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Optimize your data management with the best data warehousing solutions!

Article: Data warehousing in focus: SAP BW/4HANA, SAP Datasphere & HANA Native in direct comparison!

Data warehousing solutions are now essential to succeed in the data-driven business world. In this article, we compare three significant solutions – SAP BW/4HANA, SAP Datasphere and HANA Native – to help you choose the right solution for your business.

System preparation and installation:

The first step towards a functional data warehousing solution is system preparation and installation. Installing and configuring SAP BW/4HANA requires a certain amount of time and resources. However, there are installation guides and tools to make the process easier. Unlike HANA Native, SAP Datasphere offers easier deployment. Dashboards can be used to make all relevant information, for example about the tenant and its hardware, memory utilization or out-of-memory problems, more visible. SAP Datasphere turns out to be the most user-friendly and clear among the three solutions mentioned due to its usability and clarity.

System maintenance:

Maintenance is necessary for every system; However, the differences lie in the associated effort. BW/4HANA requires regular maintenance and updates to ensure performance and security. Maintaining Datasphere is usually less complicated because it is made more interactive and clearer via various dashboards, whereas maintaining HANA Native can be a bit more complex and requires technical experience.

Transportation management

SAP's innovative transport management tools for BW/4HANA make it easy to seamlessly transfer development objects between systems. Data transport is made easier and expanded with SAP Datasphere. For example, a transport package can contain several objects and spaces and be transmitted via a new technology, Analytics Content Network (ACN). Transport management for HANA Native, on the other hand, can be complex and requires detailed planning and implementation.

Data modeling:

BW/4HANA is characterized by a wide range of tools that support data modeling and the development of data objects in depth and breadth. These tools provide comprehensive functionality and resources to create and refine complex data models, giving users the ability to shape data in an efficient and tailored way.

While Datasphere focuses primarily on networking and exchanging data between different systems, it has limited data modeling capabilities. Its primary purpose is to efficiently link and integrate data, making it a valuable data connectivity solution. However, users should note that it does not yet offer the same depth of data modeling functions as BW/4HANA.

HANA Native, on the other hand, enables extremely flexible data modeling. This platform is designed to help experienced data professionals create and customize highly customizable data models. However, it is important to note that using HANA Native requires deep technical knowledge as data modeling in this environment can be challenging and requires a thorough knowledge of the platform.

Transparent data management:

BW/4HANA offers simplified data structures and improved data modeling. It also supports virtualization, allowing you to query data from various sources in real time without physically storing it on your system. This enables more transparent data management and query.
The main strengths of Datasphere lie in the transparent integration and linking of data from different sources and the direct data modeling and management. The new interface also makes such processes more transparent.
Deployed directly on the HANA platform, developers can model, process and retrieve data in real time. Data modeling and processing at the native HANA level requires deep technical understanding, but also results in transparent and efficient data management and query processes.

Data administration

SAP BW/4HANA offers comprehensive data administration capabilities, including managing data permissions and ensuring data quality.

SAP Datasphere also offers clear management of individual tenants and provides monitoring and management of data connections and sources to ensure smooth data flow.

Data administration in HANA Native requires detailed knowledge of the database structure and management in order to effectively maintain and optimize the database.

Ease of use (user/developer)

SAP BW/4HANA provides a well-developed user interface for end users that makes it easy to access reports and dashboards, while also providing developers with extensive tools for modeling and developing data objects.

With Datasphere, data can be managed more effectively, more easily, more efficiently and more clearly. As an example – it offers the creation of simpler and faster ad-hoc reports without creating complex data models. SAC Stories can be built and used on the newly created reports, so that departments or other end users can ultimately make better, timely decisions.

HANA Native provides a powerful foundation for custom applications, but requires specialized development for user-friendly interfaces as well as deep technical knowledge and is suitable for developers with appropriate expertise.

Functions (master data, texts, hierarchy in reporting):

The data management and reporting functions of SAP BW/4HANA, SAP Datasphere and SAP HANA Native differ significantly from each other. Master data management is facilitated by the integrated tools of SAP BW/4HANA and Datasphere, facilitating aspects such as data quality, cleansing and consolidation. In addition, it has the advantage of supporting multilingual texts for master data, which is particularly beneficial for global companies. The ability to create, edit and use complex hierarchies for reporting, with hierarchy management built right in, is another feature of BW/4HANA and Datasphere. Datasphere goes even further and allows you to import the appropriate master data for your purpose from a sizeable library of master data.

In contrast, working with SAP HANA Native is more interactive at the database level. Special database structures and views must be developed for managing master data. Developers need to implement their own solutions for multilingual texts as HANA Native does not provide a standardized feature like BW. Even when HANA Native can support hierarchies, creating and managing them is often more difficult and requires more in-depth database knowledge.

Running time:

The running time of a system influences the speed of data processing. SAP BW/4HANA offers good speed and therefore lands in the middle of the field with a 3/5, while both SAP Datasphere and HANA Native work at lightning speed and can therefore impress with the highest score.


Overall, the choice between SAP BW/4HANA, SAP Datasphere and HANA Native depends on your company's individual requirements and resources. BW/4HANA offers extensive functionality for comprehensive data management and analytics, Datasphere makes data integration easier, and HANA Native offers maximum flexibility and performance but requires specialized technical know-how. A careful analysis of your business needs is crucial to making the right decision, which we are happy to help you with!