SAP S/4HANA is The post-modern ERP for enterprises looking to digitize their enterprise core on their path to digital transformation. This blog covers the basics of the next-generation ERP suite.


What is SAP S/4HANA?


SAP launched Business Suite 4 SAP HANA called SAP S/4HANA in February 2015. It is built on its own operational database system and in-memory computing platform. In addition, it also offers a great user experience with SAP Fiori to handle huge volumes of data with fast processing. Therefore, SAP S/4HANA helps to overcome major problems of the current business world.


SAP S/4HANA Evolution


What is the SAP business suite? 


SAP Business Suite includes SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as a foundation and also includes customer relationship management (CRM), supplier relationship management (SRM), product lifecycle management (PLM) and supply chain management (SCM) modules. 


What is an Operational database? 


An operational database manages real-time data. Hence, it allows users to add, change, and delete data based on the transaction system by maintaining system specific reference data. 


What is in-memory? 


An in-memory system is one in which the data is stored in the memory (RAM). Hence, there is no time loss in loading the data from hard-disk to RAM. Therefore, CPUs have quick access to data for processing. 


The scope of SAP S/4HANA vs any DB for the next 10 years


SAP supports any DB system with enhancement packages until 2025. However, the future scope of SAP S/4HANA is drastic compared to any DB system since it offers simple finance, simple logistics, and simple ERP.


Why SAP S/4HANA: The Scope and Value of SAP S/4HANA


Advancements of SAP S/4HANA over its predecessors


SAP ERP ComparisonIn-Memory Database 


SAP HANA in-memory database which empowers the users to extract real-time data insight instantly.  


Predictive Analysis


The predictive analysis property of HANA drives business in the right direction by helping it take the right decision at the right time. 


Columnar Storage 


While traditional databases store relational table one row after another, IMCE stores tables in columns. Hopefully, the following figure explains the difference between the two storage mechanisms easily.


SAP S/4HANA Columnar StorageCompression


As data written next to each other is of the same type, there is no need to write the same values again and again. There are many compression algorithms in HANA with the default being the dictionary algorithm, which for example maps long strings to integers.


Example of dictionary algorithm


You have a material type column in your Customer table in your database. Therefore, let’s say you have 1 lakh customers using 50 material types. In the standard row-based storage you will need 1 lakh string values stored in memory. With dictionary compression, the 50 material type values are assignable to an integer-based index. Now, you need only 1 lakh integers + the 50 string values + the mapping of these values. This is a lot of compression in terms of bytes stored in memory.


Multiple Engines


SAP HANA has multiple engines inside its computing engine for better performance. As SAP HANA supports both SQL and OLAP reporting tools, there are separate SQL and OLAP engines to perform operations respectively. In addition, there is a separate calculation engine to do the calculations. 


Simpler Data Model


SAP S/4HANA Data Model


There are no more redundancies, such as duplicate tables and metatables. Hence, they are no longer necessary because everything is kept “in-memory,” that is, in the main memory. The back end has been slimmed down massively. Therefore, the development, operation, and backups have become simpler.


Reduced DB Size


SAP S/4HANA Benefits of a simpler data model


Embedded Reporting is now available with over 3000 CDS views. SAP BW and SAP BPC can be embedded within the SAP S/4HANA Environment. Therefore, it enables certain scenarios. However, it will not replace SAP BW or SAP BPC.


How are HCP and HEC Connected to SAP S/4HANA?




Supports Big Data


SAP S/4HANA is the new face of ERP business suite. It accommodates the new trend where processing big data is an integral part of the business.


Supports Internet of Things


Internet of Things is the next big thing. Moving forward, it will be useful for industries to make physical equipment optimized by microcontrollers. Sensors would transmit data to a computing system to analyze data. This is the future of next-generation industries. Henceforth, the data processing must occur in real time. The SAP HANA platform deals with this perfectly. Therefore, SAP S/4HANA running on SAP HANA would make it the perfect choice for next-generation business trends.


You can learn about the different SAP S/4HANA adoption scenarios for non-SAP and SAP customers by going through the blog titled “What are the different SAP S/4HANA adoption scenarios”. However, if you are still puzzled on whether to choose SAP Business on HANA or SAP S/4HANA, read through this post.


In case you require a guided consultation to design your path to SAP S/4HANA, get in touch with us at or send us a message.