Do SAP Applications Work Better With HANA Than Other Databases?

Executive Summary

  • SAP has proposed that all of its applications that use HANA work better on HANA than other databases.
  • Find out if this claim is true.

All SAP Applications Work Better with HANA?

SAP’s marketing positioning is that these databases work much better with HANA than with any other database.

So it is a two-step process.

Step 1: Selling the Benefits

The first step is convincing clients to use HANA. SAP is doing this with a combination of selling the purported performance benefits of HANA, along with blocking all other vendors from applications like S/4 so that they are the monopoly database provider for their ERP system.

Step 2: Emphasizing Compatibility

The second step is marketing the compatibility aspects of HANA with all other database products. That is, HANA is simply the nose of the camel into the tent.

An ancient Arabic proverb about what happens after you let the nose of a camel into the tent. At first, it may seem innocuous, but bad things follow if you don’t put a stop to it. Bedouin knows you do not allow the camel’s head into the tent. If you let it in, pretty soon, your tent is lying on its side, and your belongings are strewn across the desert. 

SAP sales reps are excellent at getting the nose into the tent. The nose is brought in usually through false statements. Curiously, very few SAP customers hold SAP accountable for things they said that turned out to be wrong and that the contracts are based upon these pretenses. I am repeatedly told by procurement departments that they have no choice because SAP has them “over a barrel.” 


SAP consulting companies are also intent on telling the customer never to hold SAP accountable and that lying is not lying. Of course, the SAP consulting companies have far more allegiance to SAP than to their “clients.”

Overall, the argument that SAP applications work better on HANA is incorrect, and one major reason is that HANA cannot match the performance of competing databases.