Do You Still Need SAP BW If You Have SAP HANA?

  • by Ned Falk, Senior Education Consultant, SAP
  • September 11, 2015
Gain an overview of the value proposition for SAP BW for companies that have SAP HANA— more specifically, companies that have SAP ERP suite products (e.g., Employee Central Component [ECC] and CRM) and also have SAP HANA.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn how to:

  • Describe the features SAP BW brings to a company implementing SAP HANA with the SAP suite applications
  • Understand the landscape options for SAP BW powered by SAP HANA and SAP ERP suite applications
  • Understand in what situations SAP BW is not required, at least temporarily
Key Concept
SAP HANA is a rapidly changing database with a collection of native modeling tools that can, in some cases, replace the functionality of SAP BW.

SAP BW is a data warehousing application that runs on many databases, including the SAP HANA database. Most companies are aware that SAP HANA is much more than a very fast in-memory database. SAP HANA’s features include a text search engine, a web server, predictive and geospatial calculation tools, and, central to the discussion in this article, a graphical modeling tool.

When SAP HANA was first released, there were many rumors flying around about SAP HANA replacing SAP BW’s modeling environment and even SAP BW itself (see Figure 1, for a humorous take). This article addresses these rumors and provides examples of the continued use of SAP BW in an SAP HANA environment.

Figure 1
SAP HANA and SAP BW duking it out

I’ll take a deep dive into the features of SAP HANA that are similar and compete with those that come with SAP BW, and also look at some SAP HANA features that provide more functionality than SAP BW. Then I delve into some features of SAP BW that can make it an indispensable tool, at least near term, for most mid-to-large size companies. However, before I go into that, here’s a brief overview of data warehouses and why they exist in the first place.

Ned Falk

Ned Falk is a senior education consultant at SAP. In prior positions, he implemented many ERP solutions, including SAP R/3. While at SAP, he initially focused on logistics. Now he focuses on SAP HANA, SAP BW (formerly SAP NetWeaver BW), SAP CRM, and the integration of SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects tools. You can meet him in person when he teaches SAP HANA, SAP BW, or SAP CRM classes from the Atlanta SAP office, or in a virtual training class over the web. If you need an SAP education plan for SAP HANA, SAP BW, BusinessObjects, or SAP CRM, you may contact Ned via email.

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10/16/2015 1:22:12 PM
Ravi Chelikani

Perfect Article and very good insights.
10/1/2015 1:47:09 AM

Thanks Ned for such an informative & reasonably in-depth analysis on how BW will live-happily-ever-after with HANA :-)

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