SAP AG today announced the development of high performance business intelligence (BI) as part of the SAP NetWeaver™ technology platform to assist businesses in accessing critical data at predictable, accelerated response times. With this new offering, companies will gain instant access to information such as inventory and profitability data to help them improve productivity, make more accurate sales forecasts, enhance supplier relationships or increase the focus and effectiveness of marketing campaigns. These new capabilities will best benefit corporate environments with high data volumes, a large number of simultaneous data requests and unpredictable types of queries. SAP will ship this capability with its next release of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, to be released in 2005. The announcement was made at SAP TechEd® ‘04, the largest developer education conferences of the year taking place in San Diego, California, from October 5 to 8 at the San Diego Convention Center and in Munich, Germany, from October 12 to 14 at the International Congress Centre.

Due to the growing adoption of both mature and emerging data-intensive technologies such as point-of-sales (POS) applications and RFID, businesses have been accumulating increasingly large and heterogeneous data stores. Traditional approaches to accessing this business intelligence are robust and mature, yet they also pose significant trade-offs between response time and predictability. The new high performance business intelligence capabilities of SAP NetWeaver will provide organizations with the speed and flexibility to better access and exploit critical business information to fuel “smart” business processes at a reduced total cost of ownership.

“For knowledge workers to be productive, they must be able to access data rapidly at all levels of detail,” said Henry Morris, Group Vice President for Integration, Development, and Application Strategies, IDC. “In many corporate scenarios, knowledge workers have had to wait anywhere from a few seconds to an hour for queries to return information, which has dissuaded them from employing the very tools they need to do their jobs. SAP’s utilization of techniques from search technology to enhance query performance against structured data is an innovative approach to this problem. Accelerating the speed of access to business intelligence allows companies to more fully exploit their BI investments and create a solid foundation for corporate decision making.”

The new technology brings the strength of the latest research in search technologies—such as quick and predictable response times—by leveraging scalable and distributed attribute search technology, vertical decomposition, horizontal partitioning, smart compression and in-memory processing. Due to the openness of the SAP NetWeaver platform, knowledge workers can continue to use the access tools of their choice, so everyone in an organization will have insight into business key performance indicators. In addition, seamless integration with SAP NetWeaver ensures low total cost of ownership and minimal administration as the solution scales and grows with the organization. This technology will be available as a new key capability of the next version of SAP NetWeaver and will extend the value of SAP NetWeaver while keeping customers’ existing data models and processes intact.

The new technology will deliver improvements in orders of magnitudes, not just gradual improvements. Lab results showed response time improvements on average of 10 times the speed of traditional approaches. In some cases, queries executed via the new technology were up to 1,000 times faster. In addition, average load times were reduced, often significantly. SAP’s analytic engine is able to achieve these performance breakthroughs because they leverage a combination of capabilities that are built into the SAP NetWeaver platform.

“SAP is unique in its ability to bring this level of innovation to its customers,” said Klaus Kreplin, member of the SAP Extended Executive Board. “While others have attempted to introduce similar offerings, SAP can deliver this level of innovation because it possesses experience in three key areas: in-memory and parallel processing, adaptive computing technology and optimized integration with leading business intelligence technologies. Offering all these capabilities in one ready to go platform is a key advantage of SAP NetWeaver.”