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SAP HANA SPS11 tackles analytics, IT and development

SAP HANA SPS11 also adds high-availability and security supports for critical systems. Meanwhile, Gartner names SAP as a Magic Quadrant leader in ERP for SMEs.

The latest release of SAP HANA is packed with goodies that should help application development, data analytics and IT management. SAP HANA SPS11, or Support Package Stack 11, was announced early in December, but has been available since November, according to the company.

SAP said that the release has helped many companies of all sizes to adopt SAP HANA to run their businesses.

"We think that HANA is being adopted because of its unique nature, that not only is it an in-memory database, but it combines this with analytics, application services and data integration in a single platform," said Marie Goodell, head of marketing, SAP HANA platform at SAP.

SPS11 offers enhancements that allow companies to run critical systems with more confidence, and includes data analytics features that can help derive insights from a variety of data sources, Goodell explained.

Security features include built-in SQL injection prevention, which can stop malicious SQL code from executing.

The IT management service includes features for high availability and disaster recovery, enhanced security and unified administration for both on-premises and cloud deployments:

  • A hot standby allows you to quickly switch from the primary system to a standby system in the event of a failure, with a continuous log replay from the primary system to help shorten database recovery time.
  • Security features include built-in SQL injection prevention, which can stop malicious SQL code from executing, and a new security dashboard that allows visibility into security key performance indicators.
  • For unified administration, the SAP HANA Cockpit is a Web-based tool that supports delta backup; database start, stop and restart; diagnostic files analysis; log analysis when the system is down; and troubleshooting during scheduled or unscheduled system maintenance.

For data analytics, SPS11 includes the following enhancements:

  • Text analytics that allow you to better identify the relationships between the elements of a sentence, and improved language support for text mining algorithms to gain insights from unstructured content.
  • Spatial partitioning across multiple nodes, which can accelerate spatial analysis, and Open Geospatial Consortium certification that allows third-party spatial applications to exchange data with SAP HANA and use the HANA in-memory spatial engine for storage and analysis.
  • A deeper partnership with geospatial data vendor Esri that provides full support for HANA as a geospatial database, enabling Esri ArcGIS or HANA customers to display maps in either system and take advantage of advanced georelational models, such as topologies.

Application services feature new programming language support, including JavaScript on Node.Js, Java on Apache TomEE and C++ runtime, and standard code management tools Git, GitHub and Maven. These additions allow users to create applications based on a microservices architecture, in which separate components use different programming languages.

Gartner names SAP as leader in ERP report

Gartner placed SAP in the Leaders quadrant in its report, Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies.

This is the fifth year in a row that SAP Business All-in-One has made the Leaders quadrant, which Gartner identifies as a "set of visionary solutions with strong execution." This Magic Quadrant analyzes and rates ERP applications on their ability to support the combined administrative and operational needs of product-centric companies, which are typically manufacturing or distribution companies. It does not apply to companies that are only looking for administrative ERP applications or ERP for nonproduct-centric companies.

Midmarket companies typically employ from 100 to 999 employees, with revenues between $200 million and $2 billion, according to Gartner. Usually, they have limited IT resources and look for ERP systems that have low total cost of ownership, but also have broad and deep functionality.

SAP Business All-In-One is an ERP platform designed specifically for small to midmarket companies. It is used by more than 26,500 companies worldwide, according to SAP.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant rates vendors on the completeness of their vision and the ability to execute based on proprietary Gartner methodology. Leaders are characterized as those vendors who score the highest in those categories. Of the other vendors in the report, IFS Applications, a Sweden-based ERP company, was the only other leader. Microsoft Dynamics AX and Epicor ERP were in the Visionaries quadrant -- higher on completeness of vision. Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Oracle E-Business Suite were in the Challengers quadrant -- higher on ability to execute.

However, the Gartner report noted that SAP's strategic focus on S/4HANA has recently overshadowed its visibility in the midmarket.

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