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SAP® MaxDB - Frequently Asked Questions


Contains strategic, general and technical answers, as well as links to other FAQs.

Moderators: Christiane Hienger | Birgit Malik.

This FAQ is moderated by: Jörg Hoffmeister .

WIKI Space Editor: Thiago Lüttig.






Major Topic FAQs

  • Page:
    SAP MaxDB FAQ Notes — This page contains the links to the available SAP MaxDB/liveCache FAQ Notes.
  • Page:
    FAQ SAP MaxDB Third-party Backup Tools — This section is a collection of the questions regarding third-party backup tools. It provides answers and refers you to other information sources.



Answers Strategy Questions

What is SAP database strategy?

SAP believes in providing healthy alternate database choices for our customers. Also SAP believes in a strong partner ecosystem. So, SAP will continue its existing multi-vendor database strategy for running SAP applications. We continue to work very closely with our partners including IBM and Microsoft and Oracle to optimize SAP applications with their database products.

Additionally, SAP will continue to invest in its own database technology. We have done this for more than 10 years with MaxDB. Our investments have resulted in a very robust and reliable technology optimized to run every single SAP application. But most importantly SAP MaxDB is designed with one specific goal in mind - Low TCO. We have thousands of MaxDB customer installations and we will continue to deliver innovations and lower TCO to these customers.

Also, we will continue to tightly integrate our database products into some of our applications. We will do this when doing so will reduce the TCO and speed up the delivery of new innovation for our customers. As you know SAP liveCache, which is based on the same technology as SAP MaxDB, has been part of our APO product and has been in production with thousands of installations including many fortune 100 customers. If you look at the Business By Design products, we have tightly integrated SAP MaxDB and our TREX columnar technology in it.
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Will SAP be in the database business?

SAP has always sold SAP MaxDB for SAP applications. Additionally there are many happy customers of SAP MaxDB who use it under non-SAP applications. Also, as before users can continue to download a community edition of SAP MaxDB from the SAP website with free community support.

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Does the SAP In-Memory Technology development have an impact on SAP MaxDB - Will SAP MaxDB support be continued?

Yes, it has – on the long run. The SAP In-Memory technology includes an engine that will evolve to a fully-fledged database system being able to handle all aspects of database technology. Lots of experience from the SAP MaxDB development continues to live further in this new exciting technology. This engine – the SAP In-Memory Database unifies the best SAP assets in database technology: TREX/BWA, SAP liveCache, SAP MaxDB and in-memory row store - is the natural born successor of today’s SAP MaxDB. On a timeline of several years from now the SAP MaxDB base will seamlessly move to the SAP In-Memory Database. SAP will not force but just give guiding hints. It is on you – the customer – to decide when to make the move.
The support for SAP MaxDB will continue without any doubts, first because of all SAP service and support agreements and second to design and develop a perfect and smooth transition path. There is and will be a dedicated team to support SAP MaxDB. Bigger development request that would have required man-years of effort in SAP MaxDB, are either already available in SAP In-Memory Database or will be done there. Smaller feature requests will be evaluated and continued to be added to SAP MaxDB if appropriate.
So there is no need to change decisions regarding SAP MaxDB and especially no need to migrate to other databases supported by SAP. SAP MaxDB stays database of choice, among other for SAP Business ByDesign and for projects of the Eco System and Channel group.

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Does the ORACLE SUN deal impact SAP MaxDB?

Oracle's aquisistion of SUN does not impact SAP's activities with SAP MaxDB. Oracle has become owner of the MySQL database - not of SAP MaxDB. SAP MaxDB is owned by SAP since 1997 and was never sold. All intellectual properties are with SAP. Even in the period of cooperation with MySQL AB (2003-2007) no exchange of code took place and no external contributions to SAP MaxDB coding were made.
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What is real about SAP MaxDB and MySQL?

