SAP HANA 2.0 - Interview Questions and Answers

SAP HANA stands for High Performance Analytical Appliance- in-memory computing engine. HANA is linked to ERP systems; Frontend modeling studio can be used for replication server management and load control.

SAP HANA has an in-memory computing engine and access the data straightaway without any backup. To avoid the risk of losing data in case of hardware failure or power cutoff, persistence layer comes as a savior and stores all the data in the hard drive which is not volatile.

There are three different compression techniques

  • Run-length encoding
  • Cluster encoding
  • Dictionary encoding

Transformation rule is the rule specified in the advanced replication setting transaction for the source table such that data is transformed during the replication process.

To avoid un-necessary information from being stored, you have to pause the replication by stopping the schema-related jobs

The job is arranged on demand and is responsible for

  • Creating database triggers and logging table into the source system
  • Creating Synonyms
  • Writing new entries in admin tables in SLT server when a table is replicated/loaded

If the replication is suspended for a longer period of time, the size of the logging tables increases.

You can avoid un-necessary logging information from being stored by pausing the replication by stopping the schema-related jobs.

  • SAP HANA DB
  • SAP HANA Studio
  • SAP HANA Appliance
  • SAP HANA Application Cloud

C++ is the development language used by SAP HANA.

Criteria SAP HANA Oracle
Strengths Customization, customer service, and functionality Ease of use, quick deployment, and flexibility
Compatibility to work with other databases Very Good Average
Comparison based on costs Higher for internal resources and training Much lesser on both fronts

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 and column-based database technologies.
  • Data now resides in the main memory (RAM) and no longer on a hard disk.
  • It is best suited for performing real-time analytics and developing and deploying real-time applications.

SAP HANA is one of the fastest growing products in SAP history and is viewed by the industry as a breakthrough solution for in-memory databases. SAP HANA claims that it accelerates analytics and applications on a single, in-memory platform, as well as combining databases, data processing, and application platform capabilities.

SAP HANA is the next-generation business platform that brings together:

  • Business transactions
  • Advanced analytics
  • Social media
  • Mobile experience
  • Collaborative business
  • Design connections
  • SAP HANA Studio is an Eclipse-based development and administration tool for working with HANA.
  • It enables technical users to manage the SAP HANA database, create and manage user authorizations, create new or modify the existing models of data, etc.
  • It is a client tool, which can be used to access the local or remote HANA system.

SAP HANA Studio runs on the Eclipse platform 3.6. We can use SAP HANA Studio on the following platforms:

  • Microsoft Windows x32 and x64 versions of: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server SLES 11: x86 64-bit version

They are all the same, and 1.0 SP03 is touted to be the final name that should go into Ramp Up (beta) in Q4 2011. This allows any SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3 Data Warehouse to be migrated into a HANA appliance. HANA 1.0 SP03 specifically accelerates BW calculations and planning, which means that even more performance results can be attained.

Restricted users are those users who access the HANA system with some applications, but they don’t have SQL privileges on the HANA system. When these users are created, they don’t have the access initially.

If we compare restricted users with standard users:

  • Restricted users can’t create objects in the HANA database or their own schemas.
  • They don’t have access to view any data in the database as they don’t have the generic public role added to their profiles as for standard users.
  • They can connect to the HANA database only using HTTP/HTTPS.

A database schema is a way to logically group objects such as tables, views, stored procedures, etc. There are three types of schemas.

  • User-defined Schema: These are created by a user (DBA or System Administrator).
  • System-defined Schema: These schemas are delivered with the SAP HANA database and contain the HANA system information. There are system schemas like _SYS_BIC, _SYS_BI, _SYS_REPO,_SYS_STATISTICS, etc.
  • SLT-derived Schema: When SLT is configured, it creates a schema in the HANA system. All tables replicated into the HANA system are contained in this schema.

The maximum number of tables in a schema in SAP HANA is 131,072.

The maximum number of columns in a HANA Table is 1,000.

The two types of relational data stored in HANA includes

  • Row Store
  • Column Store

Modeling studio in HANA performs multiple task like

  • Declares which tables are stored in HANA, first part is to get the meta-data and then schedule data replication jobs
  • Manage Data Services to enter the data from SAP Business Warehouse and other systems
  • Manage ERP instances connection, the current release does not support connecting to several ERP instances
  • Use data services for the modeling
  • Do modeling in HANA itself
  • essential licenses for SAP BO data services

Latency is referred to the length of time to replicate data from the source system to the target system.

