To understand how SAP Smart Financials differs from previous versions of the software. SAP ERP Financials uses the classic client-server architecture and can be used in combination with any database. SAP ERP 5.0 brought significant changes with the introduction of the SAP General Ledger and additional features were added in SAP ERP 6.0 and subsequent enhancement packages.
The Business Suite on SAP HANA, which includes SAP ERP Financials, differs from previous versions of the software in that all code runs on SAP HANA as the primary database. This makes it different from the side-by-side approaches we looked at earlier where only critical tables are selected for transfer to SAP HANA and key transactions are adapted to read from SAP HANA. To run the Business Suite on SAP HANA you do not need to activate individual tables or processes since all tables are in the SAP HANA database. This means that you immediately benefit from all the accelerators we described earlier, but that the code in other areas has not necessarily been changed.
SAP Smart Financials, released in early 2014, goes further. Again SAP HANA is the primary data base, but this time the code in SAP Financials has been reworked to take advantage of the column store and make changes that would have been impractical in a row-based database. To allow SAP to make these radical changes there has been a code split with the new components SAP_FIN and EA_FIN being introduced alongside SAP_APPL and EA_APPL.