(Bloomberg) -- Business software maker SAP SE introduced a significant update to its database software in five years, which includes new tools for analyzing the stream of data being created by smart sensors and a lightweight free version for developers to test.
Hana 2, the second major release of SAP’s main database software since its wide release in 2011, includes tools for analyzing and predicting machine and geographic data and becomes available to customers Nov. 30. SAP is also making the software more accessible to developers through new pricing as it seeks to gain share against Oracle Corp. and other rivals.
The company is counting on businesses needing to analyze the increasing volume of data coming from factory machines, vehicles and farms, and is spending 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) through 2021 to support its efforts there.
Hana lets businesses analyze transactional data while it resides in fast computer memory, without loading it into a separate data warehouse, in principle saving cost and time. Since the software’s debut, competitors Oracle and Microsoft Corp. have added so-called in-memory computing features to their databases, which have greater market share than SAP’s.
To fight back, SAP is courting software developers, whose adoption helps seed tools inside large companies. With Hana 2, SAP for the first time is making available a free "express edition" for developers that caps at a relatively low 32 gigabytes of memory.
Programmers can run the software on their own laptops, then have their company move the database to a production environment and purchase more memory, said Irfan Khan, a chief technology officer at Walldorf, Germany-based SAP.
The company is also letting developers program Hana with a wider variety of computer languages, he said.
SAP, the top seller of business applications software for production and financial planning and other operational tasks, is managing a multi-year transition to cloud-delivered software while trying to protect revenue growth of its core software installed on customers’ machines. The Hana database is needed to run SAP’s latest S/4 Hana applications suite, which now has 4,100 customers.
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