HANA database or rather the classic SQL database?

This question is currently being asked by many companies considering upgrading their SAP database. But what do they need to be aware of? The following article will shed some light on the subject.

First of all, companies should be aware of whether they want to update only the database or the entire SAP system. Thus, it is basically possible to use an existing SAP ERP system with an SAP HANA database. Considering the fact that support for SAP ERP 6.0 will be discontinued in 2025, this would be a possible and also a good solution - but a temporary solution.

 

HANA-DB: shorter access times and higher processing speeds

When comparing conventional relational databases with a HANA database, it is noticeable that HANA-DB achieves shorter access times and higher processing speeds thanks to its in-memory technology. In addition, the HANA database supports line- and column-oriented data storage, whereas the classic database only supports line-oriented data storage. To explain: The strengths of line-oriented databases lie in write accesses, while the strengths of column-oriented databases lie in read accesses. The HANA database can be adapted according to use and is therefore even suitable for use in the BigData area.

How customers' own SAP applications can benefit from the HANA performance

Another important point is the server hardware and software, because this also contributes to the speed of the system. When switching to a HANA database, the hardware may also have to be replaced.

Another central point concerns in-house developments: Customer-specific ABAP programs should be adapted when switching to HANA. This does not have to happen immediately, but should always be done. Only in this way can the applications benefit from the HANA performance.

The adjustments to the individual programs are usually manageable or even small, but the effect - to everyone's surprise - is immense. In many cases, long-distance runners with runtimes in the hourly range only need minutes.

From this point of view it makes sense to start the changeover so early, because the more programs have to be changed in the future, the more complex - and therefore also more expensive - the changeover to HANA-DB will be.

 

There are cases in which a switch to HANA-DB should be made quickly

Conclusion: On the one hand there is time and there is no reason to interfere in existing project planning. On the other hand, a changeover is unavoidable in the medium term. In the event of poor or unacceptable runtimes of individual applications or many in-house developments, the switch to a HANA database should not be delayed too long. The system change to SAP S/4 HANA can take place at the same time (with the change to HDB) or in two steps. We recommend a 2-step transition - based on experience from our own customer projects.

 

HANA-DB: shorter access times and higher processing speeds

When comparing conventional relational databases with a HANA database, it is noticeable that HANA-DB achieves shorter access times and higher processing speeds thanks to its in-memory technology. In addition, the HANA database supports line- and column-oriented data storage, whereas the classic database only supports line-oriented data storage. To explain: The strengths of line-oriented databases lie in write accesses, while the strengths of column-oriented databases lie in read accesses. The HANA database can be adapted according to use and is therefore even suitable for use in the BigData area.

How customers' own SAP applications can benefit from the HANA performance

Another important point is the server hardware and software, because this also contributes to the speed of the system. When switching to a HANA database, the hardware may also have to be replaced.

Another central point concerns in-house developments: Customer-specific ABAP programs should be adapted when switching to HANA. This does not have to happen immediately, but should always be done. Only in this way can the applications benefit from the HANA performance.

The adjustments to the individual programs are usually manageable or even small, but the effect - to everyone's surprise - is immense. In many cases, long-distance runners with runtimes in the hourly range only need minutes.

From this point of view it makes sense to start the changeover so early, because the more programs have to be changed in the future, the more complex - and therefore also more expensive - the changeover to HANA-DB will be.