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SAP gives Hadoop users keys to HANA kitchen, lets them eat data from other systems

SAP Business Warehouse 7.4 comes with easy-import data feature

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SAP has woken up to the growing pools of data in enterprises kept within the Hadoop File System and has simplified how people can pull this into HANA.

The 7.4 update to SAP's Business Warehouse was announced on Tuesday and sees the software company acknowledge that though people buy its own tech, they use a lot of other stuff as well.

"You can now use HANA smart data access to access other data sources," explained SAP's veep of HANA, Chris Hallenbeck, in a chat with El Reg. "You can now consume data from other systems and combine them into Business Warehouse on the fly."

Previously, admins would have to train a custom data loader on non-SAP data, load it into Persistent Staging Area (PSA) tables, and then manipulate it from there (or perhaps load it into HANA).

"Now I can directly consume that data into its own object with its own properties... and doesn't have to follow the standard of our own [DataStore Object]," Hallenbeck says.

The base "Smart Data Access" technology for this feature was launched in July 2013 with SAP HANA SP6, but has now been integrated with SAP's Business Warehouse tech. It is designed to let admins combined SAP HANA data with information kept in stores like Hadoop, Teradata, SAP Sybase ASE, and Sybase IQ.

Hadoop, Hallenbeck says, is a useful "storage mechanism for vast amounts of info I'm not necessarily ready to structure or data with perf characteristics I'm not so concerned with. With smart data access and additional features built into that for particular features for Hadoop [like] caching, we've had a lot of people approaching us."

The Business Warehouse update follows SAP making its HANA platform available in an as-a-service format as the company grapples with the changes forced on the IT world by the rise of the cloud. By embracing pools of data kept in the FOSS Hadoop system, SAP is hoping it can make its powerful and pricey tech more appealing to maturing startups as well. ®

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