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Quick setup of HANA Express and XS Advanced applications on Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services

An amazing week at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas has come to an end. From the intense geekiness of my App Space domain, I saw many announcements being made and great stuff happening.

People at the AppSpace, creating their own HXE Virtual Machine. Then, they would run the SHINE model to generate data, access it from their own HDI container, combining with it with their own CDS entity and publishing it all to a Fiori UI via OData. craig.cmehil recorded a video about the App Space.

Happy Birthday, HXE!

It was SAP HANA, express edition, who turned 1 year old since its announcement but we were the ones to get the presents as six more deployment options were made available.

Now, both the server-only and the full platform (including XS Advanced applications) can be quickly deployed from:

The server-only version (the core database) can now be deployed as a Docker container:

Also, the manual binary download and installation on Ubuntu Linux is now easier than ever:

All these options add up to the existing options (virtual machine on your laptop and manual binary installation) and, even though the deployment gets easier and easier, some may still be confused by which of all of these is the best option.

How do I install SAP HANA, express edition?

It all starts with the question “What do you want to do?”

If you just want to use the advanced analytics (geospatial, graph, text, Extended Machine Learning, etc.) and connect to the database from different programming languages or connectors (JDBC/ODBC connectors, .NET, Node.js, Python, etc.), sounds like the “server-only” edition is enough for you.

Now… you want to leverage the Cloud-Foundry based infrastructure, use a micro-service approach, do some serious/productive development using the natively supported buildpacks for Node.js and Java (you could implement your own, too, or create Calculation Views to consume them from Business Objects, then the option that includes both the database and the XS Advanced applications is the best for you. The XS Advanced applications version not only comes with SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA or the Cockpit, but also enables the SHINE model, Enterprise Designer Architecture and Smart Data Streaming.

Hope this helps:


Needless to say, everything you can do in the server-only version can be done (sometimes even in a better way) in the version that includes the XS Advanced apps. Here's a series to get you started with XS Advanced development in case you need it: XS Advanced development for (not so) dummies

This is coming from experience...

After 60k downloads, several CodeJams and the App Space itself, here are some quick pointers:

  • Virtual Machine:

    • You can push the VM configuration to swap (change the RAM settings to 16GB instead of the default 12GB), but if you do not have enough RAM, the setup will probably hang, show connection or setup timeouts and other weird messages.

    • Take into consideration how much actual RAM is left to the virtual machine. An integrated video card or all the other program executing with the VM may leave it with less than the minimum 12 GB it needs

    • RAM and disk space are different things... The most restrictive requirement is the RAM

  • Some cloud providers offer free trial credits, so your instance can be completely for free even on paid infrastructure for a while.

  • HANA 2.0 SPS01 images can be upgraded to SPS02

  • Adding the XS Advanced applications to an existing "server-only" image is possible. However, some installations (e.g., server-only on GCP) require more steps than installing from scratch and you need to know what you are doing. I generally advise against this.

As usual, I would love to know what you are doing with HXE. Let us stay in touch on  or on LinkedIn !