I just wanted to post some remarks to the very interesting blog from David Smith, as I was able to take a deeper look to the HANA appliance:
- I agree with the statement that tool providers focus today on ‘high-performance analytics’:But the most important steps in the SAP-/ERP-world is still to be done: too much of analytics domain information is today deeply buried in application code, BI tools from the past were merely seen as pure inspection tools to this information.
- SAP is about to place more application logic on the database layer, which in perspective enables more of David’s “more than just basic analytics”: the usage of (optimizable) prediction models could be possible then.
- (I remember especially a very interesting use case for “more than just basic analytics” from an SAP discussion: appliances like HANA with specific application functionality enable a production company/facility to evaluate the ‘best’ scenario of how to fulfill orders in taking into account the bills of material and facts like availability of parts in case of limitations.)
SAP in fact announced formal R integration:
- The so called “HANA pocketbook” ( at https://www.experiencesaphana.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/1436-102-1-1946/SAP%20HANA%20Pocketbook-DRAFT.pdf ) describes the high level picture of R integration (starting on p. 59).
- Alvaro Tejada ( @blag ) posted a number of blogs on R integration with HANA: http://scn.sap.com/people/alvaro.tejadagalindo3 I consider him to be the R-mastermind inside SAP.
The complete R integration was not present in the previews of HANA I have seen: the key to the success of R in the SAP world is to which level constraints for R are in place: e.g. whether all the nice machine learning/hadoop enablers for R can be used. ( only a small-scale R-language support would not be sufficient for these use cases.