SAP at work on Sentinel, an 'Amazon for Stocks'

Dubbed Sentinel, the HANA-powered product is aimed at helping investors make better trades, according to a job posting

SAP is at work on a new product called Sentinel that is supposed to be "nothing less than the Amazon for Stocks and the Facebook for Investors," according to a job posting associated with the project.

"We take our metaphors seriously," adds the job listing, which was first flagged Thursday in a blog post by SAP consultant Richard Hirsch.

That said, the Amazon comparison seems more apt than the Facebook one, based on other passages in the ad.

"Sentinel blends Algorithmic Trading with deep News Analytics into a disruptive synergy, powered by SAP's revolutionary in-memory HANA platform and deep text analytics capabilities," it states. "Our sole purpose is simply this: to help millions of investors identify profitable trading opportunities with minimal cognitive overload. The end-goal is to build a system that is simple but not trivial; deeply quantitative but not confounding; advanced but not abstruse."

It's hardly surprising that HANA figures into Sentinel. SAP has put HANA at the center of all its software development efforts. It's also built out the platform from its beginnings as an in-memory database for analytic workloads to one that can also support transactional applications such as SAP's Business Suite.

In addition, SAP has combined application development tooling, application server functionality and other capabilities with HANA in order to create a full-blown PaaS (platform as a service).

Meanwhile, Sentinel reflects SAP's parallel strategy of developing specialized applications built on top of the in-memory HANA stack.

It wasn't immediately clear Thursday how far along Sentinel is in development.

A search of SAP's careers website on Thursday turned up four job postings looking for senior developers to join the project.

SAP is in search of candidates with skills in server-side development, front-end design, "big data algorithm" development, natural language processing and machine learning, according to the posts.

An SAP spokeswoman couldn't immediately comment Thursday on a potential release date for Sentinel, or provide further information. "SAP is always innovating and recruiting for the best talent for exciting new projects and Project Sentinel is no different," she said via email. "We cannot share any specifics at this time."

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

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