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SAP DB - FAQ
Why has SAP DB been released as Open Source?
There are other open-source databases - why SAP DB?
SAP believes that times have changed, that databases are becoming part of the basic technology infrastructure,
and as such, they need not be proprietary or complex. SAP sees that the time is right to drive open-source development of
database technology and contribute to this effort by making SAP DB Open Source. Open-source development is revolutionizing
the way software is created, as shown by the success of Linux, and SAP - which is already providing the first comprehensive
e-business solution on Linux - wants to encourage this development.
How many people are developing SAP DB?
SAP DB is a state-of-the art, SQL-based, industrial-strength database system. SAP DB is platform-independent,
so users can deploy it for a wide array of projects. SAP DB is highly scalable, easy to use and maintain, and provides full
transaction support. Companies can deploy SAP DB together with SAP applications for a complete out-of-the-box business
solution. SAP DB also goes beyond relational processing by offering object orientation as well as support for managing
unstructured data. This comprehensive set of features and their availability as Open Source will benefit the entire
database development community.
Where can I get SAP DB?
Since mid-1997, SAP has made considerable investments into SAP DB, which is maintained and continuously enhanced
by a dedicated team of about 100 SAP developers.
With which database release did the Open Source era begun?
SAP DB software can be downloaded, together with a sample database, from the SAP DB Homepage.
Where can I find the latest information about SAP DB?
With SAP DB Release 7.2
How many SAP DB installations are there?
SAP is launching an online community at the SAP DB Homepage for developers and users to share and exchange enhancements to SAP DB, take part in mailing lists, newsgroups, and chat forums, download software updates, share tips about the software, and locate service and support offerings provided by SAP or other organizations. Those interested can subscribe to two mailing lists:
To receive the latest information on SAP DB as soon as they are available subscribe to the mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mailing list email@example.com is the News Forum of the SAP DB Community. You can use this address for discussions and exchanging experiences with other people interested in SAP DB. This mailing list will be used as the basis for a newsgroup.
Are there restrictions in terms of the number of database users or of the database size?
Currently, there are about 2000 SAP DB installations with more than 1000 customers running, not included SAP liveCache and Content Server installations,
which are also SAP DB products.
Is this a special limited version?
No. SAP DB runs successfully on large, medium-sized, and small installations.
How much do you have to pay for licenses, service, and administration when you use SAP DB?
No. The software released as Open Source is the
unlimited and current release as used by customers of SAP solutions.
What about customers that have already purchased SAP DB?
You donít have to pay for SAP DB database licenses. When you use SAP DB as a database
for mySAP.com solutions, you pay a mandatory maintenance fee but thanks to the
easy administration and low space requirements of SAP DB, additional costs are kept to a minimum.
Which database version shall I use?
The availability as open-source software does not affect existing SAP DB customers' licensing and maintenance agreements
with SAP. New SAP DB installations in combination with SAP applications will be handled by a new business model, which only
charges for service and support. For non-SAP applications, customers have the option of purchasing service and support offerings
from SAP or other organizations for a fee, which is a common business model for open-source software.
SAP DB version 7.4 is the latest official release of SAP DB software. All new users of SAP DB are recommended to start with version 7.4, since it offers a number of valuable new features.
Nevertheless, version 7.3 will continue being developed for those using it in productive systems.
Open Source Process
Does SAP just want to dump SAP DB on the open-source community and walk away?
Where can I submit bug reports?
Not at all. On the contrary, SAP will continue to develop and support SAP DB to drive future enhancements in cooperation with
the open-source community. Leveraging database technology is important for delivering comprehensive and innovative SAP components.
Basis development in Berlin contributes to the Supply Chain Management/liveCache, Knowledge Management/Info DB, and SAP DB for
SAP solutions among other tasks.
How will contributions be handled?
SAP DB's web-based Problem Tracking System can be used
for bug reports and change requests.
Will applications using SAP DB have to be Open Source as well?
At present, you are invited to send everything to the mailing list
Dependent on the amount of submissions, the contribution traffic
may be moved to a separate mailing list or into the error tracking system.
No. Applications are using SAP DB as a service similar
to the way they are using the operating system.
The programming interfaces are released under the GNU LGPL
(Library or Lesser General Public License). Software linked
with the programming interfaces is not required to
be released as Open Source.
