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Since 2008, SAP has hinted at a real-time data platform approach to its middleware and application infrastructure based on the power of in-memory database technologies, and a little under a year ago it released HANA.
Now SAP Business Suite customers are wondering whether they should replace their underlying relational databases with this new technology. In-memory databases (IMDBs) have the ability to provide real-time information in nanoseconds instead of milliseconds, a capability that is important for many emerging applications.
In his study, Does SAP HANA Change Your Database Strategy for SAP Apps?, R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst and CEO of Constellation Research, identifies the key features of HANA as follows:
SAP announced general availability of SAP HANA (formerly known as the High-Performance Analytical Appliance) on July 5, 2011. The database appliance marked the first of many outputs of the HANA approach and signaled a movement of SAP’s Business Information Warehouse from traditional databases to HANA.
HANA reflects SAP’s future direction and next-generation approach to applications architecture. Therefore, SAP customers should evaluate and understand HANA as SAP reveals its roadmap. The full report from Constellation Research describes the role HANA will play for use with SAP's Business Suite, business analytics, and future SAP applications. It describes SAP's vision for HANA and in-memory computing and how this vision puts SAP in conflict with its key database partners. It also analyzes the SAP applications where HANA is most suitable today. The report concludes with recommendations for SAP customers in evaluating HANA for use within their applications portfolios.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of Constellation Research’s report , Does SAP HANA Change Your Database Strategy for SAP Apps? This report is available for purchase as a partner publication on the Computer Economics website (click for pricing).