SAP Offers Development Roadmap For In-Memory Computing Applications


SAP is aggressively expanding its line of applications that leverage the company's in-memory computing technology that's capable of rapidly processing huge volumes of data in real time.

The company also will adapt its existing software products to take advantage of the HANA (high-performance analytic appliance) system SAP began selling in December. HANA is based on in-memory computing technology SAP acquired when it bought Sybase in July for $5.8 billion.

Later this year SAP will debut a new release of HANA and, perhaps more significantly, will re-architect its NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) data warehouse system to use HANA to process BW calculations, making it an alternative to database software from Oracle, Microsoft and IBM.

SAP executives, however, said customers would still have the option of using third-party database software to power BW.

"We believe that a new reality for applications is here. And we are not only going to re-think all of our existing applications, but we are going to build some unbelievable new applications that were never possible before," said Vishal Sikka, SAP CTO and member of the software company's executive board, in a customer and partner event in Boston Wednesday.

Using in-memory computing will also help organizations simplify their IT systems by eliminating the need for data caches, aggregations or batch processing, according to SAP. Eventually in-memory computing should reduce database usage and reliance on disk-based data storage.

The new HANA-based applications will be offered in both on-premise and on-demand versions, Sikka said.

SAP is already selling a strategic workforce planning application that runs on HANA, and the BusinessObjects 4.0 business analytics software SAP unveiled last month is built to run on HANA.

In this year's third quarter the company will ship new applications for sales and operations planning, and cash and liquidity management that take advantage of the in-memory computing appliance.

In the fourth quarter SAP will add HANA-enabled applications for smart meter analytics, trade promotion management, intelligent payment brokering, customer revenue performance management, merchandising and assortment planning, utility customer energy management and customer-specific pricing, as well as a profitability engine.

New releases of SAP's Business Suite, Business All-in-One, Business ByDesign and BusinessOne application sets, scheduled for release in 2012, will be tailored to tap into HANA's processing capabilities, Sikka said.

In-memory computing is one of SAP's core technology initiatives, along with mobility and cloud computing. New mobile applications and a software development kit for developing mobile apps are expected to be unveiled at SAP's Sapphire conference in May.