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Hello everyone!


SAP Lumira 1.27 is on its way to you soon. With that, I’d like to share some long awaited news on the topic of Lumira and BW integration. I anticipate this blog will peak your interest, and I look forward to sharing more updates to come.

What’s new?


As part of Lumira 1.27, is the release of a new data connector which allows users to access BW data. The data connector concept is coined “BW Data Acquisition”. In short, users will be able to connect to the BEx queries and acquire the BW data into Lumira Desktop. From there, users can enjoy a full self-service experience of Lumira with the acquired data:

  • Interact, manipulate, and experiment with data
  • Perform data discovery, gain insight on past and future trends
  • Apply data transformations, add business logic
  • Merge/blend governed BW data with non-BW data
  • Build visualizations and compose stories
  • Share insights in a visual manner with users within the organization

What uses cases can LOB anticipate to satisfy with connectivity to BW?

The following points should resonate:

  • Data comparisons of actuals from a BEx query vs plans stored from a non-BW source
  • Comparison of sales results against market benchmarks or marketing campaign results available in .csv files or provided by a 3rd party consulting firm
  • Aggregation of sales facts using personal or team-level product groupings, and correlate against public census data
  • All of the above in a single presented Story to share enterprise-wide, or facilitate decision making

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Have I got your interest now? If so read on!

How does the BW Data Acquisition concept work?

Users can connect to their BEx query investment and acquire a slice of BW data into Lumira Desktop. Let’s briefly cover the steps involved.

1. Connect to existing BEx queries on a BW 7.x system

Many organizations have invested in and fine-tuned their BEx queries over the years. This is where the semantics and corporate metrics are defined. While Lumira is not positioned for the same use cases (i.e. OLAP analysis) as the SAP BusinessObjects Analysis clients, Lumira will be able to leverage the query investments by allowing connection to the BW 7.x systems.


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Two different modes of connectivity offered:

  • Connect directly to the BW system. Local mode connection is good for rapid prototype of content, and when there is no access to BusinessObjects BI platform
  • Connect to the BusinessObjects BI platform. Leverage the OLAP managed connections to BW, provisioned by IT. Create content with the intent to share to users enterprise-wide

2. Answer the BEx variables

We know it is common for BEx queries to have BW variables defined in them. They are critical not only to filter data but also guarantee users to see the correct data (i.e. key date variable, exit variables) and data users are allowed to see (authorization variables).


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3. Select the BW metadata

Users will choose the specific Dimensions and Measures in the Metadata Explorer dialog to acquire BW data into Lumira. This step requires important decision points for users to make. Selection of the Dimensions and Measures not only drive considerations of data volume as part of acquisition, but to support certain BEx query concepts which directly influence the acquired BW data values (i.e. BEx Conditions, Zero Suppression).


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4. Acquire BW data into Lumira Desktop

Once the BW data is acquired, the data is local to Lumira Desktop. Interactions and calculations performed on the BW data no longer involves delegation down to the BW OLAP engine. Refresh of the BW data values in Lumira Desktop is supported, but the refresh will be driven based upon the selected Dimensions and Measures defined in the Metadata Explorer.

Although your organization’s BEx queries may be highly developed, the BEx query rarely corresponds to 100% of a user’s needs. In many cases, one needs to trim, split, concatenate a few fields in preparation for a visualization or a merge with another data set. The Data Acquisition mode will let you benefit from all of the great self-service features which Lumira offers today.


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In my upcoming blog (Part 2), I’ll share more details about specific feature capabilities in the Metadata Explorer, sharing of BW stories, and information on key design behaviors (and limitations) while interacting with acquired BW data.


Before I end, here are useful links to give you a head-start on this topic:

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Eric

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