NTT DATA Business Solutions
NTT DATA Business Solutions | March 1, 2024 | 5 mins

Challenges and benefits associated with moving from an XS Classic HANA EDW to an XS Advanced HANA EDW 

Explore the challenges and benefits of migrating from SAP HANA Extended Application Services Classic (XSC) to Advanced (XSA) for Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDWs). Discover how this transition unlocks advanced features, streamlined development practices, and prepares businesses for future innovations in SAP HANA.

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SAP HANA Extended Application Services Advanced Model (SAP HANA XSA), the modern platform for the development and execution of native SAP HANA applications, is superseding SAP HANA Extended Application Services Classic model (SAP HANA XSC), which is no longer supported on SAP HANA Cloud and will no longer be supported by the upcoming major release of SAP HANA on premise (expected mid-2025). 

This means that sooner or later, customers currently using SAP HANA XSC will have to migrate all their developments to SAP HANA XSA, otherwise, their classic content will become obsolete. 

Whilst HANA XSx can be used for all sorts of use cases, including application development, in this blog post, we will focus specifically on the challenges and benefits of performing this migration for native HANA EDWs. 

What are the challenges an organisation may face when deciding to migrate an SAP HANA XSC EDW to an SAP HANA XSA EDW?

Migration of an XS Classic EDW to an XS Advanced occurs in the context of a project, so challenges are inherent to a project of this kind. Several tasks are to be performed to get all XS Classic content migrated into the XS Advanced platform, and once migration is done, training should be provided as new skills will be needed to maintain the XS Advanced platform and further develop the EDW in this platform.   

SAP provides a migration assistant to facilitate the process. However, it should be noted that a prerequisite to running this tool is that all XS Classic content to be migrated that is not compatible with XS Advanced must first be converted in the HANA Studio. E.g., the developer team will have to convert all existing HANA Analytic and Attribute views to HANA Calculation Views before using the migration tool. The project team will also perform the following tasks: 

XS Advanced environment technical set-up: firstly, XS Advanced and other components required for development and deployment of XS Advanced applications (e.g., Web IDE), must be correctly installed on HANA 2.0 platform.  

XS Advanced environment validation: once confirmed that HANA is prepared for XS Advanced migration and development, a small but representative set of XS Classic content is selected and manually replicated in XS Advanced to validate the new environment with a complete deployment. 

Pre-migration: a self-contained set of XS classic content is chosen to test the XSA migration tool and remediate any issues. 

Full migration: a migration strategy is analysed and decided upon before running the migration tool, this means XS Classic EDW will be either converted as a whole or by splitting it into several self-contained sets (e.g., split by subject areas). After running the migration tool, the project team reads the report generated by it and remediate all problems before running it again, aiming to get a clean run without errors. Once completing the migration of XS Classic EDW, companies will get a fully functional XS Advanced development and execution environment ready for immediate use that will put organisations in a much better position for upcoming SAP HANA innovations. 


What can be gained from the move? What are the benefits that migration can bring to business? 

SAP HANA XS Advanced model represents an evolution of the application server architecture within SAP HANA built upon the strengths and expanding the scope of its predecessor SAP HANA XS Classic model. 

SAP HANA 2.0 supports both XS Classic and XS Advanced development. However, organisations may choose to transition their XS Classic development to the XS Advanced platform in the coming years. This decision could be driven by factors like: 

  • The upcoming end-of-support for XS Classic in on-premise HANA systems by 2025 
  • A migration to HANA Cloud (where XS Classic is not supported) 
  • Or the desire to leverage new XS Advanced features, including additional programming languages and execution environments. 

Some benefits for HANA XSA EDW use cases include: 

  • More flexible and enhanced Calculation View functionality. While XS Classic provides basic calculation capabilities like joins, filters, aggregations, and projections, XSA offers advanced calculation capabilities such as decision tables, text analysis, time-dependent calculations, and integration with predictive models. 
  • The concept of Projects within HANA XSA means a much cleaner and clearer distinction between runtime and design time artefacts, are all wrapped up in a project. This allows for more efficient development and lifecycle management practices, e.g. CI/CD (which are not always synonymous with EDW development). 

Whilst the benefits of HANA XSA are more geared towards richer and more secure application development, there are a few benefits to the HANA EDW use case. In general, however, many customers will make the move due to the end of life of HANA XS Classic. 

Dive Deeper into SAP HANA XSC to SAP HANA XSA migration:  

The SAP HANA XSA Migration Guide provides detailed information needed to migrate SAP HANA XS Classic content to XS Advanced. The guide explains step-by-step how to use the XS Advanced Migration Assistant in the migration process. 

SAP HANA XS Advanced Migration Guide