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SAP HANA and In-Memory Computing

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ind_man_glb_ho_431_hi - Copy.jpg The integration strategies over the past decade have leveraged centralized Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technologies, middleware standard and systems integration resources, to fulfill systems integration requirements. This was used to create a knitted business process solution after the evolution from mainframe systems to the client server environment.

 

It was an approach we saw widely being used to integrate ERP (off the shelf packaged applications), legacy applications and data. What this left behind were integrated Business solutions which required extensive integration monitoring.

This gave rise for the need of an Enterprise Architect to govern these integrated solutions after implementation.
The run or support factor of these integration layers required monitoring and strong governance.

This left certain considerations to be noted when looking at re-architecting these integration layers.

 

 

 

Today’s integration challenges

However simplified enterprise integration can be, these knitted solutions still have their own set of challenges.

It’s about monitoring

 

  • Many of businesses today use EAI solutions for their day-to-day operation. Once these processes are set up, they are expected to be up and running 24x7x365. Any downtime or mis-routing can cause the business to virtually stop. This requires much integration monitoring.

 

It’s about niche skills

 

  • The skills required to maintain an Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) solution are quite scarce.
    Troubleshooting complex problems requires a combination of functional and technical skill sets including insight into business scenarios, which are generally spread across various individuals. When staffing new integration enhancements or integration maintenance projects, these niche skill sets must be noted and expect a strong people collaboration aspect to this mixture as well.

 

It’s about governance

 

  • Lack of standards is another major challenge. Though many standards have evolved and been adapted across multiple EAI tools, not all EAI tools agree or work on the same standards. Added to this are the extensions to the standards which provide a means of increased customization into the normal integration method. A significant contributor to this situation is that the integration standards which were initially used have not been followed nor aligned to, over the years. Governance is lacking.

 

It’s about integration mapping insight

 

  • Most of the EAI tools use eXtensible Markup Language (XML) for exchanging information. XML is a free-flowing language where the tags can be marked up as and when needed. Hence, when we talk about interoperability, one still needs to resolve the semantic differences between
    these XML standards. This is time consuming and requires significant technical and business insight. Further qualifying these XML data mappings is significant effort.

 

It’s about qualifying the cloud promise around integration

 

  • To add to this complex situation the drive to utilize cloud integration solutions is also a disruptive factor to conventional integration trends. It certainly does provide food for thought on data privacy around the interchange of data in integration scenarios and the service level measurement for integration monitoring for a cloud based offering amongst others.

 

Now that the integration challenges facing business are understood, what are the potential solutions to these challenges?

 

 

Technology Integration Solutions

One of the most suitable answers is SAP HANA, a next generation platform that now powers SAP Business Suite Applications. This platform brings together transactions and analytics into a single, in-memory system and features powerful integration tools like SLT, Replication Server, Data Services and Smart Data access to facilitate the integration of data in real-time or batch.

 

Businesses can benefit from the platform by fully leveraging the power of hardware and the advanced capabilities such as predictive, text analytic, spatial processing, and data virtualization on the same architecture. That means single database, one environment and therefore reducing TCO by consolidating heterogeneous servers into SAP HANA servers. This directly reduces the hardware, lifecycle management, and maintenance costs.

 

Integration efficiency is not the only benefit derived from this platform. The ability to get real-time insights along with the speed that it processes data gives you the potential to fundamentally reshape and improve business processes and becomes a strategy enabler and not hindrance.

 

How much longer can you hold on and avoid the inevitable?

Introduction

In the world of software, lifecycle management is the process that involves activities as installation, configuration and upgrade of a product. For SAP HANA, we make a distinction between platform lifecycle management and application lifecycle management. The first concerns the in-memory database and all its components, the second the applications powered by HANA.

 

Platform lifecycle management for SAP HANA has seen quite a few changes over time with the different support package stacks (SPS). Overall, the process is being simplified and converges towards a single tool. However, it has been a bit of a bumpy ride at times and at the SAP HANA Academy we often get questions about this topic.

 

What's the difference between HANA lifecycle manager (HLM) and lifecycle management (LCM)? When to use what?

Why does lifecycle management change with every release?  Hint: it does not.

Will it change in SPS 09 again? Hint: Yes, probably. After reading this blog, you will know how.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 22.08.30.png

 

The topic is explained and the available tools demonstrated in a new tutorial video, part of the SAP HANA SPS 08 Installations playlist:

 

 

For those that want a little background, below a (very!) short history about SAP HANA platform lifecycle management.

 

Lifecycle Management Tools

Unified Installer

The SAP HANA platform comprises a number of software components, SAP terminology for separately installable units. Initially, the SAP HANA platform just consisted out of server (database), studio (administration) and client (drivers). Each component included an installer both in command line (hdbinst) and as GUI (hdbsetup), an updater (hdbupd) and an uninstaller (hdbuninst).

 

To automate installations, the script install.sh was added. This allowed for multiple-component installations in one run and also handled more complex tasks like the installation of a distributed system, that is, a single HANA system running on multiple hosts. The script, referred to in the documentation as "unified installer", called the above-mentioned single component utilities with the necessary parameters. It got more complex over time as components were added: SAP Host Agent, Application Function Library (AFL), Software Update Manager (SUM), etc.

 

Software Update Manager - SUM

The Software Update Manager was introduced in SPS 03. The name was a little unfortunate as for SAP Netweaver a different product with the same purpose and name already existed. To distinguish both products on the Software Download Center, the name SUM4HANA was used cf. Software Update Manager (SUM): introducing the tool for software maintenance and Distinguish SUM and SUM for SAP HANA.

 

SUM and the unified installer were intended to work together and issues occurred when they were mixed with the usage of the single component utilities like hdbinst or hdbupd, i.e. install with the unified installer and update with hdbupd, or install with hdbsetup and update with SUM. Serge explains it all in his 2013 blog Which tool to use for SAP HANA Update: SUM for HANA or hdbupd?

 

In this video tutorial, you can see how you could update a SAP HANA SPS 05 system using SUM. As this process is no longer supported, you may want to watch it at double the speed. If you do not see the speed settings under the gear, go to youtube.com/html5 and enable the HTML5 video player.

 

Note that with SUM you could also import SAP HANA content, an application lifecycle management activity.

 

 

Onsite Configuration Tool - OCT

In a similar fashion, earlier SAP HANA releases included the script hanaconfig.sh to bundle post-installation configuration tasks like adding (or removing) hosts to a distributed system, renaming a system, or configure the System Landscape Directory (SLD) for integration with SAP Solution Manager. This script was referred to as the on-site configuration tool (OCT) and called the utilities hdbaddhost, hdbremovehost, hdbrename, etc. It was available in both command line and GUI mode.

 

HANA Lifecycle Manager - HLM

The update and post-installation configuration processes were redesigned for SPS 06 with the introduction of HANA Lifecycle Manager (HLM). HLM is very similar to SUM: runs inside HANA studio, browser or from command line; allows for an auto-update and is on a different release cycle than SAP HANA; uses the Java-based OSGI framework and, like most things running Java, is sometimes not as responsive as you would like. Main difference is that HLM combines the activities of OCT and SUM, so now a single tool could be used for all post-installation tasks, including update.

 

In this video tutorial, you can view how to update SAP HANA SPS 06 using HLM.

 

 

HANA Lifecycle Management - LCM

For SPS 07, the installation process was redesigned. Stephanie explains why in Installation in SAP HANA SPS 07 - welcoming hdblcm(gui) to the family. The unified installer had outlived its purposes and the times (read customers and partners) called for a more sophisticated alternative.

