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SAP DB is now SAP MaxDB! For more information, visit the SAP MaxDB pages in the SAP Developer Network.

SAP DB Features

The main SAP DB features are listed below.
This list does not claim to be complete.

SQL Features
Main Benefits
Technical Specification
Enterprise Features
Programming Interfaces

SQL Features

  • SQL 92 entry level with several extensions
  • Oracle 7 compatibility mode: SQL mode

Main Benefits

The links will lead you to the Reference Manual: SAP DB 7.3

Referential integrity (to be defined in CREATE TABLE or ALTER Table statement) Referential CONSTRAINT definition
Stored procedures Database procedures and
CREATE DBPROC statement
After statement trigger (INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE) CREATE TRIGGER statement
Updateable views, although not every view is updateable Updateable view table
Datatype BOOLEAN Data type
A number of functions including functions for date values Function (function spec)
Maximum length of object names is 32 characters Names (and links indicated there)
Subtransactions Subtransaction (and links indicated there)
Sequences (number generator) CREATE SEQUENCE: value spec
Roles (compositions of user authorizations that can be granted/revoked as a whole) Role (and links indicated there)
Subselects that can be specified in the FROM clause of a query FROM TABLE specification
Outer joins FROM TABLE specification and
JOIN predicate
Scrollable cursor FETCH statement
Temporary tables that will be destroyed if the application ends the session.
These tables can be created within a stored procedure and selected from outside this procedure. They are updateable, although there is no implicit update of the rows that created the temporary table.
CREATE TABLE statement
Explicit and implicit locking on row level Transactions and Lock statement


NOT supported features:

  • Collations

  • Multi version concurrency for OLTP
    It is available with the object extension of SAPDB only.

  • Hot stand by
    This feature is planned to be offered in one of the coming versions.

Technical Specification of SAP DB Version 7.3

Description Maximum Value
Database size 32 TB (with 8 KB page size)
Number of files/devspaces per database 256
File/devspace size (data) 128 GB (depending on operating system limitations)
File/devspace size (log) 16 TB (depending on operating system limitations)
SQL statement length >= 16 KB (Default value 64 KB, defined by a system variable)
SQL character string length Defined by a system variable
Identifier length 32 characters
Numeric precision 38 places
Number of tables unlimited
Number of columns per table (with KEY) 1024
Number of columns per table (without KEY) 1023
Number of primary key columns per table 512
Number of columns in an index 16
Number of foreign key columns per table 16
Number of columns in an ORDER or a GROUP clause 128
Number of columns in a SELECT statement 1023
Number of columns in an INSERT statement 1024
Number of columns in a results table 1023
Number of join tables in a SELECT statement 64
Number of triggers per Basis table 3
Number of UNIQUE indexes per table 510
Number of indexes per table 510
Number of named indexes per table 255
Number of referring CONSTRAINT definitions (foreign key dependencies) per table unlimited
Number of references per table unlimited
Number of rows per table limited by database size
Internal length of a table row 8088 Bytes
Total of internal lengths of all primary key columns 1024 Bytes
Total of internal lengths of all foreign key columns 1024 Bytes
Total of internal lengths of all columns belonging to an index 1024 Bytes
Internal length of a LONG column 2 GB
Length of columns in an ORDER or a GROUP clause 1020 Bytes
Nested trigger levels unlimited
Nested subqueries 127
Number of join conditions in a WHERE clause of a SELECT statement 128
Number of correlated columns in an SQL statement 64
Number of correlated tables in an SQL statement 16
Number of parameters in an SQL statement 2000

Enterprise Features

  • The Microsoft cluster server is supported. For other systems scripts have to be written according to the failover solution of the system.

  • Online backup

  • Online expansion of the database

  • No explicit reorganization

  • Supported backup tools:

    • TSM + adint2
    • Networker
    • Netvault, HiBack
    • Backint for Oracle
      Tools supporting this interface are:
      ARCserve, Backup Express, dbBRZ for R/3, DBVAULT, DoroStore, EASY_BASE, EMC, EPOCH, FDR/UPSTREAM, HIBACK, HSMS-CL Backint, NetBackup, NetVault, NetWorker, Omniback, Seagate Backup, SESAM, Solstice Backup, Sys-Save, TIME NAVIGATOR for R/3, Tivoli

Programming Interfaces

  • ODBC

  • C/C++ Precompiler (Embedded SQL)

  • JDBC

  • Perl DBI

  • Python

  • PHP

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