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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

SAP HANA Platform is Now Underlying Data Store Processing Engine for Esri

July 21st, 2016 by Susan Smith

At Esri UC 2016, GISCafe Voice spoke with Matt Zenus, vice president, Product Strategy Go-To-Market, Digital Enterprise Platform Group at SAP and Marie Goodell, Head of Marketing, SAP HANA Platform at SAP about their recent announcements.

SAP_v2[2]SAP unveiled SAP Geographical Enablement Framework, powered by SAP HANA, which helps organizations enrich business applications with geographic data from GIS such as Esri ArcGIS. SAP Geographical Enablement Framework brings spatial maps into our business applications. And the second part of the announcement are the advancements to the SAP HANA in memory database and in memory data system. The third is around the SAP Business Objects Analytics Portfolio.

Zenus began with two points SAP wanted to make about HANA:

– continued interoperability with Esri in the HANA platform

– openness – Hana being open platform

The HANA platform supports layers and feature services that allows HANA to be an underlying data store processing engine for Esri. This means that it connects to and pushes spatial queries into the HANA platform, achieving high performance, and lower total cost of ownership because you’re not having to move data back and forth.

“So this allows GIS analysts to actually leverage the HANA platform, spatial and non-spatial processing, and also it’s bidirectional in nature, so it allows the HANA platform to connect out to another platform. You can develop custom applications and solution on the HANA platform and then call out to Esri for advanced geoservices such as drive time analysis, base maps or other location services that can be ArcGIS Online, Cloud, etc.,” Zenus said.

EDF Energy is using the HANA platform to consolidate business operational, business and finance data, as well as data coming from sensors with OSISoft, and Esri to make better decisions, in this case wind turbines. They can get the performance in real time of wind turbines and if there’s a problem producing the power it needs to, they can immediately see the effect of it, not just in terms of the effect of a power perspective but from a financial perspective.

“This represents a tremendous amount of data, hundreds of millions of records,” said Zenus. “Because of this it reduces the time to consolidate this information and to run the reports and to actually shrink the size as well in terms of compressing the data.”

In the latest HANA release there was an SPS12 that came back in the May timeframe. HANA has become OGC compliant. Users will be able to consume spatial from third-party spatial solutions, as the solution is an open platform certified with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) enabling organizations.

SAP HANA can store and process that data which means other tools connect to HANA. You can load spatial data and store spatial data, query, analyze, consume and view it with other tools.

“We’ve also talked about being able to import spatial reference systems natively into HANA,” said Zenus. “Spatial reference systems really applies to organizations that are global in nature and maybe using different spatial reference systems so we can support those, import them and transform them natively in HANA.”

SAP HANA smart data quality is the last piece: a HANA option that allows you to take addresses and geocode natively in HANA. You can take an address, do address cleansing and then actually do a lat/long append. Once you have that latitude/longitude you can run a spatial query against it.

SAP has had a long standing relationship with Esri with their analytics tools. In the past four years, SAP has stepped it up with HANA. Both organizations have made investments in the Esri platform and the SAP platform including SAP HANA, that also include the new analytic tools and SAP HANA Business Suite as well.

Goodell pointed out that the SAP Geographical Enablement Framework brings maps into an application. “Most of our customer questions are about assets and how can I see spatial data directly in my SAP application so I can track those assets and track the work order? So with this new framework you can build maps directly into the SAP application, and it runs on top of HANA. It can take advantage of storing all the data. It also has bidirectional connections built in between Esri ArcGIS and the SAP Business Suite Portfolio and it provides a foundation for interactive maps that are built into your application.”

Another announcement related to the SAP Analytics Portfolio is that spatial analytics called SAP Lumira continue to extend that functionality there, and this year SAP introduced SAP Business Objects Cloud which is a cloud version of their business intelligence portfolio.

“That’s the foundation of what we call the SAP Digital Boardroom,” said Goodell. “We have a huge visual display of a Samsung screens to open up polygons and links directly to present directly to your CIO and CEO. We can use these beautiful frameworks to do this as well. Our continued relationship with Esri is going to have multiple layers, so if you are using an application such as real estate, retail, land assets, etc. you can build in maps directly into the business applications. If you want to analyze how your business is doing, you can incorporate maps into this whole Digital Boardroom visualization. And we continue to expand our underlying SAP HANA Data management cloud platform for storing, graphic and memory processing of the data, so that we have a big portfolio that both Esri and SAP customers can start interacting with.”

The SAP Geoenablement Framework and the analytics have allowed SAP to democratize data, by bridging siloes and allowing the casual business user to interact with data that they couldn’t before. The GIS expert can access the business data from their tool, and business user can see their data within their context.

To develop spatially enabled business applications, organizations can use the Framework to:

  • Enable smooth integration and bidirectional navigation between SAP applications and Esri ArcGIS. Developers can use application programming interfaces (APIs) published by GIS systems to fetch geospatial data. Also, business data augmented with geometric attributes can be published as a service, so that GIS users can access SAP business data from within their GIS tools.
  • Embed a responsive map user interface (UI) in a business application to display both business and spatial data simultaneously to provide greater insight.
  • Store the geometry of any SAP business object in the SAP HANA platform and accelerate spatial data processing in memory to deliver real-time insights, enriched with spatial context, to improve decision making.
  • Visualize, filter and search for business objects — such as functional location, equipment, linear assets, notifications or work orders — on a map from within a spatially enabled application. From a desktop or a tablet, users can also drill down through multiple map layers to gain better insight.

“Munich Re is one of the leading reinsurance companies in the world,” said Andreas Siebert, head of geospatial solutions at Munich Re. “We use spatial data processing capabilities in SAP HANA, in conjunction with predictive analytics, to assess risk — such as to identify natural hazard profiles for millions of locations around the globe, to efficiently coordinate loss adjustors after a major catastrophe or to calculate how many hospitals, schools and roads may be impacted by an impending hurricane or flood.”


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Categories: 3D Cities, Big Data, cloud, developers, Esri, geospatial, GIS, mapping, SAP HANA

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