In simple terms, SAP HANA is a database with in-memory storage. Starting out as a simple database, it has now evolved into multidimensional applications and has become a leading choice for businesses. So what is SAP HANA more specifically? And what is it used for?

What is SAP HANA

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What is SAP?

Systems Applications and Products, or SAP,  deals with data processing. This type of system essentially features a variety of consolidated modules. These work together to assist in every aspect of business management. This integration allows for various business functions to take place simultaneously.

SAP is also the name of the company behind SAP HANA. Starting with ERP software, this German company moved to in-memory processing. SAP is now most well-known for its integrated approach to business software.

When it comes to decentralised data management, business functions become disconnected. SAP aimed to address this and other issues with data localisation. So, SAP offers that integration for business functions, and with multi-department access, business management is a simpler task.

The software works for both small and large corporations. With single-platform data processing, efficient solutions are also easy to implement. This application features the essential design on which the SAP HANA database operates. 

What does HANA mean?

High-Speed Analytical Appliance (HANA) is the database that runs on SAP. This in-memory database supports a wide variety of data. It also allows storage, processing and analysis, all of which work in real-time. It comes with transactional capabilities with different workloads without overloading too.

Its in-memory feature also highlights another capability. With built-in machine learning, you can achieve optimal business processing. Not only is this available on-site, but it comes with cloud features as well. Data access distributed over the cloud means access is limitless. The integrative database also collects and combines data from a variety of sources. With live data analysis, storage and processing remain unhindered, and the columnised database offers smooth, efficient data processing. It also attends to all aspects of a business in a single location.  

SAP HANA features

This in-memory database management system integrates business functions in a single place. With a variety of data at your fingertips, it also allows live data collection and processing. Here you have business management and decision-making with easily available information. Transactional processing capabilities also ensure multi-function applications.

With much-reduced memory storage, SAP HANA offers better and faster data analysis. Almost instantaneous data analysis reduces processing times and prevents overload. So, what is SAP HANA’s role in business management?

Integrated database with real-time processing

With SAP HANA installed through the cloud, an integrated database becomes available. This in-memory database is accessible from anywhere. With data analysis and processing tools also available, real-time solutions can be created. 

Data analysis and decision-making

In-memory processing works fast and efficiently. With integrated functions, a large amount of data can be processed in real-time. This also includes updated data obtained at different times from various departments. Therefore, it functions as a valuable and accurate decision-making tool. With information available whenever you need it, it can also help make fast, accurate decisions. 

Free installation and upgrades

SAP HANA allows its users to obtain experience of the database’s usefulness. It offers a free trial that lets you experiment with all its features. The trial version also means you can try out functions and integrate them with your business. With paid upgrades, you can then access more memory capacity as needed.

Efficient multi-transactional processing

Here you have online transaction processing (OLTP) that allows multiple transactions to be executed at once. In-memory online analytical processing (OLAP) allows extensive data analysis from multiple sources. Compressed data is stored in memory, with ACID compliance for satisfactory transactional control.

The column format makes for easy data display and simple processing. Being visually efficient, the database is also able to provide easier data analysis. With SIMD commands, processing speeds are fast and reliable. SAP HANA also offers features that eliminate bottlenecks and slow performance.

Open-source developing

SAP HANA supports a creative environment with the ability to innovate. The database supports JavaScript/Node.js, as well as Apache TomEE Java. It can also support your own language. This can be developed using SAP HANA XS ADVANCED, and this application server comes with the release.

With open sourcing, XS ADVANCED is based on a micro-services set-up. The set-up reflects that of cloud foundry. With multi-cloud applications, SAP HANA also provides an open environment for development.

Predictive analysis in real-time

The Predictive Analytics Library (PAL) offered with SAP HANA provides great analytic support. With a wide range of analytic algorithms, it also makes the job easier. These include such capabilities as statistics and classification. PAL can help you analyse and construct large batches of data effectively.

SAP HANA is not limited by the kinds of data it can process, and it can also handle different loads. Complex analysis can also be carried out in real-time across a variety of data pieces. With the integrated system, you can be sure you’ll reach all stakeholders simultaneously. This application can be accessed with some configuration to the express server.   

Store, configure and process a variety of data

Even as an in-memory database, SAP HANA stands out because of the environment it provides. It has no restrictions on the types of data that can be stored, retrieved or processed on it. No additional features or upgrades are required either for accessing different data types. With SAP HANA, you can store and process different types of data in a single database.

Data analysis is not restricted either. With the provision of a geospatial graph and text data, there’s no limit on how you choose to present your data. Algorithms for all types of data processing are also already provided. The Express version offers these specific features for unlimited data access. 


SAP HANA has many organisational benefits on offer. Integrated business functions make for faster processing and better decision-making. SAP HANA has the capability to allow just that. Its multiple business applications make it more than a worthwhile investment. You can learn more about how SAP works and how it can help your business here. 

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