It’s 10 PM and I’m at the office working on a proof of concept for a new project. In this project we are using SAP HANA to store big data and Lumira to report and visualize this data near real-time. Since this is a proof of concept I didn’t wanted to use a lot of resource of consultants or systems. So I decided to do the proof of concept with a colleague (I’m an integration expert focused on SAP PI and have not much knowledge about BI) and use tools which will help to get a quick result.
In the end we were able to finish the proof of concept in a couple (2-3) business days. I was impressed how easy it was to learn and use HANA and Lumira. Now I want to share our experience with you and encourage you to try and learn. Do it just for fun.
Before starting we had to clarify which tools we had to use. And the winners were:
- SAP HANA on Amazon Web Services
- SAP Lumira on desktop (Cloud version wasn’t enough since I was not able to connect to an online HANA system and show real-time data 🙁 )
Since I have very little knowledge about any of these tools I started with SAP HANA Academy and went through the videos one by one and completed almost all of them. ( SAP HANA Academy | SAP HANA) This was a treasure. I was able to learn fast and repeat all steps on my own HANA system on AWS. This was helpful since I was able to practice at the same time.
Recommendation #1: To learn about HANA start with the HANA Academy.
After that part we checked out SAP Lumira Cloud. To see how it worked we prepared a sample excel file with 30 sample rows and tried to create some visualizations. It was easier then we thought. You prepare your data and by just dragging and dropping you are able to create incredible reports. No complex cubes, or universes or other things. (just what we needed)
Recommendation #2: Lumira Cloud is a great place to learn Lumira.
Next step was to connect these two. I struggled a bit at the beginning but using some google engineering it didn’t took long.
After starting our HANA instance on AWS I created a schema, created my table and put some data in it. (awesome import functionality provided by HANA) Next we downloaded and installed Lumira on desktop, enabled 30 day trial to use standard edition and not personal edition. Connected Lumira to HANA (you just provide your IP, instance ID and username password) and voila.
Retrieving the data from HANA into Lumira and reporting it required some google and SCN engineering. But working some hours on it you can figure it out easily. Also there are some great blogs on SCN.
Recommendation #3: You can find a lot of help and resources on SCN.
After creating some sample reports we finished our proof of concept. Everything was in place.
From PI to BI in 3 day 🙂 Who would have thought.
It was fun, encouraging and an awesome experience. Anyone interested in learning HANA, my advice “just go for it”. Be careful when using HANA on AWS, because you pay almost $4 for one hour. So don’t forget to stop your instance after you stop working. Don’t worry about stopping it because when you start your instance again, HANA will be up and running and all your data will be in place. It takes 5 minutes maximum.
Recommendation #4: Start now and have fun.
PS: Things I’m looking for or got stuck at:
- Looking for: Lumira Automatic refresh. (retrieving data from HANA in small time intervals)
- Got stuck at: Had no idea how to use the “Create a geographic hierarchy – By Latitude / Longitude”. It is grayed out/disabled and can’t be used. Also searched on SCN but couldn’t find any help.
- Looking for: Connecting Lumira Cloud to my HANA.
- Looking for: Lumira Server
- … I’m tired… looking for a warm bed right now 🙂