 

With SPS 08, the usage of the LCM tool was further enhanced and now includes a locally installed (resident) version. With the resident hdblcm tool, you can now run the same post-installation configuration tasks, previously launched by OCT and HLM, like add or rename host, uninstall, etc.

 

As a consequence, the functionality of HLM was reduced and most services are no longer supported, or as it is written in SAP Note 1997526:

 

In order to provide efficient and harmonized lifecycle management procedures (such as installation, update, and technical customization) for your SAP HANA platform and the SAP HANA applications running on top of it, we are in process to consolidate available tools and transition corresponding processes completely to user-centric new tools.

 

In this video tutorial, you can view how to install SAP HANA SPS 08 using hdblcm from the installation media.

 

 

... and here how to perform using post-configuration tasks using the locally installed (resident) hdblcm:

 

 

 

 

References

 

SAP Help Portal

 

SAP Notes

 

SAP HANA microsite

 

SCN Blogs

 

Thank you for watching

 

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 youtube.com/saphanaacademy, follow us on Twitter @saphanaacademy., or connect to us on LinkedIn.

Timo Elliott

Is SAP HANA a Luxury?

Posted by Timo Elliott Sep 16, 2014

hana-equals-porsche

 

For SAP, it may be a billion-dollar question: is HANA a luxury like a Porsche or a Dior Dress? Or is it simply a better approach that could and should be appropriate for all SAP’s customers?

 

Today, as SAP customer Steve Rumsby puts it:

“The problem seems to be that SAP have what they think is a great product, but their customers/potential customers don’t all see it the same way.”

 

What are the roots of this difference in perception?

 

SAP’s HANA Vision

 

The first versions of HANA were focused on analytics, and used for big data “edge cases” that required extreme speed. These typically involved large companies adding an additional HANA server to existing infrastructure to do things that weren’t previously feasible. These use cases can’t really be called “luxury” – they all had hard business cases behind them – but they certainly weren’t for everybody.

 

The natural result is that many people that don’t envisage these kinds of needs in the near future are wondering why SAP talks so much about HANA:

“Dior is a stunning work of art and such timeless beauty that almost makes you forget about the price tag. But even though I admire the design very much, somehow I just don’t feel compelled to rush and order one for myself. For the simple reason that I can neither afford it nor (more importantly) do I really need it… Where would I possibly wear it? In case you didn’t get the analogy by now, there are SAP customers that need HANA just like I need a Dior dress, at least at this time.”

From this point of view, HANA will be adopted as the “edge cases” of today become tomorrow’s normal environments, as with some other previous technologies such as mobile phones:

“…the first “bricks” that were an exotic accessory of rich and famous back in the day. But now even some elementary school kids already carry a cell phone to call mom and dad in case a stranger offers them candy. How did we get from there to here? By the means of cheaper and smaller phones, better network coverage and accessibility. Not by worrying about the adoption rates. Not every student or housewife had one of the first cell phones and not every SAP customer is Unilever or Coca Cola.”

 

However, SAP’s vision for HANA has always been larger than those types of use cases. From the first white papers to recent posts on the benefits of Business Suite on HANA, the ultimate goal has been to use the new opportunities of in-memory for “normal” companies and “normal” SAP applications by radically simplifying existing layers.

 

But even customers that fully understand the technical opportunity are wondering why SAP thinks an “expensive” product like HANA could be suitable for a wide range of customers.

 

Is HANA Expensive?

 

The two things that everybody knows about HANA is that it’s fast, and that it’s expensive. But is that true?

 

By all accounts, HANA is indeed fast – for example, Stanford University researchers claim that it can crunch genome data up to 600x faster than previous best-practice techniques.

 

But this emphasis on speed has naturally lead customers to assume that if they don’t need — or can’t use – that extra speed, they don’t need HANA. This view has been echoed by other database industry veterans like Doug Henschen:

“Speedy insights are only required when people are actually in a position to do something with them or about them in an equally speedy way. SAP is pushing ahead of the customer’s ability to execute”

 

In addition, the speed of HANA has been compared to a Porsche by SAP executives:

“Asking people who don’t own HANA what they think of it, is like asking people who have never driven a car what they think about the speed and handling capability of a Porsche.”

 

And it’s human nature to assume that something compared to a Porsche is unnecessary, expensive, and limited to a few users.

 

But when it comes to technology, there isn’t always a tradeoff between better performance and higher costs – especially when radically new approaches are involved. For example, I’m old enough to remember the first arrival of a microwave in our home, and how confused I was as a child who had just learned about energy at school: “wait, it’s much faster to heat food AND it uses less electricity? That can’t be right?!”

 

Because in-memory approaches collapse the stack of traditional IT, industry experts like Gartner’s Donald Feinberg believe that in-memory systems can be simpler, more flexible, AND cheaper to run:

“The total cost of acquisition of an in-memory system is likely higher than a storage system. There’s no question. But the total cost of TCO is lower. People cost more than hardware and software – a lot more. So the TCO is lower. Don’t let somebody say to you we can’t go in-memory because it’s so much more money. Acquisition costs may be higher. If you calculate out a TCO, it’s going to be less.”

 

SAP Partner and HANA Expert John Appleby explains it like this:

“Often I have a conversation early on with senior decision makers looking at use cases for SAP HANA in their business. “I hear HANA is expensive”, they say, “talk to me about the price”. Yes – with SAP HANA you store all your important information in-memory, and that’s many times faster and somewhat more expensive than traditional systems.

But there’s two important points: SAP HANA typically processes information an order of magnitude faster than a traditional system, but it is not an order of magnitude more expensive, which means it provides value for money. Second, HANA typically allows you to simplify your IT – and your business. Operational costs are reduced because there is less complexity, and this typically provides an excellent TCO.”

 

That’s the theory, but it’s clearly not a widespread view among SAP customers today. Might that change in the future?

 

SAP has published studies showing that HANA can indeed deliver lower costs: a report by Forrester indicates that HANA can save an organization 37% across hardware, software, and labor costs and an IDC study of the HANA deployment of the University of Kentucky indicated an ROI of over 500%.

 

In addition, many existing customers of SAP Business Warehouse have reported costs savings from moving to HANA among other business benefits:

“Molson Coors has confirmed that development times for new requirements will come in at least 50% less than under alternative configurations. This is because development of BW on HANA reports is much simpler than before… Marketing criticisms aside around ‘feeds’ and speeds,’ no-one should underestimate the value [HANA] delivers to those businesses that have already invested in SAP BW and still have long life use cases and increased demand from the BW environment.”

 

One promising sign for SAP is that it’s not only giant companies that are planning to run their businesses on HANA. Smaller companies such as TRCC, with just 500 employees and four full time IT staff are choosing Business Suite on HANA, not because they have exotic needs, but because the system is less complex, with less infrastructure to manage. For them, the “speed increases were just a bonus”

 

If HANA is becoming an easy decision for greenfield SAP customers, then it can’t really be characterized as a Porsche or a Dior dress – it’s more like the next family car or a pair of jeans. But what if you already have a perfectly good family car?

 

Is HANA a Fit for All Customers?

 

Even if Business Suite on HANA becomes a no-brainer for new SAP deployments, what about existing customers?

 

Real-world organizations already have a lot of complex systems in place. Moving to a new technology — even if it is better and cheaper — imposes real costs. Adopting HANA could indeed be perceived as an unaffordable luxury in this case, and this seems to be the crux of the recent debates.

