BIMEX Analytics
4 min

Guide to SAP Hana: what it is, features and benefits

SAP HANA is, after more than a decade of presence in the market, one of the best solutions for data storage and analysis. It’s an ideal tool for digitized and tech-savvy companies looking to enhance decision-making quickly and securely.

But what exactly is SAP HANA? What are its characteristics and functions? Let’s delve into it in depth.

What is SAP HANA?

SAP Hana (High Performance Analytic Appliance) is a system that originated in 2010 with the goal of accelerating the performance of analytic applications by enhancing speed and enabling them to work with data simultaneously.

It’s an extension of SAP technology in the form of an in-memory data platform, capable of operating in both an on-premises device and in the cloud.

Undoubtedly, the main advantage of SAP is its ability to analyze data in real-time at high speed by directly accessing data from RAM (eliminating the need for disk access to process data).

Why is this so important?

Because it allows organizations to process vast amounts of data with almost zero latency, enabling instantaneous data querying and truly becoming data-driven.

This platform combines an ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) database with application services, flexible tools for data acquisition, and high-speed analytics. SAP HANA stores and retrieves data used by applications and can integrate data from multiple sources with real-time transactional data.

How does SAP Hana work?

It is based on an in-memory data architecture, meaning data is stored in the computer’s main memory rather than on a traditional hard disk.

However, this solution is much more than just a database.

It acts as a database server, storing and retrieving data requested by applications, offering advanced search capabilities, analytics, and data integration for all types of structured and unstructured data. It also functions as an application server…

An excellent tool for breaking down the barriers of digital transformation by simplifying IT.

Characteristics and Functions of SAP HANA

As mentioned, this is an enterprise software platform that offers a wide array of features and functions.

In-Memory Database

Data is stored in the computer’s main memory instead of a traditional hard disk, resulting in faster and more efficient data access.

Real-Time Processing

SAP HANA can process vast amounts of data in real-time, facilitating decision-making.

Data Integration and Analysis

It allows the integration of data from multiple sources, enabling businesses to consolidate all their data onto a single platform. Furthermore, it provides a wide range of data analysis tools, allowing businesses to extract valuable insights from the data.

Data Visualization

It also offers tools for businesses to represent their data in a clear and concise manner.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

What is an in-memory database?

This type of database (IMDB) stores data in the main memory of a computer (RAM) instead of on traditional disks or solid-state drives (SSD).

Additionally, memory retrieval is much faster than on a disk or SSD, resulting in response times of fractions of seconds.

Typically, in-memory databases are used for applications that require maximum speed and the ability to handle large traffic spikes—such as in telecommunications networks and banking systems.

However, many companies nowadays use in-memory databases for various applications, including real-time analytics, predictive modeling, customer experience management, logistics, and more.

Uses and applications of SAP HANA

SAP HANA is used in a wide range of business applications, from finance to sales and marketing.

Thanks to its data processing speed, in addition to its primary use in situations requiring data analysis tools, application servers, development environments, or cloud platforms, these are some of its key uses and applications:

  • Business Analysis: For instance, to analyze large amounts of data and obtain valuable insights about your business operations.
  • Planning and Budgeting: It enables the creation of sophisticated financial models and forecasting potential future scenarios.
  • Sales and Marketing: By analyzing sales and marketing data, we gain valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviors.
  • Logistics and Supply Chain: It’s optimal for improving efficiency in inventory management, transportation, and distribution.
  • Human Resources Management: Companies can use SAP HANA to analyze employee data, including payroll and performance management.

Most common applications

Many applications today can benefit from SAP HANA and its technology.

Big Data as a service: This is its strong suit, hence its value for all types of organizations. With it, we can create data lakes and perform analyses thanks to its tools. An ideal Big Data solution for collecting, refining, and storing vast amounts of both structured and unstructured data, simultaneously facilitating organizations.

  • Monitoring and optimizing telecommunications networks.
  • Optimizing the supply chain and retail.
  • Detecting fraud and enhancing online security.
  • Preventing and generating profitability reports.
  • Optimizing and monitoring energy usage.

The benefits of SAP HANA

From its own characteristics we can extract the wide range of benefits of SAP HANA for the companies that use it:

  • Predictive and real-time analysis: This enables companies to quickly adapt to changes in their business environment.
  • Efficiency enhancement: Companies can process large amounts of data more efficiently, reducing the time and costs associated with data processing.
  • Decision-making improvement: It provides valuable insights into business operations, enabling companies to make informed and strategic decisions.
  • Productivity enhancement: Automating processes and tasks enhances productivity and efficiency.
  • Scalability: SAP HANA is highly scalable, facilitating the handling of large amounts of data and users simultaneously. This allows companies to grow and expand without worrying about scalability issues.

In short, this SAP system integrates data from various company departments in one place by applying AI and automation, at high speed, enhancing corporate operations and business transactions significantly.

Considering all the aspects mentioned and based on our own experience, we can affirm that the SAP HANA in-memory database platform has revolutionized the way thousands of companies handle their data.

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