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Everyone has to start somewhere. And yes, I was a SAP HANA beginner at one time, too (going back to the first days of SAP BW Accelerator). The great news is that we have a wealth of information and plenty of learning opportunities about SAP HANA out there and much of it is available for free!

Are you new to and want to learn about SAP HANA? Congratulations and welcome to the SAP HANA community! In the world of SAP HANA, you want to learn fast, of course. So in the spirit of "Accelerated Learning" (Four Phases of Learning), I suggest a few steps for you to get started. Just understand that you can spend hours or days behind each link below and get lost in cyberspace. Bookmark this blog so you always have a place to come back to continue your SAP HANA journey.

Note: This blog covers SAP HANA as a database and platform. We will have to cover learning about specific applications that run on top of SAP HANA another time.

Phase 1: Explore

As a first step, browse the SAP websites and see what others have done or plan to do with SAP HANA. This can be very exciting especially if have some aha-moments like "Wow, I didn't think this was possible" or "Awesome, I will try this myself" or even better "Spectacular, I will use SAP HANA for my start-up company and become rich".

Phase 2: Learn

By now you should have an understanding of what you can or want to do with SAP HANA and you wish to know more about in-memory technology and the SAP HANA solution. There are many different learning styles. Pick the one that suites you most.

Phase 3: Exercise

If you haven't done so, now is the perfect time to register on two SAP websites that are essential for your success. This will give you access to a tremendous amount of SAP HANA know-how and the ability to collaborate with like minded 'HANAnauts'. And it's free!

So far it has been all theory and it's time to "get your hands dirty". Again there are various options available from instructor led classroom training to try-it-yourself SAP HANA in the cloud environments.

At this point everything is still pretty new for you and a long URL is better than a short memory. Be sure to bookmark the online documentation or download it in PDF format to your computer (but be sure to check back regularly - at least for every SAP HANA support package stack which are currently released every six months). You also want to save links to the SAP Community Network and this website where you can collaborate with other who have paved the path before you.

You might have questions or get stuck during your project. No problem. Help is just a few clicks away.

Phase 4: Implement

Your company decided to license and implement SAP HANA. Congratulations again! You are officially an SAP Customer (if you haven't been already before) and with it you get access to more resources.

And if your SAP HANA software does not work as expected and you suspect a product error, don't be afraid to report the incident so SAP Support can analyze the issue:

Phase 5: Follow

Wait, weren't there four phases to accelerated learning? Right, but it's a fast paced world and SAP HANA is speeding along quite nicely. It's essential to stay in touch and follow along on one or many of our social media channels:

SAP HANA Careers

Many of you would like some advice on how to turn your SAP HANA knowledge into a career and find a job (and make lots of money of course). There are endless opportunities and depending on your background you might want to take a different path to success. Rather than going into detail here, I refer you to an excellent blog series by John Appleby who put together "The SAP HANA Career Guide". Becoming certified will increase your chance of getting hired. Check it out. If you are ready to apply for a job, you might want to take a look at the interview questions that some have compiled.

Finally, here are some resources for the complete beginners to SAP (That was me over 20 years ago). I like the Blue Book which gives you great insight into the world of SAP projects.

Excellent, you made it through to the end. Overwhelmed? Just start at the top and take it step-by-step and soon you, too, will become an SAP HANA expert. As always we appreciate your feedback. Let us know what's missing or how we can make adopting SAP HANA a more beautiful experience for you.

Marc Bernard

Change Log

  • February 2014: Now with more and updated links as well as a section on careers around SAP HANA

  • April 2016: Completely revised with new and updated links

  • June 2017: Updated links

  • December 2017: Added link to SAP HANA Academy and fixed some links

  • June 2018: Updated links

  • November 2018: Updated links