 

The company is trying to tackle this by providing ever-more industry use cases and making sure that customers can adopt HANA in steps, with “cookbooks” to help.

 

It’s also encouraging existing HANA customers share their experiences. The good news for the company is that the earliest adopters of SAP HANA do indeed seem to be generalizing their deployments beyond the initial “edge case” or “luxury” deployments, including Burberry:

Burberry had a positive experience with HANA, according to CTO John Douglas, so it now plans to swap out Oracle database and put the SAP Business Suite on HANA. That work will start with SAP Retail and SAP BW. “We’re now at inflection point where we need a step change to real-time applications,” said Douglas. “It started with customer one-to-one… but now we’re going to put the whole business on one platform, in memory.”

And Unilever:

“Besides the acceleration, the user experience improved significantly. We are asked by multiple users for more and more HANA-empowered solutions. It was probably the first time in my role that I really delighted the end-users and made their life easier.” – Thomas Benthien, Global IT Director at Unilever.

 

And other, more “normal” organizations that have moved to Business Suite on HANA, such as the University of Amsterdam, have reported a positive migration experience.

 

In addition, the company hopes that an upcoming wave of new “simple” applications, starting with Simple Finance which has been described as a potential “killer app” to entice existing customers to move their core systems to the new environments.

 

What Does The Future Hold?

 

It’s clear that SAP continues to believe that HANA is not an expensive luxury for the few, but an opportunity for all organizations:

“The invitation is for all customers who want to transform their business and capitalize on the opportunities that have been opened up through technology innovation, big data, IoT, cloud, and mobility…deploy HANA. Email us, tweet us, call us…we will help you find the right use case to grow your business faster than your competitors and lower your costs at the same time.”

 

Will customers continue to assume that HANA will always be too expensive for them to deploy? What if that weren’t true – would it make a difference, or is the real barrier the challenge of doing things in new ways? What could SAP do to persuade the skeptics?

 

Finally, people are justifiably fed up with analogies, but for what it’s worth, I still think the most appropriate comparison for SAP HANA vs disk-based systems — at least in terms of technology theory — is digital cameras, which are indeed faster, simpler, smarter AND cheaper than older film cameras (this post is from a few years ago — the same ideas could now be extended to include operational systems, not just analytics)

 

[this post first appeared on the Business Analytics blog]

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Are you looking to gain an in-depth understanding of the SAP HANA Platform?  Do you plan to build, integrate, and certify an application with SAP HANA?

 

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The SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC) will be offering partners and ISVs an introductory 4-day workshop (October 06-09, 2014) to facilitate a general understanding of SAP HANA.  After each training module, partners and ISVs will reinforce their skills via a series of hands-on exercises to demonstrate their knowledge of the various components for the SAP HANA Platform.  The SAP HANA Enablement Workshop will outline the underlying knowledge needed to allow for the development, integration, and certification of an application with SAP HANA.


By attending this enablement workshop, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the end-to-end application development for SAP HANA
  • Reinforce knowledge with skill-builder modules via hands-on exercises
  • Understand the certification roadmap and process for application certification
  • Leverage a 30% discount for application certification to enable Go-to-Market
  • Engage with product experts and certification team via Q&A sessions

 

Registrations Fees and Deadlines:

 

Due to the popularity of this enablement workshop, seating will be limited and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  If you would like to make a group booking, please submit separate registrations for each individual of your organization.

 

INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION
REGISTRATION TYPESDATESFEESREGISTRATION
Early BirdBefore September 20th , 2014 500 EuroSign-up here!
RegularBefore October 1st, 2014800 EuroSign-up here!

 

Group Registration
Special discount will be provided for more one
participant from the same company
Sign-up here

 

Event Logistics and Agenda:

 

DATESMonday,October 6th, 2014 to Thursday, October 9th, 2014
TIME9:00 AM to 5:00 PM  IST
LOCATION

SAP Labs India Pvt Ltd,
138 EPIB, Whitefield,
Bangalore 560066
India.

 

The agenda for this enablement workshop will highlight some of the following topics:

  • Introduction to SAP HANA Development Platform
  • SAP HANA Application Development Tools: SAP HANA Studio and Eclipse
  • Introduction to SQL Basics and Debugging
  • Introduction to Data Modeling with SAP HANA
  • How to Certify your Application with SAP HANA

 

Take advantage of this opportunity to plan, build, and explore the various certification programs for SAP HANA and leverage a 30% discount when submitting an application for certification with the SAP HANA Platform!  For any questions or inquiries relating to this enablement workshop, please contact icc-info@sap.com.

Jelena Perfiljeva posted a great article on SCN yesterday on the disconnect between SAP and their customers over HANA.

 

For me, as an SAP alumni coming from the BusinessObjects side of the house, this has echoes of many discussions in the BusinessObjects user base about HANA. For the last few it has become a standing joke that almost everything SAP have said to the BusinessObjects user base involves HANA. This has perplexed customers who, on the whole, don't really understand why they would want to insert HANA into their existing BusinessObjects landscape, or at least they have more pressing issues that HANA doesn't solve.

 

This HANA pressure was shown in one presentation at SBOUC (now called SABOC) where the presenter from SAP joked at the start of his talk :-


 

“As an SAP employee I am contractually obliged to mention HANA 10 times in my presentation,  so here goes, HANA, HANA, HANA, HANA, HANA, HANA, HANA, HANA, HANA, HANA. Ok now I can get on with what you actually want to hear!”

 


To be fair to SAP, HANA is an ground-breaking piece of technology, it is already having a profound impact on both SAP and the wider market. It opens up new ways of doing business and every SAP customer will end up using it in some way or another (and will be happy that they did).

 


But, however good the vision is, that does not mean that all (or even most) customers are ready to use it today, which is something that SAP seem to have been deaf to so far.

 


This has certainly been true in the case of Lumira Server, in SAP’s analytics portfolio. As I have noted elsewhere, SAP have gone a bit “Lumira Mad” and until now the message has been “If you want Lumira Server then you have to have HANA” accompanied by all the usual non-reasons: architecture, big data, perfect fit … blah, blah, blah.

 


Initially, you had to pay for both the HANA software and the HANA appliance but recently SAP announced that they would throw in a runtime HANA software licence for Lumira Server with the BusinessObjects platform (but you still need to buy the HANA hardware).

 


However, this week, SAP seems to have gone a step further and a step closer to what their customers want. On the recent #askSAP BusinessObjects update call, Ty Miller announced a future version of the Lumira Server which would not be dependent on HANA, in essence it will be a “normal” extension to the existing BusinessObjects infrastructure, that everyone will understand and feel comfortable with.

 


Obviously, this will not come with the processing power of HANA and will be more limited than the HANA version, but, crucially, it is probably exactly what most customers need today and it will be easy for them to adopt. For SAP, it should be a great bridge to a HANA upsell to customers who do need the extra horsepower at some point in the future.

 


HANA is a great technology, but my observation in the BusinessObjects community, is that trying to ram it down people’s throats at every opportunity can be counter productive. Perhaps SAP are realising this too.

Okay, this may seem like a ludicrous idea at first sight, but what if SAP released a free version of SAP HANA? Please let me introduce to you the concept of openHANA. The idea is based on the Freemium concept (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemium).

 

What would differentiate openHANA from SAP HANA:

  • Free to use
  • Contains 90% of the functionality of SAP HANA
  • No support from SAP and third-party vendors
  • No OpenSource model – no branching, no community development model
  • Not certified as the primary database of SAP Business Suite or Business Warehouse
  • Fewer restrictions for the hardware configuration – therefore available on much cheaper hardware
  • Supports more virtualization options
  • All software developed on openHANA runs on SAP HANA
  • Easy license upgrade to SAP HANA when running on certified hardware

 

insert_coin_to_continue.png

Img.: Insert coin to continue

 

What would happen?

