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Difference between SAP Suite on HANA and S/4HANA

Many people are experiencing some levels of confusion between “SAP HANA”, “SAP Suite on HANA” and “S/4HANA”. If you also have the similar doubts and have below questions in mind, then this article is for you.
  • What is the difference between “SAP HANA”, “SAP Suite on HANA” and “S/4HANA”
  • Which product should I go to - SAP Suite on HANA or S/4HANA?
  • What are the benefits of SAP S/4HANA over SAP Suite on HANA?
  • What does the name of SAP S/4HANA stand for?

difference between SAP Suite on HANA and S4HANA

Let’s have a look into it one by one.

SAP HANA

SAP HANA is an in-memory database:
  • It is a combination of hardware and software made to process massive real time data using In-Memory computing.
  • It combines row-based, column-based database technology.
  • Data now resides in main-memory (RAM) and no longer on a hard disk.
  • It’s best suited for performing real-time analytics, and developing and deploying real-time applications.

An in-memory database means all the data is stored in the memory (RAM). This is no time wasted in loading the data from hard-disk to RAM or while processing keeping some data in RAM and temporary some data on disk. Everything is in-memory all the time, which gives the CPUs quick access to data for processing.
difference between SAP Suite on HANA and S4HANA
To know more, refer to Introduction to SAP HANA Database- for Beginners

SAP Suite on HANA (also known as Business Suite on HANA)

SAP Suite on HANA came first. As the name suggested, the traditional SAP ECC solution is available on SAP HANA. It has all of the traditional functionality of an ECC environment but the engine (database) is now a HANA engine. Nearly all of the SAP transaction codes are available and there is no concept of data simplification.

Because SAP ECC predates SAP HANA, companies using it generally started on other databases. When ECC users perform a SAP HANA migration without changing the front end, it becomes SAP Business Suite on HANA. This lets businesses benefit from the performance boost of SAP HANA without restructuring the application layer.

SAP S/4HANA

difference between SAP Suite on HANA and S4HANA
SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s next generation business suite. It’s meant to replace SAP ECC/ERP, with a simplified tool designed specifically to work with SAP HANA.
S4HANA is based around the core ECC, however there are major differences:
  • Simplification of the data has been done. Within certain processes into a single table by replacing the core tables this can be achieved.
  • Due to the ‘principle of one’, some traditional functionality is no longer available after the new functionality has been released.
  • With over 3000 CDS views currently available embedded reporting has been released. Within the S/4HANA environment SAP BW and SAP BPC can be embedded. Within the new product S/4HANA enables certain scenarios to be performed– not all however; it will not replace BW or BPC.
Either by a system conversion from an ECC solution (including Suite on HANA), or a new install the route to S/4HANA is achieved. From ECC6 to S/4HANA there is no upgrade path.

What is the fundamental difference between the SAP Business Suite code line and the new SAP S/4HANA product code line?

The development approach of SAP S/4HANA is to enable customers for the digital economy and deliver a new architecture, designed for real-time, Live Business. The SAP applications built on SAP HANA benefit from market-leading in-memory computing technology.

The SAP HANA in-memory database stores data in rows and columns. It is this combination of both storage approaches that produces the speed, flexibility, and performance of the SAP HANA database.

SAP S/4HANA combines standard SAP ERP functionality and industry features in one modern software stack including required data model adoptions such as the field length extension of material number and amount fields to support modern business process requirements.

The SAP HANA database technology also allows for the elimination of all artefacts that have been introduced as performance workarounds for classical row-based RDBMS. These are aggregates and programmed indexes that contained no semantic value and provided only fast access to sums and data. These workarounds created interconnections in the application and complexity in how to lock the system to avoid conflicting updates to the aggregates.

With SAP S/4HANA, these different types of workarounds, based on technical limitations of traditional databases, are not necessary.

What is the business value of SAP S/4HANA for customers? Who is likely to benefit most?

Written natively for the SAP HANA platform, SAP S/4HANA is an entirely new generation of SAP Business Suite that is characterized by simplifications, massively increased efficiency, and compelling features such as planning and simulation options in many conventional transactions.

SAP S/4HANA signals a move away from the transactional system that merely records data toward giving end users active decision support in real time that is based on data from both internal and external sources.
The simplifications created by SAP S/4HANA bring lots of new benefits – which the business value calculator will take into account – such as the use of new user interfaces, reduced data volume, greater flexibility, and higher throughput.

What are the SAP S/4HANA deployment options for customers?

SAP offers on-premise, cloud, and hybrid deployments to give real choice to customers. SAP S/4HANA also gives customers the option to fully leverage the SAP HANA multitenancy database functionality as provided by the SAP HANA platform.

How can I try SAP S/4HANA?

Customers and prospects can experience SAP S/4HANA with a free 14-day cloud trial of SAP S/4HANA.Theywill discover the value of a digital core across concrete roles and predefined scenarios in finance, project management, and marketing. You can also explore SAP S/4HANA with a 30-day trial environment deployed on Amazon Web Services. Here, you will have total control of a complete SAP S/4HANA environment to evaluate the value of instant insight across end-to-end business processes in finance, controlling, manufacturing, and service. Both trials can be accessed on: www.sap.com/s4hana-trial

How does SAP HANA Cloud Platform relate to SAP S/4HANA?

In the context of SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA Cloud Platform serves as an extension platform and agility layer. It is possible to build specific capabilities that extend the scope of SAP S/4HANA by either integrating non-SAP functions or building your own. The cloud platform serves as both the development platform and the runtime foundation for the developed solutions. The extensions built on the cloud platform can run with both cloud and on-premise deployments of SAP S/4HANA.


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