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This certification track is geared towards the verification of technical knowledge on SAP HANA with a focus on SAP HANA implementation skills. On top of this certification ,C_HANATEC_1 you can now also get E_HANAINS131. Please find the chapter on E_HANAINST131 further down in this blog post.

< updated 19/11/2013 - added information on a new SAP Certification E_HANAINS131 >

There is another certificate out C_HANASUP_1 which is geared towards providing support for SAP HANA.

The difference between C_HANATEC_1 and C_HANASUP_1

The difference between C_HANATEC_1 and C_HANASUP_1 is that C_HANATEC_1 handles the topics architecture (design & implementation) and data provisioning where C_HANASUP_1 has a stronger focus on operational work, providing support.

Passing the certification

How do you prepare yourself for the actual certification? I invite you to read on and I hope that your questions get answered by this blog post. If you still have questions, feel free to comment on the blog post but note that I will certainly not provide exam questions / answers so please dont ask here and please dont mail me to ask because Im not handing them out. The aim of the blog post is to create awareness around the certification and provide additional information which can increase the chances to pass the certification and hopefully also help you to better understand the positioning of the certification.

Educational content

A first challenge rises when the topic educational content comes to mind.

E-learning

Certain SAP HANA core courses are available as e-learning. One example of e-learning is HA100E, the online equivalent to HA100 (introduction to SAP HANA).

You can follow a part of RHANA as a sample of e-learning through one of the respective SAP demo centers web pages: https://training.sap.com/be/en/demo-center

e-learning.jpg

picture 1.0 e-learning offering for SAP HANA

SAP Learning Hub

The SAP Learning Hub is a recently renewed offer of SAP Education and provides access to all SAP courses, all SAP e-learning content and all SAP Ramp-up Knowledge Transfer content. SAP Learning Hub is cloud based and works with a typical cloud price model. You pay per user (or group of users), per year to have access to the SAP Learning Hub. The price drops according to the number of users you pay for.

Relevant SAP courses for C_HANATEC_1

Which courses can you have to follow to help you pass the C_HANATEC_1 certification? If you follow HA100 and HA200 you have seen everything you need for the certification but keep in mind that hands-on experience is expected. In this context I would advise students to also take a look at the online content (help.sap.com - HANA PDF's for example) and go through related content before taking the exam.

HA100

<update>Course content now based on SAP HANA SPS06</update>

The newer courses on SAP HANA start with HA. The introduction course is HA100 and its a prerequisite for HA200 (installation administration for SAP HANA SPS05). I followed TZH200 which is the older course (installation administration for SAP HANA SPS03).

HA100 is the introduction course to SAP HANA and features theoretical know-how on SAP HANA.

HA100 provides an overview of SAP HANA, discusses the architecture and takes a look at the data provisioning for SAP HANA as well as the interfaces to the available front-ends.

HA200

<update>Course content now based on SAP HANA SPS06</update>

HA200 now takes five days where HA200 SPS05 took only three days. HA200 provides a good introduction for technical roles to get started with SAP HANA. You cannot expect to walk out of the classroom as an expert as reaching any level of expertise requires a significant amount of time. You should leave the classroom with a very extensive view on what SAP HANA is about from a technical point of view and from an implementation point of view.

As a student, it is to some extent up to you to take advantage of the training at hand to ask a sufficient amount of questions so that you understand what you are being taught.

I also invite you to read the blog post of SAP Education on new delivery methods of these courses that have become available just recently:

http://scn.sap.com/community/training-and-education/blog/2013/03/19/sap-education-is-primed-to-support-sap-hana-adoption

SAP Certification

C_HANATEC_1

The C_HANATEC_1 certification has been reworked recently to be more work related and it shows in the certification questions. I strongly recommend that you get hands-on experience with SAP HANA before attempting to pass the certification. Why? Because you should know where you can find what and which details are located where in the SAP HANA studio for example and those types of questions become much easier after having sufficient hands-on training. As such, in my opinion, its not a good idea to do the certification right after following SAP course HA200. Instead, take some time to play around in SAP HANA and study the relevant course content.

Too easy?

