With Service Pack 6 (HANA version 60 and above) SAP has made available the Application Function Modeler tool, which is a graphical interface to access and run advanced algorithms from the Application Function Libraries. This blog will walk through an example of setting up and using the Application Function Modeler.
SAP HANA Application Function Libraries
SAP HANA’s library of in-database advanced functions is a valuable asset to many organizations. The Application Function Libraries (AFL) includes both the Business Function Library (BFL) which contains functions for common business calculations, such as depreciation, cash flow discounting, Year-over-Year performance, and time series forecasting. The Predictive Analysis Library (PAL) has predictive algorithms, including classification, clustering, association, and more advanced time series functions. The AFL is available on all SAP HANA systems, but the interface to use these algorithms can be quite cumbersome. The code below shows the steps necessary to set up and call the Apriori association algorithm from HANA Studio. This has to be re-created for each new dataset that will be run through the Apriori algorithm, which can be extremely tedious and time consuming.
SAP Predictive Analysis generates all of these tables and procedures behind the scenes with a point-and-click interface. However some organizations do not have access to SAP Predictive Analysis, and may therefore elect to use the Application Function Modeler to generate the code above, rather than manually generating it for each analysis.
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Hillary Bliss is the Analytics Practice Lead at Decision First Technologies, and specializes in data warehouse design, ETL development, statistical analysis, and predictive modeling. She works with clients and vendors to integrate business analysis and predictive modeling solutions into the organizational data warehouse and business intelligence environments based on their specific operational and strategic business needs. She has a master’s degree in statistics and an MBA from Georgia Tech.