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SAP HANA: Developer Edition Vs. Express Edition

Feature Article | January 31, 2017 by Andreas Schmitz

Anyone looking to dip a toe into the world of SAP HANA doesn’t need to get a license right away. Here, we offer a comparison of what the express and developer editions of the platform have to offer.

What’s the story with the express edition of SAP HANA?

This edition is geared toward all those looking to get on the fast track to developing their own apps with SAP HANA, but on a slightly pared-down version of the platform. First of all, developing and running applications that require less than 32 gigabytes of memory doesn’t cost a thing. For those that need more RAM, the express edition of SAP HANA does come with some usage fees, but a full license is only necessary for applications that demand more than 128 gigabytes of memory. Customers are also free to decide whether they want to run their express edition applications on their own servers or workstations (on Linux, macOS, or Windows), or in virtual environments based on SUSE or Red Hat Linux through infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure (which offer their services through SAP Cloud Appliance Library).

What does the developer edition of SAP HANA bring to the table?

Like the express edition, the developer edition is designed to help users gain some experience in developing with SAP’s in-memory technology. It’s based on the platform edition of SAP HANA, which means it contains some functions not available in the express edition. Smart data streaming, for example, makes it possible to receive data from various sources (such as sensors, social media tools, or market researchers) for immediate processing and analysis. This requires a smart data integration component (also included) that safeguards the flow of data. Unlike with the express edition of SAP HANA, however, developer edition users will have to do without the option to run their applications in live settings. The developer edition is also only available in the cloud through Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, both of which offer clear and manageable payment plans to those in need of infrastructure. SAP, meanwhile, doesn’t charge users for applications that require less than 64 gigabytes of memory.

What are the key differences between the express and developer editions of SAP HANA?

  • Users can run the express edition on physical hardware or through virtual appliances in the cloud; with the developer edition, only the latter option is available.
  • With the express edition, it’s possible to implement developed applications in live environments. The general terms and conditions of the developer edition explicitly prohibit this.
  • To enable users to run the express edition of SAP HANA on less powerful workstations and laptops, SAP had to leave out a number of functions, including smart data integration, smart data streaming,  high availability, and dynamic tiering (which treats data differently based on how often it’s required). For a comprehensive list, please refer to the third question of the express edition FAQ.
  • The developer edition offers a wider functional scope, including the aforementioned smart data streaming and smart data integration.
  • Users can build applications requiring up to 64 gigabytes of memory in the developer edition free of charge; the express edition comes with a limit of 32 gigabytes. Remember, Microsoft and Amazon both charge fees for the use of their infrastructure after one month at the latest depending on which web services you need.

What other options are available to take advantage of the SAP HANA platform’s full range of functions?

While the express edition is mainly designed to give users the chance to kick the tires on SAP HANA, several other variants make it possible to acquire the specific in-memory functionality you need. The base edition of SAP HANA, for instance, comes with core database services, development tools, and libraries for business and application functions. The platform edition adds in algorithms for search and analysis, and the developer edition includes smart data streaming and integration. Finally, the enterprise edition of SAP HANA gives you access to the entire functional scope currently available to SAP HANA developers.

Where can you download the express and developer editions of SAP HANA free of charge?

The express edition of SAP HANA is available for download here. The cloud version is also available through SAP Cloud Appliance Library.

To access the developer edition of SAP HANA, please refer to this tutorial.

If you’d like to start using the developer edition (or the express edition in the cloud), check out the following registration pages:

Further information

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