SAP plans to add 'mission-critical' features to HANA in-memory database

SAP is getting HANA ready for large-scale ERP deployments

SAP has developed an update for its HANA in-memory database that will enable it to "power mission-critical transactional and analytical applications in one platform," the vendor announced Wednesday during the Tech Ed and Sapphire conferences in Madrid.

HANA became generally available last year and since then, SAP has positioned the database at the center of its overall product strategy.

Service pack stack 5 for HANA includes capabilities SAP has been developing to allow its flagship ERP (enterprise resource planning) transactional applications to run on the database. Right now, many SAP ERP customers use Oracle and other databases. Announcements concerning ERP and HANA are expected early next year.

New features in SPS5 include a "read-optimized column store" for OLAP (online analytic processing) as well as a "write-optimized row store" for OLTP (online transaction processing) applications, SAP said.

The update also includes improved text analytics, allowing companies to analyze text-based data from social media and other sources in 31 languages, new library functions for predictive analytics, and application server features for deploying applications from HANA.

In addition, SPS5 focuses on larger-scale HANA deployments, with features such as "hot and warm standby servers," as well as tie-ins to third-party backup tools for disaster tolerance and failover capabilities.

It wasn't immediately clear when SPS5 will be available.

While initial HANA sales have reportedly been strong, and SAP has introduced lower-cost versions of the database as well as ported it to Amazon Web Services, high pricing has remained a concern.

To this end, SAP is planning to enable the deployment of multiple HANA instances within a single appliance, allowing for testing and development. While this would help customers save on hardware costs, it wasn't immediately clear whether all instances on a box would require a paid HANA license.

Along with the service pack, SAP intends to link its Sybase Event Stream Processor software to HANA, and will position Sybase PowerDesigner as a common modeling environment for all data stores, according to a statement. No availability dates were provided.

SAP executive board member and technology chief Vishal Sikka is expected to discuss the HANA updates during a keynote address on Thursday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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