As an ABAP-er (a.k.a. someone who deals with the high-level programming language created by SAP), I have managed performance tuning and testing of SAP ERP systems for quite some time now. I have always observed that database management and analysis consumes a lot of my time with traditional processes due to the uncertainty about the level of complexity that the ERP system can handle. I know many in my line of work would completely understand what I am talking about. Now, I’ve found something that helps me work much easier, and so, I’ll use this blog to briefly touch upon what it is and how it helps.
The Ever-Evolving Next-Generation Business Suite
What came to my rescue was SAP HANA. You might already know about this in-memory relational database management system. If not, consider reading up on a couple of other blogs I recommend from my colleagues: SAP HANA: A Business Case for Any Type of Organization and In-Memory Processing: The concept that will arm you with multiple performance advantages.
SAP applications – earlier – were fashioned to run on any DB application. But, I surmise, SAP HANA will be the new leading and central infrastructure component for all SAP applications in the near future as they have inherent architectural advantages over traditional databases. And now, SAP has released SAP BI on HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, and S/4 HANA as the next-generation business suite. To top it all off, SAP HANA has capabilities to process huge volumes of data in real time with its high processing speed. Tell me, what more can we ask for?
The Need for Testing
In my opinion, nothing in our technological world could be accepted and appreciated without performance testing. In the present-day tricky business landscape, system performance rules the roost.
SAP HANA’s performance is based on comprehensive design elements such as in-memory data storage, cost-based optimizer, and efficient query execution components. You can imagine the level of complexity this infrastructure may involve. And, due to all this, performance testing assumes an important function. It necessitates data to be managed through more refined methods to accomplish superlative performance. I did initially have some doubts about HANA’s scalability, until I could perform tests to determine that SAP HANA actions linear scalability with continuous performance at massive amounts of data.
SAP HANA empowers companies to augment business processes assaying humongous data volumes. Analytic views are where calculations and aggregations come into play. Data is required to consistently accommodate the demands of the storage architectures, so the aid made possible by the database can be most energetically exploited. SAP HANA is no different. It offers real-time processing of Online Transactional Processing Applications and Online Analytical Processing Applications to perform complex analysis and calculations on the actual transaction data set. We can never be certain about the change in behavior or usage of the application. Performance testing assures us that the application responds efficaciously to a growing number of business users and a swift boost in data quantities.
Some Tools to Help You with Performance Testing
SAP Loadrunner from HP: Facilitates the execution of tests and performs stress/volume test of the SAP solution planned to be deployed
ST03N Workload Monitor: The nuclear access point for evaluating performance issues in the SAP system
ST05: Affords the capability to scrutinize database select statements
SAT: The transaction name of the latest ABAP Runtime Analysis Tool
SAP HANA has transformed the conventional database platform capabilities with a single in-memory platform, so that it can utilize the features of a column-oriented DBMS. Performance is the most critical factor to prove the capabilities of the SAP HANA application and prevent the failure of mission-critical applications. Performance testing is required in SAP HANA as HANA offers fast processing of massive amounts of data.
In the near future, we can expect to see the migration of different SAP applications to SAP HANA from other database systems. And remember, the best use of HANA doesn’t end with just performance testing; you can drive even deeper with performance engineering. But, I’ll deal with that in a separate blog.
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Author: Mahesh Patil
Mahesh is a Senior Consultant – SAP – at Knack Systems with over 7.5 years of experience in SAP implementation, support, and upgrade. He has rich experience in ABAP for providing solutions in SD, MM, PP of SAP R/3, APO and WMS, data archiving, performance tuning, production support, problem analysis and resolution, unit and integration testing, and promotion to the production environment. Mahesh has worked extensively in different business scenarios in translating business requirements into technical design and document-supported activities.