SAP unveils HANA in-memory database offerings for SMBs

A special Edge edition of HANA and HANA-powered analytics for SAP's Business One are on tap

SAP on Tuesday announced the first products based on its HANA in-memory database aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, including a new Edge edition of the software as well as HANA-powered analytics for the Business One ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite.

The products will be sold through partners to the market segment, among which SAP counts more than 96,000 customers, or 79 percent of its total base, said Eric Duffaut, president of global ecosystem and channels, during a conference call with press and analysts.

HANA places data to be processed in RAM instead of moving it on and off of traditional disk systems, providing a performance boost. It can handle both analytic and transactional workloads, and is sold in appliance form from a number of vendors.

The Edge edition of HANA is now available and is functionally identical to the enterprise version, said Bobby Vetter, senior vice president of ecosystems and channels readiness. It will also follow the same release schedule as the enterprise edition, he said.

However, the amount of RAM in HANA Edge appliances will be capped at a lower level. HANA Edge can also be sold as a bundle with SAP's BusinessObjects Edge BI (business intelligence) software.

Meanwhile, the Business One analytics offering is a "small-scale, easy-to-use SAP HANA-based application including best in class operational reporting with SAP Crystal Reports software," SAP said in a statement. That product is scheduled to enter "ramp-up," SAP's term for early-adopter programs, with a general release later this year.

Vetter and Duffaut declined to provide pricing details for the products, but stressed that the cost will be appropriate. "We know this market is price sensitive," Duffaut said. "You can trust us with one thing, we have the right price point."

HANA became generally available last June, and since then SAP has placed the technology in the dead-center of its public announcements and technical road maps.

Last month, SAP executive board member and technology chief Vishal Sikka revealed that SAP intends to have HANA support for running certain core modules of its flagship Business Suite by the end of this year, and over time, it's expected that HANA will underpin a next-generation software architecture for SAP's products.

SAP has called HANA the fastest-growing product in its history, with sales reaching more than €160 million (US$209 million) last year.

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

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