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What's new in SAP HANA? (Updated)

SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 04 is the next evolutionary step and adds a variety of innovative features. It simplifies and democratizes the in-memory computing environment so many more people in your organization can use it to get answers and insights. Numerous other features contribute to a lower TCO, improved scale and data reliability, an enhanced user experience, and much more.

Here is what's new in SAP according to SAP:

Data Tiering Enhancements for Improved Scale The new tiered storage feature lets you deploy a multi-temperature storage strategy with optimized data tiering capabilities so you can increase SAP HANA’s data capacity at a low TCO. This new data tiering option, SAP HANA native storage extension, provides simple, scalable data tiering for all data types and workloads. Administrators can optimize data placement to achieve an optimal cost versus performance ratio to support their business priorities with more cost effectiveness. A data tiering advisor maintains database access pattern statistics and provides the user with recommendations on which database objects (e.g., tables, columns, partitions) to tier to warm storage.

Scale Out Enhancements A new table distribution capability provides administrators with the tooling to identify performance-optimized distribution of tables and partitions in a SAP HANA scale-out landscape. The administrator can define rules based on application semantics to control the data location in SAP HANA.

Combined with the enhanced data tiering functionality, these capabilities help ensure the best performance in SAP HANA scale-out clusters while balancing memory and CPU consumption reducing network traffic between nodes.

Data Protection and Privacy To help enforce data privacy, enhance governance, and support compliance with regulations, SAP HANA lets you analyze all data while keeping sensitive information private. New audit retention policies address compliance requirements and increase transparency for decision makers when they are choosing anonymization parameters. Delivered KPIs help you measure critical variables such as risk.

Smart Data Access and Hadoop Integration Now you can access and democratize remote data with or without data movement for a full view of the enterprise. Integration via a Spark controller with Hadoop clusters supports high-availability mode and a DLM utility to expose SAP HANA cold data to a Hive table. A generic adapter framework enables enterprises to connect to any ODBC or JDBC data source, which ensures that you can now connect to any data source in real-time. DDL support for remote source enhances change management by centralizing change procedures in SAP HANA to remotely create objects in the target system.

Hexagon Grid Clustering for Spatial Data SAP HANA supports spatial clustering using rectangular grids, clustering, Density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise (DBSCAN), and now it’s the only database to support hexagon clustering. This method of clustering spatial data provides a better way to get insights from relational spatial data. It allows for curvature representation and is ideal for showing connectivity or movement paths. Hexagonal clustering is extremely useful for all spatial data processing in all industries that utilize spatial capabilities.

Hexagon clustering is a technique to process geospatial data for identifying and visualizing things such as escape routes that avoid hazards in emergency situations or the optimal paths for utility pipelines that avoid restricted areas. Developers can use it easily in new applications and combine it with other SQL predicates. No one else besides SAP offers this capability, and it’s laborious to implement in other relational databases using the basic geospatial functions. With SAP HANA, developers can use a single SQL query to process millions of geo-coordinates in seconds and cluster them effectively. To achieve this result, SAP used SAP HANA’s geospatial and graph capabilities. Using Hexagonal clustering provides an effective way to aggregate information by reducing sampling bias and returns results faster than machine learning (ML) clustering algorithms, which are iterative.

Data Scientist and Machine Learning Improvements SAP HANA now provides native Python and R ML APIs. In the past, data scientists could only access data via a standard SQL interface to SAP HANA. This limited how they could access the data and the powerful capabilities within SAP HANA. Now, with the native ML APIs for Python or R, data scientists can be much more productive with easy access to data in SAP HANA and the powerful native ML algorithms from within their favorite Python or R environments (like JupyterÔ Notebook).

SAP also added support for leveraging R algorithms directly from within SAP HANA, streaming analytics. This enables the reuse of what you’ve already built in R and expand the available algorithms for streaming data use cases. These enhancements, along with the continued addition of new native ML algorithms, will enable you to continue to build more intelligence into your applications to gain more insight from all your data.

Spatial Performance Enhancements and Algorithms New methods of linear referencing and geometry editing of spatial data are provided for the collection, simplification, scale, and editing of large data sets. To accelerate innovation in the cloud, SAP added the new modeler and labeling tool in our spatial services. The modeler allows customers to build custom models with statistical models based on Earth observation data. This allows for easy access to information and gives customers an easy way to derive new information by creating, for example, a statistical model on top to analyze moisture stress index for monitoring health level of crops. In the ML-powered labeling tool, customers can train classifiers by labeling different areas in satellite images such as a city or agriculture lands.

User Experience Optimizations Throughout SAP HANA includes an array of features to enhance and simplify the user experience. For administrators providing built-in recommendations for further system optimization, there’s workload management and data tiering. When it comes to modelling and application development, SAP simplified many activities with new dialogs and wizards and added support for the Cloud Application Programming (CAP) to let developers focus on the business solution they’re building instead of the technical aspects of the solution.

These features help increase the efficiency of database and data lifecycle management, modelling, and application development. They continuing to help IT organizations reduce time to value and improve IT operational efficiency.

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