Our customers were able to buy MaxDB directly from SAP for running SAP applications. From October 2003 to August 2007 they were also able to buy the database from MySQL for running non-SAP applications. SAP owned MaxDB development and IP. SAP provided the development support for users of MaxDB under both SAP applications and non-SAP applications where as MySQL provided primary support for non-SAP applications.
What we have announced in September 2007 is that sales and support of MaxDB will revert back to SAP. SAP is using the SAP MaxDB database to power the back-end of their new SAP Business ByDesign offering, so they wanted to have direct control over the direction and support of the product under one organization. Additionally, this allows MySQL AB to focus completely on selling/supporting its own flagship open source database.
Since 2008 SAP offers a support package exclusively for SAP customers for their non-SAP applications.
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What is the relationship of SAP MaxDB and SAPDB and open source?

MaxDB version 7.5 and SAP MaxDB version 7.6.00 and further are available as an open source product for several years now. These continue to stay in open source. This is maintained and driven by an open source community. We are proud of past SAP contributions to open source and the continued contributions of the community to maintain it. But SAP is not making any more active contributions to it.

Over the last years, we have continued to evolve the SAP MaxDB technology and have made very significant investments and innovations in this technology. These innovations are not in open source. Thus the latest SAP MaxDB product is not open source.
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Answers General Questions

What are benefits of SAP MaxDB?

SAP MaxDB stands as database for OLTP and OLAP usage that offers high reliability, availability, scalability based on a very comprehensive feature set. Easy administration and automatic space management - SAP MaxDB needs no reorganization -  makes scheduling of downtimes nearly obsolete. Thus SAP MaxDB, beyond lowest license and maintenance fee, reduces TCO of each of its SAP installations.

SAP MaxDB today counts more than 6500 customers with around 15000 installations plus those for liveCache and Content Server.
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What are the license costs for SAP MaxDB?

If your SAP solution will run on SAP MaxDB the current license fee is 5% of the SAP application value (SAV). If SAP MaxDB technology is part of a bundled offering for instance like the SAP NetWeaver Full Use License or as SAP liveCache technology as part of SAP Supply Chain Management it comes without additional license costs.

If you want to run SAP MaxDB for your own or third-party applications you can use the downloads from the SCN (Related Resources -> Downloads -> SAP MaxDB - Community Edition)  that are bound to our community license.
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Can one buy a license for using SAP MaxDB with non-SAP applications?

SAP only offers the runtime license for using SAP MaxDB with SAP applications.  SAP MaxDB for non-SAP applications can be used bound to a community license free of charge. Additionally, there's an OEM partner that offers various packages and service for SAP MaxDB in use with non-SAP applications, also for production (

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How does the support for SAP MaxDB work?

SAP MaxDB in all its flavors as database and persistency technology within SAP is completely integrated into the SAP support infrastructure from system monitoring through to message solving support. This means a 24x7 coverage through SAP according to the SLA.
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How to get support if SAP MaxDB is used with non-SAP applications?

If SAP MaxDB is used together with non-SAP application, the path to get help is to use the SAP Community Network (SCN). Users help each other and our SAP MaxDB staff monitors and assists on a voluntary basis. Additionally, there's an OEM partner that offers various packages and service for SAP MaxDB in use with non-SAP applications, also for production (
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How to find SAP MaxDB documentation for a given SAP release?

SAP MaxDB documentation is updated per database version and not per SAP release. The quick way to access the most recent documentation is just clicking here.

The documentation published in SAP Help Portal is provided per SAP release and contains the sap MaxDB documentation corresponding to the minor database version delivered together with this SAP release. For detailed information on how to locate sap MaxDB documentation in SAP Help Portal, see Note 767598.

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How to find courses available on SAP MaxDB and SAP liveCache topics?

Please check informatin in SAP MaxDB Education. If you are looking for classroom training, please have a look to our university offerings. The following standards are available:

ADM515, Database Administration MaxDB
TEWA60, SAP APO LiveCache Monitoring
UMEW50, MaxDB Empowering Workshop Administration
UMEW60, MaxDB Empowering Workshop Performance Monitoring and Optimization
WB550, MaxDB Internals Workshop
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Are there any books available on SAP MaxDB?

