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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Update May 2018

For a more recent blog on this topic, see


In the upcoming weeks, we will be posting new videos to the SAP HANA Academy to show new features and functionality introduced with SAP HANA Support Package Stack (SPS) 7, released December 3, 2013. To get the best overview of what’s new in SAP HANA SPS 7, see Ingo Brenckmann's blog on the SAP HANA community site.

The topic of this post is installation and update, and complements a number of tutorial videos posted to the SAP HANA Academy site and on YouTube:

Other blogs on the What's New topic

What's New with SPS 7?

SAP HANA components (server, studio, client) are installed with installer hdbsetup in graphical mode or hdbinst for command line with an optional configuration file. 

As of SPS 4, the installation process was complemented with a tool called Unified Installer in the documentation (and on DVD). This Unified Installer called, with some prerequisite checking and error handling, the installers for SAP host agent and for SAP HANA server, studio, and client, and script for AFL, etc., all with the required parameters. Obviously, when preparing an SAP HANA system, it was a great timesaver to be able to run only one installer instead of running all those different installers and scripts. Unfortunately, the Unified Installer tool did not have the sophistication of the component installer hdbinst, as it would not accept parameters on command line or file, for example.

Until SPS 7, this concerned SAP employees and SAP certified hardware partners, as apart from the different Cloud offerings, the SAP High-performance Analytical Appliance was only available as ... appliance, that is, as a closed computer system with both hardware and software pre-configured and optimized, similar to SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse Accelerator, for example.

As of SPS 7, an additional approach besides appliance delivery is now available. This approach is called SAP HANA tailored data center integration, or DCI, for those that prefer to use acronyms. With tailored data center integration, any SAP HANA certified engineer can now install SAP HANA on certified hardware. This put a spotlight on the installation process and this process has now been greatly enhanced with SAP HANA lifecycle management tools.


For more information about data center integration, see the blog posted by Adolf Brosig, Take Your Choice: How to Integrate SAP HANA as Smoothly as Possible Into Your Data Center or the overview presentation by Jens Rolke, Overview - SAP HANA tailored data center integration.

For more information about certified SAP hardware partners, see Rely on hardware from global technology leaders.


Does this also mean can we now run the SAP HANA database on Windows, one might ask? No, it does not. The only supported operating system for the SAP HANA server is still SUSE Enterprise Linux (SLES) 11. For more information about supported operating systems for server and clients, see the Product Availability Matrix (PAM) for SAP HANA.

Unified Installer is now deprecated and will no longer be shipped with future releases.

SAP Certified Technology Specialist - SAP HANA Installation

Interested in performing SAP HANA server installations? With the tailored data center integration offering, installing SAP HANA is no longer restricted to certified hardware partners and a new certification has been introduced to guarantee required skills and knowledge: E_HANAINS131 - SAP Certified Technology Specialist  - SAP HANA Installation. Prerequisite is the SAP Certified Technology Associate certification. The training HA200 presents the required knowledge.

For more information about this certification, see SAP Training and Certification Shop.

SAP HANA lifecycle management

SAP HANA lifecycle management tools come, like the SAP HANA single component installers, in two flavors: as command line or with screens: hdblcm and hdblcmgui. The GUI is convenient for a guided installation requiring minimal input and uses default values for parameters where possible. The command line proposes the same interactive installation, in case X-Windows is not configured on the Linux host.

The introduction video below discusses important concepts, what documentation to read, and where, what and how to download SAP HANA software components, etc.

The next video shows the actual installation using the new Lifecycle Manager GUI in interactive mode performed on a Windows client using Xming X Server for Windows together with PuTTY and SSH.

As mentioned, not every parameter can be specified using the guided interactive installation, and one such parameter is Autostart. This parameter controls whether the SAP HANA system is configured to start automatically when the host operating system starts (using sapinit). This defaults to no.

Should you wish to change this behavior, see the video below on how to configure SAP HANA database to start at system boot.

Besides interactive installation, lifecycle management allows for a scripted installation as well, and this clearly is its forte. Imagine performing a full SAP HANA installation including server, studio, client, AFL on a distributed system of 10 nodes. This can now be achieved with a single parameter file and a single command.

Another example listed in the installation guide is about a hardware partner that wants to automate the installation of nine SAP HANA systems (1 Extra Large, 5 Large, and 3 Small). By specifying one parameter, a template configuration file is generated, which can then be edited using any text editor.

./hdblcm --action=install --dump_configfile_template=/home/root/HANA_install.cfg

As such, the partner can create configuration files for each of the three system types and call hdblcm with the configuration file parameter in batch mode. Whereas interactive mode will prompt for a password, batch mode runs the installer without asking for any input. Passwords can be stored in an XML file and passed to the installer as a stream by standard input, or they can be specified in the configuration file.

cat ~/Passwords.xml | ./hdblcm --configfile=/home/root/HANA_install_S.cfg --read_password_from_stdin=xml -b

When the installation script is run, SAP HANA is installed on both the single-host and multi-host systems, without any additional input. By reusing the same configuration files, the installations are reliable, flexible, and efficient.

SAP HANA studio and client installations

One of the new features introduced with SAP HANA SPS 7 is that local Administrator rights on Windows computers (or root privileges on Linux and UNIX) are no longer required to install SAP HANA studio or the SAP HANA client. If you wish to install these components but you do not have administration rights on a particular system, the product will simply install in your home environment and will be available for use for your eyes only.

SAP HANA studio is an Eclipsed-based IDE that can be used for SAP HANA development, analytical modeling and database administration.

The video below shows how to install SAP HANA studio on Linux and Windows.

SAP HANA client comprises ODBC, JDBC, and SQLDBC (runtime for SAP Netweaver to communicate with SAP HANA). On Windows, ODBO for Excel OLAP analysis is included as well.

The video below shows how to install the SAP HANA client on Linux and Windows.

SAP HANA studio update site

Another great feature of SAP HANA studio is the update site. You can configure an SAP HANA system to host the update package for SAP HANA studio. This way, when you update the SAP HANA server using the lifecycle management tools, an update will be immediately available for the SAP HANA studio. Anyone using studio in your environment can then update their version to the latest available at their convenience. Users can even configure studio to check automatically at a certain schedule or at startup, for example, to verify if an update is available. The update site mechanism uses HTTP(S), the same as for the other components of the Eclipse IDE or SAP HANA tools [], and can be made available - if desired - to anyone with internet access.

As of SPS 7, the update site is hosted by SAP HANA XS. Previously, Software Update Manager (SUM) was used for this purpose.

The video below shows how to update SAP HANA studio automatically using an update site (and how to configure SAP HANA XS to host this).

To be continued...

You can view more, free online videos and hands-on use cases to help you answer the What, How and Why questions about SAP HANA and Analytics on the SAP HANA Academy at or follow us on Twitter @saphanaacademy.