A common confusion that has been in discussion with all SAP ERP users is the difference between SAP and SAP HANA
The Systems, Applications & Products implementation which is popularly known as SAP is an application that is designed to run an SAP HANA database.
SAP HANA, on the other hand, is an in-memory database. It is a column-based Relational Database Management System that is designed to store, retrieve and process all business activities and data. SAP HANA is not empowered to run or determine any activity. It can simply store all the data. While it is the job of SAP to run all activities and maintain smooth management of all business activities.
SAP HANA is the latest technology that is designed to reduce memory usage by a factor of 10 which in turn helps run real-time analytics, crunching data almost instantaneously. In short, SAP is the platform for the SAP HANA database to run.