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Comparison Summary
Question: Which is better: SQL Server or SAP HANA?
Answer: It really depends on the purpose of usage. Both have strengths and limitations. SAP HANA is expensive especially when you try to integrate data from other sources than SAP systems. SQL Server (I believed you refer to MSSQL), is good for you to store application data. However, if you need big data analysis or advanced analytics, SQL Server may not be the best solution. The same goes for SAP HANA.
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about SAP HANA vs. SQL Server and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"Eases management of databases.""Using this solution has given us better details for reporting and analytics.""The solution operates well.""The solution is easy to manage enterprise resources and the reporting and analytics are including. It is good for company growth and all module are managed well.""The solution is extremely stable. That's the most important aspect of the solution, for our organization. There is no downtime, and the performance is very good.""It is difficult for me to narrow down what the best features are in SAP HANA because they work together to provide the overall functionality of the solution. However, the Fiori application is very good.""We've had good experiences with technical support.""It is very stable and very innovative. You can integrate many applications with it."

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"SQL Server is definitely easy to use, and with the volume that we have, it's also stable.""The solution seems to be pretty flexible.""There is no lack of features.""They have improved the UI and ease of accessing the database and server which is good. You can load it up and start using it from the very minute it is implemented.""SQL Server scales well.""I like the availability group functionality. We are setting up more clusters using availability groups. The enterprise licensing or Software Assurance makes it a little bit cheaper as well. It is nice to have that read-only copy for reporting and everything else.""The performance of SQL Server is perfect.""It is stable, and it works okay."

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"A documents preview could be helpful.""The worst thing about SAP HANA is the price; it's very expensive. The licensing cost, implementation cost, hosting cost, and appliance cost are all high.""The JDBC connectors are very slow.""Unlike other databases, it lacks management features that legacy databases like Oracle or SQL servers have. They need to make the solution easier to manage and offer tools that make management more effective. A lot of things you have on traditional databases you have to develop into HANA.""The product is very demanding on memory requirements.""High availability and disaster recovery are very poor in HANA.""SAP HANA is not perfect and they could improve by having more options and more integration.""The solution is very expensive for us."

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"There should be more tools and documentation for tuning the performance of Microsoft SQL Server. It would be nice to have more tools for tuning because currently, all the tuning that we have to do with our databases is almost manual. We have to read a bunch of knowledge base articles, and this information should be better documented. Its free text search should also be improved. It is quite important for us. Currently, we're developing our own free text search because of the lacking flexibility in Microsoft SQL Server. Therefore, we're kind of using elastic search and making different implementations in order to reach our targets. Using just the native free text search of Microsoft SQL Server is not enough for us. It should have more flexible features as compared to the current version.""I would like to have the option to use fewer processors for certain tasks, thus reducing the licensing fee.""If you are a new user then this solution could be difficult, they could improve by making the overall usage easier.""SQL Server could improve by providing something similar to an interface or dashboard where a developer can do debugging, this would make a developer's work easier. Additionally, the optimization could be better. If there was an interface showing information needed for the optimization it would help because there can be some data loss making it difficult to optimize the SQL Server.""Although I am satisfied with the solution, some clients have asked us to resolve technical issues, such as those involving silver solution and replication.""Something that could be improved is the cost because it's very high. That's the only thing I'm concerned about but the technology is good.""The performance could improve.""The solution is rather expensive."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "It is expensive, which isn't a problem for us because SAP HANA is processing the data so fast."
  • "SAP HANA is an expensive product."
  • "It is expensive."
  • "Setup and licensing require planning and proper budgeting, as it is not cheap."
  • "The price of the solution could be reduced, it is expensive."
  • "The price of this product is good."
  • "We pay $200 on a monthly basis."
  • "The price is high and could be a bit cheaper."
  • More SAP HANA Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "SQL Server is a cost-effective solution for a small database."
  • "Pricing is reasonable for small organizations, but the scaling increases the price."
  • "We didn't have any licensing costs for SQL Server."
  • "We pay approximately $12,000 USD per month for both the server and the license."
  • "The price could be cheaper."
  • "Cost is a major derivative for any organization. It has a reasonable cost value, and its cloud support is also better than others. Comparatively, Oracle can do the same things or is even better in certain areas, but it is expensive. The cost along with the support are the plus factors for SQL Server."
  • "We have had to purchase the Enterprise version to the tune of a few hundred thousand dollars, which is just ridiculous."
  • "With recent releases, the Standard Edition (cheaper) SKU has some of the earlier version Enterprise features. SQL Express has some limitations."
  • More SQL Server Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    The solution is easy to scale.
    Top Answer: 
    The pricing is a bit on the high side. The use of hardware does not incur additional costs.
    Top Answer: 
    Since we use BW, we are required to use an SLT tool to carry out the data for generating the reports. But, when it comes to in-memory database in respect of the realtime reporting, I do not see why… more »
    Top Answer: 
    I love SQL Server's Common Table Expression. In addition to that, I like its lead and lag functions. That helped us reduce a lot of code when comparing rows in SQL Server.
    Top Answer: 
    Licensing fees increase depending on size and performance. If you want higher performance, you should go for a different course.
    Top Answer: 
    The way SQL Server pivots data could be improved. For example, I would like built-in comma-separated pivot and unpivot functions.
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    Also Known As
    SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance, HANA
    Microsoft SQL Server, MSSQL, MS SQL
    Learn More

