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SAP BW4HANA vs Snowflake comparison

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Buyer's Guide
SAP BW4HANA vs. Snowflake
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about SAP BW4HANA vs. Snowflake and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
622,645 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:
Pros
"I like that it's quite quick.""You can do hierarchical alert slicing and dicing out-of-box, which is not available in other solutions. I haven't come across that in Oracle or any other software provider.""The UI is completely new, beautiful, and user-friendly. There are some other helpful features like global filters and advanced tools. We can perform custom calculations easily From a technical perspective, the performance has been enhanced and optimized for a limited number of flows. The content settings are more advanced, and there are so many other features that I can't name them all.""Some of the main features of this solution are that it uses HANA and it has good performance.""We benefited from BW/4HANA's ability to utilize predefined content inside. We didn't need to start from scratch.""The most valuable feature is that we can transform a huge amount of data and apply business logic as per the requirements.""Its direct approach is the most valuable. You get more real time and capabilities than BW."

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"The speed of data loading and being able to quickly create the environment are most valuable.""The most valuable features of Snowflake are its performance and power.""The Time Travel feature is helpful for accessing historical data and the ability to clone external tables is useful.""For us, the virtual warehousing is likely the most valuable aspect.""Working with Parquet files is support out of the box and it makes large dataset processing much easier.""Time travel is one feature that really helps us out.""The cloning functionality has been the most valuable. I have been able to completely copy databases. The data sharing concept is also useful. As compared to, for example, SAP, Snowflake is a lot more open, and it allows a lot more connectivity for other providers than an SAP ecosystem.""The features that I have found most valuable are the ease of use, the rapidness, how quickly the solution can be implemented, and of course that it's been very easy to move from the on-premise world to the Cloud world because Snowflake is based on SQL also."

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Cons
"Other competitors provide better solutions that are more up to date with current technology.""The solution is not easy to implement. It requires a lot of learning at the beginning.""BW/4HANA could improve query optimization. For example, there could be an error message that pops up when you hover over it if any query fails. That would make it easier to find out what went gone wrong. Guided SAP help tools would make it easier for us to go forward.""There's one area where the other vendors have an upper edge, which is the data lake. I think SAP is trying to figure out whether to stick with IQ, their own data lake solution, or push customers toward customer-preferred vendors, like Azure Data Lake, AWS, or any other provider.""I would like more integration.""The speed of operations could be a little faster.""They have taken out a few BW functionalities when they redesigned this. The way of multi-dimensional thinking and star schema got a little bit lost. It may be because of the cost, but certain functionalities that were previously implemented from the BW side should come back again in the whole product. It is a young product. It is version 2.0. In time, I'm pretty sure they will come back again because otherwise, it limits the potential of the product, and I have to do a lot of modeling towards that direction. For me, the analytics focus is too much. It is not cube-oriented in that way, so its functionality is limited. It is not really technically limited in the back end; it is more limited in the front end. It has a data-mining mindset for SQL developers. The navigational attributes should be easy. It needs to be built in models. I see the data mark cube or understanding that the composite provider needs to be models in a cube coming back. The multi-dimensional star schema approach and the reporting need to be done as well as possible to leverage the star scheme below. This is definitely not understood by many consultants and even composite providers for star schema. They always think in terms of flat tables, which is limiting. You need to build the right dimensions, objects, and so on. If you can build this in BW4HANA, then you have this understanding that BW4HANA is not forcing you in this direction, but it should force you a bit better in this direction. Maybe a few elements which were in use in BW should come back again. It would help the community to determine the direction to build on the cube. You can have maybe 50 elements, and then you can expand it to what you need by leveraging navigation. So far, this functionality is a little bit limited in the tool, and it is not thought through, but I think it will come. They should also be adding more capabilities for the transformation between different objects. In BW, this is currently limited, especially towards composite providers. It is a bit complex basically in the building. You have to have a lot of knowledge as well as know how to do it better because it is a bit different from BW. There is not too much expertise currently in the consulting markets. Many are trying to build something, but it may be based on their knowledge of what they have from the BW and HANA side. You have to find the right mix from both of them at this time. We also have HANA Native. These are our two different sync sources basically, and we have approaches to connect nicely, but it is hard to manage your team because a lot of coaching is required."

