SAP HANA is the SAP’S application and database platforms. It allows the rapid processing of larger data volumes in real time in their current immediate analysis. This makes it possible to obtain a very quick response to questions, the processing of which can take thousands of times longer in a typical session database.

One of the essential properties that makes this possible is the location of the entire database only within the server’s operating memory, i.e. the use of the in-memory concept. This saves the continuous loading and writing of data on disks which accelerates data access and handling multiple times. At the same time, the way information is stored varies.

At the same time, SAP HANA isn’t only the database itself, but it is also powerful application server which has many functions ready as well as the HTML5 support. This also makes the development of new applications considerably faster and it is possible to achieve maximum performance even on mobile devices.

Big Data

SAP HANA supports data volumes up to the amount of petabyte stored directly in the operating memory while keeping the response time in seconds. To balance the cost demand of a large operating memory, HANA has the possibility of moving less frequently accessed data to the disk repository. Database administrators can define rules under which this move takes place.


SAP HANA contains a wide range of analytical tools for different types of data processing. Business Function Library is a library containing algorithms that are made available to deal with normal business data processing algorithms, such as a decrement of the asset value, moving prediction or moving average. Predictive Analytics Library is a library that contains native algorithms for the calculation of common statistical functions, such as clustering, classification or time series analysis.

HANA also integrates open-sourced statistical programming language R as a supported language within stored procedures.

Another possible application is working with graphs. The graphics engine supports both Cypher Query Language and visual manipulation through a tool named Graph Viewer. Graphic data structures are stored directly in session database tables. Built-in algorithms include shape recognition, neighbor searching, the shortest path and tightly linked components. These functions can be useful when used in supply chains, fraud detection, logistics and route planning.

The advantages of using SAP HANA

  • Real-time decision-making. All business data are collected in a single place within the reach of the decision-makers within seconds. This makes it possible to make decisions more quickly.
  • Lower resource requirements. Less hardware, maintenance and testing are needed to use SAP HANA. This can save operating costs.
  • Data integration and data modeling. SAP HANA enables you to integrate data from almost any source and then create models according to business needs.
  • Productivity and efficiency. Data processing is faster and it is possible to create your own reports and ad hoc analyses in real time in the environment of user-familiar MS Excel without needing assistance from the IT department.
  • In-memory. By not being stored on disk continuously, but being directly in operating memory, handling data is extremely fast.

The disadvantages of using SAP HANA

  • The only machine. All data is stored on one machine which is a major risk in the event of its failure.
  • Data recovery. There is no PITR (point-in-time-recovery) in case the user accidentally deletes or modifies the data.
  • Vendor lock-in. There is no simple migration back to RDBMS.