  • Skyrocketing adoption as openHANA would enter the LAMP market segment – HAL as HANA-Apache-Linux
  • Proliferation of SQLscript, RDE, and other HANA-related skills in the market
  • Most usage scenarios that today require a fully licensed SAP HANA would still require that, so openHANA would not cannibalize on SAP HANA’s market but widen it
  • New HANA customers would start with a low-risk, low-cost investment in openHANA, develop custom applications (such as custom sidecar-based accelerators and stand-alone applications) and port their existing non-SAP database applications to openHANA – and later they would upgrade to SAP HANA to get the full support or the extra 10% of features
  • Customers who are now skeptical or unimaginative would get hooked on the speed and performance of HANA – the performance of HANA would become the expected standard and not be something you know exists somewhere but is out of reach, like a $ 1 Million Bugatti car
  • The ecosystem for apps that run on HANA and add-ons to HANA (e.g. data center tools, integrations) would bloom as the market for those third-party vendors would be so much bigger thanks to openHANA – and each of these third-party tools would add value to SAP HANA
  • Third-party vendors could even be required to couple their freemium model to HANA’s freemium model: e.g. the third-party tool is free to use on openHANA but enterprise-grade support is only available when it runs on SAP HANA

 

Basically, openHANA would target customers for whom HANA is currently too expensive in combination with the overall migration and integration effort, and it would be a slippery slope that would allow these customers to whom HANA is currently out of the question to adopt HANA's "little brother" now and end up with the full-blown project later on. And it would change the situation for many third-party software vendors who today hesitate to develop software for HANA because the market is too small.

 

Dear SAP, please think about this long and hard and let me and the community know what you think. Preferably during the keynote of SAPPHIRENOW 2015. ☺

Jelena Perfiljeva

Y U No Love HANA?

Posted by Jelena Perfiljeva Sep 10, 2014

yuno.JPG

Folks,

 

Not sure if ASUG had any clue of the magnitude of a storm that would start upon publishing their member survey results stating that “75 percent said that they had not yet built a business case or compelling value proposition for SAP HANA”. Maybe it was just the bad timing and SAP was still sulking from the July’s DSAG survey, but for whatever reason some folks over at SAP clearly were not so happy with the findings. The “official” response followed hinting politely that the surveyed customers were uninformed and some SCN blogs  (exhibit A and exhibit B) suggested a different interpretation of the results. And just as the storm was losing momentum, SAP brought the heavy artillery – Dr. Hasso Plattner himself. Wow!

 

But after all these rebuttals I felt that for some reason SAP simply did not get what ASUG survey results were saying. And since I was one of the 300+ ASUG members to actually respond to the survey, I feel responsible that somehow we did not make ourselves clear. So please allow me to bring it down in the most simple terms.

 

dior.jpgThe Dior dress paradox

 

Both blogs by Dr. Plattner and Mr. Lucas featured some kind of car analogy. (Ugh, men! [eye roll] Thanks at least for not using golf.)

 

But let’s talk about fashion for diversity’s sake. Pretty much any dress by Dior (which is like Porsche of the fashion world) is a stunning work of art and such timeless beauty that almost makes you forget about the price tag. But even though I admire the design very much, somehow I just don’t feel compelled to rush and order one for myself. For the simple reason that I can neither afford it nor (more importantly) do I really need it. Where would I possibly wear it - Halloween potluck in the office? At the same time there are many people out there to whom a Dior dress is almost a necessity. And we somehow coexist on the same planet (imagine that!).

 

In case you didn’t get the analogy by now, there are SAP customers that need HANA just like I need a Dior dress, at least at this time. Which brings me to the next point.

 

VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, <?>

 

Have you noticed how DVDs came around the second you’ve finally completed the collection of your favorite movies on the VHS tapes? And good for you if you decided to sit one out and did not buy any DVDs because Blu-ray is all the rage now (and is becoming replaced by some new technology as you’re reading this, unless you’re in 2020 when Blu-ray must be like a gramophone already).

 

If you woke up today and decided to start a movie collection, Blu-ray would be the most logical choice. But, say, if you already have a DVD player, and some DVDs plus your TV is 10 years old and doesn’t support HD quality anyway and you’re fine with that then what would be the incentive to invest in a new TV, new player and new, more expensive, discs?

 

If you build it – they will come. Eventually.

 

nokia.JPGIn a comment to the already mentioned above blog I compared HANA to the cell phones. My fellow non-millennial SCN members must remember the first “bricks” that were an exotic accessory of rich and famous back in the days. But now even some elementary school kids already carry a cell phone to call mom and dad in case a stranger offers them candy. How did we get from there to here? By the means of cheaper and smaller phones, better network coverage and accessibility. Not by worrying about the adoption rates.

 

Not every student or housewife had one of the first cell phones and not every SAP customer is Unilever or Coca Cola. And it brings me to the next point.

 

Know thy customer

 

So not everyone needs a Dior dress or is in a rush to replace their DVDs with Blu-ray and the first cell phones were not for everyone either, even though now almost everyone has one. Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? But when pretty much the same thing is said about HANA, all of a sudden SAP gets their Hulk on. What gives?

 

One of the examples of HANA’s awesomeness used at different SAP presentations is a scenario when a customer walks into some fancy-pants store and a sales rep is instantly able to identify the customer and offer them some products based on their past visits or some other intel. [In a totally non-creepy way.] Question: could SAP use HANA themselves to find out what their customers actually want and need?

 

Dior does not even bother advertising their dresses to me. They must have somehow figured out I’m not really their demographics. Most importantly, they also don’t try to convince the world that I don’t buy their dresses because I’m simply uninformed about how supercalifragilisticexpialidocious they are.

 

One might blame the disconnect between the SAP’s expectations and the survey results on bad research, marketing hiccup or ignorant customers that always have an axe to grind with SAP. But the bottom line is that it’s the Porsche dealership’s, errr, SAP’s direct interest to ensure that their products align with the customer’s needs and are reasonably priced. Unless the plan is to become the Dior of ERP system world (hmm, 'designer database' does have some nice ring to it!).

 

Group hug?

 

Dear SAP, the user groups are not attacking you. They are trying to repair and improve the relationship. If a partner tells you that they need help, would you simply cover the ears and go “la-la-la-la” or run away or would you try to help? It’s not too late to make a choice.

 

By the way, our next local ASUG meeting is at BMW Manufacturing and since y’all love cars so much, why don’t Dr. Hasso Plattner and Mr. Lucas and ASUG board of directors (no SCN profiles? you're killing me!) all come over, check out some rides, get a taste of Southern hospitality and hug it out? Now that would be a Dior dress worthy occasion!

 

 

Image credits: 'y u no guy meme' - authors own art based on Know Your Meme; phone image - Wikipedia; Dior dress - Wikimedia commons

 

Important disclaimer: this blog does not represent the opinion of ASUG or my employer.

Quick Sizer

As of version 37 (September 2014), the SAP Quick Sizer tool contains now two versions: classic and HANA. You can access the tool from the SAP Service Marketplace (SMP) using the quick link http://service.sap.com/quicksizer.

 

quicksizer.png

 

 

SAP HANA Academy

For those new to sizing SAP HANA and the Quick Sizer tool, we have just added a new video tutorial on the topic. It is part of the playlist SAP HANA Installations - SPS 08 on YouTube.