Yes. In September 2008 a new book on SAP MaxDB Administration was released (ISBN 978-3-89842-730-2). The English version was launched mid of 2009. For further questions you may contact Galileo Press .
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How to download SAP MaxDB from the SAP Community Network?

We provide downloads for SAP MaxDB in SCNRelated Resources -> Donwloads -> SAP MaxDB - Community Edition. You can use these downloads for free without any limitation in terms of number of users or database size. The downloads are bound to a community license. Please note that due to warranty aspects these downloads must not be used in conjunction with production SAP systems. Please refer to the Software Download Center (SWDC) on the SAP Service Marketplace to get the right version for your SAP system.
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Answers Technical Aspect

How does SAP liveCache technology relate to SAP MaxDB?

SAP liveCache technology is an object-based, memory-centric enhancement of SAP MaxDB and was developed to manage complex object networks, e.g. in logistic solutions such as mysap SCM/APO. Large volumes of data must be permanently kept available in memory.  SAP liveCache provides data structures and processing methods to achieve highest performance goals. 
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Are there technical FAQs beside this overview FAQ?

Have a look at the following SAP MaxDB FAQ Notes.
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Are there feature descriptions for different SAP MaxDB versions and builds?

Have a look at the following SAP MaxDB Features Described in SAP Notes.
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How does SAP MaxDB support UNICODE?

SAP MaxDB currently supports UCS-2, comparable to UTF-16. The move to UTF-8 is planned, but it is a major change in kernel coding and data structures and would take much time. That is why we look for other alternatives like volume compression or effective columnar storing models to reduce the space requirements. For the time being starting with version 7.6.05 we can offer to use a logical character compression from UCS2 or ASCII to UTF-8 for non-key character columns ("UTF-8- Lite"). This allows compact storing of UNICODE data. It has to be applied either with ALTER TABLE or by setting a parameter during UNICODE migration as written in respective notes.

The experiences with UNICODE migrations based on MaxDB (UCS-2) today show an increase in space requirements of around 30-40%. Depending on the amount of character data, the UTF-8-Lite approach offers the chance to reduce this total significantly.
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Should SAP MaxDB be used on a 32-bit or a 64-bit platform?

On TechEd 2006 SAP has given a strong recommendation to all customers to switch to 64-bit platforms within 2 years. For SAP MaxDB as database in SAP environments we recommend to switch even faster - especially if you run SAP NetWeaver04 based applications or newer. SAP MaxDB largely profits from 64-bit architectures especially if large amounts of memory have to be allocated. You'll simply avoid resource problems. For additional information see SAP note 1013441 (SMP login required) 

Despite this, SAP MaxDB of course can run with a very small footprint, far below today's standard pc equipment, for programs that do not afford much resources.
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Is SAP MaxDB available for IBM z-Series?

System z is positioned by IBM and SAP as a platform offering that meets highest requirements in terms of availability, security, performance and scalability. 
The centerpiece of this architecture is the database host which consists of the IBM mainframe hardware, the operating system z/OS and the database DB2 for z/OS.
It can be combined with SAP application servers running on Windows, xLinux, zLinux, AIX or z/OS USS (central services). 
The high level of integration, continuous availability and robustness is not feasible with a database component other than DB2 for z/OS .
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  1. Guest

    Could you please let me know what is the swet spot for Max DB in terms of SAP number of users that the platform would be recommended for?


    Javier Ortiz

  2. Hi Javier,

    MaxDB is able to support all sizes of SAP installations very well. There is no recommended upper boundary for the use of it. 

    For further questions, experience reports from SAP customers and discussions you may want to post your questions into the MaxDB expert forum here in SDN:

    Best regards,

  3. Guest

    Can any one one tell me how to configure extra bonuses and how to integrate it with time and payroll.. I am using US Payroll.. Do we need to maintain an infotype or can we write a rule and update it in Payroll schema.. ?

  4. Hello Niranjansaphcm,

    this question is not related at all to the database SAP MaxDB. Please post your question again in the correct forum.