Business intelligence solutions that use SAP HANA natively are fundamentally different from SAP BW on SAP HANA. A native implementation of SAP HANA represents solutions that provision and access data within SAP HANA directly. After the data is provisioned within SAP HANA, the multidimensional modeling views can be created to express the data in a business-centric, multidimensional model. SAP BusinessObjects BI can then be used to access the data using its powerful reports, dashboards, and visualization tools.
SAP HANA native solutions require an organization to use the tools and processes within SAP HANA, such as its multidimensional models, columnar tables, and other supported SAP provisioning tools to facilitate analytics and reporting.
An organization’s resource will also need to become knowledgeable in the methods for provisioning, modeling, and managing data that will be stored directly in SAP HANA.
Although many organizations implement SAP Business Suite applications to run their businesses, not everyone does. Many of the legacy SAP BusinessObjects BI customers fall into this category. Many organizations support both SAP Business Suite applications and third-party applications within their organizations, while other organizations use systems that have no association with SAP. To that end, SAP BW isn’t always the most appropriate choice when you’re implementing SAP HANA. Fortunately, SAP HANA native solutions offer several viable alternatives that can accommodate multiple types of data sources. Later in this section, we’ll discuss different SAP HANA native provisioning solutions, but before we discuss these solutions, let’s compare and contrast a native implementation of SAP HANA to SAP BW on SAP HANA. This comparison will give you further insight into the distinctions.
Let’s compare and contrast a native implementation of SAP HANA
to SAP BW on SAP HANA
Solutions running with SAP HANA natively offer organizations the opportunity
to directly leverage SAP HANA without any additional software layer to impede
data access. Granted, independent software tools are used to provision and
interact with SAP HANA natively
However, this isn’t exactly the same methodology that SAP BW uses. With SAP BW on SAP HANA, query and reporting tools access the SAP BW software layer and then broker requests to SAP HANA.
With SAP HANA as a native solution, query and reporting tools interact directly with the SAP HANA engines instead of through SAP BW. Our firsthand experience has been that accessing data directly within SAP HANA currently offers a slightly faster experience than accessing data through the SAP BW layer.
As we have already observed, with each release, SAP has enhanced SAP BW to better leverage the SAP HANA platform natively. Starting with SAP BW 7.4 SP5, organizations can fully import SAP BW metadata and security into SAP HANA and represent it as a secure native SAP HANA information view. The process automatically creates a calculation view or analytic view that can be accessed natively by SAP BusinessObjects BI. With each new release, we can expect more and more traditional SAP BW features to be converted to native SAP HANA functions.
Now that we’ve compared SAP BW on SAP HANA to a native implementation of SAP HANA, it’s time to better understand the reasons that organizations would choose to implement SAP HANA native solutions. As it pertains to the core subject of this topic, we’ll be discussing a solution that uses SAP Data Services and SAP BusinessObjects BI to manage an SAP HANA native solution.