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Former Member

Last week I attended to SAP TechEd in Amsterdam.

I found lots of interesting information about new released SAP products , road-map details and plans , recommendation from experts and feedback from developers, etc.

Unfortunately there is only time to attend to few of all events scheduled.

After SAP TechEd it is time to digest all this info. It's time to share with colleagues and to find use cases.

Once back home, it is time to explore in depth those tracks that have been shown during the event.

These is a list of the main topics I highlighted after the lectures and networking experiences I had these days in Amsterdam:

HANA , Cloud and Mobile driving SAP innovation

HANA is in the center of all SAP innovation for already some years.

Since SAP announced the In-Memory system three years ago at Berlin SAP TechEd 2010, we have seen a big evolution:

At that time HANA was a system running in certain hardware appliances from few vendors. It was perceived as a way to have fast analytics.

In that time SAP was only starting to move to the cloud paradigm with SAP Business ByDesign.

Three years after, we see HANA is a young but already grown platform.

HANA is the application platform for both on-premise solutions and cloud solutions. HANA is already  with the new released ABAP 7.4 the basis of the Netweaver application platform to run with enhanced possibilities the Business Suite applications.

HANA is  also the basis for the  new SAP Cloud SaaS applications.

Customer can also develop their own solutions taking the benefits of HANA in a PaaS model with SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

SAP has made a good effort providing  to customers wide choice on how to use HANA and making it easier according to the different customer needs.

Customers can choose among on-premise with an pre-packaged appliances, on-premise with customized hardware setup ("Tailored Datacenter") , managed by SAP with the new SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud , with on-demand hardware by Amazon Web Services (AWS) , as a PaaS platform ...

The range of use cases for HANA applications range from Side-by-side scenarios were customers can experiment with HANA with miniman imapct in existing landscape to new applications fully developed to take advantage of HANA passing by using HANA as a database for existing Busines Suite solutions (ERP, CRM). This  lets customers to adopt  HANA in a way that meets each one needs.

SAP is also doing the necessary to promote the HANA knowledge within the technical community and providing access  to developers.

SAP is offering very interesting free on-line courses on HANA technology on OpenSAP and SAP HANA Academy. SAP provides  also free developer licenses (using small HANA appliances from Amazon Web Services, and trial license to the new ABAP 7.4 (also available with instant provisioning with AWS), so it is easier than ever to learn and evaluate.

Mobility is the third side of the triangle. All new applications need to be mobile today. The new IU5 technology based in open standards allow easy UI development and unified across platforms.

We had seen good  examples in the advances in these three areas from the sessions I attended:

Infrastructures / On-premise

  • SAP HANA virtualization: Virtualization for HANA supported for VMWare

Today you can take benefit of flexibility of virtualization for your HANA systems, running several virtual HANA systems under a single HANA physical server.

Virtualization for SAP HANA is supported with VMware vSphere 5.1.

This is supported today only for non-productive systems and only for single node configurations (no for HANA clusters).

But in the future it is planned to support also Productive HANA systems with Pre-installed VMs provided by SAP HANA appliance vendors.

  • TDI (Tailored Datacenter Integration) to be released in few weeks

Until know to run HANA system on-premise you need an appliance (box that brings together in one box CPU/memory, networking and storage).

With “Tailored datacenter” SAP will support other hardware combinations so customers can leverage their existing investments in storage. I.e. you can use your existing  storage solution.

  • Installation done by customer (with SAP certified consultant for HANA installations)
  • Customer alligns with hardware partner for support model.

  • New DR and HR functionalities coming with HANA SPS7 (2014)

Current HANA systems already support DR based in Storage Replication and in System Replication. But new improvements are coming for DR and system replication in next SPS7 (Service Pack 7).

  • System replication: Cascading  systems allowing 1:n configurations enabling metro-cluster and Geo cluster configurations.
  • Zero Downtime maintenance for ABAP systems
  • Time travel via internal snapshots on shadow instances to handle logical errors.
  • Compressed and encrypted log transfer for fast system replication.

Infrastructures / IaaS

  • SAP HANA on AWS IaaS: Now support for multi-node HANA clusters

Until now it was possible to allocate your on-demand HANA in Amazon Web Services (AWS) IaaS cloud with the called “HANA One” service.

But HANA One was limited to small HANA systems with 64GB RAM (so max. 30Gb DB size).

