SAP ups its in-memory computing ante

SAP announced a new wave of specialized in-memory applications

SAP strengthened its eager embrace of in-memory computing on Wednesday, announcing plans for a series of applications that include programs it calls previously "unimaginable" as well as some that overhaul existing software.

In-memory computing moves data off of traditional storage and into RAM, providing a performance boost over reading data off disks. SAP's in-memory data processing engine is the brainchild of co-founder Hasso Plattner and at the core of the HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance) that SAP released last year.

New in-memory applications planned for release this year include a tool for helping operations and marketing departments work together more efficiently, SAP said.

Another new offering will help finance workers crunch data from open invoices and determine, using both current and historical data, the type of discount terms a given customer should receive.

A third planned release will provide analytics for smart meters, SAP said.

SAP is also planning to revamp its Trade Promotion Management and Cash and Liquidity Management applications using in-memory technology.

Overall, the announcements are a continuation of SAP's previously stated plans to release specialized analytic software meant to sit alongside a customer's existing ERP (enterprise resource planning) installation, pulling in data in real-time. The company announced an initial release, Strategic Workforce Planning, late last year.

SAP is not currently positioning its in-memory engine as a full replacement for customers' main database, which is Oracle in many SAP shops. But that may change as SAP's technology matures.

In the meantime, SAP's in-memory application strategy stands to give it products to sell that customers seem eager to buy, as BI (business intelligence) sales remained solid during the global recession.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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Chris Kanaracus

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