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SAP HANA – The Adventure

Consider for a moment potential impact of SAP’s decision to put everything they have into HANA.  Literally, any SAP customer that owns a product from SAP is a potential customer of  SAP HANA.  That’s how big this is for SAP!  Since the audience for this blog is still new, and HANA is still new to me, let’s enjoy this adventure together.  Let’s start with what is SAP HANA!

What is SAP HANA? 

SAP HANA is an in-memory data platform that is deployed as an on-premise appliance, or in the cloud.  It is a revolutionary platform that’s best suited for performing real-time analytics, and developing and deploying real-time applications. At the core of this real-time data platform is the SAP HANA database which is fundamentally different than any other database engine in the market today (figure 1).

Figure 1:        SAP HANA – platform for a new class of real-time analytics and applications

You can read much more about what at SAP HANA website by clicking  here. or watch this video below

 

How far we have come?

I think the best way to explain this is through a brief story .  Let’s touch on the data evolution a typical company has experienced over the last 20 years:

1. OLTP  (On-line Transaction Processing)- In 1993, a typical company decided to implement an ERP system to run its business more efficiently.  It probably ran on something like Progressive or an AS400 file system OLTP database technology.  Once you had this state of the art mid-90′s ERP system up and running, your company started doing really well.

2. OLAP (On-line Analytical Processing)- In 1998, it was time for this company to build an OLAP data warehouse to capture historical trends about your ERP system.  These trends and insights coming from your OLAP system provided valuable insights that your OLTP system could not.

3. Reporting - From there, in 1999,  it was time put this data in the hands of the users through better reporting.  Maybe you implemented a product like SAP Business Objects to aid in this area

4. In Memory Computing - Now, it’s 2013, SAP HANA In-Memory technology was released to the market.  Combining both OLTP and OLAP into one In-Memory data system.

What has changed in the last 15 years?  Not a whole lot to be honest.  That’s one reason this is so exciting!  Sure, back in 2003 you may have upgraded to SQL server 2003 or the latest version of Oracle, but the concept didn’t change.  You still had an OLTP and OLAP system to support your business.  This delineation between OLAP and OLTP has been there for as long as the two have been in existence.  Now, the two are being merged in a revolutionary new way via In-Memory computing in SAP HANA.

What Could this mean for YOU?

If you want the boiler plate benefits, check out this post.

When it comes down to it, there are really only two things it means to you; “Time” and “Money”.    Companies have spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours speeding up the transformation of data between OLTP and OLAP as well as maintaining and building systems on each platform.  With SAP HANA, that entire equation has changed.

Time -save time by having Real Time Access to data as it happens. Make decisions about the business today with up to the minute statistics.  It’s like what we all see on sporting events, instant updates about the game.  Only the game is your business.

Money – the total cost of ownership goes down significantly by merging the applications and data onto one platform.  ERP applications, custom applications and data-warehousing, all on one platform thereby reducing the TCO to the organization and streamlining efforts to build and maintain new solutions.

 

What’s Next?

I’m very excited SkyeCube is part of this paradigm with in-memory technology.  This post is just the first of many to come around in-memory solutions using SAP HANA and how it is benefiting companies in today’s market.

 

Resources:

HANA Welcome http://www.saphana.com/welcome

What is SAP HANA?  http://www.saphana.com/docs/DOC-2272

 

 

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