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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

In this blog series you will find quotes, backgrounds, suggested further readings and other information related to my latest book SAP HANA 2.0, An Introduction published by SAP Press.

SAP HANA 2.0 and 1.0 - What's the difference?  

Good question. For the business there is excitement:

  • It is a major upgrade with lots of new innovations!!!

For the IT it is business-as-usual:

  • It is a minor update; the next support package stack (SPS) containing the latest revisions in a long sequence of revisions and stacks.

Major upgrade or minor update?

What's the story?

Innovation without Disruption

In the previous post, we already mentioned the vision of timeless software that brings innovation without disruption.

Getting everyone on the latest version is a mayor challenge in the software industry. The latest version contains the latest corrections (bug fixes), the latest security patches, provides feature parity with the competition, and delivers the innovation that set you apart and make the deal.

One way to solve this puzzle is to offer your software only as-a-service. For the latest version of the Google search engine, Facebook, or the Amazon store, all you need to do is go online (you may need to refresh your browser). However, without any investment or commitment from the part of the customer, building customer loyalty instantly becomes the next challenge. Getting rid of the competition all together is a classic solution to this problem but this rarely creates better products and services in the long run.

Another approach is to provide both hardware and software (appliance). Below a graph for how the different Apple iOS versions stack up for David's Smith Audiobook app. The mileage for your app may vary but for most apps it probably looks quite similar.

For the Android phone, with many different releases and manufactured by many different hardware vendors, the picture looks quite different (see Statistica). Keeping all these different versions stable and secure will require more effort, which in turn might impact the available resources to work on innovation.

Spark Joy and WannaCry

For the customer, upgrading to the latest version does not always spark joy (for a discussion about ときめく (tokimeku), see the blog about SAP HANA Data Architecture).

Your favourite app may no longer work. You were offline for some time. And because you did not invest in the latest hardware at the same time, performance has not improved. Sounds familiar?

Yet, staying on the old versions is not without risks either as many organisations found out, for example, when they failed to install the latest security patches on their Windows XP systems. The WannaCry ransomware attack is estimated to have caused millions or billions of dollars damages affecting  more than 200,000 computers worldwide. The British National Health Service (NHS) was particularly affected and almost brought to a full stop (see Impact WannaCry ransomware attack). Yet, two years have passed and approximately 2,300 computers are still running on Windows XP at the NHS. Some organisations have a hard time adapting to change.

Revisions and Support Package Stacks

Almost twenty years ago, SAP introduced Support Package Stacks (SPS) for NetWeaver application server (AS) and the different business applications to make it easier to update complex system landscapes with its many components (independently installable units).

For one of these components, the TREX search engine, the appliance approach was brought to market in 2005 with the SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence accelerator (BIA), later Business Warehouse (BWA) but also tagged as HPA, for High Performance Accelerator. The appliance (preinstalled software on predefined hardware) is delivered by SAP hardware partners. Updates to the appliance are delivered as revisions and are released frequently. As the TREX (and BWA) indexservers typically run as part of a multiple-host distributed system this was no issue. They could be easily updated without downtime for the source (business warehouse) system.

SAP HANA inherited both the appliance format and the SPS release cycle.

Appliances first came with T-Shirt sizes but as we all know one-size rarely fits all. For bespoke work, the tailored data center integration program (TDI) was introduced (2012) to support custom DIY installations on SAP HANA certified hardware. Instead of a tightly controlled appliance we now have different architectures (Intel and Power), different operating systems (SUSE and Red Hat), and different hardware (Cisco, Dell, Huawei, Fujitsu, Hitachi, etc.).

Unlike BWA, SAP HANA consisted of multiple components (server, client, studio, AFL, SDA, etc.). To keep all these components in synch required the release approach of Support Package Stacks. The SPS were released twice a year. This was also when new features were introduced and the documentation updated.

In the first couple of years, SPS updates were non-events and passed almost without notice. Later, these releases became happenings and were carefully timed for the annual SAPPHIRE NOW event and Q4 year close.

