How HANA and S/4 HANA fit into the SAP Ecosystem

How HANA and S/4 HANA fit into the SAP Ecosystem
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How HANA and S/4 HANA fit into the SAP Ecosystem

SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA are pivotal technologies in SAP’s product portfolio. Though their names sound alike, HANA and S/4HANA play distinct roles within SAP’s broader software ecosystem.


SAP HANA is SAP’s in-memory database platform designed for real-time data processing and analysis. HANA utilizes advanced in-memory computing, allowing data to be stored and retrieved from main memory rather than disk storage. This dramatically improves performance for transactional applications and analytics.

Key features of SAP HANA include:

  • In-memory columnar data storage and processing
  • Massively parallel processing for high performance
  • Data compression for optimized memory usage
  • Real-time analytics and reporting on live data
  • Development and integration of custom apps

HANA supports both SAP and non-SAP applications across industries and lines of business. It serves as the underlying database for SAP S/4HANA and many next-gen SAP products.

Deployment options for SAP HANA include on-premise, public cloud, SAP Cloud Platform, or hybrid models. Hardware from Cisco, Dell, HPE, IBM and others can run HANA.


SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s latest generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite built to utilize SAP HANA’s capabilities. It is the successor to SAP ECC (also known as SAP ERP Central Component).

Key capabilities provided by S/4HANA include:

  • Streamlined business processes for finance, supply chain, manufacturing, sales and more
  • Simplified data model reducing complexity
  • Intuitive user experience with SAP Fiori interface
  • Real-time analytics for business insights
  • Increased agility and efficiency
  • Integration with SAP and third-party solutions

S/4HANA only runs on SAP HANA – legacy databases are not supported. Deployments options mirror HANA, including on-premise, public cloud, private cloud and hybrid.

SAP’s Strategy

SAP’s strategy is to transition customers from legacy ERP systems like ECC to S/4HANA. SAP plans to end support for ECC in 2027, necessitating migration to S/4HANA. The simplified data model and real-time capabilities of HANA and S/4HANA deliver next-generation ERP performance not possible on legacy platforms.

Together, SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA represent SAP’s vision for the future of enterprise software driven by in-memory computing. Current and future SAP customers will need to embrace these technologies to benefit from SAP’s innovation roadmap. If you are migrating to modernize your technology we are a trusted and awarded SAP partner.

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