can still connect to, and be integrated with, other systems and hubs in the same way as an SAP Business Suite system running on any other supported database. Furthermore, the same front ends and clients can be used to connect to the system. Even the application servers can be reused as they are (in-place migration), because they run on separate servers and not on the database host(s).

Migrating your existing SAP system to the SAP HANA database involves switching the SAP system to a new database that runs on new host(s).

A migration to SAP HANA can be performed in the following two ways:

  • Heterogeneous system copy using Software Provisioning Manager (SWPM)

  • Database migration option (DMO) of the Software Update Manager (SUM)

Initial Situation

The classical migration involves the sequence of SAP software update, which uses the Software Update Manager (SUM), followed by a heterogeneous system copy, which uses the Software Provisioning Manager (SWPM). The database migration option (DMO) simplifies the migration and is referred to as the one-step procedure to SAP HANA.

You can use DMO in the following scenarios:

  • Migration of existing SAP system from any supported database to SAP HANA database

  • In-place migration option to avoid landscape changes (SID, host name, and so on), so you need an update of your SAP 7.x system

  • Avoiding the usage of the classical migration procedure, because it is complex and requires several steps and tools

The benefits when using are as follows:

  • Migration steps are simplified

  • System update and database migration are combined in one tool

  • Business downtime is reduced

  • Well-known tool SUM is used, with improved UI

The database migration option (DMO) is not a new tool – it is just an option of using the Software Update Manager (SUM). SUM is the trusted tool for system maintenance, such as the following:

  • Release updates and upgrades

  • Enhancement package implementations

  • Support Package Stacks (SPS) and Feature Package Stacks (FPS) for ABAP-based SAP systems

The Migration Process

For an in-place migration using the database migration option, the upgrade and migration are performed in a combined procedure, which reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) and risks.

Performing the migration in a combined procedure offers the following benefits:

  • The combined procedure requires only one maintenance phase and not two.

    This reduces business downtime (TCO) and fewer regression tests are necessary.

  • The original database is kept, and can be reactivated as a fallback.

    This reduces risk, no restore is required, and there is more time for testing before cutover.

  • There are fewer prerequisites for the SAP and database start releases.

    This reduces effort (TCO), and there are no additional licenses for traditional database updates.

  • In-place migration keeps the application server and system ID stable.

    This has a low impact on the system landscape because only the database server is new.

  • For SAP BW, the database migration option can be applied when Post Copy Automation (PCA) is used.

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