Upgrading to SAP Hana? This new tool can help prepare your code

Gekkobrain's 'Hanalyzer' aims to remove the pain associated with updating custom code

SAP has placed a big bet on Hana, so customers that haven't already switched to its in-memory computing platform can be sure they'll be encouraged to do so in the near future. If they're smart, they'll make sure they're ready.

A big part of preparing for a move to Hana is updating your custom code -- and that can be easier said than done.

"Most SAP users will have thousands of objects with custom code," said Joe Strand, director of Gekkobrain, a consultancy firm that focuses on that challenge. "Each single code line needs to be vetted and fixed for Hana to work best."

On average, SAP users have close to 30,000 objects that will need updating, Strand added; for some companies, the process can take as long as a year.

To help tackle the problem, Gekkobrain on Friday launched Hanalyzer, a cloud service designed to get custom code ready for the switch by helping businesses analyze, prioritize, estimate and manage the entire code-cleaning process.

Built as an add-on to SAP Code Inspector, the tool begins by eliminating redundant objects and issues by filtering for runtime or Usage and Procedure Logging (UPL) usage. It doesn't import any source code; the company says all code stays with the customer. On average, that elimination step filters out close to half of the issues, Gekkobrain says.

Hanalyzer also monitors incoming new code and adds it to the task list if it's not already Hana-ready. Project leaders can focus on the remaining issues and assign team members to each object. Task-management features such as burndown charts allow users to avoid having to micro-manage those issues in a spreadsheet or project-management software.

SAP’s latest iteration of its business suite, S/4Hana, is much more than an incremental update, and it gives an "incredible" performance boost while simplifying and reducing the size of the code base, according to Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics.

"But everything has a downside," he said. "One big problem is that any custom code that customers have built on top of SAP will need to be updated, or even rewritten, in order to work with Hana."

By minimizing the pain points, Hanalyzer is "a notable solution to a significant problem," said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

Hanalyzer is available now in a free version and a paid edition for unlimited users priced at $199 per month.

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