Thanks For The In-Memory: SAP Gives Flagship Applications A Performance Boost

SAP is promising that the new SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA will boost application performance by magnitudes of 100x to 10,000x and analytical performance by magnitude of 10x to 1,000x. It's the cornerstone of the company's "big data" offerings.

"Many did not believe this was possible," said Hasso Plattner, SAP co-founder and chairman of the company's supervisory board, referring to skepticism about how long it would take to develop the HANA option for the 400 million lines of code that make up the SAP Business Suite. The software is the result of a three-year development project, he said.

[Related: Microsoft Boosts SQL Server Database Performance With In-Memory Technology ]

Speaking at a press conference that was broadcast globally, Plattner touted the benefits of in-memory database technology, which stores frequently used data in a system's memory for faster processing. Traditional relational database systems, such as the Oracle Database and IBM DB2, manage data stored in disk drives.

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"We have to get rid of the rusty spinning disk," Plattner said.

SAP is targeting the new HANA version of the SAP Business Suite for such tasks as marketing analysis, financial closings, receivables management, consumer and social sentiment analysis, and other computing chores -- areas it says will benefit the most from the speedier software.

"The huge business value connected to speed makes SAP HANA unique on the market," said Jacek Bugajski, managing partner and co-owner of SID Group, an SAP channel partner, in a statement. "At SID Group we are confident that SAP customers will appreciate the computing speed, built-in analytics, and possibilities of predictive analysis directly on SAP Business Suite."

SAP launched HANA in December 2010, and some of the company's products, including the Business One application set for small businesses and BusinessObjects business analytics software, already run on the in-memory database.

SAP's Business All-in-One software for mid-size customers, which is built on the same code base as the SAP Business Suite, also now runs with HANA. Given its mid-market focus, All-in-One is a popular channel product.

SAP's cloud applications, including Business ByDesign, are still being adapted for HANA.