SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP NetWeaver Cloud Platform, NEO, …

With the recent announcement of the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, a number of questions have been circulating about how this offering relates to SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP NetWeaver Cloud Platform, “NEO” etc.. Confused? So let me try to put things straight, it’s actually pretty simple:

What is SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud?

The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offering is a comprehensive cloud infrastructure combined with managed services to allow customers to run their SAP HANA applications, including SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA, in a managed virtual private cloud environment. We prefer to refer to this as an Enterprise Cloud.

What is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform?

It is (and remains to be) SAP’s only public Developer Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) offering that allows SAP partners, SAP customers and SAP development itself to build, deploy and operate applications in an open and standards-based Cloud environment. Building these applications is made easy by our offering of a number of shared application services and in particular the power of SAP HANA in a service-based manner. The SAP HANA Cloud Platform is hence tailored towards the huge SAP developer community: It provides both Java and Java VM-based language environments like Java itself, (j)Ruby, Scala, Python, Clojure or Groovy as well as HANA native development capabilities like e.g. SQLScript or River Definition Language.

SAP operates this infrastructure, partners and customers can focus on their applications without having to worry about the operations of the underlying technology stack.

While in general allowing to build a wide variety of application types on top, the platform is particularly optimized for two major use cases:

  1. Serving as an open extension platform for
  2. Building completely new, powerful and high-performance applications on SAP HANA

Examples are “edge” applications extending core functionality in the SuccessFactors Employee Central offering, or extending the reach of classical SAP Business Suite applications like Human Capital Management (HCM) employee self-services with a consumer-grade user experience via mobile devices using HTML5 (e.g. via SAP UI5) or native mobile device experiences.

SAP NetWeaver Cloud Platform is the retired name for a subset of HANA Cloud Platform, which has meanwhile smoothly evolved into something even bigger. It provides the SAP HANA Cloud Platform with its core operations framework, the core services like Identity Management, Single Sign On, Cloud/On-Premise Connectivity, Persistency, Metering and Monitoring, integration into the SAP Store for subscription and billing purposes, etc..

NEO” has been the SAP internal project name for SAP NetWeaver Cloud platform before it was originally released last year and — as such nicknames tend to do — has been more sticky with people than the marketing department has been hoping for 😉

How do HANA Enterprise Cloud and HANA Cloud Platform fit together?

As outlined above, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is focusing on providing SAP solutions powered by HANA as managed services in an enterprise-grade, virtual private cloud environment. SAP HANA Cloud Platform can be used to extend these solutions via our public cloud Platform-As-A-Service offering, as one can already do with SAP solutions “classically” operated on-premise or SuccessFactors solutions offered in a cloud environment itself.

Both SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and SAP HANA Cloud Platform are running collocated in the same certified SAP Data Center sites and hence allow to be efficiently combined and put to action for dedicated scenarios. In a way, SAP HANA Cloud Platform is available with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, or it is contained in it, but somehow these statements appear to be a bit academic to me. What is really important is that these two offerings fit and work together: One does not replace the other, but each of them solves a specific problem of our customer and partner ecosystem. They compliment each other: All capabilities offered by SAP HANA Cloud Platform can be put to work with solutions provided by SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

Hope that helps to clarify a bit.

P.S.: Make sure to checkout out Aiaz Kazi’s blog post as well.


  1. *Just* when I think I start to understand the systems of the company at which I work, I get confused all over again. I’ve come over here from Aiaz’s blog, and I’m confused a bit by the characterizations of ___ as a Service.

    I’m clear that SAP HANA Cloud Platform is a Platform as a Service, but you also characterize it as Infrastructure. Is it both?

    The way we talk about SAP HANA Enterprise cloud, it almost sounds like we position it as SaaS — but in the above it’s positioned on-par with HANA Cloud Platform as IaaS.

    Just wondering if it would help to visualize which “aaS” each is considered to be.

    thanks for this blog!

    1. SAP HANA is an in-memory data platform that is deployable as an appliance or in the cloud. At its core, it is an innovative in-memory relational database management system that makes full sense of the capabilities of current hardware to increase application performance, to reduce cost of ownership, and to enable new scenarios and applications that were not possible before SAP HANA

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