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Connect Using the SAP HANA Python Interface

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Connect Using the SAP HANA Python Interface

Connect Using the SAP HANA Python Interface

October 20, 2020
Created by
March 29, 2020
Create and debug a Python application that connects to SAP HANA using the SAP HANA client.

You will learn

  • How to install Python and the SAP HANA client Python driver
  • How to create and debug a Python application that queries a SAP HANA database


  • You have completed the first 3 tutorials in this mission.

In the 2019 Stack Overflow’s annual developer survey, Python ranked 4th in the Most Popular Technologies section. For further information on Python, see Introduction to Python 3.

The SAP HANA client for Python supports Python 3.4+ and Python 2.7. For further details see SAP note 2939501 - SAP HANA Client Supported Platforms for 2.5 and later.

The following steps will create a simple Python app that can connect to and query an SAP HANA database.

Step 1: Install Python

The first step is to check if Python is installed.

Enter the commands below.

python --version
python3 --version

If Python is installed, the command will return a value such as Python 3.7.4. Use whichever command returns a Python 3.4 or greater version number.

If Python is not installed, it can be downloaded from Python downloads.

On Microsoft Windows, be sure to download the 64-bit version of Python, since the 32-bit version is not supported by SAP’s Python client. The 64-bit version will have a file name like python-3.8.2-amd64.exe.

Check the box that says Add Python 3.x to PATH as shown below to ensure that the interpreter will be placed in your path.


You should now be able to open a new shell and verify that Python is installed.

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Step 2: Install SAP HANA client for Python using pip and PyPI

The standard package installer for Python is pip. The following commands will check the version of pip and attempt to upgrade it to the latest available version. Again, use the pip or pip3 command that returns a version 3.4 or greater of Python.

pip --version
pip3 --version
pip install --upgrade pip

On Linux or Mac, if you encounter permission issues, one way to solve the issue is to use sudo before the command.

The repository that contains Python packages is PyPI and includes a package for the SAP HANA client for Python.

hdbcli on PyPI

The pip command can be used to list the currently available version of the SAP HANA database driver for Python on PyPI.

pip search hdbcli

Run the following command to download and install the SAP HANA client for Python from PyPI:

pip install hdbcli

If an error is displayed that mentions "No matching distribution found for hdbcli, an alternate method is to install it from the SAP HANA client install folder as shown below.

cd C:\SAP\hdbclient
pip install

To upgrade to the latest available version, enter the following command:

pip install --no-cache-dir --upgrade hdbcli

To uninstall hdbcli, run the following command:

pip uninstall hdbcli

A specific version can be installed using the following command.

pip install hdbcli==2.4.167
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Step 3: Create Python application that queries SAP HANA
  1. In a shell, create a folder named python, enter the newly created directory, and open an editor on a file name

    mkdir %HOMEPATH%\HANAClientsTutorial\python
    cd %HOMEPATH%\HANAClientsTutorial\python

    Substitute pico below for your preferred text editor.

    mkdir -p $HOME/HANAClientsTutorial/python
    cd $HOME/HANAClientsTutorial/python
  2. Add the code below to

    #Import your dependencies
    import platform
    from hdbcli import dbapi
    #verify that this is a 64 bit version of Python
    print ("Platform architecture: " + platform.architecture()[0])
    #Initialize your connection
    conn = dbapi.connect(
        key='USER1UserKey', # address, port, user and password are retrieved from the hdbuserstore
        encrypt=True, # must be set to True when connecting to HANA Cloud
        #As of SAP HANA Client 2.6, connections on port 443 enable encryption by default
        sslValidateCertificate=False #Must be set to false when connecting
        #to an SAP HANA, express edition instance that uses a self-signed certificate.
    #If no errors, print connected
    cursor = conn.cursor()
    sql_command = "select TITLE, FIRSTNAME, NAME from HOTEL.CUSTOMER;"
    rows = cursor.fetchall()
    for row in rows:
        for col in row:
            print ("%s" % col, end=" ")
        print (" ")

    Note that the address, port, UID and PWD will be retrieved from the hdbuserstore.

  3. Run the app.


    You may replace python with python3 if the above command doesn’t work.

    python Query

The code in uses PEP 249 – Python Database API Specification, which defines a set of methods that provide a consistent database interface, independent of the actual database being used.

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Step 4: Debug the application

Visual Studio Code provides plugins for Python and can be used to debug an application.

  1. If you have not already done so, download Visual Studio Code.

  2. If you have not already done so, in Visual Studio Code, choose File | Add Folder to Workspace, and then add the HANAClientsTutorial folder.

  3. Open the file

    Python Extension

    Visual Studio Code will recognize the py file extension and will suggest installing the Python extension. Click Install.

  4. Place a breakpoint on line the line for row in rows:.

  5. Select Run | Start Debugging | Python File Debug the currently active Python file.

  6. Select Python Current File from the debug configuration options.

    Notice that the debug view becomes active and that the RUN option is Python: Current File.

    Notice that the program stops running at the breakpoint that was set.

    Observe the variable values in the leftmost pane. Step through code.

    VS Code Debugging

Congratulations! You have now created and debugged a Python application that connects to and queries an SAP HANA database.

Which of the following statements are true?

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