What is SAP BW on HANA?

The birth/rebirth of SAP BW on HANA – Why did the world need it?

Before SAP BW on HANA arrived, one of the biggest downfalls of SAP BW was that there were too many layers of redundant data from pre-cleansing, cleansing and multiple layers of transforming data. All this inherent latency (time taken for data to reach from source to reporting layer) made it a bulky truck which always got the job done but was never meant for a street race.

Then came SAP HANA – SAP’s new revolutionary database and then the idea to take the BW application off the traditional databases and put it on top of HANA. This also allowed a serious rethought and redesign of the way BW development was done. This gave birth to BW on HANA – initially introduced on BW 7.3. As BW on HANA evolved, then came along version 7.4 and then 7.5 as the most stable known version of as of this writing which is leaps and bounds beyond in terms of capability from its initial predecessor.


SAP BW on HANA 7.3 tried to provide for faster load times, reduced layers and tried to optimize existing data models. It did provide improvements without a doubt but there were too many issues which couldn’t be fixed just by sticking a tape on it. Anyways, it was a step in the right direction. SAP BW  on HANA 7.4 tried to fix these problems by reducing complexities. SAP realized that there were far too many development objects in SAP BW and these objects contributed heavily to the web of complexity that was dragging the performance down with it. SAP BW  on HANA 7.4 reduced the number of these objects among many other features. The data modeling also now started moving out of a traditional SAP GUI to the SAP HANA Studio environment which you would know of if you have been through my HANA tutorial section already. BW on HANA 7.5 further develops what BW on HANA 7.4 started and provided a much stable version of BW. With BW on HANA 7.5, more development has shifted to the HANA studio/eclipse environment among many other features leading to leaner and more efficient architecture. SAP BW on HANA 7.5 also provided the base for development of the latest installment of SAP BW named SAP BW/4HANA. The SAP BW/4HANA looks and feels a lot like the 7.5 version of BW on HANA but there are good differences that make BW/4HANA more efficient.

At this point, I would like to set the expectations from this training. This would be a BW/4HANA tutorial and BW/4HANA only related tutorial. We would not be discussing all the features of traditional BW or BW on HANA versions. I can’t emphasize this enough – Only the latest version of BW – BW/4HANA is the star of this training.

Before moving further into the tutorial, I would request you to finish only the some prerequisite courses for SAP BW on HANA from the other sections of this website. These are listed as below but after reading the below posts please come back to this post and press the next tutorial button on this post to proceed with the BW tutorials. 

  1. What is SAP HANA?
  2. Master data Vs Transaction Data
  3. SAP HANA Star Schema
  4. SQL Join Types in SAP
  5. SQL Union Types in SAP
  6. SAP HANA Studio
  7. SAP HANA Calculation Views

I am a pretty nice guy but this may sound rude – DO NOT go to the next page until you finish off these 7 pre-requisite tutorials. I absolutely forbid you. It would be even better if you could go finish off the SAP HANA section (you can avoid the SQL section for now) before proceeding but if you don’t feel like it, those 7 mentioned above are absolute necessities at least.

Stay tuned for my next posts on SAP BW and please do share these documents across social media by using the share buttons below.

Until next time.

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  1. Hi Shyam,

    Kudos job, I started my SAP career back in 2012 and got clarity for many topics after reading your docs & blog posts in SCN and today I come across dedicated site to share your knowledge something incredible.


  2. Hi Shyam, i would like to share my opinion that why don’t to you explain with a use case each and every example after explaining the concept that will give more added advantage to your blog and also looks diffrent rest of the blogs and sites. As consider a use case in SD and then explain requirement and prerequisites and then start explaining step by step.Then it might look like real time , what SAP developer do in real time environment.

  3. Hi, thank you – article was very helpful in building the understanding on closely coupled products of BW and Hana

    • Hi,
      I am updating the existing tutorials if any changes cause anything I’ve written to become obsolete.
      I do admit that I’ve not been adding new tutorials as much as I would like to due to not finding time anymore.
      The new articles might be slow but anything written here is up-to date.


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