What Does SAP HANA Mean?

SAP HANA (high-performance analytic appliance) is an in-memory database platform that can run both transactional and analytical workloads at the same time. According to SAP, HANA can process data 3600 times faster than a traditional database and has near-zero latency.


SAP HANA can integrate structured and unstructured data from different sources and use machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data in real time. The platform also includes a programming component that allows an organization to develop and run custom applications on top of HANA.

SAP HANA is used by major corporations, as well as smaller businesses with limited resources. It can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. In 2019, SAP also began offering a hybrid HANA platform that allows administrators in large enterprises to integrate and orchestrate premise-to-premise, premise-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud processes.

Techopedia Explains SAP HANA

Applications that use HANA can access and process data in real time or near real-time.

SAP HANA App Capabilities

SAP HANA features include:

  • Multi-Model Processing – SAP HANA is capable of storing and processing multiple types and sets of data in different formats, including graphs, tables and documents.

  • Hybrid Processing – HANA can act as both a transactional and an analytical database at the same time, processing both types of requests on a single data set simultaneously.

  • App Development Tools – SAP HANA comes with a variety of application development tools, including Eclipse and Web IDE. Administrators can simplify their custom application's architecture by working with coding languages that best suits their needs and goals.


SAP HANA supports various use cases for real-time analytics. Some examples include:

  • Optimizing telecommunications

  • Supply chain optimization

  • Retail sales optimization

  • Fraud detection

  • Profitability forecasting

  • Energy use optimization

SAP HANA has proved its worth in the application development and data management sector by having over 1000 certified applications that run primarily on SAP HANA. It is known for being one of the few database systems that can be trusted when networks are at peak performance. It is also one of the few database platforms certified for the Linux operating system (OS).

Cloud vs Desktop SAP HANA

There is not a single answer as to which version of SAP HANA is better. Instead, the benefits of each platform differ depending on the user or company’s needs. Desktop (on-premise) implementation of SAP HANA allows for complete control over the application, from security details to RAM capacity and data storage. It is generally affordable for small teams and individuals.

SAP HANA cloud solutions is known for offering scalability, speed and optimal performance with little effort on the administrator’s end. HANA is compatible with multiple cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and SAP’s own enterprise-quality cloud.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…