What's the difference between SAP BWA and HANA?
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
SAP Business Warehouse Accelerator (SAP BWA) is one of the ancestors of HANA, so there are definite similarities between the two SAP technologies. Both are in-memory, columnar, parallel database architectures. This means that both systems can distribute large queries evenly among hundreds of processors across several servers. However, BWA is very narrowly focused on its use case as an analytics accelerator and lacks many of the capabilities that allow HANA to act as a full database and application platform. For example, BWA requires that whenever data changes, its columnar indexes are fully rebuilt.
For more on SAP, HANA
What's SAP's approach to big data?
Know the difference between the HANA Enterprise Cloud and the HANA Cloud Platform?
What does it cost to run an SAP project in the AWS cloud?
HANA allows for much more fine-grained updates, allowing indices to be rebuilt much less often, making HANA workable as a transactional and an analytic database. HANA also provides standard interfaces (like SQL and MDX), a modeling environment, analytic and statistical function libraries and a full-fledged application platform on top of its database capabilities in the form of XS Engine and River -- all things that BWA never really aspired to.
So is there any place for BWA anymore? Not really. If a company already has BWA and doesn't want to go through the potential expense and disruption of migrating to BW on HANA, then it might make sense to stick with BWA for the moment. But the future looks to be BW on HANA. On the bright side, BW on HANA may not be as expensive a proposition as it seems at first, because BW and HANA both provide ample options for keeping data in cheaper, disk-based storage systems like SAP's Sybase IQ or Apache Hive while still getting good (but not as good, in most cases) performance.
Dig Deeper on SAP business warehouse
Related Q&A from Ethan Jewett
You can offload most -- but not all -- management, handle it in-house or try something in between. Here's a rundown of the HANA deployment choices, ...continue reading
Assembla, Bitbucket, GitHub, Mercurial and Subversion are some of the open-source version-control and collaboration platforms available for managing ...continue reading
Concept, design and practical implementation all come together in the Fiori user experience.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.