One of the most common questions related to the SAP HANA in-memory database platform is: What is SAP HANA? Many people understand that it uses computing technology for in-memory processing of real-time applications and to promote various solutions for business intelligence. However, understanding precisely how these processes work and what their overall benefits are can take a little digging.
Our overview will answer the question of what is SAP HANA, including the main features of its database, what it can do, and how it can benefit businesses across multiple industries.
SAP HANA Database & Platform Overview
Before we get into the key features and main capabilities of the SAP software, an overview of the database management system and the platform on which it runs is crucial to answering the question of just what is SAP HANA and how it works.
What They Are
At their respective cores, the in-memory database and the platform work in concert with one another to simplify IT environments for both developers and clients. They accomplish this by building a foundation that allows businesses to garner more intelligence and accelerate existing processes.
How They Work
The SAP HANA database and its platform, which can include both a cloud platform and the in-memory platform of the database itself, copy or store structural data points from both SAP software and non-SAP applications and systems. While this may not be unique, the speed at which SAP HANA can do this is one of its biggest potential benefits.
SAP HANA stores whatever data it replicates in the RAM rather than on a hard disk, which is the more traditional method. Businesses that need to run analytics or transactions then have the ability to access the in-memory data stored on the RAM in real-time or close to it. This allows customers to develop or modify high-performance applications that meet their needs.
SAP HANA Database Features
The question of what is SAP HANA is tied to its key features:
- Analytics in real-time: Dynamic analysis and data integration allow you to make changes to business applications as soon as new data enters the system.
- In-memory computing: This simply means that SAP HANA will store information on the RAM to allow it to display quickly.
- Management of relational databases: You can program SAP HANA to manage different databases that contain relational data points. Usually, this is done using the SQL coding language.
- Column-structured architecture: Most regional databases structure their data either by rows or columns. The column orientation you can select with SAP HANA may be able to process and display data at a faster rate than if that data is organized by rows. Speed is always a huge factor when dealing with big data, and a column structure might boost the database’s performance by requiring fewer data readings.
SAP HANA Architecture & Capabilities
A general understanding of what the database’s architecture is and what it can do for you will provide you with some answers as to what is SAP HANA.
SAP HANA’s database is crafted from the C++ language and includes multiple layers and servers.
- Index server: This is the main part of SAP HANA’s architecture. It contains all the primary data storage.
- Nameserver: This server is the owner of the information stored in the system. It knows where various components are and which data goes on a given server.
- Stats server: This server is responsible for collecting information on how data is consumed and how applications are performing their tasks.
- Pre-processor: This analyzes text data from search functions.
You can learn more about this topic in our overview of the SAP HANA architecture.
- Management: SAP HANA can manage large databases or several at once thanks to its dynamic tiering capabilities.
- Computing: SAP HANA’s computing power gives you answers to business scenarios in real-time.
- Virtualization: Virtualization allows developers to handle big data without worrying about technical details slowing them down.
- Applications: Developers can use SAP HANA to construct next-gen applications that come for each business solution.
SAP HANA License & Editions
You can use different versions of SAP HANA depending on both the license you acquire and which edition you choose.
- Runtime: This license is specific to the application that a developer uses. The SAP software will work only with the database for which it has a license for.
- Full-use: These licenses have no restriction and you can use them for multiple databases and custom applications.
- Base edition: This edition of SAP HANA features all the core components of the in-memory database. It also includes integration services and applications.
- Enterprise edition: This edition includes everything from the standard version and adds graphs, spatial designs, privacy, and textual mining and analysis.
- Express edition: This edition includes most standard SAP HANA features. However, it excludes some components that don’t necessarily benefit developers.
SAP HANA Key Benefits
Understanding what is SAP HANA and its popularity level gives you some idea of its benefits:
- Data storage costs: Storing data, particularly as the market trends toward big data, can require many servers. SAP HANA can cut down on costs by managing several data points at once.
- Processing: Being able to process data in real-time makes companies more accurate and gives them a rounded viewpoint.
- Analytics: A proper analysis of data allows developers to create customized business solutions.
The question of just what is SAP HANA has a multi-faceted answer. However, amid these complexities, the in-memory database offers several advantages thanks to its processing and data management capabilities.
You can choose the SAP HANA license or edition that works for your business needs and customize it to provide solutions and high-performance applications that keep you on the cutting edge. We invite you to share your thoughts about SAP HANA below.