Lumira Server for the BI Platform & BW Connectivity
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:
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
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.