SAP HANA 2.0 and 1.0 - What's the difference?

There was six months development time between SAP HANA 1.0 SPS 11 and 12 and six months development time between SPS 12 and SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 00. From a system management perspective not much changed. Installing or updating the software, for example, is very much the same. The learning curve to install the latest SPS 04 release (2019) compared to an SPS from four years ago (e.g. SPS 10 from 2015) is almost zero.

In order to be able to continue to deliver innovation without disruption, the bi-modal approach was introduced and SAP decided to create two versions. SAP HANA 2.0 started a new code line and is currently on its fifth SPS release (SPS 04 as the developer starts counting with 00). For SAP HANA 1.0, the innovation stopped with SPS 12 (May 2016).

However, also for SAP HANA 2.0 the pace slowed down. As of SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 02 (2017), the SPS release cycle for the on-premise version is now once a year and for the latest innovations and new features, we need to turn to the SAP HANA Service and SAP HANA Cloud Services as the strategy is cloud-first since.

When upgrading to SAP HANA 2.0, also consider leveraging hybrid scenarios with SAP HANA cloud services and SAP HANA on-premise.

SAP HANA eXtended Application Services (XS)

Although SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA continue to be powered by NetWeaver AS, SAP HANA also comes with its own built-in (or "native") application server. The first version was based on the JavaScript engine SpiderMonkey (not all that different from the one in your Firefox browser). It had a minimal (extra small) footprint and was called SAP HANA eXtended Application Services, XS in short.

As this architecture had its limitations, with SPS 11 (2015) a completely new application server was added, this time based on open-source Cloud Foundry, which also provided the application server services for the new platform-as-a-service SAP (HANA) Cloud Platform. The on-premise distribution of Cloud Foundry was integrated with the in-memory platform and renamed to XS Advanced (XSA), with the original XS implementation now labeled as 'classic'.

SAP HANA 2.0 and 1.0 - What's the difference?

Although it is tempting to consider SAP HANA 1.0 the XS classic release and SAP HANA 2.0 the release for XS advanced, this does not accurately reflect the current situation. The latest SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 04 (2019) release still contains both application server architectures. And although they share a common name (reminding one of Java and JavaScript), going from XS classic to XS advanced is a migration to a different architecture and not a simple update.

Today, most of the applications developed by SAP run on XSA, but not all. A Live Connection to SAP HANA on-premise in SAP Analytics Cloud, for example, still leverages the Information Access (InA) service hosted by XS classic (although this can be hosted in XSA as well with some effort).

What has changed is that as of SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 02 (2017), classic XS, the code repository, and associated features were deprecated.

As documented, "a deprecated feature in the SAP HANA platform is a feature that will be removed in a future support package stack, at the earliest one support package stack after the start of deprecation."

When upgrading to SAP HANA 2.0, the deprecated status of the XS classic should be considered and removal of this architecture anticipated.

Tenant Databases

SAP HANA in-memory platform requires a lot of memory to run. The express edition made available with a free license to developers still requires about 24 GB when you want both the database and application server(s) up and running. Enterprise configurations start at 64, 128, or 256 GB.

What-if you only want to host a single business application? What-if you want to co-locate a training and test system? For this different solutions were offered, known as MCOD (multiple components, one database), MCOS (multiple components, one system) and there are SAP Notes that document exactly how and when this is supported. To cloud-enable the SAP HANA system and support all these different scenarios, Multi-tenant Database Container (MDC) systems were introduced with SPS 09 (2014).

With tenant databases, you have a single SAP HANA system hosting multiple databases. This configuration is activated at installation time (or can triggered manually). With the SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 01 release (2017), the multi-container mode is the default and only supported mode to run SAP HANA systems.

As of SPS 02, the name is "tenant databases" and the term MDC is no longer used in the documentation.

SAP HANA 2.0 and 1.0 - What's the difference?

