SAP HANA as Nearline Database in ERP

As Professor Dr. Detlev Steinbinder impressively demonstrated live in the SAP Financial Accounting module during his keynote on the occasion of the last PBS Information Day at the end of May, it is also possible to use SAP HANA with PBS Software as the nearline storage database in traditional ERP systems. In this way, targeted, ultra-fast reporting of SAP and external data can be achieved without the need for a change of system. Analysis is performed directly in the ERP system using ad hoc queries or standard reports. The functionality can be used in all ERP solutions, including the industry-specific solutions such as IS Retail or IS Oil.

For many SAP customers, migration of their ERP system to the HANA platform in the short or medium-term is out of the question for various reasons. However, there is great interest in its use. As a result, options remain to run HANA either within the scope of an SAP BW on HANA implementation or as a sidecar solution. With the new PBS NAI solution based on SAP HANA, a third-party solution is now available with which the potential benefits of HANA can be made accessible directly in traditional ERP systems. In this way, all functions of the PBS Nearline Analytic Infrastructure can be executed directly in HANA. This includes, for example, the replication of any ERP data and its analysis using reports, ad hoc queries, or transactions in the ERP system. HANA enables extremely fast data processing that cannot be achieved using traditional databases.

In Professor Steinbinder’s live scenario, various ad hoc queries on FI document and master data that had previously been replicated in HANA using NAI means, had been executed directly in the ERP system. The flexibility of the queries as well as the fast response times enable completely new analysis possibilities. This allows reporting requirements – also with regard to audits – to be performed considerably faster and more flexibly. No aggregates or totals tables are required at all in order to achieve short response times. The HANA data compression furthermore ensures correspondingly efficient data storage. Thanks to the nearline approach, it is not necessary to permanently keep the ERP data in HANA. In this way the in-memory requirements are kept small and its use specifically focused on the analytics requirements.

Further features of the PBS Nearline Infrastructure include the processing of non-SAP data in addition, of course, to that of SAP archive data. The latter can now also be evaluated with the advantages of HANA technology via the combination of NAI with PBS archive add ons. In this way, for example, the PBS solution CPOS can also be used with HANA for the integration of commercial sale receipts in SAP.