 

 

SAP Notes

As you have seen in the video, there is little to no information about SAP HANA Sizing in the publicly available documentation for SAP HANA on the SAP Help portal.

For information, you need to consult SAP Notes

 

SCN Blogs

For further reading, particularly on the topic of sizing HANA for BW, you may enjoy the following blogs on SCN:

 

Thank you for watching

 

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 youtube.com/saphanaacademy or follow us on Twitter @saphanaacademy.

I just came across SAP note 1850112 - Changes to technical properties row/column store again and found it to be an interesting and reassuring collection of design decisions taken over time.

 

The decisions taken are about changing the storage type for SAP Netweaver tables on SAP HANA systems.

 

Counting how many tables were "moved" from one storage engine to another in which SAP Netweaver SP results in the table below:

 

Versionto COLUMN STOREto ROW STORE
7.40 SP 388
7.40 SP 512
7.40 SP 8571
1571

 

In total 157 times the developers found that moving a table from row store to column store would be beneficial.

 

Only in one case, table QRFC_I_QIN_LOCK, the decision was to move a column store table to row store.

(* the way this table is used, like many other RFC and message queue tables, is quite specific, which makes it less suited for the column store)

 

Now, why is this remarkable?

Back in 2011 when SAP Netweaver porting to SAP HANA started, SAP internal developers had been advised to choose the storage for "their" tables based on the recommendations that can still be found in today's SAP HANA Administration Guide.

 

Seeing that the decisions taken back then have been revised not only shows that SAP HANA's column store is capable of handling production workload.

More than this it underlines the whole point of column store concepts.

 

It is made for business application.

 

It lends itself to the way, data is used in such systems and it allows to automatically take advantage of improvements in hard and software. Automatic parallel query processing and efficient mass data processing via SIMD are just two examples for that.

 

One conclusion of this can be:

If your application is using data in a similar way, then using column store tables is very likely the best single design decision you can take.

 

In fact, at least in my opinion, it is about time to change the default table type (parameter indexserver.ini • sql [] • table_type) to COLUMN as it really is the new "normal table type".

 

Cheers,

Lars

In continuation to my previous blog on introducing Except Set, in this blog, I would like to introduce GROUPING SET function. I am writing this blog to share my knowledge and experience with people who would like to get introduced to the GROUPING SETS function. With this blog, I hope people would find writing GROUPING SET SQL easier and it might save their time as well.


GROUPING SETS allows specifying precisely which aggregations we want to compute. The GROUPING SETS operator aggregates only specified groups
instead of full sets of aggregations.


GROUPING SET is able to generate a result set that can be generated by a UNION ALL of multiple simple GROUP BY clauses.


For Example:

Grp1.png

As can be seen in the above example, there are four sets specified in the above query and are highlighted in the above screenshot.

On execution of the above query the result set generated by the query will aggregate the results into four sets as showcased in the next screenshots:

 

Result set for group set

is:Grp2.png

Grp3.png

As can be seen in the above example, there are four sets specified in the above query and are highlighted in the above screenshot. On execution of the above query the result set generated by the query will aggregate the results into four sets as showcased in the next screenshots:

 

Result set for group set

Grp4.png

is:

Grp5.png

 

The ‘?’ in the above result set indicates that all NAME1 for each set of BUKRS, KOKRS, LAND1 have been grouped together.

 

Result set for group set

Grp6.png

is:

Grp7.png

The ‘?’ in the above result set indicates that all LAND1 for each set of BUKRS, KOKRS, NAME1 have been grouped together.

 

Result set for group set

 

Grp8.png

is:

 

Grp9.png

 

 

The ‘?’ in the above result set indicates that all LAND1 and NAME1 for each set of BUKRS, KOKRS have been grouped together.

 

Has this instructional blog helped you in understanding GROUPING SETS? If so, I would highly appreciate you letting me know, and providing any feedback. The readers could stay tuned for my upcoming blog as I introduce Select With directive function and how to use it in HANA system.

Text is everywhere. We use natural language to express ourselves in complete or incomplete sentences of any length. Words can be thought of as the intuitive units of language but are problematic for many organizations to process. The ability to perform accurate, large-scale and rapid detection of key information trapped in enterprises is a challenge.

 

Text Analysis (TA) is a native feature of SAP HANA. TA – at the core a Natural-Language Processing (NLP) engine – is a strategic asset that forms the foundation for search and information discovery applications. By applying statistical, linguistic, and machine-learning techniques, TA provides the foundation for indexing and semantic annotations that identify or describe features of interest in text – in multiple languages.

 

In general, extending the coverage of a platform like SAP HANA from structured data to textual unstructured data requires at least a basic form of NLP technology. The versatility of the SAP’s TA engine within HANA reaches beyond the basics – it enables a wide range of applications that can rely on it to varying degrees. The text processing capabilities of these applications depend on the combinations of TA functionality areas they consume:

 

Linguistic analysis

This is the most fundamental form of TA – tokenization, stemming and part-of-speech tagging. These operations are essential for optimized index building and search-oriented systems since they guarantee both high precision and recall. Full-Text Search within SAP HANA is built on top of this.


Entity extraction

The identification of named entities (persons, organizations, products etc.) allows for the elimination of ‘noise’ in textual data, essentially highlighting salient information in large text collections. This process enables the transformation of unstructured textual data into structured information, which can then be leveraged by Information Management and Business Intelligence solutions.


Fact extraction

Higher-level semantic processing links entities as ‘facts’ in domain-specific applications. One of the applications is sophisticated Sentiment Analysis (‘Voice of the Customer’), which classifies sentiments with their corresponding topics.

 

TA in SAP HANA takes unstructured text data in a wide variety of file formats and turns it into something you can search, analyze, and act on. It allows you to deal with information overload by mining big data and making sense of all of the information without having to read every single sentence. Simply put, TA automates intelligent discovery from data sources that were previously unprocessable.

 

The following are deep dive topics for future blogs and how they relate to Text Analysis in SAP HANA:

 

  • Linguistic Markup
  • Named Entity Recognition
  • Relations & Events
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Precision & Recall Numbers
  • Customization
  • Text Mining Algorithms
  • Semantic Roles
  • Semantic Inference

Recently I hosted a session about operational analytics at SAP Inside Track Oslo. I realized that many people are not aware of the possibilities they have with the embedded BW in their Business Suite systems, as well as other great things you can do with HANA beyond the common usage scenarios, so I decided to raise awareness of these low-hanging fruit with this blog post.

 

If you've got BW on HANA but the migration of your ERP or CRM system to HANA is still some time down the road, you can boost the operational processes in your ERP or CRM system right now, well before you migrate to Business Suite on HANA.

 

There are several ways to make the speed and extended functionality of HANA available to your transactional applications even while they still run on Oracle or DB/2 as your SAP system's primary database. From a development and implementation perspective, these are mostly quick wins which can be implemented and go live in a matter of days. All that is required is that you have an SAP HANA somewhere in your system landscape, the most likely candidate being the HANA database of your BW, or even a stand-alone HANA appliance.