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"They need to improve its ETL functionality so that Snowflake becomes an ETL product. Snowpipe can do some pipelines and data ingestion, but as compare to Talend, these functionalities are limited. The ETL feature is not good enough. Therefore, Snowflake can only be used as a database. You can't use it as an ETL tool, which is a limitation. We have spoken to the vendor, and they said they are working on it, but I'm not sure when they will bring it to production.""An additional feature I'd like to see is called materialized views, which can speed up some run times. I'd like it to be able to be used where you can have multiple tables inside them; materialized view. That would be nice. As well as being able to run cursors, to be able to do some bulk updates and some more advanced querying, table building on the fly.""It's not that flexible when compared to Oracle.""The pricing of the solution should be much easier to calculate or find by yourself.""Portability is a big hurdle right now for our clients. Porting all of your existing SQL ecosystem, such as stored procedures, to Snowflake is a major pain point. Currently, Snowflake stored procedures use JavaScript, but they should support SQL-based stored procedures. It would be a huge advantage if you can write your stored procedures using SQL. It seems that they are working on this feature, and they are yet to release it. I remember seeing some notes saying that they were going to do that in the future, but the sooner this feature comes out, it would be better for Snowflake because there are a lot of clients with whom I'm interacting, and their main hurdle is to take their existing Oracle or SQL Server stored procedures and move them into Snowflake. For this, you need to learn JavaScript and how it works, which is not easy and becomes a little tricky. If it supports SQL-based procedures, then you can just cut-paste the SQL code, run it, and easily fix small issues.""Pricing is an issue for many customers.""They should improve the reporting tools.""Every product has room for improvement, although in this case, it needs some broadening of the functionality."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We started as early birds from the SAP side. We got this entire suite for free. I cannot really talk about the price because we didn't have to pay anything."
  • "As an investment, the solution is very expensive."
  • "In general, it's quite expensive."
  • "SAP BW/4HANA is expensive."
  • "The SAP HANA application still hasn't been leveraged to the fullest extent, but it's a five-year enterprise license."
  • More SAP BW4HANA Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "On average, with the number of queries that we run, we pay approximately $200 USD per month."
  • "Pricing is approximately $US 50 per DB. Terabyte is around $US 50 per month."
  • "The price of Snowflake is very reasonable."
  • "The price of Snowflake is quite reasonable."
  • "Its price should be improved. It should be cheaper than Microsoft."
  • "It is per credit. It has a use-it-as-you-go model. We bought a chunk of 20,000 credits, and they were lasting us for at least a year. We didn't have the scale of data like a much larger company to consume more credits. For us, it was very inexpensive. Their strategy is just to leverage what you've got and put Snowflake in the middle. It doesn't make it expensive because most of the organizations already have reporting tools. Now, if you were starting from scratch, it might be cheaper to go a different way."
  • "We used Snowflake to see if it is cheaper than using BigQuery. It was just to maintain the cost or the KPI regarding the cost of connectivity by users. Snowflake wasn't cheaper than BigQuery, and its affordability was the main issue."
  • "Currently, we have a trial account, so we don't need a license. After our project starts, we would need a permanent license."
  • More Snowflake Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Some of the main features of this solution are that it uses HANA and it has good performance.
    Top Answer:As an investment, the solution is very expensive. We pay 72% every year to SAP. Additionally, we pay for support for the solution and a vendor to do maintenance.
    Top Answer:Other competitors provide better solutions that are more up to date with current technology. For example, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
    Top Answer:This is the advanced version of the cloud version, so it's really a flexible tool. If you have it implemented at home, you can access it from anywhere.
    Top Answer:They have different pricing structures based on data usage. I think they have three or four tiers you can scale through. Most of the clients see an advantage from this type of licensing. That's the… more »
    Top Answer:Sometimes when I'm trying to refresh the data, my different application or tool has to connect to its backend database through the connection I create. Sometimes, I face some issues like not having… more »
    Ranking
    7th
    out of 30 in Data Warehouse
    Views
    4,418
    Comparisons
    3,033
    Reviews
    7
    Average Words per Review
    487
    Rating
    7.6
    1st
    out of 30 in Data Warehouse
    Views
    39,423
    Comparisons
    29,410
    Reviews
    48
    Average Words per Review
    559
    Rating
    8.4
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    SAP BW/4HANA
    Snowflake Computing
    Learn More
    Overview

    Streamline processes and support innovations with a single, trusted source for real-time insights. Based on SAP HANA, our next-generation data warehouse solution can help you capitalize on the full value of all your data from SAP applications or third-party solutions, as well as unstructured, geospatial, or Hadoop-based.

    Snowflake is a fully managed SaaS (software as a service) that provides a single platform for data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data science, data application development, and secure sharing and consumption of real-time / shared data.

