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In our previous post, we  discussed Lumira Server for the BI Platform, and how it allows line-of-business  and IT users to merge trusted and non-trusted data discovery to produce compelling  visualizations. Lumira 1.27 included a new data connector for “BW Data  Acquisition,” which lets you connect to BEx queries to bring BW data into  Lumira Desktop, and Lumira 1.28 brought further improvements to that  connectivity.

Effective BW  connectivity has been high on the wish lists of Lumira users, because this  connectivity is needed to create visualizations in Lumira to compare BW  historical data against non-BW sources such as planning data or benchmarks.  By merging or blending the data from the two sources, Lumira users can deliver  better content for decision-making workflows.

In our SAPinsider Q  & A event earlier this year (“Will  Your Web Intelligence Journey Lead You into Lumira?”), two SAP subject  matter experts from the Lumira product team provided live answers to questions about  Lumira from an online audience.

When we touched base with Adrian Westmoreland upon the release of  Lumira 1.27, he clarified the Lumira product roadmap for us with regard to  Lumira connectivity with trusted data sources.

The Query Panel  extension gives Lumira users access to UNX universes, allowing them to leverage  their organization’s investment in the new semantic layer. This capability is  extremely important as the semantic layer is the key to viewing a single  version of the truth. With Lumira 1.27, released in late June, 2015, we made effective  BW connectivity available, so Lumira developers now have access to another  trusted data source.

During the Q & A,  it was apparent from some audience questions that the BW connectivity available  prior to 1.27 wasn’t fulfilling user needs or expectations, and it was apparent  from Ty Miller’s answer that the  Lumira product team was aware of the issue:

Question:
    The connectivity of Lumira with SAP BW is  very slow. In what client version we can expect some performance improvement?
 
Ty Miller: You can expect some  great improvements in the way Lumira works with BW with our 1.27 release  expected in June. With this release you can also expect to be able to connect  Lumira directly to your BEx queries to acquire the data.

After the release of Lumira 1.27, we  followed up with Ty to get his take on the state of BW connectivity for Lumira.  He told us:

We know that there  are high expectations concerning what our tools should be able to do with BW. Prior  to Lumira 1.27, we essentially provided only half a solution in allowing Lumira  to connect to BW online. The solution was incomplete and we had significant  feedback from customers that the solution did not meet their expectations of  SAP. We’ve taken that feedback to heart and re-engineered support for BW in  Lumira 1.27.

The result is the ability to merge and  blend BW data via BEx queries with non-BW, and non-trusted, data. Ty also told  us that the SAP will continue to build on this support for BW in Lumira.

BW Connectivity Improvements in Lumira 1.28

Lumira 1.28, released in  August, 2015, included further innovations to improve trusted data discovery,  including:

  • Single sign-on option for data  acquisition from BW – you can take advantage of Kerberos to connect Lumira  desktop to a data source, and use a Windows user account to acquire data from BW  and other trusted data sources
  • Ability to change variable  prompts when refreshing the Lumira to BW query
  • Ability to schedule Lumira  stories with saved prompts

For more information on what’s new in  Lumira 1.28, check out Gowda  Timma Ramu’s SCN post.

SAP Lumira or SAP Design Studio?

SAP’s BI convergence strategy makes it  clear that Lumira is the future of discovery and analysis, and Design Studio is  the future of dashboards and applications. However, just as there is functional  overlap between Web Intelligence and Lumira, there is also functional overlap  between Lumira and Design Studio.

This overlap is apparent in a use case scenario  on the wish lists of Lumira users: the ability to visualize BW online. In this  use case, the data remains in BW, but you are able to visualize it, without combining  it with other data. Ty noted that this is something that you can do easily with  pre-designed applications, also known as templates, available now in Design  Studio 1.5, and that this use case illustrated an essential difference between  Lumira and Design Studio. He told us that:

Design Studio is  the ultimate trusted data visualization and dashboard creation tool, in that  with Design Studio you are restricted to trusted data sources such as  universes, BEx queries and HANA views, data sources which are inherently trusted  because they are managed and governed by IT. Lumira on the other hand allows  you to go as “Wild West” as you need to for purposes of data  discovery. While Design Studio is focused on professionally authored dashboards  and applications, it is focused specifically on the trusted data sources.

While there may be some overlap between  Lumira and Design Studio (just as we noted there was between  Web Intelligence and Lumira), each has a clear place within the SAP  BI Convergence Strategy, and the way that Lumira supports BW to allow the  merging and blending of trusted and non-trusted data make it the ideal solution  for discovery and analysis. Design Studio remains the choice for dashboards and  applications that communicate only trusted data, conveying the single version  of the truth that governs corporate workflows.

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