sap hana versus ms sql

If you are looking for an ERP System, maybe SAP Business One will come up as the right solution for you because of its features, functionalities and easy to use. The next question is, which database should I use? Because in 2010 SAP has launch SAP Hana Database Engine to support their product.

Most people sometimes confuse with SAP S4/Hana. It’s totally a different product. SAP S4/Hana is an ERP System for large enterprises, while SAP Hana is a database engine.

So, which database should we choose if we want to use SAP Business One? Is it the SAP Hana database? or Microsoft SQL Server? Both have the same main functionality, that is to store all the data and retrieve it as requested by SAP Business One. Currently, the versions are SAP Hana 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2019.

A little bit introduction about SAP Hana database, try to understand the concept in this video

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SAP Business One Version for HANA – Transforming Business Systems

Now, this article will try to help you to understand the difference between SAP Hana and Microsoft SQL Server.


SAP HANA is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system. In simple, the data is stored on the RAM. By doing this, the system is not going to read or retrieve the data from the hard disk first before processing it on RAM. This will give an impact on the processing performance, especially when you have a lot of data to be processed.


Because of the in-memory capabilities, SAP Hana can perform advanced analytics (predictive analytics, spatial data processing, text analytics, text search, streaming analytics, graph data processing) and includes extract, transform, load (ETL) capabilities as well as an application server.

SAP Hana is not just a reporting tool, but it’s a system that can support higher processing feature such as running MRP and manage ETD. That’s why some of SAP Business One feature and functionality only available if you are using

SAP HANA database.

And if you are using SAP Hana for SAP Business One, it already preloaded with some dashboards and KPIs.
But you still can use Cyrstal Report to have a standard reporting.

A piece of brief information about SAP Business One on Hana can be found here:
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In terms of license price, SAP Hana Database Engine licensing is base on the server RAM size that you will allocate for the database. The license is per 64GB RAM. In some point, it might look more expensive than Microsoft SQL Server License. But it’s actually almost the same if we compare base on the capability. And sometimes Microsoft SQL Server license can be more expensive.


Since SAP Hana require a bigger RAM size (minimum 64 GB RAM) because of its in-memory computing capability, so yes, the server may become more expensive if we compare with a server for Microsoft SQL Server. And the server also must be certified by SAP. But it doesn’t mean that you must have a very powerful server. Don’t worry about this, SAP already certified many brands, such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Fujitsu, etc


Not like Microsoft SQL Server that runs on Windows Server, SAP Hana run on SuSe Linux Enterprise Server.
Now that you know the difference between SAP Hana and Microsoft SQL Server, it’s up to you to choose what SAP Business One system you will use. Is it SAP Business One on Hana or SAP Business One on Ms SQL.

In the long run, SAP Business One on Hana can be a great option for you to consider.
But if you think it’s more cost-effective to choose SAP Business One on Microsoft SQL Server, it’s also OK. The other consideration some company still choose Microsoft SQL Server is because many people, many third parties are already familiar with Microsoft products.

Either way, both versions can give you the best ERP solution for your company.