Comparison of SAP Business One SQL vs HANA

When you are evaluating SAP Business One for your company, it must be perplexing when you receive quotations with different options – Business One on SQL, Business One on HANA, Business One Cloud, On-premise, Cloud-hosting, SaaS, SAP subscription, Crystal reports, Jet reports, HANA analytics .. and the list goes on.


In this post, we aim to explain the differences between the SQL and HANA version, and which is a better solution for your company.

The fundamental difference between the two is the database technology. The SQL version is based on disk storage technology whereas the HANA is on in-memory technology. For HANA, the data is loaded on the memory of the server and as there are no physical moving parts to retrieve the data, it supports applications and functions that require a lot of processing power.

Is the speed/processing power the only reason to choose HANA over SQL?

To help you with the comparison, we have listed some frequently asked questions.

Question 1 : Is HANA stable as it is a new technology?

HANA is not a new technology. It was first released in 2010 for the higher end SAP systems and the technology was ported to the Business One application in 2012. The technology is past the evangelical phase and there are now 16,300 HANA customers world-wide.

Question 2 : Is the HANA license fees more expensive than SQL?

The SAP user license fees for both versions are the same. The database licenses for SQL and HANA are comparable. In fact, the SQL licenses at the enterprise level can be a lot more expensive than the HANA database.

Question 3 : I would like to have an on-premise server and I heard that I need a very high specification server. Is the HANA server very expensive?

Contrary to what some may say, Business One on HANA is an affordable solution and does not require a super-computer to run! There are many SAP certified HANA hardware which includes brands like Dell, HP and Lenovo. The price for the HANA server is only slightly higher than the SQL server as it needs more RAM memory.

Question 4 : Is Business One on HANA solution available on the Cloud?

Yes. Depending on your needs, Inecom offers 3 flexible options

  • On-premise SAP licensing with on-premise server
  • On-premise SAP licensing with Inecom-Telstra data centre hosting or Inecom-AWS data centre hosting
  • Subscription based licensing on the cloud (Saas)

Question 5 : Is HANA necessary as we are going to use the standard functions of Business One only?

With minimal price difference between the SQL and HANA versions, there is no reason why you should invest in the SQL version now. In addition, SAP has announced in 2015 that all R&D will be focused on the HANA technology.

Designed with simpler user experience in mind, the HANA version has workbench functions to reduce expensive training and handover costs when new staff joins. The continuous development of machine learning in HANA will also make the software more intelligent and automate labour-intensive transaction processing.

If that is not enough reasons, these features are only available on HANA;

  • Enterprise search – a free-style search engine that helps uses retrieve information quickly without opening many programs.
  • Forecasting functions like cash flow forecast; inventory forecast based on historical data/ trends.
  • Advanced delivery schedule management
  • Analytics function
  • Sales mobile application
  • Chat Bot (machine learning capability, to be released soon) – supports natural language query like ‘Help me to analyse my sales data’.

Question 6 : Why do I need HANA for reporting as I can use Crystal Reports or Jet Reports in the SQL version?

HANA is not just a reporting tool. It is a platform that supports functions that require high processing power like forecasting, MRP, scheduling and many more.

Unlike reporting tools like Crystal and Jet, where you have to customize the reports and analytics from scratch, the HANA solution is already pre-packaged with over 60 dashboards and KPIs. The Excel-based Interactive Analytics lets users slice and dice their business data; change grouping/pivot table/sorting sequence on-the-fly and the ‘reporting format’ is not fixed.

If you are still unsure on which version to select, contact us now.

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