SAP updates its data warehousing solution as SAP BW/4HANA

SAP unveils its next-gen business warehousing solution, based natively on HANA’s memory-oriented architecture, and designed to make it easier to analyze all types of data in real time, including IoT data.

Ken Tsai SAP

Ken Tsai, VP of Product Marketing for Cloud Platform and Data Management at SAP

SAP has announced SAP BW/4HANA, a revamping of its SAP BW [Business Warehousing] enterprise data warehousing solution, using the same nomenclature as SAP S/4HANA. It is scheduled to be available on AWS and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on September 7.

“We have realized traditional data warehousing isn’t agile enough to meet modern business needs,” said Ken Tsai, VP of Product Marketing for Cloud Platform and Data Management at SAP. “So what we have done here is introduced a new product that deals with next gen data warehousing. SAP BW/4HANA is real-time data warehousing, and is based on HANA’s memory-oriented architecture.”

The new architecture will provide an open data warehousing environment for rapid application development, a modern user interface, modern data modeling techniques and a unified and more streamlined data warehouse object model.

“We will deliver a new toolset that will dramatically simplify how data warehousing will be built,” Tsai said. “We want it completely Open SQ- based, although users will have a choice of using SQL-based development environments or a pre-built tool approach.”

SAP BW/4HANA also has a new concept of data warehousing, which minimizes data movement and duplication by analyzing data wherever it resides. It will also integrate live streaming and time-series sensor data collected from Internet of Things (IoT) environments through smart data streaming, an event stream processing option in SAP HANA.

“The real-time enterprise wide analytics minimize the movement of data,” Tsai said. “This is a very new approach to data lifecycle management, which will make much more efficient use of data, and extend the amount of data that is analyzed in real time.”

SAP BW/4HANA will be available two ways out of the gate – through the HANA Enterprise Cloud and through AWS. Tsai said that it will move to other clouds, including Azure, at some point, with the only question being the timing.

“For third party platforms, the intent is to start with AWS, but down the road we will look at others,” he said. “It’s just a point in time question. We made a big deal at our SAPPHIRE event of our relationship with Microsoft, and we aren’t retreating from that.”

Tsai said that the market for this starts with the large contingent of SAP customers who already use SAP BW, but he thinks that the simplicity of the solution will encourage many new customers.

“We have spent a lot of effort to make it easier,” he said. “For customers who already have SAP BW, there is a simple migration path, particularly for BW on HANA.”