SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW)
“SAP BW” is the umbrella term for the various SAP Business Warehouse variants. It is used as a general term for all versions of BW and, more recently, as a reference to SAP BW versions on databases other than HANA. Many times, “on anyDB” is added to indicate that an Oracle, IBM or Microsoft database product is used.
SAP BW on HANA
“SAP BW on HANA” identifies a traditional SAP BW system running on an SAP HANA database – as opposed to traditional database platforms. The core functionality of SAP BW on HANA is essentially the same as in recent version of traditional SAP BW, enriched with new, HANA specific features. However, some of the functionality is executed directly in the HANA database and/or platform and not on the ABAP application server.
SAP BW Edition for HANA
“SAP BW Edition for HANA” differs from “BW on HANA” mainly by offering additional, HANA specific functionality, a deeper integration with the HANA platform. SAP BW Edition for HANA is upward compatible with earlier BW variants, but cannot be run on traditional databases as the most important new features are available only in combination with SAP HANA.
BW/4HANA version 1.0 is functionally equivalent with SAP BW Edition for HANA and will be the basis for all significant future development of the BW data warehouse platform. With BW/4HANA, SAP has moved the core functionality into the HANA platform and removed several million lines of redundant code, the SAP NetWeaver stack, SAP GUI support and support for various other outdated components. As a result, classical (layered scalable architecture-based) BW applications can no longer be upgraded, but instead need to be migrated to BW/4HANA. It is not a successor product of SAP BW and therefore needs to be re-licensed.