SAP Fleshes Out HANA's Roadmap with Heavy Dose of Sybase
Corrected: April 25, 2012
by Alex Woodie
SAP last week announced additional details of the roadmap for HANA, the in-memory database technology that the German ERP software giant is currently using for business intelligence workloads. Not surprisingly, the plans calls for HANA to become the underlying database powering everyday business transactions in the SAP Business Suite, not just analytic workloads. But before then, SAP's Sybase database will play a bigger role.
SAP executives have not been shy about telling the world about their grand plans for HANA, which has become an exceptionally popular product for SAP since the company started selling it less than a year ago. While SAP today is focused on using HANA's in-memory processing capability and its slim columnar database design to speed business intelligence workloads, the company has said that it plans to make HANA the core database underlying the entire ERP suite.
Granted, the day that HANA replaces the traditional relational database management system (RDBMS) in implementations of SAP's enterprise software does not appear to be particularly close at hand. But SAP says a radical rethinking in enterprise database technology design provides too many advantages to both developers and users.
"This artificial boundary between the application layer and the database tier we think is going away," Amit Sinha, SAP's vice president of in-memory computing and HANA solution marketing, told IT Jungle last fall. "We think a lot of core calculations at the application layer can be moved to the database tier and optimized. When it's closer to the database tier, the calculations can happen faster in memory, and without the need to move the data up and down between the application tier and the database tier to perform those calculations."
To that end, SAP last week shared its plans for getting to that point, and those plans call for a heavy dose of Sybase for moving and sharing data in SAP environments, and in support of both cloud and mobile applications. For starters, SAP announced that Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) is now generally available as a database option for SAP Business Suite. In this setup, HANA will augment Sybase ASE with real-time reporting capabilities.
There will be a new release of Sybase IQ that supports "big data" analytics and Hadoop-style processing, SAP says. HANA will also borrow lifecycle management capabilities from Sybase IQ, and its data federation and query federation capabilities.
On the mobile and embedded database front, Sybase SQL Anywhere will become the front-end database powering HANA applications on smart phones and other devices. The company also announced that Sybase PowerDesigner will become the foundation for the SAP modeling environment. Other Sybase products with roles in what SAP calls its "real-time data platform" include Sybase Event Stream Processor (ESP) and Sybase Replication Server.
In other news, SAP also announced the general availability of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) powered by HANA. It also announced plans to launch a $155 million venture fund for startups to build on HANA, and a $337 million incentive program for customers to move to HANA.
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This article was corrected. SAP does not plan to use HANA as a data store for aged or cold data within Sybase IQ, as the story originally stated. IT Jungle regrets the error.
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