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Big news!  SAP Replication Server 15.7 SP200 is now G.A. It marks another major milestone in SAP Replication Server (SRS) history.  This release delivers enhanced replication features for SAP HANA, SAP Business Suite on SAP ASE and SAP Data Services.  This is the first in a series of blogs that will focus on each of these areas of functionality in detail.

In this blog, I am focusing on the new functions added in SRS to expand SAP HANA replication support.  SAP Replication Server 15.7 SP200 introduces several major new functions for SAP HANA database replication:

  1. Replicate SAP Business Suite databases into SAP HANA database
  2. Database replication definition and subscription
  3. Data Definition Language (DDL) commands replication into SAP HANA database
  4. Simplify installation and configuration of Replication to SAP HANA using Replication Management Agent (RMA)
  5. Support for SAP HANA as a source database

Replicate SAP Business Suite database into SAP HANA database

In my last blog, we talked about SRS support for non-Business Suite replication into the SAP HANA database, which was available as part of SRS 15.7 SP100, introduced last year.  In this newest release, SRS 15.7 SP200 now supports database replication from SAP Business Suite applications that use cluster tables to SAP HANA.  SAP Business Suite defines logical tables in the application layer that are clustered and stored in physical tables in the database.  A cluster table is a compressed representation of a materialized natural join of a number of tables.  When performing materialization and replication of a database containing cluster tables, SRS performs de-clustering of the data before sending transactions to the SAP HANA, essentially converting cluster tables to transparent tables in SAP HANA.   Please note, this release doesn’t support replication of pool tables in SAP Business Suite.  With this capability, SRS completes its market coverage from custom, 3rd party applications to SAP Business Suite applications.  Users can readily take advantage of real-time transactional replication from SAP Replication Server.

Database replication definition and subscription

SAP Replication Server 15.7 SP200 supports real-time replication at database level, in addition to table level, which was the practice since SRS’s inception.  The database-level, real-time replication greatly simplifies replication configuration involving databases with many tables and reduces maintenance overhead.   This feature is designed to replicate from SAP Business Suite applications into SAP HANA database(s), where there are typically many tables involved for replication.  Custom or 3rd party application users with much less tables will also benefit from this feature for ease of use and reduced maintenance overhead.

Data Definition Language (DDL) commands replication into SAP HANA database

Data Definition Language (DDL) commands, such as create table, alter table, rename table and drop table, are frequently performed due to application changes to meet business requirements.  For many years, SRS has been supporting DDL replication in homogeneous replication environment, such as ASE to ASE, Oracle to Oracle etc.  With this release, SRS supports DDL command replication into SAP HANA, essentially in a heterogeneous replication environment.  SAP Replication Server automatically alters the database replication definition to reflect any DDL changes in a database that is marked for replication at the database level, when configured appropriately.  For example, if a create table command is executed against a database marked for replication, data is automatically configured for replication in the newly added table.  SRS will reconstruct the DDL command to the replicate HANA database’s specific syntax, and data type mapping will be applied from the primary database to the replicate HANA database.

Simplify installation and configuration of Replication to SAP HANA using Replication Management Agent

To simplify installation and configuration SAP Replication Server, SRS introduced a new management framework, Replication Management Agent (RMA) in SRS 15.7 SP200.  It is a distributed management agent that you can use to set up and manage replication for HANA.  RMA provides automated setup, configuration and materialization, monitoring, and administration for SAP Business Suite, 3rd party and custom applications on supported databases.    The typical RMA architecture is shown below.

Both GUI and command line formats are available to perform installation, configuration, and monitoring tasks.

Support for SAP HANA as a source database

SAP Replication Server introduced Replication Agent for SAP HANA (RAH) to replicate both DML and DDL from HANA to HANA.  With RAH, you can configure, manage and deploy HANA to HANA replication models based on your use case requirements.  Both initial load materialization and replication are supported.   This feature is primarily designed for real-time data distribution and reporting use cases.

SAP Replication Server 15.7 SP200 has been designed to enhance real-time replication for HANA to deliver performance, scalability and simplicity to enterprise customers who require real-time transactional replication for HANA.   Do you think any of these features will benefit your environment?