Updating SAP HANA


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Update an SAP HANA database using the HDBLCM tool

SAP HANA Database Update

Business Example

The project team has requested an SAP HANA 2.0 SPS02 sandbox system so that they can gain experience with the newest SAP HANA 2.0 SPS02 features like multitenant database containers. Update the SAP HANA 1.0 SPS12 sandbox system to SAP HANA 2.0 SPS02.

The SAP HANA database lifecycle management tool (HDBLCM) can be used to update SAP HANA system components like the SAP HANA database and the SAP HANA client software. It can also update additional system components like Application Function Libraries (AFL and the product-specific AFLs POS, SAL, SCA, SOP, UDF), SAP liveCache applications (SAP LCA or LCAPPS-Plugin), SAP HANA extended application services (XS), advanced model (XSA), run-time applications, or SAP HANA smart data access (SDA).

Before you update the SAP HANA database, download the separate components. There are several ways to download the required components, as follows:

Perform an SAP HANA system update from a local host. This minimizes the risk of a failed update because of network glitches.

SAP HANA System Update: Three Tools

The SAP HANA database lifecycle management tool (HDBLCM) can perform all actions offered in the SAP HANA platform lifecycle management portfolio. Three options are provided and used as the only recommended tools for these actions:

  • hdblcm (command line)
  • hdblcmgui (X Window)
  • hdblcmweb (browser)

You do not have to start hdblcmweb manually. The executable hdblcmweb is started automatically by the SAP Host Agent as soon as an action is triggered from the Web user interface.


The SAP HANA lifecycle management tools replace all other tools, such as the SAP HANA unified installer, the on-site configuration tool, SUM for HANA, hdbinst, hdbupd, and the SAP HANA lifecycle manager tools.

Two Ways to Upgrade SAP HANA

There are two versions of the SAP HANA database lifecycle manager tools: the HDBLCM located on the installation media, and the resident HDBLCM embedded in SAP HANA database. Both tools are required, and are used to perform different administrative tasks.

HDBLCM - installation Media

The HDBLCM located on the SAP HANA installation media installs and updates an SAP HANA database and its core components. No additional administrative tasks are possible.

HDBLCM - Resident

The resident HDBLCM performs administrative tasks for the database where it’s embedded. The resident HDBLCM also installs or updates additional SAP HANA components, and can also update the complete SAP HANA database system.

From the menu, choose the option Update the SAP HANA Database System and in the next screen, point the resident HDBLCM to the downloaded and unpacked installation/update kit. The resident HDBLCM will by default verify the downloaded installation/update kit. The rest of the procedure is identical to the update procedure that is performed by the HDBLCM tool.

Checks Before Update Process

Before updating the SAP HANA components, check that no read or write processes are running on the SAP HANA database. Perform the update process outside of business hours, because the SAP HANA system restarts during the update process. After the update finishes, the SAP HANA system is started and operational.

The business downtime is reduced by using the Phased System Update method, or the Near Zero Downtime method. Both methods are explained in this course.

The Update Process

The technical SAP HANA system update can be done in different ways:

  • Update in one step (standard)

  • Update for flexible system downtime in 2-phases (option: prepare_update)


The following step-by-step procedure is an example of how to update an SAP HANA system. As there multiple tools for single steps, further variants can be used depending on the knowledge, the needs, and security guidelines given and defined by the customer.

When you start the SAP HANA lifecycle management tool from the SAP HANA cockpit, a user-friendly SAP Fiori interface displays.

How long will the update take?

Time for update = (Time for database shutdown) + (Time for database start) + 20 minutes.

The database restart time is influenced by the size of the row store, and the input/output performance of the storage used for SAP HANA.

Phased Update

With a standard SAP HANA system update, the system goes offline once the update is triggered. This includes the preliminary checks and actual software switch.

With SAP HANA 2.0 the system downtime can be reduced by executing the SAP HANA system update in two phases. The phased system update is performed in two steps, as follows:

  • Phase 1

    Running the HDBLCM update action with the --prepare_update parameter option. Whilst this phase is running, the SAP HANA system is still in uptime.

  • Phase 2

    After the first phase of the HDBLCM update has finished, the tool is used again to resume the update procedure, which brings the system to downtime and performs the software switch.

You can perform the prepare update phase using all three variants of the SAP HANA database lifecycle manager HDBLCM. The graphical user interface (hdblcmgui), the command-line interface (hdblcm), or the Web user interface (hdblcmweb) via a browser. The update resume phase can be performed from any of the three SAP HANA database lifecycle manager user interfaces.

Prerequisites for a Phased Update

The prerequisites for a phased update are as follows:

  • You are updating to a new Support Package Stack from an installation medium, or you have prepared for update, either in the SAP HANA cockpit, or downloaded the required files manually

  • You have stopped the data replication

  • You have performed a system backup

  • You know the <sid>adm and database administrator passwords

  • You have applied a valid license key for the SAP HANA system

  • The SAP HANA database server is up and running, otherwise inconsistencies in the configuration may occur

During the update, business downtime will be given for your SAP HANA system. If you use the phased update, business downtime will start at the latest, by resuming the update procedure when the second phase is started.

