SAP HANA vs SAP S/4 HANA – Is there any difference between the two?

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With this SAP HANA vs SAP S/4 HANA tutorial, we are going to clarify a very popular confusion that people entering the world of SAP HANA face.

Some common confusions, what is the difference between SAP HANA and SAP S/4 HANA. Is S/4 HANA, a version of SAP HANA? Are both of them, the origin of the same technology? Well, there is a lot to talk about.

So, let’s start with our discussion where we will solve all your queries about the SAP HANA and S/4 HANA.


Before diving into the details and drawing parallels between the two SAP products, you must first understand the basics of them from tutorial series on SAP HANA.

What is SAP HANA?

SAP HANA is an in-memory database technology that runs the SAP Landscape serving as the backend. SAP HANA is a column-oriented relational database management system (RDBMS) that serves a computing platform for many SAP applications.

SAP HANA is primarily used as a core technology or database platform in systems or environments involving business operations related to sales, HR, finance, logistics, etc.

Its in-memory technology, column-based storage, OLAP and OLTP support makes data storing, retrieving, processing and analyzing 10 times faster and storage efficient than any other traditional RDBMS.

In addition to this, HANA uses main memory efficiently and leaves significantly less memory footprint than traditional systems. It uses compression techniques on data to reduce the space taken by data in column stores.

As it stores important data in-memory, the real-time data analysis using SAP HANA is one of the best offer by any database technology ever.

What is SAP S/4 HANA?

Launched in February 2015, SAP S/4 HANA is SAP’s next-generation business suite designed only to run on SAP HANA. S/4 HANA stands for SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA. SAP S/4 HANA is the fourth business suite version coming after SAP R/3.

Also, by making it solely compatible with SAP HANA system at its backend, SAP replaces the old SAP ECC/ERP system with SAP HANA. However, S/4 HANA is based around its successor i.e. ECC (ERP Control Center) solution and treats it as its core technology.

SAP S/4 HANA is a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution with simplified data, a simple tool design, agile, easier to use, perform complex calculations, and handling greater amounts of data. It can be deployed on-premise, on-cloud or as a hybrid system.

S/4 HANA does not support batch processing for its data which makes retrieval and processing of data very fast and that too in real-time. Real-time analytics makes it possible to use S/4 HANA powered by SAP HANA to process and analyze data from the Internet of Things (IoT) or big data sources.

The Key Difference between SAP HANA & SAP S/4 HANA

To understand the basic difference between the two, read the points below.

SAP HANA is an in-memory database technology which acts as the core technology for a lot of other SAP or non-SAP applications whereas SAP S/4 HANA is a new generation ERP solution which runs on SAP HANA database architecture.

S/4 HANA is a business suite launched as a robust ERP solution having both ERP and BI capabilities utilizing HANA’s in-memory computing power. It is an in-memory version of the ERP Business Suite as it only runs on SAP HANA.

Before SAP S/4 HANA was introduced as the new generation ERP solution, SAP ECC6, Suite on HANA, etc were used as ERP business suite solutions.

There are two functional versions of SAP S/4 HANA; S/4 HANA Finance and S/4 HANA Enterprise Management(EM).

Now, we will compare two versions of SAP Business Suite i.e. SAP Suite on HANA and SAP S/4 HANA. This means that we are comparing an older ERP solution on HANA with a new age ERP solution on HANA (SAP S/4 HANA).

SAP Suite on HANA vs SAP S4 HANA


This concludes our comparative article on SAP HANA vs SAP S/4 HANA. Frankly speaking, there is no exact comparison between the SAP HANA and SAP S/4 HANA but we can differentiate the two versions of SAP Business Suite i.e. Suite on HANA and S/4 HANA.

I hope you are clear with your doubts regarding this and understood the difference between the two business suite.

Still any queries? Feel free to share your views in the comment section below.

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5 Responses

  1. Loi HOang says:

    Dear Sirs,
    I am going to implement ERP SAP for our refinery and petrochemical. I know that there are several functional modules as below:
    •Human Resource.
    •Sales & Marketing.
    •Finance & Accounting.
    •Customer Relationship Management(CRM)
    •Engineering/ Production.
    •Supply Chain Management (SCM)
    please advise me which modules should be first implemented? what are benefits if I utilize ERP in my refinery?
    Loi Hoang

  2. Gurjeet Kaur says:

    thank u for sharing… easy to understand..

    • DataFlair Team says:

      Hey Gurjeet Kaur,

      We are happy to help you. For further knowledge, you can also refer our sidebar for more SAP HANA tutorials.

  3. anusree das says:

    is it necessary to learn both SAP HANA & SAP S/4 HANA? can u share me the syllabus of the both courses?



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