Although it is tempting to consider SAP HANA 1.0 the single-container release and SAP HANA 2.0 the multi-tenant one, this is not correct as both releases can run with tenant databases. However, for 2.0 we have no choice.

We see this reflected in the SAP HANA Service on the SAP Cloud Platform. In the Neo environment, the database service provides access to a complete containerized system (system and tenant databases). In the Cloud Foundry environment, our database is a tenant and the system database is managed by SAP.

When upgrading to SAP HANA 2.0, operations should be updated to adjust to tenant databases in case this has not been implemented yet.

Studios, Workbenches, and Cockpits 

Although SAP prefers to built its own tools, for SAP HANA an exception was made and the open-source integrated development environment (IDE) Eclipse was leveraged so the development effort required for the tooling could be reduced to a number of plug-ins (Administration, Modeling, later also Development).

The SAP HANA studio has been a popular tool for both admins and developers and since other plugins followed. They can be downloaded from SAP Development Tools (ABAP Development Tools, BW Modeling Tools, Eclipse Tools for SAP Cloud Application Programming Model, SAP Cloud Platform Integration Tools, etc.)

Cloud-enabled, however, the SAP HANA studio was not as you have to install and update each release on all development and administrator client computers.

The first version of web-enabled development tools was architected for the XS platform and called SAP HANA Web-Based Development Workbench. For the administrator, the SAP HANA Cockpit was added complemented with the functionality from the Sybase Database Control Center (DBCC). For those familiar with SAP Netweaver, the names sounded all to familiar: ABAP Workbench (transaction SE80) for the developer and the DBA Cockpit for the administrator.

With the introduction of the XS Advanced architecture, the new tooling was introduced now named SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA and, again, SAP HANA Cockpit (this time with the DBCC integrated).

SAP HANA 2.0 and 1.0 - What's the difference?

Although it is tempting to consider SAP HANA studio the administration and development tool for SAP HANA 1.0 and cockpit and SAP Web IDE the tools for SAP HANA 2.0, this is not entirely correct as you can use both tools with both versions.

What has changed is that as of SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 02 (2017), as mentioned, the SAP HANA studio together with XS classic development environment is deprecated. Development on studio stopped with SPS 12 and none of the new SAP HANA 2.0 functionality is supported.

When upgrading to SAP HANA 2.0, it would be wise to say goodbye to the SAP HANA studio and upgrade skills to administration with SAP HANA cockpit and development with SAP Web IDE (or the even newer Business Application Studio)

Wait, there is more

What about data volume, log volume, and backup encryption?

What about LDAP authorization, automatic user provisioning, user groups, data masking, data anonymization, client-side encryption, and all those other new security features?

What about persistent memory (PMEM), native storage extensions (NSE), and fast restarts for lower total-cost-of-ownership and better performance?

What about Active/Active (read-only) system replication, multi-target replication, and secondary time travel, that enhance High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HA/DR)?

What about the SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer, edition for SAP HANA?

What about the enhancements to SQLScript, Spatial, Graph, and many other areas?

These topics and much more are covered in SAP HANA 2.0 - An Introduction.


SAP HANA 2.0 - An Introduction

Just getting started with SAP HANA? Or do have a migration to SAP HANA 2.0 coming up? Need a quick update covering business benefits and technology overview. Understand the role of the system administrator, developer, data integrator, security officer, data scientist, data modeler, project manager, and other SAP HANA stakeholders? My latest book about SAP HANA 2.0 covers everything you need to know.

Get it from SAP Press or Amazon:

For the others posts, see

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Over the years, for the SAP HANA Academy, SAP’s Partner Innovation Lab, and à titre personnel, I have written a little over 300 posts here for the SAP Community. Some articles only reached a few readers. Others attracted quite a few more.For your reading pleasure and convenience, here is a curated list of posts which somehow managed to pass the 10k-view mile stone and, as sign of current interest, still tickle the counters each month.