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/Jackfruit_Cheena02_Asit.jpg/1024px-Jackfruit_Cheena02_Asit.jpg

Image: Low-hanging fruit. Source: File:Jackfruit Cheena02 Asit.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

 

Here are some of those quick wins:

 

Accelerate batch jobs

By analyzing long-running batch jobs, replicating specific key tables into HANA with standard SAP tools and making those long-running ABAPs query the HANA tables instead of the local Oracle or DB/2 tables, batch jobs can frequently be sped up from hours to minutes or even seconds. This doesn't work for every batch job, but an assessment of the jobs for which this technique works with minimal or zero coding effort can be performed in a matter of hours, and then the implementation is a matter of hours per job as well. I've seen batch jobs go from 36 hours to 2 minutes after such an optimization was applied.

 

Accelerate dialog programs

With the same technique, long-running dialog steps or programs can be accelerated as well. Typical candidates are search dialogues such as searching for a customer by name and birthday, which can take very long in non-HANA databases and can be especially problematic when an impatient customer is on the phone or standing in front of the agent. Again, we can push down response times to seconds (from minutes or even hours) with little coding effort using the side car approach with replicated key tables.

 

Fuzzy search and duplicate prevention

HANA supports a very easy to implement fuzzy search that works just like the fault-tolerant search on Google. If you search for a name but misspell it, the search will still retrieve the correct result. For example, you could search for "tor fransen" and the database would still come up with my customer record, "Thorsten Franz," and a number of other partly matching records, ranked by similarity to the query string. This can be used perfectly in search screens, but also to avoid the creation of duplicate customer or master data records, and it can be implemented in a non-HANA system in a modification-free way with little effort using standard enhancement techniques.

 

Analytical-operational Mash-ups

Enhance your operational applications with analytical content from HANA or BW. Making queries, dashboards, interactive diagrams, or select key figures available to users in transactional applications can greatly improve the speed and quality of your users' operational decision-making. Making the big picture or at least aspects of it available to transaction-processing users can boost productivity immensely. There are a number of minimal-invasive techniques to add such analytical content to transactional applications, including NetWeaver Business Client and the side panel, but also similarly-looking enhancements that don't require the use of NWBC and work with standard SAPGUI.

 

Embedded BW

It's one of the best-kept secrets that every ERP and CRM system has a full-blown embedded BW with all the capabilities of a stand-alone BW system. When you have a HANA in your system landscape, you can use the BW capabilities of your BW system to create powerful and highly interactive BEx queries and dashboards right in your ERP system - but using super-fast data access in your HANA side car. This can be achieved by programming custom virtual InfoProviders which behave like BW InfoCubes, except that instead of storing data physically, a function module is called that performs a super-fast query against your HANA side car.

This technique is especially tasty when you combine large tables in HANA with smaller tables that reside locally in the ERP system, and make the BEx queries built on top of this available to your ERP or CRM business users - without requiring user IDs and authorizations in the separate BW system, and without requiring system trust relationships, single sign-on mechanisms, firewall entries, or any of the other things that would normally be required to make BEx queries and analytical capabilities available to users of transactional applications.

 

These are just a few of the low-hanging fruit you can pluck when there's a HANA anywhere in your system landscape. This is your opportunity to bring real value to your end users and get more out of HANA, for less.

From helping to develop new innovations to simplifying IT management, SAP HANA has helped customers in a variety of scenarios to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This week’s SAP HANA Customer stories highlight critical results that lead to happier customers and employees.


 

 

SAP Customer Sokołów SA Accelerates Transactions and Reduces IT Costs With SAP HANA

• Sokołów SA migrated to SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA to simplify IT management, reduce maintenance costs and accelerate transactional and analytical data processing. In doing so, employees are also able to use SAP solutions more efficiency and effectively.

 

 

 

Spirit AeroSystems Fly with Confidence with SAP HANA

• Spirit AeroSystems needed to address data logjams and chose to implement SAP HANA. They have since significantly reduced report times from 37 hours to 14 seconds, and is delivering new airplane innovations for all passengers with the help of SAP HANA.  .

As part of Cisco’s big announcement today about significant innovations to the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) product line, SAP is excited that David Parker, our GVP of Big DATA Go-to-market strategy, has been invited to participate in an executive panel (Cisco Unified Computing System - Cisco Online Seminar - Cisco Systems) to discuss how our joint solutions address the challenges and opportunities companies face with Big Data.

 

With global responsibility for the solution packaging and pricing, definition and execution of the SAP Big Data go-to-market strategy, David has a keen perspective on how Big Data is changing the way we do business and how SAP is responding to this new paradigm, including how:

 

  • Big Data analytics quickly identify risks
    and opportunities and improves predictive capabilities
  • Big Data applications streamline
    operations and unlock new revenue sources
  • Best-in-class data management delivers
    complete and accurate info to any application or user

 

 

Watch today’s panel (Cisco Unified Computing System - Cisco Online Seminar - Cisco Systems) to hear more about how  global market innovators like SAP, Cisco, Microsoft and Cloudera are working together to provide our joint customers with Big Data technologies and analysis tools that can transform their business.

 

For further details reach out to:

Bill Lawler- William.lawler@sap.com

Alison Welch- Alison.welch@sap.com

 

 

Introduction

Are you interested in getting certified as SAP HANA database administrator? In this blog, I will explain how you can prepare for the SAP Certified Technology Associate - SAP HANA certification exam. This exam covers the traditional DBA topics like monitoring, operations, security, backups, etc.

 

The SAP Certified Technology Associate - SAP HANA certification is a prerequisite for the certification SAP Certified Technology Specialist - SAP HANA Installation, which you will need if you wish to perform SAP HANA installations as part of the Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) program.

 

This blog is part of a series.

 

About the Certification

 

At the time of writing there are two editions of the SAP Certified Technology Associate - SAP HANA certification:

 

Typically you would go for the most recent exam: 141, i.e. 1st edition 2014. There is not a lot of difference between both exams, the distinction concerns mainly the topic database migration using the Database Migration Option (DMO) of the Software Update Manager (SUM) tool, which is new for exam edition 141.

 

For the latest information, see the blog by Tim Breitwieser on SCN: SAP HANA Education: Course & Certification Program 2014. The SPS 08 edition can be expected at the end of this year.

 

Topic Areas

 

There are 80 questions divided over 10 topic areas. Cut score = 59%, which means that you need to answer at least 47 questions correct. Below the different topics and their relative weight.

 

10 questions or more (The Big Four)

 

  • Monitoring - Set-up and execute effective monitoring of SAP HANA using DBA Cockpit, SAP HANA Studio, and SAP Solution Manager.
  • Operations - Design and implement an administration and operation strategy for SAP HANA, e.g. transport management, patching and updating, etc.
  • Security and Authorization - Describe the authorization concept of SAP HANA and implement a security model using analytic privileges, SQL privileges, pre-defined roles and schemas. Perform basic security and authorization troubleshooting.
  • System architecture - Design a system architecture for a SAP HANA implementation including hardware sizing, network requirements and integration with existing architecture.

 

6 to 10 questions

 

  • Installation - Evaluate prerequisites for a SAP HANA installation, verify hardware and operation system, and describe the installation and post-installation tasks.
  • Troubleshooting - Troubleshoot SAP HANA and system performance by debugging SAP HANA, analyzing system locks, system files, and traces.

 

6 questions or less

  • High Availability and Disaster Tolerance - Design and implement a strategy for high availability and disaster tolerance.
  • Data Provisioning - Describe possible scenarios and tools for replicating and loading data into SAP HANA from different data sources, e.g. SAP Landscape Transformation (SLT), SAP Data Services, or Direct Extractor Connection (DXC).
  • Backup and Recovery - Design and implement a back-up and recovery strategy.
  • Database Migration to SAP HANA - Prepare and execute database migration to SAP HANA using DMO.

