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A look inside the SAP IQ column-oriented database

The SAP IQ column-oriented database is designed for large data warehouses that require high scalability, rapid data loading and optimal query performance.

SAP IQ is a relational column-oriented database management system that can be used to implement highly scalable data warehouses.

The high-performance column store technology of SAP IQ can deliver high-speed compression and ad hoc analysis without complex tuning. This DBMS includes additional functionality for managing data warehouses and business intelligence applications, including analytics, multilingual client application performance interfaces, federation and Web enablement.

SAP IQ 16 runs on multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux x86, Linux POWER, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris x86 and Solaris SPARC. SAP IQ can be deployed either on-premises or in the cloud.

SAP IQ features and highlights

The relational column-oriented database is designed for companies that combine large data volumes with high user concurrency requirements and ad hoc queries. It's a popular database foundation for data warehousing and analytics applications built by OEMs, where high performance and low TCO are critical.

SAP IQ 16 includes comprehensive Web-based monitoring and administration, improvements to SAP IQ's patented indexing technology, and a resilient Multiplex Grid that can withstand network and server failures. Several innovations introduced in SAP IQ 16 provide better support for extremely large databases, including improvements to:

  • The storage architecture with new partitioning and compression capabilities.
  • The loading engine for parallel and real-time bulk data loading.
  • System reliability with grid resiliency and LDAP and role-based security.
  • Query processing capabilities.

There are two primary components of SAP IQ: a client and a server component. The client component provides connectivity, authentication, SQL command parsing, and Web-based monitoring and administration. The server component provides the core data capabilities, including the column store, a fully parallel data loading engine, a query engine, database encryption, and authorization and scalability features.

SAP IQ also offers several add-ons that can be purchased separately, including:

  • Advanced security, which includes database column encryption, Kerberos and LDAP authentication -- priced by CPU core.
  • Unstructured data analytics, which includes text indexing and search features -- priced by CPU core.
  • In-database analytics, which allows users to write custom functions that plug into the SQL engine -- priced by CPU core.
  • Multiplex, which enables users to set up a cluster of IQ servers for scalability -- priced by each additional server in the cluster.
  • Very Large Database Option, or VLDB, which includes information lifecycle management features -- priced by terabyte of compressed storage.

SAP IQ is used predominantly for deploying and assisting decision support, business intelligence, data warehouse and data mart implementation. Its column-based DBMS enables petabyte-scale databases that perform and scale.

SAP IQ offers a generic analytics column-oriented database that suits a broad range of applications for companies of all sizes. It provides small businesses an open architecture and low TCO. Larger businesses can benefit from SAP IQ's ability to scale to handle very large volumes of data as well as rapid data loading and query performance.

Licensing, pricing and support for SAP IQ

SAP IQ is sold directly by the company and its business partners and can be licensed by core, server and data volume. Both end-user and OEM pricing models are available from SAP. A 30-day free trial download is available.

There are three levels of support for SAP IQ:

  • SAP Enterprise Support, which provides a base level of 24/7 online support.
  • SAP ActiveEmbedded, which provides additional support, including on-site SAP engineering professionals who can work with the customer throughout implementation, operations and innovation cycles.
  • SAP MaxAttention, which provides the highest level of support, including collaboration via a team of SAP experts embedded in the customer's IT operations.

Next Steps

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