What is SAP HANA ?

SAP HANA is a database and software platform from SAP. With the platform, software applications can be developed and integrated. It is based on in-memory technology, which enables processes and analyses in real time.

The abbreviation HANA stands for “High Performance Analytic Appliance”.

From the very beginning, SAP’s development of SAP HANA was focused on a product that could perform analyses at high speed. SAP HANA also combines hardware and software (“appliance”).

The latest release is SAP HANA 2.0 SPS04 from April 2019.

Advantages of SAP HANA at a glance

  • Analysis, processing and evaluation of data in real time
  • Flexible deployment: cloud, on-premise or hybrid
  • Implementation of the latest technologies and applications such as Big Data, predictive analysis or machine learning possible
  • Costs, hardware requirements and maintenance effort are reduced

How does SAP HANA work?

SAP HANA is technically based on a relational database management system (RDBMS). Such a database management system organizes and controls the data in a database (DB).

In simple terms, a database is made up of a large number of tables. In these tables, data or data records are stored in rows. SAP HANA uses this line-oriented database technology, but at the same time it uses the column-oriented approach that is common in in-memory databases.

The SAP HANA database management system ensures that analyses and transactions can be carried out in parallel – the unique selling point and great advantage of SAP HANA. Transactional and analytical data come from a single source. The basis is therefore a common data copy.

For this purpose, the database management system connects the so-called OLAP and OLTP landscapes in the in-memory database.

OLAP stands for Online Analytical Processing, OLTP for Online Transaction Processing. These methods involve the analysis and transaction of data in real time.

In an in-memory database, the data does not have to be temporarily copied from the hard disk to a working memory, as is usually the case. Instead, they are stored directly in the working memory. The main memory thus serves as a data storage.

Because memory is less well protected against possible data loss than hard disks, in-memory memory uses various methods to be as reliable as hard disks.

SAP HANA also ensures this “persistence”: both in terms of data availability and in terms of data consistency and integrity.

Advantages of in-memory technology

Thanks to the platform’s in-memory technology, analytical and transactional operations can be performed simultaneously and for each data type.

The HANA platform can collect, store and process even large amounts of data in real time. In addition, it is no longer necessary to duplicate or aggregate data between operational and analytical solutions.

Overall, the need for hardware is decreasing. IT operations are less extensive.