Friday 24 February 2017

The Road to SAP HANA & Beyond . . .

The Beginning!

I first heard about HANA when I was working with SAP in 2008 & then Around 2012, one of my Friends called me from BayArea to join his startup that is doing some work on SAP HANA, SAP’s in-memory database. I just remember it as a Database back then.

Then I heard about OpenSAP and I started taking courses on SAP HANA. I also took a course by Vishal Sikka, then SAP CTO.

Back then there was no such thing as S/4 HANA & many customers were just starting to hear about what HANA can accomplish for them.
Many companies were still relying on Numerous batch jobs. Some jobs ran on and on during the night & results were ready by the morning.

The Road to SAP HANA & Beyond . . .

Financial closing & reconciliations using traditional/existing systems was still taking numerous days.

& From a UI perspective, SAP GUI, BSP, WebDynpro ABAP were not fully capable of exploiting on the Mobile devices & Tablets.

Training & Certification:

Leveraging Open-SAP, I started off with one of the HANA courses in 2013 & in the following year I got trained on SAP HANA in the areas of Data Provisioning, Data Modelling ( Attribute, Analytical, Calculation Views & SQL procedures ) and also Data Reporting. Some of the concepts were completely new when listening to the first time, but it does get interesting especially from a modelling & also architectural perspective.

Coming from a development background, HANA modelling was the most interesting part for me as it was interesting to see how simple & complex business functionalities & Calculations can be made to execute on HANA Database level by especially using Calculation Views & SQL Procedures.

I completed my HANA Certification in 2015 & also started working on it as I had system access continuously from 2015 till date.

I really suggest people trying to get HANA certification to get System Access. I was able to achieve a lot of Practical Knowledge because of System Access. System access & practice will help get through the Certification as you would be able to correlate Theory & Practice while working on the system.

Initial Experiences:

In the initial days after training, the approach used to be that we started off with Attribute views for pulling master data & maybe build two or more Analytical views as needed & then moving on to Calculation views, but now everything can be pretty much achieved using Calculation views, & if they do not suffice, we can definitely use SQL Procedures, as long as we make sure not to complicate things too much & suffer any performance issues.

No matter what, we always need to write Efficient queries. I mean, ‘DO NOT TAKE HANA for Granted’. We have to BUILD IT RIGHT!

SAP S/4 HANA Announced!

I still remember the day in February about 2 years back, when SAP announced S/4 HANA. I mean no SAP consultant could have missed the news when it was all over the SAP ECO system.

Today, it is more common news with more and more companies moving to S/4 HANA, Customers are also getting a good choice of On-Premise Vs Cloud ( HEC ) Vs Hyrbid approaches.

And SAP never stopped enhancing HANA as a Database, Cloud, Application Platform & Analytic Appliance.


Why Move to SAP HANA ?

1. No More unnecessary scheduling of Batch jobs, in cases where we are doing so because they eat system resources & we are mitigating by running them mid night.

2. If something can be done real-time, then REAL-TIME it is. HANA with its in-memory & Columnar database with Multi-node architecture can process at the speed of thought. 

The Road to SAP HANA & Beyond . . .

3. HANA gives an option for existing customers to not completely give up on their huge SAP investments & to go the Upgrade/Migration route.

4. HANA gives new SAP customers an all new architectural approach to Start Right!

5. Just imagine companies doing Financial closing so much faster than before using Simple Finance that leverages the potential of HANA. That should be a good enough reason for those companies that spend so much T&M for Financial closings either Year-end or Quarter-end.

6. HANA is both Evolutionary & Revolutionary for Companies to keep their business processes running @ the speed of thought in this new Millennium!

7. As the transition happens from Gen Z to new Millennials, things are changing rapidly even in the business environment starting from how they shop & Live. Companies need more and more to understand consumer behaviors & patterns & have the latest & greatest systems & processes in place.

8. Multiple Options of having On-Premise, Cloud-based or Hybrid Landscape. 

The Road to SAP HANA & Beyond . . .

9. Offers Numerous built-in services to customers. 

The Road to SAP HANA & Beyond . . .

10. Comes with All New FIORI UI for Multi-Platform, Multi-device accessibility & Mobility.

11. Supports IoT

The Road to SAP HANA & Beyond . . .

12. & many more . . . . . .

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