With SAP HANA, the Walldorf-based company has achieved something that is becoming increasingly difficult in the ERP market: genuine technological innovation. For some, however, it came as a surprise that HANA can also be used immediately for SAP Business One, since we are dealing with a technology that is capable of analysing millions of data in a matter of seconds. There are already application examples where HANA has proven its capabilities in large-scale projects. But where is the added value for the medium-sized company that relies on a lean ERP solution with SAP Business One?
SAP Business One installations can also generate a lot of data.
Well, first of all it has to be said that the "lean solution" is of course relative. Even with a SAP Business One ?installation may accumulate many thousands of data per day. The prospect of being able to analyse this data in real time can be a real, profitable added value for many a medium-sized company.
SAP's answer is not only to provide a new technology, but also an operating concept that makes this technology easy and quick to use for SAP Business One. The SAP Business One Analytics Platform is a data analysis toolkit that uses SAP HANA as a background, but delivers pre-configured content.
Distributed roles in the analysis of SAP Business One data
A building block is first and foremost a so-called semantic layer, which allows the user to act via the usual business objects without knowing the database structure. Until now, this semantic layer provided the input for the queries for the MS-SQL Databasewhose results are then transmitted via SAP b1i are forwarded to the analysis tools, which in turn are based on the evaluated CRYSTAL REPORT and DASHBOARD tools.
What changes with the use of HANA is that the data of the MS SQL database is passed directly to HANA, and the semantic layer transmits the queries directly. In addition to various server components, the HANA toolset also includes a so-called HANA - Studiowith which users can design their individual evaluation models.
Evaluations in real time - from really a lot of data
For the "normal" user, nothing changes in the operation of SAP Business One at first. The analyses that are created on the basis of HANA are displayed in the SAP Business One Cockpit, right next to data that comes directly from the SAP Business One Engine.
The user is then shown the advantages of HANA when he changes the parameters of the analyses. No matter whether he is working with one thousand or hundreds of thousands of data records. Changes are displayed immediately. A nice side effect is that the performance of SAP Business One is not affected.
SAP Business One - Enterprise Search - Immediate added value through SAP HANA
What has been significantly expanded with the HANA technology is the so-called ENTERPRISE SEARCH. Here, all related records can be found in a flash for a data record. A new interface makes use of the performance of HANA by clearly displaying a lot of data without having to search for it specifically. With filters that are also new in their type of application, you can quickly reach the target of the data record you are looking for.
Excel as frontend and other openness
Many users will like to hear that Microsoft Excel can be fully used as a frontend for evaluation. Excel accesses HANA directly and the process is correspondingly fast. Here, all Excel options can be used to "go at it" with the data, which is available in real time through HANA.
SAP Business One - HANA - Roadmap
However, SAP still has a lot planned, if one looks at the roadmap for SAP Business One & HANA. The first projects and customers have been running with this new combination since June 2011. In Q2 2012, the toolset should be available to everyone.
The following steps are not yet one hundred per cent certain. However, they would also be far-reaching. A model is to be used that SAP calls "ONE-BOX": The entire environment, including the SAP Business One Core application, is to run under HANA. That means no more MS SQL servers (!). Initially, so the thinking goes, this is to be offered in a hosting ? model and later as a on-premises Model. There are real explosives in this! A hosted SAP Business One running under HANA would probably be ahead in terms of performance. Not only ahead of competitors, but possibly also ahead of other solutions from SAP?