Meet the newest member of SAP's Hana family: a data warehouse

The classic way of building a data warehouse is no longer viable, one executive said

SAP has already placed big bets on Hana, and now it's adding more with a new data warehouse tailored specifically for the in-memory computing platform.

Launched on Wednesday, SAP BW/4Hana promises to minimize data movement and duplication by enabling data to be analyzed wherever it resides, whether within or outside the enterprise. It can also integrate live streaming and time-series sensor data collected from internet of things (IoT) environments. 

Back in 2014, SAP added Hana support to its longstanding Business Warehouse data warehousing software, but BW/4Hana goes a big step further. Like S4/Hana, the enterprise suite SAP released last year, the new data warehouse is optimized for Hana, and will not run on any other platform.

"We believe we have to adhere to the principles of real-time, in-memory computing," said Ken Tsai, a vice president and head of cloud platform and data management product marketing at SAP. "The classic way of building a data warehouse is no longer viable."

Among the highlights of the new software are an open data warehousing development environment for rapid development, a modern user interface, advanced multi-temperature data handling, and numerous cloud-ready options.

SAP BW/4Hana's simplified development environment allows users to model and build out their data warehouse faster than they can with other alternatives, Tsai said.

Data is automatically distributed to hot, warm or cold storage areas, meanwhile, for optimal data management and reduced storage costs, he said.

SAP BW/4Hana integrates with Hadoop data lakes as well as SAP's own Vora tool for analytics. It also provides the ability to consume data warehouse objects in the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud for visualization, storytelling and data exploration.

Migration tools are built directly into the product, which can be used on-premises or in the cloud. It's available with out-of-the-box deployment for Amazon AWS and SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, with additional options to follow. Licensing possibilities will include a single-use option that's limited to run-time use for BW/4Hana, so customers don't have to pay for the whole Hana platform, Tsai said.

The software will be available Sept. 7.

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