You’ve just made the decision to move to SAP S/4HANA, the intelligent ERP system. Now the question stands: go live with SAP HANA, runtime edition, or upgrade to SAP HANA, enterprise edition?
For some context, SAP S/4HANA is optimized to run on the column-based, in-memory database, SAP HANA. You have the option to go live with SAP HANA, runtime edition, or SAP HANA, enterprise edition to fully unleash the capabilities of SAP S/4HANA.
SAP HANA, runtime edition is the base-level option among the different editions of SAP HANA. Like all editions, the column-oriented data structure is optimized for better performance, data storage and enhanced compression rates, allowing for accelerated analytics and computing capabilities. Unlike other database systems, SAP HANA doesn’t have separate data copies for Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), but instead uses a single data copy for both. This decreases data costs and simplifies processing of the two data sets for forecasting and decision-making. With SAP HANA, runtime edition, however, these capabilities are limited, exclusive to SAP applications and restricted to the SAP S/4HANA application layer, whereas SAP HANA, enterprise edition extends these capabilities to any combination of SAP, custom, and third-party applications for unrestricted functionality with access to all platform features including advanced analytics.
We’re going to break down this “unrestricted functionality” into three key differentiators.
Data Access and Integration
SAP HANA, runtime edition only allows data extraction through SAP applications, while SAP HANA, enterprise edition allows data extraction at an application layer and database layer, enabling direct access to your data without having to go through an application. While integration at the application layer provides the most reliable business context, the reality is that there are often cases where directly querying the database provides a much simpler and more efficient form of access.
SAP HANA, runtime edition also uses connection methods primarily based on proprietary protocol and language, requiring your developers to have a SAP-specific skillset, whereas enterprise edition uses connection methods based on standard protocols and languages, so that you can leverage your existing developers with their industry-standard skillsets, not unique to SAP.
As for data integration, SAP HANA allows the use of smart data integration (SDI) and smart data quality (SDQ). In runtime edition, however, these capabilities are limited to and controlled by your SAP license and applications, whereas enterprise edition allows all types of data acquisitions and transformations to be integrated into your licensed SAP applications and custom applications.
Advanced Analytical Processing
SAP HANA offers a variety of in-database predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities to allow customers to deliver business values with innovative solutions. For SAP HANA, runtime edition, these are limited to a few in-database capabilities and predictive use cases, while SAP HANA, enterprise edition covers database-level integrations with the ability to deliver solutions for the different scenarios across all lines of your business, allowing you to innovate ahead of the curve.
SAP HANA, enterprise edition capabilities include enterprise-class graph modeling to discover deeper insights in connected data, and spatial processing to enrich your business data and analyzing it in context with spatial data. Other capabilities are text analysis, text mining, and search, with a more comprehensive list shown in the diagram:
In addition to the wide range of capabilities, there are also several development tools that are exclusive to an enterprise edition license.
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You now know the key differentiators between SAP HANA, runtime edition, and SAP HANA, enterprise edition when it comes to running your SAP S/4HANA. Choose SAP HANA, enterprise edition to gain the maximum value out of your SAP S/4HANA business data.