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SAP unveils its Data Hub

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SAP leverages its Vora product, visual designers, and a solemn mission to let data stay in its source systems, to create its new Data Hub product. Will the wild Enterprise data landscape finally be tamed?

The Strata Data conference kicks off tomorrow at New York City’s Javits Convention Center. And at SAP‘s still-new Manhattan office, located just a block east and 4 blocks south of Javits, the company introduced the world to a new offering in its formidable data stack today: SAP Data Hub.

he problem in my attendance at that presentation was that I was on-site with a client in Jersey City, NJ today. And while that client’s office is at the water’s edge on the Hudson River, with lower Manhattan in a close, clear line of sight, getting to the event wasn’t easy.

Can you get there from here?
To do it, I had to take two different transit systems: the PATH, which connects Manhattan to a few small cities in New Jersey, and then the New York City subway. There’s an indoor connection, under the World Trade Center, between the two systems, but it’s still a bit of a hike, and you have to pay a second time when you enter the NYC Subway System.

Well, after listening to SAP’s presentation for a while, it struck me that traveling across state lines, and over two different rapid transit systems, is not dissimilar to integrating databases from two different vendors. It should be pretty seamless, but it can be quite complex, and expensive.

If you’ve done it before, then you know the tricks and workarounds, and you’ll likely have budgeted for the extra expense. You can make it work, but it’s arduous. That’s as true for crossing the Hudson River, and traveling up Manhattan’s West Side, by public transportation, as it is for moving data from a Hadoop data lake to your data warehouse.

While the NYC Regional Plan Association fails to solve the problem on the transit side, SAP Data Hub is designed to alleviate this kind of integration difficulty on the data side. It does so by providing a platform where numerous data sources can be connected through pipelines, built with a graphical designer. With such integration in place, a data catalog is built in the background, enabling governance of that data and sharing of the data sets cataloged. SAP even offers a cockpit view of all that data harmony, to make it feel more within reach.

SAP Data Hub Cockpit View

Credit: SAP


Like a transit hub designed to connect different transportation systems, and facilitate end-to-end trips across them, SAP Data Hub is designed to connect numerous data sources, both SAP and non-SAP, on-premises and in the cloud, and provide a way for data to get to its destination. SAP says Data Hub uses an open architecture, allowing customers to plug in their own connectors and Web APIs, to create Data Hub “operators” for use in pipelines.

In my commute from Jersey City, as I walked through the World Trade Center’s Oculus, designed as a transit hub, to transfer from PATH to Subway, I also noticed that the passageway, ostensibly offered as public service, was really there to get me to spend money at the high-end shops in the complex. Likewise, the SAP team at the event was pretty candid that the configuring the pipeline data destination to be SAP HANA, so that the aggregated data could live there, would be a common scenario.

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