Creating a Business Case for SAP HANA (2)

SAP HANA Scenarios

There are four kinds of SAP HANA scenarios:

  1. Custom built scenarios
  2. SAP HANA Accelerators
  3. SAP HANA Applications
  4. SAP HANA for existing SAP solutions


Custom built scenarios are any kind of scenarios that are implemented without using pre-defined models from SAP. SAP HANA is used as a pure database – therefore data can be loaded from SAP or non-SAP sources. The data model is based on the source table structure and customized, and complemented, by the using BI 4.0 or other front-end tools. Most custom scenarios are initially either data mart or operational reporting scenarios. Data mart scenarios can be implemented alongside data warehouse solutions.


Special data sets are separated in order to maximize the benefit from the SAP HANA value proposition. Operational reporting scenarios directly load data from source systems like ERP or non-SAP systems and enable the user to run reports outside of existing systems to benefit from the value of SAP HANA.


The introduction of the Extended Application Services (XS) in SAP HANA SPS5 opened up new options for custom build scenarios. This service enables developers to write applications that run natively on SAP HANA without the need for additional infrastructure components like application servers. The new application services in SAP HANA provide an environment in which developers can write applications in JavaScript with HTML 5.0 as front-end, connecting against the database layer with the in-memory power of SAP HANA. With the addition of extended application services, SAP HANA also becomes an interesting development environment for scenarios, which live completely outside the traditional SAP context.


SAP HANA Accelerators are pre-defined scenarios that are placed next to existing SAP solutions to speed them up. Therefore, the Accelerator replicates data into SAP HANA and enables any subsequent read operation to be routed to the SAP HANA environment instead of the original source database. All business logic and write operations still operate in the classic way. This procedure helps to speed up business processes where the read-operation is a bottleneck. As the SAP HANA Accelerator is placed as a sidecar this sped-up process can be delivered without a huge change to the original system and a long projects. Implementation time, effort and connected risks are minimal.


SAP HANA Applications are also SAP pre-defined scenarios, but much more complex than an Accelerator scenario. Some of the applications contain code changes in SAP core systems; some are fully new standalone solutions. Applications can own process logic or front-end elements that are not BI 4.0 based. SAP HANA applications deliver new business processes or enhance existing offerings. While most custom scenarios in the SAP context are mainly focused on reporting and analysis, the applications bring changes to core business processes. These applications are available in a traditional on premise way, or via a cloud offering.


SAP HANA for existing SAP solutions is one of the most interesting scenario types for SAP customers. These scenarios use SAP HANA as their main database for all core SAP solutions. SAP NetWeaver BW, and the entire SAP Business Suite with SAP ERP, CRM and SCM support SAP HANA as database, in addition to all of the traditional disk-based databases. Existing applications can technically be migrated to a SAP HANA-based environment without changes to business processes. Immediately following the technical database migration the application will benefit from the power of SAP HANA. Customers can then decide which processes they would like to change in order to optimize what they are doing based on SAP HANA’s capabilities, or re-consider business processes entirely with the help of SAP HANA.