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SAP DB - FAQ


General
Why has SAP DB been released as Open Source?
There are other open-source databases - why SAP DB?
How many people are developing SAP DB?
Where can I get SAP DB?
With which database release did the Open Source era begun?
Where can I find the latest information about SAP DB?
How many SAP DB installations are there?
Are there restrictions in terms of the number of database users or of the database size?
Is this a special limited version?
How much do you have to pay for licenses, service, and administration when you use SAP DB?
What about customers that have already purchased SAP DB?
Which database version shall I use?

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?
How will contributions be handled?
Will applications using SAP DB have to be Open Source as well?

Technical
What are the key characteristics of SAP DB?
Where can I find a summary of the differences between SAP DB and other database systems?
Which platforms does SAP DB support?
Can I run SAP DB on 64-bit platforms??
Which SQL standard does SAP DB support?
Which interfaces are supported?
Are there restrictions in terms of the number of database users or the database size?
Which reorganization actions are necessary in a running SAP DB operation?
Can SAP DB systems be run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Is there a C-API to access SAP DB?
What are the backup and recovery characteristics of SAP DB?
Can I use Legato/IBM/Tivoli backup utilities?
Are there any monitoring tools for SAP DB?
What about scalability?

Documentation, Training and Support
Where can I find up-to-date documentation?
Does SAP offer courses on SAP DB administration?
Where and how can I obtain SAP DB support?
What does Premium Support mean?
How does the SAP DB Open Source model work?

High Availability
Does SAP DB offer High Availability/Hot Standby Server solutions?

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?
I am currently running a very large database system. What will happen when I migrate to SAP DB?
Will SAP DB offer the same features as my current database system?
Does SAP DB run with the SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW)?
What will be the cost and time effort of migrating my current database to SAP DB?
Are there any plans to make switching from a different database to SAP DB easier?
Are there any SAP products that require SAP DB?

General

Why has SAP DB been released as Open Source?

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.

There are other open-source databases - why 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.

How many people are developing 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.

Where can I get SAP DB?

SAP DB software can be downloaded, together with a sample database, from the SAP DB Homepage.

With which database release did the Open Source era begun?

With SAP DB Release 7.2

Where can I find the latest information about SAP DB?

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 sapdb-announce@listserv.sap.com.
The mailing list maxdb@lists.mysql.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.

How many SAP DB installations are there?

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.

Are there restrictions in terms of the number of database users or of the database size?

No. SAP DB runs successfully on large, medium-sized, and small installations.

Is this a special limited version?

No. The software released as Open Source is the unlimited and current release as used by customers of SAP solutions.

How much do you have to pay for licenses, service, and administration when you use 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.

What about customers that have already purchased SAP DB?

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.

Which database version shall I use?

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?

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.

Where can I submit bug reports?

SAP DB's web-based Problem Tracking System can be used for bug reports and change requests.

How will contributions be handled?

At present, you are invited to send everything to the mailing list maxdb@lists.mysql.com. Dependent on the amount of submissions, the contribution traffic may be moved to a separate mailing list or into the error tracking system.

Will applications using SAP DB have to be Open Source as well?

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.


Technical

What are the key characteristics of SAP DB?

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 systems.

Where can I find a summary of the differences between SAP DB and other database systems?

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.

Which platforms does SAP DB support?

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.

Can I run SAP DB on 64-bit platforms??

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 SQL standard does SAP DB support?

ANSI 92 Entry-Level

Which interfaces are supported?

ODBC (3.5.1), JDBC (2.0/3.0), C/C++ precompiler, and others.

Are there restrictions in terms of the number of database users or the database size?

ANSI 92 Entry-Level

Which reorganization actions are necessary in a running SAP DB operation?

None. Due to its fully automatic memory administration, SAP DB is completely reorganization free.

Can SAP DB systems be run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Yes. Using SAP DB, all necessary backup activities can be executed online.

Is there a C-API to access 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.

What are the backup and recovery characteristics of SAP DB?

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).

Can I use Legato/IBM/Tivoli backup utilities?

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).

Are there any monitoring tools for SAP DB?

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.

What about scalability?

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?

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).

Does SAP offer courses on SAP DB administration?

SAP offers two courses on SAP DB administration, the basic course BC515 (will be renamed ADM515) and workshop WB550 that goes into more technical details.
Information and course dates are published at www.sap-ag.de/education

Where and how can I obtain SAP DB support?

The SAP DB support models for SAP applications and non-SAP applications are different.
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 (maxdb@lists.mysql.com), which is free of charge.

What does Premium Support mean?

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.

How does the SAP DB Open Source model work?

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.


High Availability

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.

  • 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.
For documentation on standby solutions see the documentation The Database System SAP DB.


Migration from Other Databases to SAP DB

I want to move my SAP system to SAP DB. Will this pose any problems?

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.

What do I have to do to move my productive environment 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.

I am currently running a very large database system. What will happen when I migrate to SAP DB?

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.

Will SAP DB offer the same features as my current database system?

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.

Does SAP DB run with the SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW)?

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.

What will be the cost and time effort of migrating my current database to SAP DB?

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 plans to make switching from a different database to SAP DB easier?

We are thinking about offering a tighter bracket of processes, but all in all it will remain a heterogeneous migration.

Are there any SAP products that require SAP DB?

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.

SAP DB Community
SAP DB Information
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