A conventional financial document is stored in one or two tables. However, in the past, aggregates and indexes were required to map the various views of the document. In the new architecture found in SAP HANA, these aggregates and indexes are obsolete.
The aim of SAP HANA has been to shrink and simplify the underlying data structures, because an in-memory database works best with wide tables. Tables that used to be nested are now compressed. Fundamental data structures that determine what a financial, material transaction, or inventory management document look like remain the same. So SAP HANA, in fact, left the document pretty much as it is, which makes it easier for the customer to move from a conventional ERP system to the new technology. A new data structure would leave the customer no option but to perform a full migration. In terms of effort, that’s comparable with implementing a new system.
From the customer perspective, the path with SAP HANA is simpler because it merely involves an upgrade to a new system. In a nutshell: The “old” data model was fundamentally okay. And SAP HANA can achieve so much with a slightly adapted data model that there is no reason to force customers into the disruptive process of switching to a completely new data model.
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