Since few days now it is possible to run multi-node HANA systems on AWS.The service is called “SAP HANA Infrastructure Subscription by AWS” and can be deployed from the “HANA Marketplace”:

You can get HANA systems on AWS from 244 Gb (with 16/32 cores) to 1.22 Tb (with 80/160 cores).

  • SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud Hosting and Managed Service by SAP

SAP offers Hosting and Managed services for customers that want to outsource their on premise systems.SAP migrates the systems to his datacenters.

SAP upgrades the Business Suite to HANA ready version and migrates to HANA database.

This service provides a simple and secure way for customers to migrate to Business Suite on HANA.

Two kind of services are possible:

  • SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud for Projects (based in consumption by weeks)
  • SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud for Production (minimum 3 year terms)

  • New model for HANA offering MCaaS (Managed Cloud as a Service)

Partners will be able offer HANA systems in MCaaS (Managed Cloud as a Service= model. The partner hosts the HANA systems, buys a package of license and resells to end customers based in consumption.

This seems a  similar apprach to the SAP BPO licenses.

  • New certification for partners: “SAP HANA operations”

This new certification highly recommended (although not mandatory), for partners that want to provided services (hosting , managed services) for systems based on HANA.

  • New certification for consultants: “SAP HANA installation”

Currently HANA systems are pre-installed in the delivered HW appliances.

With TDI (Tailored Datacenter Integration), the HANA systems will be installed by customers.

This new certification will be mandatory for all SAP HANA systems installed in TDI (Tailored Datacenter Integration).

  • SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL) enable fast deployments of SAP systems

With SAP Cloud Appliance Library you can instantly provision entire SAP landscapes to your Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) within Amazon Web Services infrastructure. You need to bring you own license, but then you only pay the infrastructure you use based in hourly consumption.

This only for non-productive systems.

Then you can customize your SAP systems (even copy with import/export  from your own on-premise systems) , create an image to be saved in the provate area of the CAL and then use it to instantiate new systems also from the CAL Web application.

This is a good choice to have demo systems or projects fast without worrying for infrastructure or installation delays.

Application platform

  • SAP Netweaver ABAP 7.4 ready for HANA

SAP Netweaver 7.4 is the new release of the SAP Netweaver ABAP Application server that is the basis for SAP Business Suite solutions.

ABAP 4.7 is ready to run with HANA as database. So you can already bring your Business Suite solution (ECC, CRM) on HANA replacing existing database (Oracle , DB2) and take advantages of in-memory computing.

ABAP 7.4 brings some language updates that make it a more modern and declarative language.

New development environment using Eclipse (while SE80 still is supported, only Eclipse brings all new functionality for developers).

New authentication mechanisms supported as Kerberos for HTTP based web applications and OAuth.

  • SAP HANA Cloud Platform

SAP HANA Cloud is the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering from SAP, which enables SAP partners and customers to develop, deploy and use Java applications in a cloud environment.

It was released in October 2012 with the name SAP Netweaver Cloud and then just renamed. It was previously known as Project Neo.

The runtime engine  is based in a Java JVM-based platform.

Applications developed on SAP HANA Cloud run on a modular and lightweight runtime container which allows them to consume standard Java EE APIs and platform services that are centrally provided and shared across the platform.

The  Compute Unit that is a virtualized hardware on which a SAP HANA Cloud application runs.

SAP HANA Cloud is built on top of HANA

Cloud solutions & integration

  • SAP HANA Cloud Integration

SAP HANA Cloud Integration is an application hosted by SAP and offered in SaaS model.

It is a multitenant application runs on SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

Its purpose is to provide integration between SAP applications in the cloud as (Success Factors, ARIBA, Business By Design, Financial Services Network)  and other On-premise (Business Suite) or third party cloud solutions.

Currently SAP provides standard prepackages content to integrate his application and it is offered as an extension to the cloud solutions at no extra cost.

In coming releases SAP will offer the option to Partners to offer their own extensions.

Development languages

  • River: new native HANA language

SAP will release with HANA SPS7 (2014) a new native language for the HANA platform: the River language.

River is a declarative, object- oriented and modular language.

River will allow a simpler programming in HANA, allowing an integrated specification of the data model, business logic and the access control.

River will compile all other HANA objects needed: HANA database objects (tables, roles), stored procedures (JavaScript, SQLScript), OData and XS access controls, etc.