There have been claims from the SAP community that the SAP HANA certification would be too easy but thats not the case in my opinion. On the contrary, it seems many are failing the exam so those who claim its too easy either have studied to a sufficient extent and dont want to state it (not cool, right?) or they have been reading up on SAP HANA a lot or perhaps they have been using SAP HANA for a sufficient amount of time. For an associate level certification, the exam is definitely not too easy.

Topic areas

percentages.jpg

picture 1.1 percentages for certification C_HANATEC_1

source: https://training3.sap.com/be/en/certification/c_hanatec_1-sap-certified-technology-associate-sap-hana-10-g/%23topicshttps://training.sap.com/v2/certification/c_hanatec_1-sap-certified-technology-associate---sap-hana-10-g/certification-details/

Tips

When reading the following information take into account that it represents my own experience with the SAP HANA certification. In general you should study everything but I hope the additional information can give you a heads-up / warning not to underestimate certain parts and have a better idea what is important for the exam.

The areas to look out for are the Data Provisioning and Security and Authorization topic areas.


Data provisioning

Its important to have good understanding how the different data provisioning scenarios work from a technological point of view (architecture, connections etc) and which replication scenario is used in which situations (what suits best according to the information at hand). For example: if a customer wants to do X or Y, which is the best solutions are the type of questions to which you should know the answer.

Security and Authorization

Dont underestimate the questions on security because they are pretty profound and deep compared to the relevant content of the SAP course (HA200). In the course HA200 little time is spent on the security. You will probably need to use additional content outside of HA200 to get the hang of the security authorizations bit.

I would recommend you to check out the guide(s) on security for SAP HANA on http://help.sap.com/hana_appliance#section3 and to really practice on providing users with specific authorizations because you need a good understanding of which authorization (privileges, roles) gives access to which content or which action(s) and so on.

Details

Dont forget to pay attention to details. Some questions really dig into details such as differences in file names or commands.


Setting up your own SAP HANA training environment

You can get a free 30 day trail of SAP HANA or you can set up your own SAP HANA box on Amazon AWS (free developer license). This is a great initiative by SAP, for the SAP HANA on Amazon it means you only have to pay for the Amazon usage which is very affordable if you maintain it properly. Last months Amazon AWS bill was 18 dollars (this month its about 60 dollar) but then again, I didnt have much time to practice last month. There is a calculator available which can give you an idea of what the cost is if you spent a certain numbers of hours (per day or per month) on the SAP HANA box.

See http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-28294 for more information.

<other options are available in the meantime so you can also deploy to other clouds than Amazon AWS>

Sample questions

It's always a good idea to check out the sample questions for a certification. They can give you an indication to what extent you are prepared but don't rely on them too much either because if you redo them multiple times  you are bound to know the answer: https://training.sap.com/uploads/C_HANATEC_1_sample_items.pdf

Commonly asked questions and misunderstandings

Some of the questions might make you wonder to what extent some think about the questions they are asking, but rest assured these questions are being asked. Below I will try to provide honest answers from what I have seen / heard / experienced.

Can you pass the SAP HANA certification without following a single SAP course?

Yes, it is possible. There is proof on SCN since some community members passed the certification without following a single SAP course.

In my opinion, this is related to the fact that there is a lot of SAP HANA content available on http://help.sap.com , http://www.experiencesaphana.com , http://scn.sap.com and other sources.

That, combined with the fact that you can easily set up your own SAP HANA box on Amazon AWS means that you can self-educate yourself on the topic of SAP HANA to a certain extent.

If it makes sense or not to do this, is something you have to figure out for yourself. Some people prefer to self educate themselves; others prefer to go to the local SAP Education center to listen to a teacher, ask questions and practice hands-on while they are there.

It can also be a matter of making the time available to really do it. Following an SAP course at SAP can be a way to force yourself to spent time on the topic. It can also be an opportunity to meet other participants and collaborate, socialize and connect.

The SAP courses feature an environment that is larger than what the Amazon developer license offers as BusinessObjects and SAP ERP are part of the system landscape environment that is used during the training at SAP.

In the end there is no right or wrong here, my recommendation is go for the education form that you feel matches your needs best.

E_HANAINST131                19/11/2013 - new!

