SAP Data Warehouse Software Now Relies On HANA Database

SAP, which is holding its Sapphire Now and SAP TechEd conferences in Madrid this week, also debuted a new release of HANA (high-performance analytical appliance), launched a slew of new mobile applications, and unveiled additions to its cloud computing strategy.

NetWeaver BW is SAP's data warehouse system that has been deployed by 13,000 customers. But until now the system has required an underlying relational database system, such as the Oracle Database or IBM's DB2. HANA, which was launched last December as an analytical appliance, can now fill that role, said Ken Tsai, SAP senior director of platform marketing.

"We think HANA is going to give our customers a lot of flexibility," Tsai said in an interview. The HANA technology will dramatically enhance query performance and speed up data loads, according to SAP. The reduced data layers also will simplify system administration and reduce operating costs.

"By replacing the traditional database layer underneath SAP NetWeaver BW with SAP HANA, we are completely rethinking and renewing the traditional database approach," said Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, technology and innovation platform, in a statement.

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The new support pack 3 release of HANA adds business function and predictive analysis libraries to speed up specific analytical processes. The new business functions, for example, include a sales forecasting formula while the predictive analysis library offers advanced data mining and statistical algorithms. HANA also sports fully automated backup and point-in-time recovery capabilities and accelerated data loading performance – the latter by enabling data extraction, transformation and loading directly in the in-memory layer.

SAP also unveiled the new SAP Customer Segmentation Accelerator software for HANA, used to segment and analyze customer data to understand buying behavior and preferences.

On the mobile application front SAP, with its Sybase subsidiary, debuted a range of new products at the conference. A number of the applications cover broad business areas such as field service, CRM, GRC (governance, risk and compliance) and retail execution. Others are geared toward specific tasks, including the SAP Transport Notification and Status, and SAP Transport Tendering apps. And others focus on specific industries, such as the SAP Electronic Medical Record application.

SAP also said it completed its acquisition of Crossgate, a developer of hosted business-to-business networking software and services. SAP said that with the Crossgate technology it could now offer customers the ability to transact business and collaborate with customers and business partners through the cloud.