Extract Components

Extract Downloaded Revision Components

To update an SAP HANA system, you need to first download the individual components from SAP Software Download Center. This can be done manually from the SAP HANA cockpit using the Download components link in the Platform Lifecycle Management card, or using the SAP HANA database lifecycle manager (HDBLCM) Web user interface. Once the component packages have been downloaded, they need to be extracted before the system update can be triggered from any of the three SAP HANA database lifecycle manager user interfaces.

We recommend performing an SAP HANA system update from a local host that is part of the SAP HANA system which you are logged on to. Performing an update from a local host minimizes the risk of a failed update due to network glitches.

As an alternative to extracting the component files using hdblcm, you can extract the files manually by making local package directories that are recognized by the update tool.

If you extract more than one component SAR into a single directory, you need to move the SIGNATURE.SMF file to the subfolder (SAP_HANA_DATABASE, SAP_HANA_CLIENT, and so on), before extracting the next SAR in order to avoid overwriting the SIGNATURE.SMF file. For more information, see SAP Note 2178665 in Related Information.

Update with Authenticity and Integrity

In both on-premise and cloud scenarios, the executable code and software artifacts are transferred from the SAP Software Download Center to the customer/partner/operations team, which deploys this product in their landscape. The transfer of executable code and software artifacts can happen over multiple channels and thus is prone to tampering at any stage. SAP signs the SAP HANA database software components before releasing them to customers.

As of SAP HANA 2.0 SPS03, the SAP HANA lifecycle management tools of HDBLCM are able to automatically verify that the software used to update the system is authentic and not tampered with. This can prevent various security attacks, for example, man-in-the-middle attacks, or detect changes to software packages stored on a common share, where more people have write access.

When using the non-resident hdblcm, the verification will be switched off by default, as the SAP HANA database installation kit is considered untrusted. If you have manually verified the authenticity of the installation kit, you can enable the authenticity verification of the additional components with the command-line parameter --verify_signature.

When using the Install or Update Additional Components (batch value update_components) action in the resident hdblcm, the authenticity verification will be enabled by default only if the SAP HANA database has been installed/updated with authentic signature (located in <inst_path>/<SID>/hdblcm/SIGNATURE.SMF). This is done to avoid failures when updating to special builds or beta shipments. If you are not sure whether the SAP HANA system has been installed/updated with a valid signature, or you do not see any verification steps happening, pass the parameter --verify_signature to force the verification by the tool in use.

For more information on the topic of verifying software authenticity and integrity, see SAP Note 2577617: Verifying software authenticity and integrity during SAP HANA installation and update.

Start Web-Based SAP HANA Lifecycle Management Tool

The SAP HANA database lifecycle manager (HDBLCM) Web user interface is hosted by the SAP Host Agent, which is installed on the SAP HANA host. When installing, or updating the SAP HANA system as part of the SAP HANA resident hdblcm configuration, the SAP HANA system deploys its artifacts on the SAP Host Agent, thus enabling the Web user interface.

All Web user interface actions are performed in the context of an already installed and registered SAP HANA system. In order to access the SAP HANA database lifecycle manager Web user interface, you need to log on as the system administrator user <sid>adm.

The communication between the Web browser and the SAP Host Agent is always done over HTTPS, which requires that the SAP Host Agent has a secure sockets layer (SSL/TLS) certificate (PSE) in its security directory. For more information about SSL/TLS certificate handling, see Related Information.

The backend is provided by the special executable hdblcmweb, which is started automatically by the SAP Host Agent as soon as an action is triggered from the Web user interface (usually via a browser) and terminates after the action completes.

You should never start hdblcmweb manually. For security reasons, hdblcmweb is always started with system administrator user <sid>adm privileges. If you require logging with individual users (to ensure personalized logging), use the SAP HANA database lifecycle manager graphical tool (hdblcmgui) or command-line interface (hdblcm).

Verify the Authenticity with the Web-based Resident HDBLCM

When performing an update of an SAP HANA system using the web-based resident HDBLCM, the enabling of the verification can be done from within the tool by using a check-box:

Troubleshooting with SAP HANA Lifecycle Manager

If the SAP HANA database lifecycle manager (HDBLCM) does not work as expected, you can check the logs for the source of the problem, restart the lifecycle manager, or update to a more recent version.

Checking the Log Files

The SAP HANA database lifecycle management tools: hdblcm and hdblcmgui, write log files during installation. The most recent log file is always available under /var/tmp/hdblcm.log or /var/tmp/hdblcmgui.log. Additionally, a copy of the log files is archived in the directory hdb_<SID>_hdblcm_<action>_<date>.

Because the SAP HANA database lifecycle management tools hdblcm and hdblcmgui are wrappers for underlying component installers, you can also check the component logs. However, review and analyze the logs of the tools hdblcm and hdblcmgui first. Once the source of the problem is isolated to a specific component, you can analyze the component logs further.

You can also view the last three log files using the Database Explorer for the SAP HANA Cockpit Host and Database Diagnosis Files function.

Dealing with a Failed Update

If the update stops without fully installing, uninstall the SAP HANA system using the SAP HANA database lifecycle manager (HDBLCM), and recover the system from the last backup. Then reinstall the SAP HANA system and run the update.

If the update keeps failing, open an SAP support ticket on SAP support ticket, and attach the trace file for further analysis by SAP Support.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes