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Convert Between an In-Memory Table and an Extended Table

By Zaeem Patel

Convert between an in-memory and an extended table (and vice-versa) using SQL scripts in SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA.


You will learn

  • How to convert an in-memory column store table to an extended table and vice versa.

Step 1: Convert to an in-memory table using SQLScript

Right-click on your database, and select Open SQL Console. You can also use the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + C or the SQL button under the navigation menu.

Open SQL Console

Copy and paste the script below into the console, and press then green play button to execute the script.

Executing Script

Go back to the Tables tab and click the refresh icon. You should see that the NATION_DT table is no longer an EXTENDED table, and is now an in-memory table.

Refresh Tables
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Step 2: Convert to an extended table using SQLScript

Open a new SQL console and paste the script below into the console. Then press the play button to execute and run the script.


Notice that the difference between the “ALTER TABLE” statement here and the previous section is the removal of “NOT”.


Go back and refresh the Tables tab. You should see that the NATION_DT table is no longer an in-memory database, as it has the EXTENDED attribute.

Extended Table
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Step 3: Foreign key considerations

In SAP HANA 2.0, dynamic tiering tables do not support foreign keys between two extended tables or between an extended table and an in-memory table. This means that if an in-memory table is part of a foreign key relationship, then it cannot be converted to an extended table in dynamic tiering until the foreign key relationship has been dropped.

Since dynamic tiering tables do not support foreign keys yet, the change from an extended table to in-memory is always possible (because extended tables would not have any foreign key attached to them), but in-memory to extended storage might be restricted due to foreign key constraints.

You can verify which tables in the TPCH schema are part of a foreign key constraint by executing the following statement in a SQL Console:

Foreign Key

You can look at the columns: TABLE_NAME, REFERENCED_TABLE_NAME and CONSTRAINT_NAME to identify which tables have the foreign key constraint on them and what the constraint is. Examples of tables that hold a foreign key constraint in this schema are ORDERS_CS, CUSTOMER_CS, SUPPLIER_CS, LINEITEM_CS, and NATION_CS. Therefore, these tables cannot be converted to extended tables, unless the foreign key is dropped.

An extended table can ALWAYS be converted to an in-memory table:

Next Steps

Updated 08/26/2018

Time to Complete

15 Min.



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