HANA Express images deleted in the cloud

SAP has unfortunately decided to stop making its VM images of the free HANA Express , which were previously available in the cloud from hyperscalers, available. So far, I have been a fan of HANA Express systems in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and I had also described how to install a system on this platform in my book “SQLScript for SAP HANA“. Now, at the beginning of 2021, I have not found the matching images and learned via the SCN that there is no more support planned from SAP here. This apparently refers to all hyperscalers, i.e..

I think this decision is arbitrary and wrong.

SAP HANA Cloud is not an alternative

This decision is wrong because it makes it difficult for the community to build up know-how. SAP benefits greatly from the community and from broad SAP know-how in the labor market. The reference to the SAP HANA Cloud is not satisfactory for everyone, because these systems

  • take forever to start and create. Training participants have reported over an hour for installation.
  • run in SAP Cloud Platform with CF, which is very confusing for me as a cloud layman.
  • Are not 100% compatible with SAP HANA Express or the on premise HANA 2.0 systems from an SQL perspective. So unsuitable for developers who want to learn SQLScript for BW transformation routines.
  • do not support the Eclipse IDE Of course, Eclipse is no longer relevant for HANA development, but for BW developers it is and remains the only option.

Further availibility of the images would be possible without effort

Until now there was no support for these images, so the effort to keep them available would be zero. The fact that you just delete these images is arbitrary. To do so without notice is bad manners. If you don’t want to support new versions anymore, like the long awaited SP05, then you can understand that. But it wouldn’t have taken any effort to just leave the existing images in place.

And currently (1/16/2021) there are still plenty of tutorials online from SAP related to the former HANA Express offering in the GCP. Too bad actually, that makes a bad impression.

Convince instead of force

But why is SAP doing this? Probably because they want to bring cloud offerings to the forefront. However, as a BW developer, I couldn’t care less. HANA Cloud is not an issue for BW installations. So please leave me the HANA Express in the GCP, I don’t want to be forced to SAP HANA Cloud.

Another suggestion: why doesn’t SAP make the cloud offering so great that customers and developers are happy to move to SAP HANA Cloud on their own. Over the past few years, I’ve talked to many SAP developers, and most have reservations and/or negative experiences. SAP should work on this.

I am currently writing the 2nd edition of the English edition of SQLScript for SAP HANA, and can only install a suitable system to test the features of HANA 2.0 SP04 with arbitrarily more effort. It’s not nice.

I’m busy this weekend getting SAP HANA Express installed on a server at IONOS. This costs me a lot of time and nerves, because I am not an admin and not a Linux professional. If anyone would like access to my system via eclipse for practice, please let me know. 😉

Soon I will also write an article about this installation, so that other developers have an easy step by step guide.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, the SAP HANA Express images are no longer available in the cloud from hyperscalers. SAP wants us to move to SAP HANA Cloud instead. But the offer is not suitable for everyone. SAP should be careful not to scare away developers of “classic” SAP applications on BW/4 and S/4 because of the cloud. After all, these products still account for the lion’s share of sales.

I want to be convinced of the cloud, not forced into it.

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