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Since the release of SAP Hana and SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight, many people asked what the differences between the two solutions are.  They both have in-memory capabilities and speak of real time.  Are they pretty much the same solution? Let’s start by explaining the purpose of each product:


SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight is a new EIM solution that enables business users to discover and understand the business impact of events in real time.  Some of its key components are as follow:


  • A unique intelligent event grid (patent-pending) that distributes the processing and monitoring of events in real time from multiple data sources across a distributed network
  • A complex event process (CEP) engine that processes event streams to identify complex patterns that may represent business opportunities or threats.
  • An Administrative UI enabling you to set up event agents on multiple data sources


SAP Hana is a technology that allows the processing of massive quantities of data in the main memory of the server to provide immediate results from analyses to transactions.  Some of the key benefits are as follow: 

  • Flexible, multi-purpose, data-source-agonistic in-memory appliance that combines SAP software components optimized on hardware provided and delivered by SAP’s leading hardware partners
  • Enables organizations to analyze business operations based on large volumes of detailed information in real-time, as it happens
  • Ability to create very flexible non-materialized analytic models based on real-time data without affecting backend enterprise applications or databases
  • Better storage, search and ad-hoc analysis off very large data volumes

So what’s unique about them?  SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight is about linking to many data sources without the need to process ETL to a database.  SAP BusinessObject Event Insight process Events that answers the questions and report results to dashboards, GIS and even alerts on mobile devices.   It cuts down the need to run a report and sort information on excel.   SAP Hana provides massive quantities of real time data in the main memory of the server to provide immediate results from analyses and transactions.

But is in-memory faster than CEP?  Julio Navas, who developed SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight during his work with the Imagineering team lead by Denis Brown, said a research group that presented at SIGMOD (Special Interest Group On Management of Data) showed a CEP server would be 10x faster than an in-memory database and 30x faster than a regular disk-based Database.   Does it make sense to embed SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight into SAP Hana and have one powerful analytic tool?  One would think this should be the case.   But let’s think beyond just SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight and SAP Hana and visualize how you need a complex network and that brings all your different data sources and different engines into one system empowered by you in “real time!”  SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight intelligent grid allows businesses to do just that. 

SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight’s intelligent grid is a complex network of processing events and has the ability to control the flow of events from any engine -- CEP, Hana, Java and Javascript -- and any data sources -- sensors to legacy databases.   This gives companies the flexibility to leverage their existing investment, integrate in memory technology like Hana and using SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight to form one computing systems that allows global operations to monitor and analyze real time complex business processes like monitoring call center complaints, identifying defective product, tracking inventory in freight and even monitoring POS activities in hundreds of stores.

In a Utilities Energy Distribution scenario, which the demo will be presented at the 8th International SAP Utilities Conference at Mannheim, Germany on April 12-14, customer uses disparate data sources to monitor the health of their assets.   The maintenance data resides in Enterprise Asset Management.  The transformer and substation activities are from SCADA (a power generation process controlling system) or stored in Data Historian. The external weather conditions of each asset are recorded from another data source.  And the coordinates of assets location are in the GIS server.    In order to quickly understand the current status of the assets, SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight monitors asset activities linking to each of the disparate data sources and correlate the results on GIS.  If the weather condition changes, the alert on GIS appears and immediate the operator can quickly see the asset history and properly react and adjust the energy load of the asset by launching a workflow through Business Process Management.  How does Hana fit into the scenario?  SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight is not designed to persist high volume of events.  It monitors and alert based on queries maintained in Event Insight’s Query Builder.   If customer wants to review historical events, Event Insight’s Intelligent Grid can subscribe historical Events from SAP Hana and utilize it’s in-memory capabilities to quickly report events onto their analytic applications.

The uniqueness of this solution is that SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight can monitor and correlate events from any data sources without the requirement of ETL.    Because SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight cannot store high volume of events, this is where SAP Hana helps with in-memory reporting of historical events.   Together with SAP BusinessObjects Event Insight’s Intelligent Grid, businesses now has the power to access all their heterogeneous data sources and use in-memory and CEP capabilities in one computing system maintained by just a handful of people. But the information can be consumed by thousands of the company’s entire operations in real time.

Interested in attending the SAP Utilities Conference at Mannheim, Germany?  Click on to register.

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