What is SAP HANA 2? Nine Questions Answered

For SAP Chief Technology Officer Bernd Leukert, the evolution to SAP HANA 2 signifies “a new generation of database.” Here, get the answers to nine key questions on its recent launch.


1. What is SAP HANA 2?

SAP HANA 2 is the new generation of the SAP platform. It offers new functionalities for database management, data management, analytical intelligence, and application development, and was designed specifically with companies embracing the digital transformation in mind.


2. What new technical functions are available compared to the current SAP HANA version (SPS12)?

  • Database management: There are multiple enhancements for high availability and security. For example, the new “active/active read-enabled” option allows IT organizations to leverage secondary systems – previously used only for system replication – to off-load read-intensive workloads for improved operations.
  • Data management: The SAP HANA-based Web application SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer allows customers to visualize the impact of new technologies on their architecture before they are implemented. In addition, a tiered storage enhancement allows the distributed storage of data by priority regardless of where it resides. These are two of the many enhancements that have been developed for enterprise modeling, data integration, and data quality.
  • Analytical intelligence: SAP HANA 2 is ideally equipped to enable customers to more effectively integrate additional insight obtained by analyzing text, spatial, graph and streaming data into their applications. For example, there are new algorithms in the predictive analytics library for time series, classification, and regression analysis to empower data scientists to discover new patterns and incorporate machine learning into customer applications.
  • Application development: Application developers will benefit from enhanced functions for application servers, new development tools, and development languages. In application programming, a new file processor interface enables developers to extract metadata from documents in order to gain newer, deeper insights.


3. What does SAP HANA 2 mean for customers who already run SAP HANA?

There will not be any direct consequences for the applications initially. We nevertheless recommend that customers install the current Support Pack Stack, SPS12. They can upgrade to SAP HANA 2 later without incurring additional licensing costs.



4. Which SAP HANA release is required for the switch to SAP HANA 2?

For customers with Support Pack Stack 10 and higher, the transition is straightforward. Customers with older versions of SAP HANA need to perform an intermediary step via SAP HANA SPS 12.


5. Why are you implementing a product change to SAP HANA 2 rather than releasing SPS 13 for SAP HANA?

SAP HANA 2, with its extensive range of functionalities, represents a new technological milestone. The product is even better equipped to help companies prepare for the digital transformation. The new release management strategy also gives customers more flexibility, as there are now two possible options: The first is the “Innovation Track”, which offers six-monthly updates; the second is the “Maintenance Track”, which guarantees maintenance and security patches until May 2019 for all those customers currently using SAP HANA SPS 12.


6. When will SAP HANA 2 and the first maintenance release be available?

SAP HANA 2 was officially released to customers on November 30, 2016, and the first maintenance release is planned for the second quarter of 2017.


7. Can customers continue to run existing applications on SAP HANA 2?

SAP HANA 2 supports all the functions that were developed for SAP HANA releases. No changes to the existing architecture are required.


8. In which cloud environments will SAP HANA 2 be available?

There will be an upgrade of existing SAP HANA offers in the cloud. Currently, SAP HANA is available in the public cloud via Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Access to the cloud is also possible via SAP HANA One Service on the AWS Marketplace and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. This will continue to be the case for SAP HANA 2.


9 What does SAP HANA 2, express edition, offer?

The express edition is a starter pack developed fto enable free usage of all the new functionalities shortly after the SAP HANA 2 launch. Express edition makes it easier for application developers and other interested parties to develop and deploy applications for test purposes. It also offers an ideal entry into the world of the SAP in-memory database.

Neil How
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Neil How

Neil ran his first SAP transformation programme in his early twenties. He spent the next 21 years working both client side and for various consultancies running numerous SAP programmes. After successfully completing over 15 full lifecycles he took a senior leadership/board position and his work moved onto creating the same success for others.

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