What are the key characteristics of SAP DB?
Where can I find a summary of the differences between SAP DB and other database systems?
SAPDB is a state-of-the-art enterprise database system with a high level
of performance, scalability, robustness and reliability. It is very easy to use
and maintain, for example, no reorganization is required and the database allows
for uninterrupted 24x7 operation.
Thanks to its automatic, dynamic memory management, SAP DB also needs less disk
space than other database systems such as Oracle or Informix. System resources
do not require constant attention.
All this, together with the fact that SAP DB is an open source solution, keeps
total cost of ownership (TCO) at an all-time low compared to other database
Which platforms does SAP DB support?
At the moment, no general summary is available. However, in terms of
functionality and performance, SAP DB meets all the requirements needed to ensure
smooth operation of all SAP solutions.
Can I run SAP DB on 64-bit platforms??
SAP DB currently supports Linux (Intel), Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows XP,
IBM-AIX, SUN-Solaris, Tru64-Unix and HP-UX. OS/390, ZLinux and Microsoft .NET
will also be supported in the near future.
Which SQL standard does SAP DB support?
Yes, but the 64-bit Linux and Intel ia64/Windows version are not yet available for
productive use. We expect those during the first half of 2003.
Which interfaces are supported?
ANSI 92 Entry-Level
Are there restrictions in terms of the number of database users or the database size?
ODBC (3.5.1), JDBC (2.0/3.0), C/C++ precompiler, and others.
Which reorganization actions are necessary in a running SAP DB operation?
ANSI 92 Entry-Level
Can SAP DB systems be run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
None. Due to its fully automatic memory administration, SAP DB is completely reorganization free.
Is there a C-API to access SAP DB?
Yes. Using SAP DB, all necessary backup activities can be executed online.
What are the backup and recovery characteristics of SAP DB?
ODBC is the official C-API. There is no performance loss because ODBC is not implemented as a wrapper around a lower level
API. In UNIX, programmers can use either one of the available driver managers or link them directly with the libraries
provided with SAP DB.
Can I use Legato/IBM/Tivoli backup utilities?
Backup and recovery are also part of our ease-of-use approach. The Database
Manager, an SAP DB tool, offers intuitive backup scenarios and guides you through
recovery processes. If you are running an SAP system with SAP DB, you can also
schedule and execute your database administration tasks in the SAP Computing
Center Management System (CCMS).
Are there any monitoring tools for SAP DB?
Yes, you can also use external backup tools. The Database Manager currently
supports the following backup tools: TSM (IBM), Backint for Oracle,
Backint for SAP DB, and NetWorker (Legato).
What about scalability?
The Database Manager, an SAP DB tool, offers monitoring features for
administration purposes. There is also a new special monitoring tool,
Database Analyzer, delivered with SAP DB Version 7.4 upwards. The Database
Analyzer has default configurations for standard use but can also be used by
experienced administrators to make more sophisticated analyses.
SAP DB provides state-of-the-art performance and scales well on multi-processor
architectures. Benchmarks can be found at here and at www.sap.com/benchmark (SD/APO).
Documentation, Training and Support
Where can I find up-to-date documentation?
Does SAP offer courses on SAP DB administration?
You can find all SAP DB documentation in English at www.sapdb.org under
Documentation. You can read the documentation online or download it.
For a basic overview of the database system architecture, user and
security concepts and the available database tools, please consult the documentation
The Database System SAP DB.
If you are looking for documentation describing features that are specific
to SAP applications such as the Computing Center Management System (CCMS) for
database administration, use the SAP Help Portal (http://help.sap.com).
Where and how can I obtain SAP DB support?
SAP offers two courses on SAP DB administration, the basic course BC515
(will be renamed ADM515) and workshop WB550 that goes into more technical
Information and course dates are published at www.sap-ag.de/education
What does Premium Support mean?
The SAP DB support models for SAP applications and non-SAP applications are
SAP applications: If you use SAP DB in combination with an SAP application,
you are entitled to SAP support through your maintenance contract with SAP.
Non-SAP applications: For non-SAP applications, customers have the option of
purchasing services and support from SAP (Premium Support) or other organizations.
Open source users can also ask for support via the SAP DB Open Source mailing
list (firstname.lastname@example.org), which is free of charge.