    Its platform is made up of three components:

    1. Cloud services: As part of its cloud services, Snowflake uses ANSI SQL, which empowers users to optimize their data and manage their infrastructure, while Snowflake handles the security and encryption of stored data.
    1. Query processing: With Snowflake, workload concurrency is never a problem because its compute layer is made up of virtual cloud data warehouses that let you analyze data through requests. Each of the warehouses do not compete for computing resources nor do they affect the performance of each other.
    1. Database storage: Snowflake manages all parts of the data storage process automatically, including file size, compression, organization, structure, and metadata, as well as statistics.

    Snowflake Features

    Snowflake has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Scalability: Snowflake architecture provides nearly unlimited scalability and high speed because it uses a single elastic performance engine. The solution also supports an unlimited amount of concurrent users and workloads, from interactive to batch.
    • Automation: Snowflake makes automation easy and enables enterprises to automate data management, security, governance, availability, and data resiliency.
    • Seamless cross-cloud and cross-region connections: With seamless cross-cloud and cross-region connections, Snowflake eliminates ETL and data silos. Anyone who needs access to shared secure data can get a single copy via the data cloud. In addition, Snowflake makes remote collaboration and decision-making fast and easy via a single shared data source.
    • Third-party data integrations: Snowflake’s Data Marketplace offers third-party data which allows you to connect with Snowflake customers to extend workflows with data services and third-party applications.

    Snowflake Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Snowflake. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Helps optimize costs
    • Reduces downtime
    • Improves operational efficiency
    • Built for high reliability and availability
    • Automates data replication for fast recovery

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the Snowflake solution.

    Sreenivasan R., Director of Data Architecture and Engineering at Decision Minds, says, "Data sharing is a good feature. It is a majorly used feature. The elastic compute is another big feature. Separating compute and storage gives you flexibility. It doesn't require much DBA involvement because it doesn't need any performance tuning. We are not really doing any performance tuning, and the entire burden of performance tuning and SQL tuning is on Snowflake. Its usability is very good. I don't need to ramp up any user, and its onboarding is easier. You just onboard the user, and you are done with it. There are simple SQL and UI, and people are able to use this solution easily. Ease of use is a big thing in Snowflake."

    A director of business operations at a logistics company mentions, "It requires no maintenance on our part. They handle all that. The speed is phenomenal. The pricing isn't really anything more than what you would be paying for a SQL server license or another tool to execute the same thing. We have zero maintenance on our side to do anything and the speed at which it performs queries and loads the data is amazing. It handles unstructured data extremely well, too. So, if the data is in a JSON array or an XML, it handles that super well."

    A Solution Architect at a wholesaler/distributor comments, "The ability to share the data and the ability to scale up and down easily are the most valuable features. The concept of data sharing and data plumbing made it very easy to provide and share data. The ability to refresh your Dev or QA just by doing a clone is also valuable. It has the dynamic scale up and scale down feature. Development and deployment are much easier as compared to other platforms where you have to go through a lot of stuff. With a tool like DBT, you can do modeling and transformation within a single tool and deploy to Snowflake. It provides continuous deployment and continuous integration abilities. There is a separation of storage and compute, so you only get charged for your usage. You only pay for what you use. When we share the data downstream with business partners, we can specifically create compute for them, and we can charge back the business."

    Offer
    Learn more about SAP BW4HANA
    Learn more about Snowflake
    Sample Customers
    Information Not Available
    Accordant Media, Adobe, Kixeye Inc., Revana, SOASTA, White Ops
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company43%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Healthcare Company14%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company29%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Energy/Utilities Company7%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company38%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Comms Service Provider6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Insurance Company6%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business30%
    Large Enterprise70%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business14%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise73%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business24%
    Midsize Enterprise22%
    Large Enterprise54%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise69%
    Buyer's Guide
    SAP BW4HANA vs. Snowflake
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about SAP BW4HANA vs. Snowflake and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
    622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    SAP BW4HANA is ranked 7th in Data Warehouse with 8 reviews while Snowflake is ranked 1st in Data Warehouse with 47 reviews. SAP BW4HANA is rated 7.8, while Snowflake is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of SAP BW4HANA writes "Enables customers to consolidate data across the organisational onto an single platform for enterprise analytics ". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Snowflake writes "Good usability, good data sharing and elastic compute features, and requires less DBA involvement". SAP BW4HANA is most compared with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, Amazon Redshift, SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, Microsoft Parallel Data Warehouse and Apache Hadoop, whereas Snowflake is most compared with Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, Amazon Redshift, Vertica, Teradata and SAP Business Warehouse. See our SAP BW4HANA vs. Snowflake report.

    See our list of best Data Warehouse vendors.

    We monitor all Data Warehouse 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.