In this article, you’ll discover the steps and requirements needed to make the conversion from SAP Business One on SQL to SAP Business One powered by HANA and establish a clearer picture of how to make the right move for your organization.

Are you running SAP Business One? Is your business benefiting and running smarter, faster, and with more efficiency?

In just over a year, the COVID pandemic has ushered in years of change in the way companies do business. And as businesses of all types and sizes scramble to keep pace, there’s plenty of optimism. With SAP Business One HANA, you’re better prepared to advance your business, helping to accelerate its growth and enable far better control of its processes. Through a faster flow of information—real-time analysis of large and complex data and speedy creation of reports—you’ll gain the insights needed to make better, more qualitative decisions, and run your business better.

Considerations before making the leap

Real-time analysis, reporting, planning and so much more, and all in one central solution sounds exactly what businesses need today. Making the move from SQL to HANA is easier than you might think. And while making the jump to HANA may seem like a daunting task, there’s plenty to take advantage of with a modern, intuitive user experience that’ll help to optimize your business.

Before you make the move, there are a few things to note:


The SAP HANA database is licensed differently than MS SQL software. SAP HANA is an in-memory database, so SAP licenses access to the memory in 64GB blocks. The number of blocks of memory needed for your business depends on the size of your organization and the number of concurrent users.

Deployment: On-premise or in the cloud?

For an on-premise solution, you’ll need to have the proper Certified by SAP hardware in place, so you can set up a HANA server. To find certified hardware options, the SAP certified hardware directory details all that’s required (filter by Appliance Type “SAP Business One”)

Moving to the cloud provides multiple options:

  • Partner Private Hosted Environment

This is ideal for businesses that want to have the same flexibility in their SAP deployment as they do with on-premise, and without taking on the responsibilities of managing the hardware.

  • Third-party Hosted Environments

If hardware requirements meet the minimum specifics certified by SAP, customers can leverage existing or new hosting partnerships, either directly or through a third-party IT provider like Azure. This option is technically treated as an on-premise deployment for the SAP Business One customer and is only available with a Perpetual/Ownership licensing model.

  • SAP Public Hosted Environment

This is ideal for customers that have SAP Cloud Certified add-ons only, and use standard SAP functionality. It also requires you to move to a subscription-based licensing model.

What add-ons are you using?

  • Custom add-on

For businesses using add-ons specifically designed for your organization, these add-ons must be recompiled to the HANA version of SAP to ensure compatibility with the latest technology.

  • Add-ons from SSP

For certified add-ons sold within the SAP Business One channel, the responsibility lies with the SSP to make the version of their add-ons compatible with SAP HANA. If add-ons currently used in your SQL environment are available in SAP HANA, then all it takes is a simple installation of the add-ons into the HANA Database.

Custom Reports, queries, and formatted searches

  • Most SAP Business One deployments have a level of custom queries that are written for formatted searches, approval procedures or reports.
  • The syntax between SQL versus HANA has variations in case sensitivity, and some of these functions are commonly used. For this reason, these queries need to be converted from SQL to HANA syntax. Fortunately, SAP provides tools and assets to minimize the manual effort in the conversion process.
  • This initiative also provides a good opportunity for companies to review and cleanup old and outdated reports and queries that may no longer be relevant or needed.


SAP Business One allows for easy integration into many different applications and systems like shipping terminals, e-commerce websites, and much more. If your SAP Business One is currently integrated to external systems and applications, it can be switched over to SAP HANA depending on how the systems are integrated and which middleware has been used:

  • Third Party Add-On

If an integration is performed with a third-party add-on middleware solution, the ease of switch-over will depend on whether the add-on is available in HANA or not. If available in HANA, then there may be a level of query conversions that need to take place, but ultimately the infrastructure is sufficient.

For middleware that does not have a HANA compatible version, then SAP Business One’s Integration Framework can be used to replace outdated middleware.

  • SAP Business One Integration Framework

For integrations done through SAP Business One’s Integration Framework, the transition is seamless as the middleware is agnostic to whether the connection is to a SQL database or a HANA database. The only review needed is to determine if any of these scenarios used a query (or queries) that need to be converted from SQL to HANA Syntax.

Converting from SQL to HANA

Now that you have a better understanding of what needs to be taken into consideration, let’s review the steps (a checklist) that companies need to undergo during their conversion from SQL to HANA.

  1. Establish your HANA environment
  2. Getting your current SAP SQL database to the latest version of SAP Business One.
  3. Convert the SQL database to a HANA database using the SAP Database Conversion Tool.

Interesting fact: Converting an SQL database to a HANA database results in 10 times the compression ratio of the database size—we’ve seen customer databases go from 120GB to below 12GB.

  1. Install HANA Version of any required add-ons.
  2. Convert queries, reports, and layouts from SQL to HANA using the SAP Query Conversion Tool.
  3. Establish integrations to third-party systems.
  4. End-user testing to ensure everything works as it’s expected to work before scheduling a go-live date.

Ready to experience all the benefits that SAP HANA has to offer as you continue down the path of digitally transforming your organization? Learn more about SAP Business One Cloud options and discover how your business can run smarter, faster, and with greater efficiencies. And, if you have any questions or you’re ready to take this discussion to the next level, contact us today.

About the Author

Irenae Jacobs