How does the SAP DB Open Source model work?
A Premium Support Contract gives SAP DB users running non-SAP applications
access to the SAP service infrastructure for problem reporting and solving,
including performance problems. The customer is requested to set up a Customer
Competence Center (CCC) with a limited number of contact persons. The support
fee is 60,000 euros per year per CCC. If you already have an SAP DB maintenance
contract for an SAP solution, this fee is reduced.
With SAP DB, SAP provides a professional product that can be downloaded and used
as free software for non-SAP applications by anyone. Binaries, source code,
tools and programming interfaces are published under the GNU LGPL/GPL (Lesser
General Public License/General Public License) at www.sapdb.org, together with
information and documentation.
Does SAP DB offer High Availability/Hot Standby Server solutions?
SAP DB supports a couple of standby solutions. Which one you choose
depends on your requirements.
For documentation on standby solutions see the documentation The Database System
- SAP DB supports Snapshot and Split Mirror Techniques (see SAP Note 371247)
- SAP DB supports Cluster solutions, which are implemented by the hardware
suppliers. The Microsoft Cluster Server is directly supported by SAP DB (see
SAP Notes 319835 and 508979).
- You can build a shadow database with SAP DB versions 7.2.05 upwards. In
addition, the Libelle company (www.libelle.de) offers a tool called DBShadow,
which will soon be available for SAP DB.
- The support of a Hot Standby Configuration with logshipping via a storage
system is planned for version 7.4.4, which is scheduled for the first or second
quarter of 2003.
Migration from Other Databases to SAP DB
I want to move my SAP system to SAP DB. Will this pose any problems?
What do I have to do to move my productive environment to SAP DB?
No, your system will run as smoothly on SAP DB as it does on your current
database. You can migrate your system by performing a heterogeneous system copy
(that is, exporting the database with the R3Load program, re-installing the SAP system and
then re-importing the database). All conversions and adjustments of data are
covered by the R3Load program.
Of course, any migration to another database will lead to some additional
customizing on secondary keys, etc.
I am currently running a very large database system. What will happen when I migrate to SAP DB?
SAP offers a service called OS/DB Migration Check containing, among other
things, a migration test, Early Watch sessions, and consulting. The customer
checks in a test environment whether the migration results fulfill his
expectations in terms of performance and duration, and carries out operative tests
with an avarage amount of users. This service is mandatory to get post-migration
support. SAP customers can find additional information in SAPNet, alias osdbmigration.
Will SAP DB offer the same features as my current database system?
Over the past few years, we have been investing constantly in the development
of automatic space management. This means that your SAP DB will actually need up
to 40 percent less space than, for example, an Oracle or Informix database. This
in turn means less cost and better performance.
Does SAP DB run with the SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW)?
SAP DB conforms to standards in every respect and provides all the interfaces
that you would expect of an open database system. SAP DB meets official ISO/ANSI
SQL 92 Standards (entry Level plus extensions), so that SQL programs
created for other database systems can be easily ported to SAP DB, and is
compatible with Oracle7. The ODBC driver allows you to use Microsoft Windows-based
office tools or reporting tools. Using the JDBC driver, you can easily connect
SAP DB as a database engine to Java-based application servers. There is a
precompiler for C/C++. Interfaces are available for the script languages
Perl, Python and PHP.
What will be the cost and time effort of migrating my current database to SAP DB?
We know from experience with 46 installations, 7 of which are productive
systems, that small and medium-sized BW installations run smoothly on SAP DB.
Version 8.0, which will be released in the third quarter of 2003, will also
feature architectural improvements especially for BW operation.
Are there any plans to make switching from a different database to SAP DB easier?
If you take into account all preparations, migration checks, setting up the
new environment and testing, the process generally requires two weeks, but the
migration itself (that is, system downtime) only takes one or two days.
Always bear in mind the benefit of switching to a database system that offers
the same performance at significantly lower costs, is free of reorganisation tasks
and requires an outstandingly easy administration.
Are there any SAP products that require SAP DB?
We are thinking about offering a tighter bracket of processes, but all in all
it will remain a heterogeneous migration.
SAP APO (SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer) is shipped with SAP liveCache,
a special, object-oriented version of SAP DB.
SAP DB has become an important element of the SAP technology stack and will be
used as the default database in more and more SAP solutions.