There is a new certification available for persons who have already got certification C_HANATEC_1 so it's a modular certification on top of C_HANATEC_1 which is named "E_HANAINS131 SAP Certified Technology Specialist (Edition 2013) - SAP HANA installation" and is meant to provide the chance to certify specifically for the installation of SAP HANA after which you are eligible (recognized through certification) and allowed to perform initial SAP HANA installations which were only to be performed by SAP or the hardware vendor of the SAP HANA appliance in the past.

Reference:
https://training.sap.com/v2/certification/e_hanains131-sap-certified-technology-specialist-edition-2013---sap-hana-installation-g/certification-details/

What can you expect from someone who holds an associate level certification?

Recently, a number of certifications have been overhauled; those certifications now focus more on questions that are geared towards on actual use of the SAP product in question, hands-on, in a work environment.

This brings added value to the certificate compared to what was in place previously but it also means it can be more challenging to pass the certification without having the actual work experience or hands-on experience which is targeted in the questions.

As such, it might not always be a good idea to do the certification right after following the SAP course.

Associate level

The associate level certification can show that you are knowledgeable on a topic and the renewed exams can even proof you have some hands-on experience. What it doesnt prove is that you would perform well in an implementation project but it is a good start point to get involved in an implementation project.

What can you expect?

  • Willingness to learn
  • Willingness to verify knowledge
  • Knowledgeable on the topic
    • At minimum theoretically (conceptual etc)
    • Overhauled exams proof some hands-on experience (can still be little)


Professional level

The professional level certification show that you are not only knowledgeable but that you have a deeper understanding of the topic and that you have been working in the topic area to some extent. There will not be a  SAP HANA technology professional certification in the near future but there is a new certification on top of C_HANATEC_1 now so you can specialize.

What can you expect?

  • Willingness to learn
  • Willingness to verify knowledge
  • Knowledgeable on the topic
    • Beyond theoretical (understanding of related business processes to a certain extent)
    • Project experience


Ive done the professional level certification for SAP Solution Manager Technology Professional. The professional level certification is definitely more difficult and the exam I did was an overhauled exam which has questions that require you to have used the product hands-on. Without having project experience, you are most likely to fail on any renewed professional certification.

Will SAP HANA certification deliver you a job on a SAP HANA project or implementation?

Not by default. Many persons are already certified in SAP HANA and competition is fierce on the SAP consultant market.

Other factors can be that the customer has certain preferences when it comes to experience of a candidate. Some customers might prefer actual implementation experience or they might prefer someone who has previous experience in other areas of SAP for example.

Warning: Be careful investing your own money into education & certification. Do it wisely. There is no such thing as job guarantee.

Will this certification ensure your success?

No, a certification is not a guarantee for success. There are many pointers that make a person or project successful.

Will you be rich if you educate yourself in SAP HANA?

Not by default. Dont buy into marketing lines which state you will earn X or Y. I always say do what you love and love what you do. Dont start because its a hype, figure out what its about and check if you are into it.

Do you think certifications hold added value?

Yes, I do believe certifications hold added value. Its not just the certification that matters. The journey that gets you to that point is also important and it shows you have willingness to learn which is important. Its also a check for yourself to see to what extent you have absorbed the knowledge on the topic.

How much time do you need to prepare for the certification?

Ive seen this question pass by often and there is no good answer to the question. I can only recommend for this specific certification that you take some time to practice hands-on and that you dont rush into the certification the evening of the end of SAP course HA200.

It's probably wise to spend a (some) week(s) on it but it's hard to tell right because it depends on how much time you have. There is also no good median value, person X might not need much time and person Y might need a lot of time so take your time and go for the certification when you feel you have sufficient knowledge on the topic.

As a reference: I took the exam about two weeks after following the SAP course but I didn't have sufficient time to really learn it very well (I felt underprepared going into the exam). I also did not have much experience with SAP HANA up front.

What is the cut score?

The cut score is currently 60% according to the certification webshop.

Closing comment

Im very happy with the recent collaboration of SAP Education &Certification department with the SAP community at large and the SAP Mentors. I recently published a blog post which covers my involvement in these area's and steps I've taken as a SAP Mentor and a community member to add value to the opportunity that I came across. Feel free to take a look and provide feedback through the blog post or by dropping me a mail;

Reference: http://scn.sap.com/community/training-and-education/certification/blog/2013/10/01/influencing-sap-certification-education-a-sap-mentor-success-story

 





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