SAPPHIRE and ASUG 2012 Orlando – Days 2 and 3

Finally it is my first week at home since mid May, and so it’s time to catch up on more news from the last days of the conferences. Hopefully you find below information interesting and relevant besides delay with making it published.

The thing that blew me out of my socks during the whole conference was a meeting with a group of start-ups, which are building their products using SAP HANA technology. This was the best show of taking the technology seriously. These guys are not big SIs or customers, who can make a wrong decision, fail, do finger-pointing, and then move on. For start-ups each decision is to live or die, and their founders are betting on the SAP HANA with their very own pocket-money. If you are interested to know more about innovative ideas coming from start-ups, or if you have your own idea and would like to know how to start working with SAP, have a look at “SAP Startup Focus Program“. It is real. I was contacted already by an Ukrainian entrepreneur with his own idea of a product using in-memory technology, and I was happy to refer him to this program.

The last day of the SAPPHIRE NOW was the “HANA day”. The whole keynote was focused on HANA, but it seemed to be built around the war with Oracle. The presentation of 100TB (of RAM) HANA system, which SAP assembled in their US data center, and the demonstration of fail-over capabilities were the answer to FUDs, which Oracle tried to disseminate earlier around SAP’s achievements in in-memory databases’ space.

No doubt the most exciting announcement for techies was the availability of free SAP HANA developers licenses!! It was a great achievement of collaboration between SAP and community influencers. You can go to SAP HANA Developers Center and get your HANA database development instance running in the public cloud few minutes later. Just to be clear: “free” is applied to SAP’s license, but not to the hosting cost. Make sure you read the post “Get your own SAP HANA DB server on Amazon Web Services” by Juergen Schmerder of SAP. Juergen is one of the heroes behind making SAP HANA available for the developers community.

SAP HANA Developers Center delivers a lot of materials to study already, but one more source is worth mention. At the same time the book “SAP HANA Essentials” by Jeff Word became available.

If you are interested to get this e-book for free, go to its registration web page and use a Voucher-Code 17C55987 to download.

As of today the book contains overview chapters, and will be updated with new and changing content over the next few months. [Disclaimer: I am one of reviewers working with Jeff on the content of this book]

Another interesting content, which was made available publicly during SAPPHIRE NOW, was “BW on SAP HANA Cookbook“. It discusses the aspects of planning, deployment, operations and modelling. Nevertheless, I always remember that one and only official documentation for SAP software is always help.sap.com, as SAP does not take responsibility for anything else published outside of the official help 😉

Quite interesting were as well two performance whitepapers:

  1. Analyzing SAP HANA’s Performance Test — SAP Changes the Total Value of Data Warehousing and Business Analytics” by Enterprise Applications Consulting.
  2. SAP and HP Breaking Analytic Performance Barriers with SAP HANA and HP AppSystems” by Enterprise Management Associates.

During the conference I had a chance to talk to Sharada Bose, who is a manager in HP’s performance group and who supervised the team running new SAP BW Enhanced Mixed Load Benchmark (BW-EML Benchmark). She said it had been an excellent collaboration between HP and SAP to deliver the results of this benchmark, and that the joint work was greatly appreciated by both companies. What was interesting about this new benchmark, Sharada added, is that the query part is completely ad-hoc and random. Most of the industry benchmarks, including the most known TPC-H, are based on a predefined set of queries. [Additional disclaimer: I am a day-time HP employee at the time of posting this blog, but observations and thoughts posted here are my own.]

I think information so far is wide and deep enough to take some time to read, digest and analyse. So, let me leave another interesting piece of information – new SAP BusinessObjects BI tool called Visual Analyzer – for a later blog.

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