The various Data Provisioning Options for Hana

An often asked question is how to get data into Hana as there are so many different options. Let me try to differentiate the various methods from a technical point of view.

Standalone products:

  • SAP Data Services
  • SAP LT Replication Server (SLT)
  • Sybase Replication Server (SRS)
  • Direct Extractor Connection (DXC)
  • SAP Process Orchestration/Integration (SAP PI, SAP XI)
  • SAP BW

and the Hana options:

  • Hana Smart Data Access (SDA)
  • Hana Smart Data Integration (SDI)
  • Hana Smart Data Streaming (SDS)

The first and most important point to consider here is the question itself: How to get data into Hana. If Hana is just one of many sources and targets or there is no Hana in the picture at all, then the standalone products do make more sense. Or to argue into the reverse direction, there are so many different options because of the non-Hana scenarios. Okay, it would be odd if the standalone solutions can load everything but Hana, hence they have that capability as well which creates that confusion.

Example: My task is to integrate various system, the sources are an SAP ERP system, 5 Oracle databases, flat files of various formats, SQL Server,… and to load that into Teradata, Oracle and BW on Hana.

So Hana plays no or a little role in it, sounds like a perfect SAP Data Services scenario. Many sources, many targets and Data Services in the middle.

Hana is the sole target

A few years ago, if a customer wanted to load e.g. flat files into Hana, he had to install Data Services. A full blown ETL tool just to load a few files from Mainframe (Cobol Copybook), CSV files with a non-default format and other sources. Only Data Services as an ETL tool provides reading capabilities of essentially every source system, allows the data to be transformed easily so it can be loaded into the target structures. An installation of a full blown ETL tool just for that.

If realtime is required as well, then SLT or SRS would have to be installed in addition.

In case the source data should be just made available and not copied – the federated/virtual data model use case – SDA would need to be configured as well.

So at the end, for an e.g. SQL Server database as source, three products are needed. All with their own install, with their own connector to the source, totally different look and feel and different capabilities.

  • Customer wants to perform Data Services like transformations in Realtime? Not possible.
  • Customer wants to perform Data Services like transformations in a CalcView for virtual data models? Not