The comparison of SAP HANA and SAP ERP is similar to the one of car and carpet. The only thing in common is that the former is already included into the latter one. Both solutions differ by the purposes of their implementation, their essence, structural elements, and advantages for the enterprises.
For instance, SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance or simply SAP HANA is an in-memory database management system which is a full-fledged unified suite provided by SAP SE. It is a highly-functioning merge of SAP system Landscape Transformation (SLT), SAP HANA Database (DB), SAP HANA Direct Extractor connection, Replication server, and Sybase replication technology. Moreover, SAP HANA is a rather flexible data platform which may be deployed either on-premises or it can be running in the cloud.
There are 4 structural components in SAP HANA business suite which may be observed in the image below.
Each of them serves to make the processes of data storage and retrieval speedy and convenient for the enterprises, however SAP HANA DB is the backbone of the whole business solution.
Considering constituents of SAP HANA DB, it consists of:
- Index Server. This is the main architectural element in SAP HANA which contains actual data storage and processing engine;
- Name Server. Contains the so-called topology of the platform and overview of SAP HANA system landscape, namely, the information regarding the name and location of all running components and exact placement of data on the server;
- Preprocessor Server. Its main aim is to process textual data, and whenever query appears, provide it to the end user;
- Statistics Server. The purpose of statistics server is to gather data regarding condition and performance of SAP HANA platform components for further analysis.
Numerous enterprises have already opted for SAP HANA integration due to its undeniable benefits. Firstly, SAP HANA in-memory database needs less time for loading data from the hard disk to the Random Access Memory (RAM). For instance, a conventional database reads memory data in 5 milliseconds, while SAP HANA in-memory database requires only 5 nanoseconds. Extremely fast real-time access to the data occurs because this in-memory database combines both Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) parallel processing. As a result, a correctly integrated SAP HANA database uses significantly less memory and provides faster data loading.
Take a look at the image below to see how SAP HANA in-memory computing looks like.
Secondly, SAP HANA enables real-time analysis of massive amounts of data simultaneously with all ongoing business processes as it’s a next-generation data platform. This advantage allows enterprises collect insights without interrupting the whole workflow.
Another benefit of SAP HANA is that all gathered business insights can be stored in a Persistent Data Repository and extracted from it if the system break down occurs. Needless to say, that this business suite also improves data management processes.
The enterprises won’t find more perfect timing to integrate SAP HANA data platform once they are ready to provide next-level performance. Accelerated real-time data processing, great tools for insights analytics, ability to deploy application and database to the cloud environment are those aspects that make SAP HANA so beneficial for the companies.
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When we are considering SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business suite, it’s crucial to point out that this system is the heart of SAP software and is one of the most advanced ERP among the existing ones on the market in global ranking. It is also one of the most essential SAP software components besides Business Intelligence (BI) and Supply Chain Management (SCM). SAP HANA, in turn, serves as a data storage for SAP ERP being an indispensable part of the whole SAP ERP ecosystem.
SAP ERP is a multi-dimensional solution for the enterprises which has cloud, on-premise, and hybrid implementations. This SAP solution is designed for the enterprises which belong to different industrial sectors and vary in size.
SAP ERP business suite offers a simplified and understandable way to support all integrated internal business processes and manage their functional areas, such as sales and distribution, finance, accounting, Human Resource, manufacturing, production planning, etc.
SAP ERP architecture consists of three layers which provide high scalability and performance of the whole system. The image below graphically shows SAP ERP architecture.
In such type of three-tier architecture, the presentation layer serves as an interface to the user, the application layer processes business logic, and the last layer functions as a storage for business data.
SAP ERP as a solution has a variety of functional modules which maintain transactions and assist in performing key business processes. The primary ones are graphically represented in the image below.
For instance, Finance and Controlling module (FICO) is a merge of Financial Accounting (FI) and Controlling module (CO). The first one serves as a solution to track and control the flow of financial data within the whole enterprise and then effectively integrate all gathered insights.
The second constituent of this module, namely FI, is aimed to ease the processes of coordination, management, and optimization of all activities in a company. Basically, it controls the workflow of the enterprise. Moreover, FI assists in planning business strategies.
The next module of SAP ERP system is Sales & Distribution Management (SD). It helps to manage sales and distribution activities of pre-sales, shipping, scheduling deliveries, billing, managing, and receiving of services and products.
Material Management (MM) is another functional module of SAP ERP system. It’s normally integrated by enterprises in order to effectively perform the processes of goods purchasing, receiving, inventory management, etc. It is also fully integrated with other SAP ERP modules like Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Sales and Delivery, Warehouse Management, Production and Planning.
Such SAP ERP module as Human Resource (HR) serves to assist in the effective and convenient management of employees-related data, such as their designation, salary details, working shifts, etc. This module is also divided into the following submodules:
SAP ERP business suite is rather multidimensional. It has a great variety of other highly-functioning modules besides the above mentioned ones, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Logistics Execution (LE) and many others. All of them simplify the management of numerous business processes of enterprises. SAP ERP solution constantly evolves already existing modules and expands their variety.
Overall, SAP ERP software is one of the most effective on the market which aims to enhance the performance of all business processes within the company. The integration of the solution is rather beneficial as it is suitable for businesses of any dimension and from any industry, namely from small to large size enterprises. Moreover, all SAP ERP modules possess convenient functionality and require shorter integration time than any other ERP.
The overview of SAP HANA and SAP ERP solutions shows that they are closely intertwined as SAP HANA is considered one of the functional modules of SAP ERP umbrella. Despite the fact that both solutions differ functionally, they have one aim in common: these business suites serve to achieve simplicity, flexibility and overall convenience in workflow management within the enterprises.
SAP ERP is the licensing model, while SAP ECC is the installable unit, and might or might not run on the SAP HANA database.