 

When you prepare of the exam, best to focus on The Big Four topics first. When I took the exam, there were 13 questions just on the topic of monitoring, whereas the four topics in the last category combined only had slightly more: 18 questions. Of course, your mileage may vary, but this may give you an idea.

 

Resources

 

The main resource is the SAP Education training HA200 - SAP HANA - Installation & Operations. This 5-day training covers all the topics mentioned above. Most topics correspond directly to the chapters from the course, e.g. Operations (Unit 8) or Backup and Recovery (Unit 9). Some topics are bundled (Security) or split (Monitoring and Troubleshooting). The only exception is the topic Data Provisioning, which is covered in the HA100 SAP HANA Introduction training.

 

Because of the direct relation of the exam with the HA200 training, participation is certainly recommended. However, it is not a requirement. I passed the first edition of the exam, the now retired E_HANATEC1, just by reading the SAP HANA documentation and working with the product. I have to say, I was a bit surprised at the time by the number of questions on topics like DBA Cockpit, CTS+, SAP Solution Manager, etc. While this material is clearly covered in the HA200 course with exercises and all, you will have to look for it a bit in the SAP HANA guides. So if you decide to skip the HA200 training, make sure you do not skip those topics.

 

Additional resources as preparation for the exam (in order of importance) on the publicly available SAP Help Portal (help.sap.com):

 

The Database Migration Option (DMO) of the Software Update Manager (SUM) tool is not included in the SAP HANA documentation set but part of the System Landscape Toolset on the SAP Service Market Place (requires login). A good start is the SCN document Database Migration Option (DMO) of SUM. There are only a handful of questions about this topic; no need to attend the 2-day course HA250 Migration to SAP HANA using DMO training for the exam.

 

Note that the SAP Help Portal on http://help.sap.com/hana_platform only shows the latest documentation, SPS 08 at the time of writing. For SPS 06 and SPS 07, you need to go to the SAP Service Marketplace on http://service.sap.com/hana.

 

You also may want to take a look at SAP note 1905389 - Additional Material for HA200 and HA200R. This note contains additional information and documents. Most of the SAP Notes mentioned are also listed in the Server Installation and Update Guide under Important SAP Notes.

 

SAP HANA Academy

 

To help you prepare for the exam, I have recorded some tutorial videos on SAP HANA administration topics.

 

Sample questions

 

On the certification page, a link to a PDF with sample questions is included. Below I marked the answers in bold and included a reference to the source with some tips and to do's.

 

==

 

1. Which of the following can you use to analyze an expensive SQL statement? There are 2 correct answers to this question.

a. Open the Plan Visualizer.

b. Open the Plan Explanation.

c. Open the hdbcons tool.

d. Open the SQL Plan Cache.

 

Source: This information can be found in the Troubleshooting and Performance Analysis Guide: When you have identified a critical SQL statement and identified its overall key figures from the SQL plan cache analysis you can have a closer look at the actual runtime behavior of the SQL statement.The following tools can be used for a more detailed analysis:

  • Plan Explanation - Creation of an execution plan
  • Plan Visualizer - Detailed graphical execution plan

 

More details are provided further in the guide: Analyzing SQL Execution with the Plan Visualizer and Analyzing SQL Execution with the Plan Explanation.

 

The hdbcons tool serves another purpose and is documented in the Administration Guide. See also SAP Note 1786918 and note 1758890 - SAP HANA: Information needed by Product/Development Support.

 

The SQL Plan Cache is documented in the Administration Guide and the Troubleshooting and Performance Analysis Guide: As the SQL plan cache collects statistics on the preparation and execution of SQL statements, it is an important tool for understanding and analyzing SQL processing. For example, it can help you to find slow queries, as well as measure the overall performance of your system.

 

Personally, I find this question to be a bit tricky. The idea is that the SQL Plan Cache should be used to identify expensive statements while the Plan tools are to analyse. However, the documentation is less rigid on the distinction. Fortunately there are not too many questions of this kind.

 

To do: I can highly recommend to read the SAP HANA Troubleshooting and Performance Analysis Guide. Monitoring and troubleshooting is an important topic in the exam accounting for almost 25% of the questions. Make sure you are familiar with the tools by trying them out on your own system.

 

==

 

2. You are reviewing the execution plan of an SQL statement. You want to find out which plan operators (POPs) have been executed in parallel and for how long each of them has been active. How can you accomplish this?

 

a. Use the Visualize Plan functionality in the SAP HANA studio.

b. Use Job Progress in the SAP HANA studio.

c. Use Performance Trace in HDB admin.

d. Use EXPLAIN (graphically) in the DBA Cockpit.

 

Source: There is actually no reference to plan operators (POPs) in the SAP HANA documentation but by elimination (see below) the Visualize Plan functionality of the SAP HANA studio is the only right answer. The tool is documented in the Troubleshooting and Performance Analysis Guide, as mentioned above.

 

One reference I found to POPs is in a response to a question by CSA Expert Lars Breddemannin this forum post: The SAP HANA Engines? As Lars also wrote a presentation on Understanding SAP HANA Performance he may just have come up with the question. Lars?

 

You can certainly monitor the progress of jobs using HANA Studio but this will not give you any information about the execution plan of an SQL statement. Job monitoring is documented in the Administration Guide.

 

The mention of HDB admin is a bit curious. When executed from the command line as <SID>adm user and with a X-Windows environment available it will start a UI similar to the TREX admin tool used for TREX/BWA. The tool is not documented for HANA, hence not supported, but in case you are interested, see the blog How to use HDBAdmin to analyze performance traces in SAP HANA by John Appleby.

 

About the EXPLAIN function in the DBA Cockpit, see the DBA Cockpit for SAP HANA documentation. The tool is similar but does not work with plan operators.

 

To do: Did I mention that monitoring and performance analysis is an important topic? Same advice as with question number one: Read the guide.

 

==

 

3. Which of the following update scenarios can be selected for execution in the SAP HANA lifecycle manager? There are 2 correct answers to this question.

 

a. Perform automated updates of SAP HANA and SAP HANA components

b. Apply Support Package Stacks

c. Update the SAP HANA studio on local machines

d. Update SAP HANA replication technology components.

 

Source: SAP HANA lifecycle manager is documented in the SAP HANA Update and Configuration Guide (SPS 07). This guide has been merged with the installation guide for SPS 08 as there have been some significant changes (see above under Resources where to download the previous documentation set).

The lifecycle manager UI can be displayed inside SAP HANA studio or a browser and there is also a command line interface (HLM), not to be confused with the SAP HANA lifecycle management tools, documented in the LCM Tools Reference. Below a print screen with the different menu options.

You can apply complete support package stacks (SPS) or update single components to a certain revision. This can be automated in the sense that the tool will download and apply the update after some user interaction. You cannot fully automate a scheduled update with this tool.

 

You can use lifecycle manager to update the SAP HANA studio version on the central update site, typically this will be the HANA server. However, you cannot use the tool to update local installations. Updating local SAP HANA studio installations is self-service. Users can configure studio to check for a new version with the update site at startup or at an interval. However, they will need interact with a dialog to perform the update.

 

SAP Replication Server (SRS) and the SAP LT Replication Server (SLT) are examples of replication technology components. SRS is Sybase technology, SLT is Netweaver-based. You cannot use SAP HANA Lifecycle Manager to update these components.

