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Taking Applications to the Next Level with SAP HANA and Hibernate

Feature Article | November 16, 2017 by Daniel Schneiss

Since SAP was founded in 1972, there has been one key ingredient at the heart of our success: developers. Because it is not only that the best run businesses run SAP, but that the best developers build on SAP.

We believe openness is a fundamental requirement to attract and engage with developers – inside and outside of SAP. It is openness that makes our software even richer and more powerful, and open source frameworks play a crucial role in accelerating innovation, something that is crucial in the digital economy.

The days of separate open source and proprietary software are now firmly in the past. In modern enterprise environments, commercial enterprise applications and open source software are combined. SAP has been a supporter of open source software for many years, actively supporting open source foundations and initiatives, including Apache, Eclipse, Node.js, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry – and now Hibernate, a suite of open source projects from Red Hat that provide simplified data persistence for relational databases and domain models.

Quick Introduction to Hibernate

The flagship Hibernate project is Hibernate ORM, an Object/Relational Mapping (ORM) framework for Java developers that simplifies data creation, data management, and data access. It deals with data persistence as it applies to relational databases (RDBMS) and enables developers to more easily write applications whose data outlives the application process.

In addition to its own APIs, Hibernate is also an implementation of the Java Persistence API (JPA) specification. JPA is a specification intended to serve as the official standard for object-relational mapping and similar features. Hibernate can be used in any environment that supports JPA, including Java SE applications, Java EE application servers, and Enterprise OSGi containers.

Hibernate Search offers full-text search support for objects stored by Hibernate ORM. It provides features such as text search by phrase or keyword, relevance ordering of results, fuzzy search, geo-spatial data support, and faceting.

Hibernate OGM (Object Grid Mapping) provides JPA support for NoSQL solutions, extending Hibernate ORM to manage non-relational data stores. It reuses Hibernate ORM’s engine, but persists entities into NoSQL data stores instead of a relational database.

Introducing Hibernate on SAP HANA

This year at SAP TechEd Barcelona, we are introducing a new and improved Hibernate dialect for SAP HANA. This will help the large number of enterprise developers who are already building Java applications with Hibernate migrate their existing applications to or build new applications on SAP HANA.

By removing the need to map objects to structures used in the relational database, Hibernate on SAP HANA makes developing Java applications on SAP HANA much easier. Not only does it significantly reduce the amount of coding required, but it also makes it simpler to migrate existing applications developed with Hibernate from other databases to SAP HANA. This is due to the abstraction layer offered by Hibernate and the automatic data type mapping provided by the SAP HANA driver for Hibernate.

Java applications benefit from SAP HANA in-memory computing and its capability to process rich sets of data – structured and unstructured – as well as advanced analytics on the same data platform, including geo-spatial data processing via the Hibernate Spatial dialect for SAP HANA. Gartner recently recognized SAP as a “leader” in the Magic Quadrant for Operational Data Management Systems (ODBMS).* In future releases, we also aim to provide full text search and mining via the Hibernate Search module and JSON document store and graph processing via the Hibernate OGM module.

Easier Development, Easier Migration

“By using the Hibernate driver on SAP HANA, we were able to quickly migrate PlumSlice solutions to SAP HANA. Our retail and B2B customers can now take advantage of new levels of performance as they collaborate online to manage purchase orders, quotes, invoices, and everything from dropshipping to virtual merchandising,” says Pullareddy Kudumula, vice president of Software Development at PlumSlice Labs, a leader in the development of collaborative product and supplier cloud applications for digital commerce ecosystems. “The migration process was smooth as we were able to bring our application on SAP HANA without changing a single line of code. Most importantly, our customers can now benefit from real-time analytics on fresh data to guide their action, and can avoid the daily batch jobs to produce data rollups.”

SAP HANA in-memory technology enables transactions and analytics on a single data set, simplifying enterprise data landscapes and enabling advanced multi-model data processing. With the Hibernate dialect for SAP HANA, Java applications can now also take advantage of these benefits. Make sure you check out our tutorials for Hibernate on SAP HANA and the SAP Developer Center for more information.

Daniel Schneiss is senior vice president for SAP HANA Platform and Databases

This story originally appeared on the SAP HANA blog.

*Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems, Nick Heudecker, Donald Feinberg, Merv Adrian, 02 November 2017.
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