Yesterday SAP unveiled a new support pack that will allow users to run SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse on its HANA high-speed analytics appliance.
Speaking at the SAP Sapphire conference in Madrid on Wednesday, SAP officials said the integration between Business Warehouse and the HANA in-memory database will lead to faster performance and a simplified data warehousing and business intelligence architecture.
SAP HANA is a data warehouse appliance for processing high volumes of operational and transactional data in near real time. HANA uses in-memory analytics, an approach that queries data stored in random access memory (RAM) instead of on hard disk or flash storage, to reduce latency.
“This is [SAP] following through on a promise that they were going to release [HANA] under BW,” said Donald Feinberg, a data management analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner, Inc. “Up until now, it’s only been available as a standalone data mart for [custom] applications or ones like SAP Strategic Workforce Planning.”
With the new support pack, which is currently in ramp-up, customers can use HANA as their database instead of those made by Oracle or IBM, for example.
“It’s the first time they’ve offered a DBMS platform and hardware for SAP NetWeaver BW," Feinberg said. "I think that’s pretty significant. They’ve been talking about it for a year and a half.”
Other enhancements in SAP HANA feature pack 3
The new support pack includes larger libraries for predictive analysis and business functions such as sales forecasting, according to SAP.
Additionally, the feature pack includes an information composer tool that gives users the ability to upload data into SAP HANA using well-known tools such as Excel, or by cutting and pasting from a clipboard. The feature also allows users to create new analyses that blend private data with centrally published data, SAP stated.
A new HANA application
SAP also announced its new SAP Customer Segmentation Accelerator software, which allows customers to build specific data segments that analyze customer demand, behavior and preferences as part of their marketing efforts. The application will run on the HANA data warehouse appliance and will be available as part of SAP's Rapid Deployment Solutions packages.
HANA and non-profits in the cloud
SAP also announced ChariTra (Charitable Transformation), a new on-demand network created to help non-profit organizations connect with volunteers, other non-profit organizations and businesses for specific projects or causes.
The application is the first transactional program to run on HANA and allows organizations to post their needs online and share reams of data with other organizations. It also lets volunteers identify causes they want to support while connecting with like-minded individuals. The technology was recently used in India during the Joy of Giving Week, a nationwide event in which millions of people volunteered their time and money, according to SAP.
SAP NetWeaver Gateway
SAP announced the general availability of NetWeaver Gateway, an open standards-based framework that developers can use to more easily connect non-SAP applications to SAP applications. It also makes it easier to access SAP applications from mobile devices.
“Gateway’s kind of big deal for SAP, because it can help open up that back end to quick apps that can hit the ground running and solve simple problems, like extending workflow approvals, things that can be rolled out quickly,” independent SAP analyst Jon Reed said.
SAP also announced new tools to help customers integrate their software applications, whether they’re on-premises or on-demand. According to SAP, NetWeaver Process Orchestration will help customers manage the entire business process life cycle from modeling all the way to implementation, thereby reducing costs and improving coordination between systems.
SAP also announced that it is moving project “River,” part of its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, to private beta. River is an open standards development platform that customers and partners can use to extend core applications, as well as develop and deploy new applications.
New SAP mobile applications
SAP yesterday announced several new and updated mobile applications, all of which have been built on the Sybase Unwired Platform. Customers can purchase and download the applications from SAP’s new mobile enterprise applications store.
One of the new applications includes the SAP Electronic Medical Record application, which allows physicians and other health care providers to access and update patient records on mobile devices and share that information with others who have a role in that patient’s care.
Other new mobile applications include:
- Transport Notification and Status: Displays freight order details and reports the status of deliveries using predefined events.
- Transport Tendering: Enables carriers, such as trucking companies, to receive requests for quotation (RFQ) for a potential freight delivery.
- GRC Access Approver: Facilitates review, time-sensitive approvals and operation-critical access requests for managers.
- GRC Policy Survey: Allows sales managers to keep track of the latest policy changes within their organization and complete policy-related surveys.
Updated existing applications include:
- Field Service 2.0: New features in the latest version include install base management, spare parts management, survey and signature capture.
- CRM Sales 2.0: New features in the 2.0 version will enhance the lead-to-order process, according to SAP. Other features include enhanced account, contacts, lead, opportunity, activity and quotes and order management.
- Retail Execution 2.0: New features in the 2.0 version will include product level audits, order taking, returns management and a calendar to schedule visits.