 

 

How to perform automated updates of SAP HANA and SAP HANA components using SAP HANA lifecycle manager

 

To do: It certainly helps to be familiar with installing SAP HANA for this type of questions. I can recommend to get yourself a developer system and practice with the HLM and LCM tools. If this is not an option, you may want to review the playlist on SAP HANA installations - SPS 07 on the SAP HANA Academy:

 

==

 

4. Which combination of authorisations is required for this user?

 

a. USER ADMIN, SERVICE ADMIN, DATA ADMIN

b. USER ADMIN, CREATE STRUCTURED PRIVILEGE, RESOURCE ADMIN

c. USER ADMIN, SERVICE ADMIN, ROLE ADMIN

d. USER ADMIN, CREATE STRUCTURED PRIVILEGE, ROLE ADMIN

 

Source: SAP HANA system privileges are documented in the SAP HANA SQL and System Views Reference. It is not clear to me where "this" in "for this user", refers to. I hope that on the exam the question had some context as all combinations are valid. For a user administrator, the privileges service and resource admin are not relevant, this leaves only answer d. as correct.

 

To do: Security is a big topic for the exam. On the HA200 course, two units are dedicated to this topic, security (authentication, encryptions, auditing) and maintaining users and authorizations (user management, roles and privileges). To prepare for this topic, read the Security Guide and chapter 3 of the Administration Guide.

 

==

 

5. Which of the following are pre-delivered template roles? There are 2 correct answers to this question.

 

a. MONITORING

b. IMPORT

c. SAP_HANA_INTERNAL_SUPPORT

d. MODELING

 

Source: Documented in the Security Guide, Standard Roles. There is a role named SAP_INTERNAL_HANA_SUPPORT, not HANA_INTERNAL, but this role is not a template role.

 

To do: As mentioned, security is a big topic. Do you know the 7 restrictions for the SAP_INTERNAL_HANA_SUPPORT, for example? What purpose it serves? It is a good idea to be familiar with the different type of privileges, e.g. object, system, analytic, etc. How to display privileges granted to a user, and what tools you can use.

 

==

 

6. A user cannot query an information model because of missing authorizations. What is the fastest way to find out which authorization is missing?

 

a. Query the system view EFFECTIVE_PRIVILEGES.

b. Investigate the authorisation trace.

c. Use the Authorization Dependency Viewer.

d. Check the assigned roles in the user editor.

 

Source: The Authorization Dependency Viewer is documented in the Administration Guide. As mentioned there, you can use the authorization dependency viewer as a first step in troubleshooting the following authorization errors and invalid object errors for these object types: NOT AUTHORIZED, INVALIDATED VIEW and INVALIDATED PROCEDURE.

The other answers are not wrong and may be needed as a second or third step but are certainly not the fastest.

 

To do: Did I mention security is a big topic? See above at question 4 and 5.

 

==

 

7. Which of the following actions are required in the SAP HANA studio to use the Enhanced Change and Transport System (CTS+)?

 

a. Create a delivery unit that contains all of the runtime objects.

b. Create the HTTP connection named CTSDEPLOY.

c. Configure the connection to the CTS in the preferences.

d. Use an authorised user to attach SAP HANA to the transport request.

 

Source: Transporting changes, including HANA Application Lifecycle Management (HALM) and CTS+ are covered in the Operations unit of HA200. This is where you will learn about delivery units and packages and how to import and export content. HALM is documented in the SAP HANA Developer Guide but not CTS+. See Resources on CTS+ on SCN and in particular the How-To Guide How to Configure SAP HANA for CTS (SPS 07). Chapter 8 of that how to guide shows you all the Studio print screens.

 

How to configure the CTS Deploy Web Service is documented in Software Logistics for SAP Netweaver. This step is performed outside of the SAP HANA studio.

 

To do: You probably will get a few (but not many) questions about transporting changes. It is good to be familiar with the HANA Application Lifecycle Management topic documented in the Developer Guide. CTS+ in my view is more of a Netweaver ABAP topic. If you are not familiar with Netweaver or ABAP this will be a bit of a learning curve. When short on time, I would focus on the Big Four topics mentioned above. Mastering Data Provisioning in a short time will be challenging as these all touch different technologies.

 

==

 

8. Where in the SAP HANA Studio can you change the path of the backup folder? There are 2 correct answers to this question.

 

a. Backup Catalog

b. executor.ini

c. global.ini

d. backup editor

 

Source: Documented in the SAP HANA Administration Guide, chapter Backup and Recovery. The backup editor in HANA Studio provides a user-friendly interface to make backup-related configuration changes. These changes are recorded in configuration files with INI extension. For backup, this will be the global INI file for most settings.

 

The Backup Catalog stores location and time stamp plus some additional information about all the data and log backups made but does not contain any configuration.

 

With the executor.ini file you can enable the Executor Trace to collect internal details about SQL statement execution.

 

To do: Read the Administration Guide or watch the SAP HANA Academy playlist on Backup and Recovery. Expect a couple of questions on the topic. They are not too difficult if you are familiar with the topic and so can help to boost your score.

 

 

How to change the path of the backup folder.

 

 

The Backup Catalog tutorial video may covers an exam question or two.

 

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9. Which of the following can be performed in the SAP HANA lifecycle manager? There are two correct answers to this question.

 

a. Uninstall an SAP HANA system.

b. Rename an SAP HANA system.

c. Add an additional SAP HANA system.

d. Copy an SAP HANA system.

e. Change the SAP HANA license type.

 

Source: The SAP HANA lifecycle manager (HLM) tool is documented in the SAP HANA Update and Configuration Guide (SPS 07). See above, question 3, for more information about this guide and for a tutorial video about what you can do with this tool.

 

You can uninstall SAP HANA from the command line with the HANA Lifecycle Management (HCM) tool hdbuninst but not with the lifecycle manager. Significant changes were made to HCM and HLM with SPS 08 and I expect this to happen again with SPS 09.

 

How to copy a SAP HANA database is documented in the Administration Guide, chapter Availability and Scalability, section Backup and Recovery. A database copy is only possible using file-based backups or storage snapshots. There is no lifecycle management tool for this.

 

You can view and edit the SAP HANA License in HANA Studio by selecting a system in the Systems View and select Properties and then License. A license can be of type Permanent or Temporary.

 

To do: same advice as above with question 3.

 

 

Uninstall an SAP HANA system

 

 

Change the SAP HANA license type

 

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10. What is the maximum number of master name servers that you can define in a distributed landscape?

 

a. 1

b. 8

c. 2

d. 3

 

Source: This is documented in the the SAP HANA Administration Guide, chapter System Administration, section Monitoring SAP HANA systems:

 

When you install a distributed system, up to three hosts are automatically configured as master name servers. The configured namesever role of these hosts is MASTER 1, MASTER 2, and MASTER 3. Additional hosts in your system are configured as slave name servers. The configured nameserver role of these hosts is SLAVE.

 

A configuration table showing a typical configuration for a distributed system is documented in the LCM Tools Reference Guide, chapter SAP HANA System Types.

 

To Do: Although this is documented in the monitoring section, this probably would be considered an architecture question. In HA200 this is discussed in Unit 3 Installation, Performing a Distributed Installation. To get a good picture of the SAP HANA architecture, the SAP HANA Master Guide is a good start.

 

 

SAP HANA Master Guide on HANA architecture

 

 

More Questions?

 

Unfortunately, but very reasonably, those that have passed the exam are not allowed to share the questions with anyone else, so I can't share any particular question with you here. However, a close study of the mentioned resources should provide you with enough knowledge to successfully pass the exam.

 

 

Did you succeed?

 

Feel free to post a comment about how the exam went. If there is any information missing, please let me know.

 

Success!

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