    The SAP HANA® platform helps you reimagine business by combining a robust database with services for creating innovative applications. It enables real-time business by converging trans-actions and analytics on one in-memory platform. Running on premise or in the cloud, SAP HANA untangles IT complexity, bringing huge savings in data management and empowering decision makers everywhere with new insight and predictive power.

    SQL Server is the Microsoft-driven relational database management system. This system is used to store data as well as retrieve it when necessary; these functions can be supported by individual users or by multiple users within a larger network. The Microsoft SQL Server has warehousing options, quality and integration services, management tools that are simple to implement, as well as robust tools for development.

    Looking at the more technical end of things, Microsoft SQL Server uses query languages such as T-SQL and ANSI SQL. Disaster recovery is one of the product's most prominent features, in addition to in-memory performance, scalability, and corporate business intelligence capabilities.

    Learn more about SAP HANA
    Learn more about SQL Server
    Sample Customers
    Unilever, NHS 24, adidas Group, CHIO Aachen, Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), Bangkok Airways Public Company Limited
    Microsoft SQL Server is used by businesses in every industry, including Great Western Bank, Aviva, the Volvo Car Corporation, BMW, Samsung, Principality Building Society, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.
    Top Industries
    Energy/Utilities Company22%
    Logistics Company7%
    Consumer Goods Company7%
    Pharma/Biotech Company7%
    Computer Software Company32%
    Comms Service Provider21%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    Energy/Utilities Company5%
    Financial Services Firm18%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Manufacturing Company11%
    Comms Service Provider5%
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider22%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Company Size
    Small Business33%
    Midsize Enterprise12%
    Large Enterprise55%
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise21%
    Large Enterprise36%
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise11%
    Large Enterprise72%
    Find out what your peers are saying about SAP HANA vs. SQL Server and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,643 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    SAP HANA is ranked 4th in Relational Databases with 25 reviews while SQL Server is ranked 1st in Relational Databases with 143 reviews. SAP HANA is rated 8.0, while SQL Server is rated 8.2. The top reviewer of SAP HANA writes "Very robust solution with good data access". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SQL Server writes "Veteran solution with critical log shipping feature". SAP HANA is most compared with Oracle Database, MySQL, Apache Spark, IBM Db2 Database and Oracle Database In-Memory, whereas SQL Server is most compared with Oracle Database, LocalDB, IBM Db2 Database, Teradata and MariaDB. See our SAP HANA vs. SQL Server report.

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    We monitor all Relational Databases reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.