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Is SAP Lumira “ready” for SAP BW ?

Now after some time the question of customers comes up more frequent and I do get the question – should we use SAP Lumira with SAP BW – more often, so I thought that I will provide a more detailed view on how “ready” SAP Lumira really is for SAP BW.

I will try to provide details in different area, starting with the general meta-data provided by your BEx Query and I also created a document in this area where I will consolidate all the information:

SAP Lumira support for SAP NetWeaver BW

So lets now look into the details (all based on SAP Lumira 1.28).

First I wanted to check if SAP Lumira supports all the different data types and the different type of objects from SAP BW, such as characteristics, navigational attributes, display attributes, .. and so on.

I created a very simple BEx query on the SAP NetWeaver Demo model and established the connection to my BEx query.


I noticed that all the elements where there and that I also was able to add the Display Attributes to my selected Dimensions.


Above I am showing the Attributes for dimension Sold-to-Party.


But when I then went into SAP Lumira and did execute the BEx query as part of the data acquisition with the Display Attribute included I noticed, that the relationship between the characteristic Sold-To-Party and the Display Attribute “Industry Key” was lost and that “Industry Key” was pretty much being treated as it is a normal characteristic, which is not necessary what I was expecting.

So then I moved on to some other quick tests and wanted to see how SAP Lumira is handling items such as short, medium, and long text.


During the data acquisition in SAP Lumira you do have the option to select the Text, Key, or both for each characteristic. As you can see in the image above SAP Lumira is not offering the user the option to choose between a short, medium, or long text even if the InfoObject was setup for it like in my example above. So I went back to the BEx query and configured in the BEx query the InfoObject to use – for example – the Medium Text and created a new SAP Lumira document but I noticed that SAP Lumira is ignoring any configurations done on a BEx Query Level in regards to the text and the only way I was able to get SAP Lumira to use the Medium Text in my example, was to change the configuration on an InfoObject level – which is something I was hoping to avoid.

As next step I also wanted to see how SAP Lumira handles BEx queries with custom structures and did setup a very simple BEx query with a structure based on characteristics in the Rows and a structure in the columns breaking down the revenue by Quarters.


… but my hopes were quickly “destroyed”……


So no support in SAP Lumira for BEx queries with structures based on characteristics and no support for BEx queries with 2 structures either.

I then changed my BEx query to also include the Year as part of my Keyfigure structure.


…but received this again…


.. so no support for a hierarchical key figure structure either.

After those scenarios related to the characteristics I did some quick tests in regards to the support for the different keyfigures and noticed very quick, the SAP Lumira does not support the keyfigure type NUMC properly.


Above you can see a BEx query with a characteristic Order ID as type NUMC. On the left hand side you see how SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Office shows the characteristic (sorted by number) and on the right hand side you see the values in SAP Lumira – sorted as a string.

As final step I check if SAP Lumira would support properly the scaling factor and the currencies of my data.


Above you can see the data set in SAP Lumira on the left hand side and the identical BEx query in Analysis Office and you can see that keyfigure cost has been configured with 0 decimals and a scaling factor of 100 and Net Value has been configured with 3 decimals and a scaling factor of 1000….

… and nothing of those configurations is being leveraged by SAP Lumira.

So as last check I looked at the Currency support…..


…. and noticed that SAP Lumira does not provide a Unit or Currency field per measure, but instead it changes the Description of the measure and places the Currency behind it. This only happens in case when the data is based on a single currency, so in case your dataset has a set of different currencies – for example USD and EUR – for a single measure you should configure in the BEx query already the Currency Translation as otherwise in SAP Lumira you do not have a way to tell which values are USD and which values are EUR.

In addition I noticed that for each measure in the BEx query I also received a measure in the “Dimensions” area – which I am sure is just a bug….

So this is just the starting point and I will provide more details on the different topics such as Conditions, Hierarchies, Cell Editor, …and so on in the next couple of days.

Here the summary so far as overview

SAP Lumira support for SAP NetWeaver BW

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  • Congratulations for this detailed post about all problems with BW and Lumira.

    I think Lumira Team can take this post and start working on it, as most of problems you explained are present in 95% of customers using BW.

  • Thanks for the summarized insight. All items listed above are known to the product team, and is being formulated as part of backlog over the course of 2016 delivery planning. There are certainly areas where we need to close the gaps on, and areas which will remain as limitations due to the nature of acquiring the BW data and leveraging the local calculation engine of Lumira. Please stay tuned for upcoming roadmap updates on the Lumira side of things!

    • Hello Eric,

      perhaps you also wanna update the SAP note for SAP Lumira above as for some of the items mentioned in this blog the note states that it is supported - for example the data type NUMC.

      great to hear that things are being worked on but would love to see things getting fixed earlier the "over the course of 2016".


      Ingo Hilgefort, Visual BI

  • Also last when i tested it, slice and dice of charts for example pie charts, was not supported on top of SAP BW based sources but it could be done on relational sources?  Solved now?

    • Hello.

      Likely what you tested back then was not the BW Data Acquisition connector. The initial release of Data Acquistion for SAP BW data starts with Lumira 1.27 release and will continue to mature further.


  • Ingo,

    The characteristics structure /2 structures issues are a good spot- most P&L / Balance sheet reports are based on  such structures. I have a workaround - use Design studio -but Lumira is my preferred tool to pass to users.


    • Hello Tony,

      I think that for the next couple of months (if not 12 months) you are far better off with Design Studio and in situations where your user would like to see a more self service based scenario you can use the existing templates or basically create a "Lumira look and feel" as a web based solution but you would gain the far better support for data source like BW and HANA from Design Studio.


      Ingo Hilgefort, Visual BI

    • Thanks for the feedback Tony.

      We are responding to customer feedback concerning Structure support and the acquistion of it into Lumira. This is currently on the roadmap plans.


      • Thanks Eric,

        My users were particualry interested in using Lumira's excellent "Compose " functions to share the Structured BW P&L Reports.

        Until Lumira supports these structures ,Im having to ask them to export from BO to Powerpoint !


  • Just add the currency characteristics in your query to be able to distinguish between currency types.

    For having experienced it though, Lumira is now great off standard and simple Bex queries, already a giant's leap compared to 1.27.

    Can't wait to see 1.29 and following.



    • Hello Eric,

      that would only help in some very small amount of scenarios. Lumira doesn't have a concept of a "Unit / Currency" assigned to a measure at all, so it also does not have a concept of preventing certain situations - for example aggregating values of different currencies


      Ingo Hilgefort, Visual BI

  • Hello all,

    I have a Lumira Document uploaded to the Lumira Server for BI Platform with BW Planning data. If I change the Planning data in BW is it possible to refresh the Data (Document) in Lumira Server?

    Thank you


    • Hello Frederik,

      It is possible to refresh data from BW source if you specified connection through BI Platform during data acquisition.


      If you would like to schedule the refresh of the document in BI Platform, the connection should also contain the predefined user and password.