  • SAP SLT works on trigger based approach; such approach has no measurable performance impact in the source system
  • It offers filtering capability and transformation
  • It enables real-time data replication, replicating only related data into HANA from non-SAP and SAP source systems
  • It is fully integrated with HANA studios
  • Replication from several source systems to one HANA system is allowed, also from one source system to multiple HANA systems is allowed.

The transaction manager co-ordinates database transactions and keeps a record of running and closed transactions. When transaction is rolled back or committed, the transaction manager notifies the involved storage engines about the event so they can run necessary actions.

In the HANA database, each SQL statement is implemented in the reference of the transaction. New session is allotted to a new transaction

  • User adds a custom parameter named ’embedded. to the httpserver section of the xsengine.ini file and setting its value to true.
  • Resuming the HANA instance.

In order to get access to HANA database all SAP HANA users must be verified with different Authentications Mechanisms provided by SAP HANA. Various types of authentication method are supported by SAP HANA system.These authentication methods methods are configured while creating user profile.

Here is the list of authentication methods supported by SAP HANA:

  • Kerberos
  • SAML 2.0
  • SAP Logon tickets
  • X.509

A dummy column can be introduced into a projection by returning a constant (for ex. 1) in both the nodes that user want to join. Now Join the dummy columns. Therefore, technically it is still an inner join but more effectively a cross join.

The overall limit for the SAP HANA memory consumption is controlled via the global allocation limit:

global.ini -> [memorymanager] -> global_allocation_limit = <maximum_memory_allocation_in_MB>
The default value depends on the available physical memory and the SAP HANA revision level:

SPS 06 and below: 90 % of physical memory
SPS 07 and higher: 90 % of first 64 GB, 97 % of remaining physical memory

Schema mapping is done when the physical schema in the target system is not the same as the physical schema in the source system.

Suppose, we are moving components from the development system (DEV) to the production system (PROD). The tables in DEV reside in DEV_SCHEMA and the same tables should reside in the PROD system in PROD_SCHEMA. If an Attribute View is transported from DEV to PROD, it will not work because the schema name is referenced in the definition of the Attribute View. In order for the promoted objects to work in PROD, schema mapping needs to be set-up in the target system.

Note: Schema mapping only applies to references from repository objects to catalog objects. It is not intended to be used for repository-to-repository references.

  • Java JRE 1.6 or 1.7 must be installed to run SAP HANA Studio.
  • Java runtime must be specified in the PATH variable.
  • We should make sure to choose the correct Java variant for the installation of SAP HANA Studio:
    • For 32-bit installation, choose a 32-bit Java variant
    • For 64-bit installation, choose a 64-bit Java variant
  • Meta Data: Metadata is data about the data. It tells us about the structure of data or Metaobjects.
  • Master Data: This is the key business information such as information regarding customers, employees, materials, etc. This is more like a reference data. For example, suppose, a customer orders 10 units of our product. Instead of asking the customer for the shipping address 10 times, the same can be referenced from the Customer Master Data.
  • Transaction Data: This is data related to day-to-day transactions.

Delivery Unit (DU) is a container used by the Life Cycle Manager (LCM) to transport repository objects between the SAP HANA systems. The name of the Delivery Unit must contain only capital letters (A–Z), digits (0–9), and underscore (_).

In order to load data from external sources to SAP HANA, we need to establish a connection with the server. To connect, we need to provide the details of the Business Objects Data Services repository and ODBC drivers. Once the connection is established, we can import the table definition and then load data into the table definition.

SAP HANA 1.0 is an analytics appliance that consists of certified hardware, an in-memory database (IMDB), an analytics engine, and some tooling for getting data in and out of HANA. The logic and structures are built by the user and a tool is used, e.g., SAP Business Objects, to visualize or analyze data.

We need to import the tables T006 and T006A for Unit of Measures.

HANA supports both types of data stores in the database. A row store is used when we need to use the Select statement and no aggregations are performed.

A column store is used to perform aggregations, and HANA Modeling is supported only on column-based tables.

The only operating system that is supported by HANA is Suse Linux Enterprise Server SP1/SP2 (SLES SP1/2).

  • Temporary License Key: Temporary license keys are automatically installed when we install the HANA database. These keys are valid only for 90 days, and we should request for permanent license keys from SAP before they expire.
  • Permanent License Key: Permanent License keys are valid till the predefined expiration date. License keys specify the amount of memory licensed to the target HANA installation.

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