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hana new It's that time of year again, and there is a new release of SAP HANA.

If you're into that kind of thing, you can download all of the reference material here. There is 30 PDF files containing 150MB of detailed information explaining what's going on. Last year, SAP were kind enough to release SAP HANA SP05 during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, leaving plenty of time for those of us with nothing better to do, to read up on it, but they were a week later this year, so I've had to catch up fast! My sense of what happened during the planning phase for SAP HANA SP07 was the teams got together and said "what shall we achieve?". The consensus was: let's make everything better. Let's look at the stuff it brings. Better SQL optimization and performance This is huge, for me. The SQL optimizer now does a much better job of guessing which engine to send a query to. I've not tested this exhaustively but if you are using SQL, this can provide up to 100x improvement in performance of OLAP-style queries and SQL is now only about 10% slower than an equivalent HANA model. The Model is still faster, because the optimization is built in advance. In addition, COUNT DISTINCT is now 50% faster than I found previously. This is very nice, because this was a pain point for many customers. All in all this is an important set of improvements to the core engine. New SQL Features There aren't a ton of new SQL features, and I was hoping for more ANSI SQL compliance but there's some interesting stuff: - Ability to replica tables between nodes to improve join colocation - Handful of new SQL functions for working days, currency conversion, grouping, SHA Hashing, Binary Conversions - New BINTEXT data type and various conversion and setting functions Unfortunately recursive queries and CTEs still aren't supported, which is a shame. SQLScript There is a new debugger and editor but I don't see any new SQLScript functionality, which is disappointing. I was hoping for some new functionality especially around UDFs and passing of arrays, but the reference guide looks unchanged since SP6. Hopefully this will be a focus for SP8!

Improved Developer Experience SAP has majored on this in SP7 though I think there is more wood to cut for SP8. Thankfully, the regi configuration is now gone, though regi appears still be there in the background for certain tasks. This should pave the way to the Mac OS X version of HANA Studio (yay!). I tested checking out some projects and it happens 5-10x faster than before, which is very nice. The 3 views: Project Explorer, Repositories and Systems View all still exist, which is a shame, but hopefully we'll see those consolidated in SP8. Either way, from a developer perspective, this all feels much better. The web-based IDE has been improved some although it still falls short of parity with SAP HANA Studio. Some serious work needs to happen here to make HANA a cloud development platform and crucial HANA Models are still only visible in XML. Core Data Services gets some new functionality for the definition of relationships and views, but CDS is still very young. I suspect that the unification of the developer experience between the 3 different views, CDS, the HANA Analytic and Calc Views will be a core effort for SP8. Getting this right is the absolute key to an amazing developer experience for Native HANA. HANA Studio has been nicely smoothed around the edges and I'd be very happy to develop large apps with large number of developers working concurrently. It feels extremely solid and it is much better integrated than other development environments. It feels like developer experience has been put to the top of the agenda. Deleting stuff is easy, for example! Most of the effort in XS seems to have gone to make the experience more unified, with some additional features like