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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

SAP BusinessObjects BI Strategy and Roadmap Call Notes, Question and Answer

Steve Lucas started the call with the SAP BI vision, going forward, where going, SAP is “working night and day – deliver best BI experience across board”

SAP Lumira has InfoGraphics, he thanked community for feedback, you “not do extra work in PowerPoint”.  He also said they “obviously have work to do”.

He also said to “expect announcements at SAP TechEd”.


Analytics Solutions from SAP

SAP’s Jayne Landry said the Analytics market grows at 8 to 9 % per year

With big data you need to get access to data outside organization.

SAP sees adoption by line of business users and bring them to the organization, leading to rise of agile visualization

They need insight and foresight – advanced analytics

Back in the day we had collective insight with encyclopedias.  Today we have Wikipedia

Simplifying the End-User Experience

At SAPPHIRE Bill McDermott had the “run simple” message and thus SAP wants to run fewer BI tools

It is a delicate balance as everyone wants their tools


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Existing investments are safe, said SAP, e.g. Unv to unx

With Desktop Intelligence, they never expire content

SAP is focusing on personas, use cases – developer, user, Analyst

“No forced migration”


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows the personas. Decision makers first turn to business analyst, and the Analyst will go and find information

The Analyst turns to designer to find a systematic way to solve problem

Administrator – how they need to interact


Figure 3: Survey of Persona attendees on the call


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows how SAP is simplifying portfolio, with the BI clients on left – IMS means installed maintenance support

Incremental improvements coming with Crystal and Web Intelligence coming

SAP Lumira has a light bulb, gives you starting suggestions of relevance of data

SAP plans to bring BusinessObjects Explorer functionality today to Lumira using search

Design Studio & Xcelsius convergence as XCelsius is not scalable


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 – SAP is bringing “fine grained control” to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Business Analysts – what if analysis –plan to move to Lumira

Bring Explorer capabilities to SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

SAP said to “Look at Lumira for next project”


Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows the Interoperability story

The plan is to hand a storyboard over to designer for start point of a Design Studio app

Bring components to Lumira to iterate, prototype

Bring Live Office capabilities to Lumira (PowerPoint)


Figure 7: Source: SAP

Final step is shown in Figure 7.  The first start is in 2015

Continue to use Analysis OLAP today; SAP will get to point when Lumira is right


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Figure 8 shows the licensing, with a difference between viewing and authoring – both view and author

Innovations with SAP’s Technology Stack

Innovate on existing platform

Mobile BI app includes Analysis Office/OLAP with one click of button to Design Studio – then it is a mobile app

BI in Cloud – SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, innovate while allowing you to leverage investments (universes, BEx queries)

Prepackaged content is available to get you up and running quickly

SAP wants to make it easier to deploy, maintain – “reduce TCO” with parallel patching and update without bringing it down


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Installation and patching, LCM, more simple

Create Web Intelligence docs directly against HANA views

140 data sources support

With BI4.1 Web Intelligence consumes BEx queries


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Today SAP has 4 experiences for trusted data discovery

Today need for HANA, which can be overkill for some requirements

Not everyone needs HANA for data discovery

Manage Lumira Desktop deployments with BI Platforms (like DeskI CP)

Working on an on premised based of Lumira Server  – option to provide – not have to have HANA for web-based access – stated better on twitter by Cindy Jutras: “SAP is working on not requiring HANA for web based delivery Lumira desktop”

Simplifying Software Consumption


Figure 11: Source: SAP

Figure 11 reviews cloud definitions


Figure 12: Source: SAP

Figure 12 shows the future for BI in the cloud.


Figure 13: Survey responses


Figure 14: Source: SAP demo

Figure 14 shows a demo where you can edit SAP Lumira InfoGraphics in the cloud.

Question & Answer

Q: I have a question about Predictive Analysis: some clients rely heavily on having Predictive Analysis on HANA. Does this mean that Predictive Analysis on HANA will completely be replaced by Lumira? There won’t be any PA application anymore?

A: No – PA will not be replaced by Lumira. SAP will however be bringing some lightweight predictive capabilities into Lumira.

Q: There are so many features which are not available in WEBI and are available in DESKI? What about these feature support when DESKI end of life will come.

A: – First, mainstream maintenance for Deski ends Dec 31 2015 and extended support is available until 2017. Second, SAP will continue to add these few remaining Deski gap features into Webi in support packs and point releases on the BI 4.1 platform.

Q: What this means to the Explorer currently available in the BI Platform ? For how long this will be supported?

A: Individual products do not have supported lifetimes. The supported lifetime is set at the platform level – so since Explorer is part of BI 4.x, it will be supported for as long as SAP has a supported version of BI 4.x in market. SAP has no plans to end of life or deprecate any products with this convergence strategy.

Q: How many customers are in BI 4.1 platform vis-a-vis BI 4.0 and what is the recommendation to use which BI version 4.1 or 4.0? Is the backward compatability from BI 4.1 to BI 4.0 available?

A: Customers are rapidly adopting BI 4.1, and that is the version SAP recommends to adopt.

