What Is SAP HANA | SAP HANA Training Guide For Beginners

This SAP HANA Tutorial Explains the Features, Benefits, and Applications of SAP HANA in detail. You Will Also Learn Why do we need it:

Hi, Readers! In the world of SAP technologies, you must have often heard about SAP HANA.

This article is going to elaborate upon SAP HANA, its features, needs in the market, and its applications & usage. Since this is the very first article on this topic, we will stick to the basics.

In the subsequent articles, we will learn in detail about the HANA architecture and modeling.



HANA is an acronym for High-performance Analytic Appliance. It is a very famous and high-profile product developed and marketed by SAP SE corporation. Dr. Vishal Sikka, former SAP executive, cited HANA as Hasso’s New Architecture.

SAP HANA is an in-memory, column-oriented, RDBMS (relational database management system). Primarily, it serves as a database server that stores and retrieves huge volumes of data in real time. Additionally, it also serves as an application server and is capable of performing advanced analytics and ETL operations. HANA is deployable on-premise as well as in the cloud.

HANA provides a combination of 4 things in one single suite i.e. HANA Database, Data Modeling, HANA Administration, and Data Provisioning.

It transforms business by aiding in real-time complex decision-making. It also streamlines transactions, analytics, business planning, and forecasting. It runs over SUSE Linux Enterprises Server and is written in C++ Language.

HANA came into the market for the first time in November 2010. Since then, many upgrades and modifications have taken place over it. The latest version is SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 02 and it was released in November 2016.

Click here to stay updated on SAP HANA and download/purchase it. You can also get a free trial version.

Features & Benefits Of SAP HANA

Enlisted below are the various features and benefits of HANA.

#1) Database Services

The in-memory database services to process high-speed transactions and handle huge volumes of data lets you take action in real time. SAP HANA has multitenant database containers (MDC) and dynamic multi-tier storage.

Databases in SAP HANA System

The above figure shows multitenant databases in one HANA system. Each database is totally isolated but shares the same system resources. It simplifies the development and deployment of cloud-based applications and allows you to do the optimum utilization of system resources.

#2) Analytics Processing

It offers advanced analytic processing through its in-memory data capabilities. This includes Machine Learning & Predictive Analysis, Spatial Data Processing, Text Analytics & Search, Time-Series Data Processing, Streaming Data Processing, and Graph Data Processing.


It helps greatly in answering business questions and real-time intelligent business decisions.

#3) App Development

The SAP HANA in-memory platform lets you accelerate next-generation application development. Using the SAP HANA in-class development tools, you can come up with smart and real-time apps that are a combination of analytics and transactions. These apps can be deployed on any device.

It offers a wide variety of rapid application development tools ranging from SAP HANA studio to SAP Web IDE (Integrated development environment) to ABAP. It also supports a lot of standard application development languages. You can choose the one that best fits your needs.

SAP HANA app development

Overall, using SAP HANA app development, you can deliver personalized experiences to the clients and provide the right data at the right time to the right user.

#4) Data Access

With HANA data access and virtualization capabilities, you can get a complete and accurate picture of your business. It lets you see your business clearly in a simplified IT landscape by accessing data from any internal or external source.

Its data federation feature makes it possible to query data remotely without moving it. It also offers features like data replication, data integration, and remote data sync. Rich data quality and high reliability (accurate & trustworthy data) help the decision-makers to make the right decisions.

#5) Administration

It contains tools and technologies that keep the business running smoothly and effectively. You can monitor the processes, and ensure data security and continuous accessibility from any device and location. There are many tools that let you monitor and administer the health of your system.

SAP HANA Database Administration

The above figure shows the SAP HANA cockpit through which you can monitor and administer the HANA database via a web-based tool.

#6) Security

It provides secure information access. You can manage and have control over those who can access your critical data. Security includes Role & Privilege Management, User & Identity Management, Authentication & Single sign-on, Audit Logging, etc. SAP HANA manages it all very well. It keeps all the systems up to date with the latest security patches.

SAP HANA Security

It offers highly secure communication, encryption and data masking that help you to run SAP HANA securely in your environment.


In this digital economy and super competitive market, only those companies that respond quickly to market changes and new opportunities can stand out from the crowd.

To make this possible, there is a need for business analysts and managers to access, analyze and use real-time information efficiently and effectively. HANA  is a one-stop solution that caters to this need.

SAP HANA overcomes the below IT and Business Challenges:

IT Challenges:

  • Difficulty in handling huge data volumes and lack of access to real-time data.
  • High maintenance costs to store and maintain a huge amount of data that is growing bigger each day.
  • Delay in analysis and processing results due to the unavailability of real-time data.

Business Challenges:

  • Unreliable and inadequate data increases the risk of making the wrong business decisions.
  • Need to quickly react to events that are impacting the business.
  • Need to improve the existing business processes.
  • Need to quickly uncover and analyze trends and patterns followed by users/organizations.

Top 10 Reasons to Use HANA

With HANA, the real-time insights from live data enable the business to make smarter and faster decisions. As it operates in real-time, there is a negligible or no delay between insight and action. Thus, it turns ‘business’ into ‘real-time business’.

Top 10 Reasons Why Companies Opt For SAP HANA

#1) Speed: It transforms the entire business model by managing huge volumes of data at a very high speed.


#2) Real-time: With SAP HANA, you can analyze live data and support real-time business.

#3) Any Data: It can handle any type of data i.e. structured or unstructured.


#4) Any Source: It supports multiple data sources (like Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, DB2) to load data into the HANA database.

#5) New insights with predictive and complex analysis: With SAP HANA, it is possible to ask any business question, get faster answers, and plan & predict effectively.

#6) Innovation: It opens the gates for innovation. For example, the city of Cape Town has built and uses an SAP HANA application called Emergency Policing and Incident Command (EPIC) that provides an integrated public safety solution for real-time response.

=> Watch This Video On The Same: EPIC – Real-time Response With SAP HANA

#7) Simplicity and Low Cost: HANA has few layers and a simple landscape. Using HANA, you spend less on real-time computing.

#8) Cloud: HANA is fast, scalable, and secure on the cloud.

#9) Reduced Cost: HANA reduces your overall IT cost.

#10) Choice: As HANA has collaborated with a number of partners, it gives you the option to choose any hardware and software of your preference to work with.

Applications Of HANA

Organizations are using SAP HANA applications for real-time transit routing, energy management, software piracy detection, fraud detection, buying behavior analysis & buying recommendations, real-time reporting, trade promotion management, product cost calculation, liquidity risk management for banks, etc.

These are just some examples. Truly, there is a very wide range of SAP HANA-based applications.


In this tutorial, we got an overview of HANA. We learned about the real-time processing capabilities along with the other useful features of this powerful, in-memory, columnar system.

We explored the need for HANA in today’s market and why it should be used. We also spotted our SAP HANA-based applications.

In our upcoming tutorial, we will learn in detail about the HANA architecture and SAP HANA modeling.

Stay tuned!