>I have been reading a lot about the different views on what is “SAP HANA”. The reason why we have so much confusion about SAP HANA is not far to seek. It is new product / appliance on relatively new development in technology world.

I have tested numerous features of SAP HANA as it exists. I have been also researching various communications coming out from SAP top managers and developers of SAP HANA; so my take on SAP HANA is that while the direction and hence the product will evolve but this is how it is likely to look like. Some of the features that I mention here are my anticipations of how it may look in future rather than SAP HANA’s current avatar*.
SAP HANA business model wise, is like iPhone for enterprise. Like iPhone, it is an appliance, a combination of hardware and software, although they may eventually be separated. And although it resembles Android because number of hardware vendors are more than one, but you get the hint? I call it iPhone because it is new paradigm in Enterprise computing.
Now what it means is that SAP has built the basic Database Engine and the Application Server/Layer* which you can use to develop your own applications. It has also built a number of applications on the top of this, just like iBooks etc. So we have BW, Strategic workforce planning and many other planned applications.
It has invited developers to develop applications on the top of HANA. So, you can build your own application and sell it all on SAP HANA.
Now if you read SAP overall direction it is clear that SAP is going to adopt Cloud as paradigm moving forward. So what does it mean? It means, if HANA is available online developers can develop applications on top of SAP HANA and sell it.
Pretty cool I would say as far as SAP’s strategy looks like.
*Edit  : PS This post stands corrected for inaccuracy as pointed out by VitalBI. I have added a comment on the correction for clarification.
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