Q: How does the BI Apps development roadmap align with SAP Fiori ?

A: Integration between Lumira Server and Fiori is part of the near term roadmap

Lumira today integrates today with Fiori and UI5

Q: Will there be an easy upgrade path to this new set of tools?

A: You shouldn’t think of this as a tool migration – this is a use case migration so we have a simplified set of tools to accomplish the same use cases. All existing tools will continue to be supported.

Q: What is the replacement for live office in business objects platform 4.1?

A: Live Office continues to be part of the BI Platform 4.1, and SAP is working on enhancing it to support UNX sources.

Q: For customers that already bought the products that are being phased out by Lumira, will they now need to purchase Lumira?

A: No products are being phased out with this roadmap. SAP is transitioning use cases so the same goals can be accomplished with a simpler set of tools.

Q: Are you planning to bring the missing functionalities/objects from Xcelsius to Design Studio? What about What-If analyzes, which were available in Xcelsius?

A: Yes, see statement of direction regarding Design Studio and Dashboards:

Q: What is strategy behind semantic layer?

A: Not all data is in HANA or BW

Universe semantic layer is critical for success; will continue to be core semantic layer for other 138 sources

Q: Is SAP planning to make SAP HANA a requirement for the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, similar to SAP Lumira Server?

A: No. While HANA is a great in-memory database and is used as a platform by Lumira Server, SAP will not make it a technical prerequisite for the BI Platform.

Q: Which is the best development tool for iPads in order to develop user cases for dashboarding and analytics? (connected to HANA or BW)

A: Design Studio.

Q: How compare with other data discovery tools?

A: combine with other capabilities; integration and data quality

Q: Why do we envision 2 tools for dashboarding, competitors like Tableau have 1

A: See portfolio coming together in BI Suite; reason for 2 is personas – analyst/designer

Q: Is SAP planning on making HANA a requirement for BI platform like Lumira Server?

A: can do what other tools can’t do – provides ability to do analysis in seconds instead of weeks; customers say they want this on premise

Q: Does Lumira can work with .unv Universes? or is it necesary to have .unx universes

A: Yes, it works with UNV universes

Q: Improvements to BW, BEx ?

A: BW world, convergence with HANA – time – functionality moving to HANA platform

Future – plans for additional improvements with prompting – make it consistent and strong across the product stack

Change BW password from BI Launchpad

Q: What about Explorer?

A: Continue to use today says Jayne Landry

Q: Esri integration

A: started with Lumira; – now with ArcGIS cloud – working with Esri


SAP Lumira at ASUG SAP Analytics BusinessObjects Conference This Month

Stay Ahead : Attend TechEd && d-code – Win Big SAP BI BusinessObjects HANA Hands-on Sessions

Join SAP at the end of October for Reporting & Analytics 2014 INTERACTIVE conference – register here

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very interested and innovative strategy...

      in 2010 - Added tools (A-OLAP, Explorer) - in 2014 - Remove...

      Look at final step slide - Design Studio, Lumira, A-Office - this tools was always standalone from SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform with their self philosophy...

      SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform after "final step"  will only stay for Webi and Crystal?

      Still will Stay cross similar products - Pair 1 -  Webi and Crystal

      Pair 2 - Design Studio and Lumira....

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Q: Does Lumira can work with .unv Universes? or is it necesary to have .unx universes

      A: Yes, it works with UNV universes

      SAP joking 🙂    It's not working option.

      File -> New ->   Universe (Connect to a universe and download a dataset)?

      It's unusable...

      Author's profile photo Josef Künzli
      Josef Künzli

      So Analyses for Office stays, but Analyses for OLAP is discontinued?

      I don't think that's wise. Analyses for OLAP was the BO tool with the best possible SAP BW integration.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      good article, thanks for sharing

      Author's profile photo Andreas J A Schneider
      Andreas J A Schneider

      See also:

      Run Simple: Convergence of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Product Portfolio June 25, 2014 by Analytics by Jayne Landry, Global VP and GM Business Intelligence, SAP


      Author's profile photo Mel Calucin
      Mel Calucin

      I'm concerned that simplification would only cause less support for BW/BEx.

      Business Objects was acquired and offered as a premium solution to BEx reporting tools -- BEx Analyzer, BEx Web Analyzer, and Web Application Designer. Till now, Business Objects hasn't been able to fully support the features available with BEx reporting tools.  You can see this in  Note 1869560 - SAP BusinessObjects BI Support Matrix for SAP NetWeaver BW.  Additionally, issues with security complexity and lack of full Netweaver Portal KM support have been created for those users who have fully implement the BEx framework and want enhancements that Business Objects offers.

      SAP should better support its BW customers since these customer use other SAP software like ECC.

      Here’s some numbers from SAP about BW as of Feb 2014.

      14500+ customers

      200 New Installations/Month
      3500+ 7.3 customers
      850+ BW on HANA customers

      Note that majority of customers still are not on HANA and given the cost of HANA will probably never be. I think that Business Objects needs to better support BW customers especially those who don’t have HANA. In order to do this, I think that Business Objects should be split into three platform lines:

      SAP BW/Netweaver
      SAP HANA
      Windows/Unix/Database Independent.

