We’ve stated many times on this website and elsewhere that we recommend SAP HANA to power the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) solutions we install, maintain and upgrade. This is because we have no doubt SAP HANA is the most advanced application of its kind available today.

SAP HANA is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system. Its primary function is therefore storing and retrieving data, as requested by the applications to which it’s linked.

In addition, however, SAP HANA can perform advanced analytics and includes extract, transform and load – known as ETL – capabilities, as well as containing an application server.

SAP HANA provides an unrivalled combination of being able to operate at very high speeds and handle vast amounts of data. In addition, it can perform those functions while running queries in real time. Using the technology natively or via applications such as Opal Wave’s BPC Cloud or SAP BPC, powered by SAP HANA, allows users to interact intuitively with tools such as Microsoft Excel, which remains widely-used in business.

So, whether you use your BPC system for monitoring and planning budgets, sales and revenue, headcount, capital spending, expenses and salaries, cash flow or anything else, marrying it to SAP HANA is likely to optimise its performance.

You may already know at least some of that but are probably less aware that we also use extensively a tool called SAP HANA Studio.

This is an Eclipse-based integrated environment for developing and administering SAP HANA databases, which comes in the form of a graphical user interface tool. It runs on clients’ or developers’ machines and connects to SAP HANA servers, accessing their databases locally or remotely.

In addition to enabling users to manage these databases, HANA Studio permits operators to create or manage user authorisations and install or modify data models.

We’re fans of HANA Studio because, among other reasons, it allows us to overcome the most difficult challenge that consultants working with SAP HANA can face – diagnosing potential issues with data that are stored using technical, rather than logical, names.

When we’re troubleshooting, the tool enables us to view data in the same way as end-users, by creating logical views, which join metadata and transactional tables. This means we can replicate report queries easily and identify root causes of problems quickly.

Using the same views, we can also export transactional data in logical formats, which makes bulk data transport between different systems and platforms simpler.

If you’d like more information on SAP HANA, including SAP HANA Studio, please email me at dean.johnson@opalwave.comor call me on 02030 789389.