      Splitting out Business Objects to support solely on the SAP BW/Netweaver platform would allow a chance for Business Objects to be truly a premium reporting solution to BEx Web Analyzer, Analyzer, and Web Application Designer by better supporting and enhancing the BEx semantic layer, BW security, Netweaver Portal user interface, KM collaboration support on the J2EE platform.  Also, there would be proper focus on this platform.  Why didn't Lumira support BW/BEx when it first came out?   Why was the focus only on the Business Objects Universe and HANA initially?  Doesn't SAP care about its BW customers who can't afford to go to HANA?

      The HANA platform solution would get rid of the abap and java stack (J2EE, Tomcat, etc). All code would be on the HANA platform itself. This will give a chance for HANA to show that it can serve as a solutions platform. Business Objects on HANA can have its own semantic layer and security which can evolve separately and not be tied down with the older ABAP and JAVA frameworks.

      The Windows/Unix/Database Independent version of Business Objects is now free to expand on the universe semantic layer and security without being tied down by BW and HANA requirements.

      Author's profile photo Donnie Burhan
      Donnie Burhan

      Good point, Mel.

      I agree with your opinions. It seems that SAP is creating dualism between the SAP Netweaver BW and the BusinessObjects, and now with Hana platform.

      It's good that SAP is trying to simplify the number of BusinessObjects application portfolio, but it's about time that they also simplify the Platform too.

      Sales trying to shove SAP ECC, SAP Netweaver BW (free if you have ECC) and SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite down the throat of new customers is a good sales strategy, but it's annoying to utilize all of them due to much incompatibility left between SAP Netweaver BW and SAP BusinessObjects. It's hard and unnerving to explain to users why we can't do things in SAP BusinessObjects while it's easy and simple to do in SAP Netweaver BW.

      SAP Netweaver BW needs to stay for SAP ECC customers who won't be able to afford Hana, and SAP BusinessObjects can be solution for customers who do not using SAP ECC. Hana is already powerful it can do almost everything by itself.

      Author's profile photo Andreas J A Schneider
      Andreas J A Schneider
      Author's profile photo Mel Calucin
      Mel Calucin


      I read the link and specifically the "CONSIDERATIONS FOR SAP BEX USERS" section.   I don't think Web Intelligence will ever close all the BEx feature gaps without a re-architecture of Web Intelligence that focuses on BW/BEx.  I guess we'll see in the next year how much of the No's are converted to Yesses for Web Intelligense in Note 1869560 - SAP BusinessObjects BI Support Matrix for SAP NetWeaver BW.

      I still believe that we should have:

      Business Objects for Netweaver

      Business Objects for HANA

      Business Objects Classic

      SAP did something like this for BPC by having:

      BPC for Netweaver

      BPC for MS SQL Server

      Author's profile photo Andreas J A Schneider
      Andreas J A Schneider

      One thing not to be forgotten:

      If you are an SAP BW customer your first choice for reporting tools should be:
      Analysis, MS Office edition or DesignStudio for Dashboarding.

      In particular scenarios Webi or Crystal Reports might come into play such as: built-in support for mobile devices, scheduling, or accessing non-SAP data sources.

      I would not split the proven SAP BusObjects platform into those three lines you mentioned though. SAP HANA can be a data source for reporting (just as any other relational database) or can be used to host the CMS DB (Systems DB) as of today. There is no Portal Integration yet as far as I am ware, meaning BI Launchpad cannot exist on SAP HANA alone, it requires a JAVA WEB APP server such as Tomcat, etc. Most important, having 3 separate code bases for the SAP BusObjects platform as you seem to suggest as a consequence is IMHO another nightmare and adding to the zoo.

      Seeing how focused SAP is on its flagship SAP HANA (rightfully so, I may add), I can only recommend to customers to not ignore that fact.

      Author's profile photo Mel Calucin
      Mel Calucin

      According to the Final Step screenshot above, Web Intelligence and Crystal Reports are the go forward solution for Reporting (distribute information).   Consequently, Web Intelligence will be the only web based solution going forward for SAP BW customers.   Analysis for Office is fat client for running and designing the report.  Design Studio is a fat client for just designing.  Web Intelligence has a lot of gaps in BEx functionality.  I believe this to be architectural since it caters more to relational databases.

      Another problem is the added cost of infrastructure, system administration, and security administration of implementing and running Business Objects with BEx.  Can we have a Business Objects version that works well within the current BEx infrastructure, system configuration, and security?

      With regards to HANA, IMHO every time that HANA requirement is added to a key feature of BW or any SAP product, it eliminates that product from being considered for a lot of medium and small size companies because the cost of implementing HANA is not affordable to these companies.  This leads to SAP competitors to jump in.

      If the HANA platform cannot handle the migration of BI launchpad code to its own application stack, then it is not much of a development platform.  HANA just becomes another database server.  It should be able to handle this if not now then in the future.

      Author's profile photo Ina Felsheim
      Ina Felsheim

      Hey, all. Please see the updated Statement of Direction here: