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Since Lumira version 1.29, you can now connect to and host Lumira content on the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform (BI Platform). This enables you to re-use existing ‘enterprise’ assets:

  • Security (authentication & authorisation) and sharing content via folders, in-box etc.
  • Platform scheduling (inc. events, notifications etc.)
  • Auditing, Life Cycle Management (Version & Promotion Management) etc.

But it also enables you to consume ‘managed’ connections that are controlled inside the Central Management Console (CMC). This blog is about how you consume these managed connections from within Lumira Desktop, the benefits of doing so and also to share SAP’s plans to extend managed connections for the next release of Lumira.

Q. Where are ‘managed’ connections managed?


A. Within the ‘CMC-Connections’. With BI 4.2 you can see both OLAP and relational ‘managed’ connections in one screen and manage their security:

CMC-Connections.png


Q. How does Lumira Desktop connect to data sources?


A. It can connect ‘directly’, or ‘via the BI Platform’.

Lumira Desktop Connections to data sources.png

Lumira Desktop can connect to data sources ‘directly’, as shown in the diagram above by the green arrow. When it does this is uses the local middleware installed and configured on the Desktop.

Lumira Desktop can also connect ‘via the BI Platform’. When this happens the middleware on BI Platform performs the database connectivity and acts as a ‘proxy’.

Shown by the solid black line in the diagram: Universes have always been consumed ‘via the BI Platform’, you have to login to the BI Platform before consuming a Universe. In Lumira version 1.29 you can consume ‘SAP BW’ managed connections ‘via the BI Platform’.

Q. What are the benefits of Managed connections?


A. There are a number of advantages, ranging from control, security to cost of ownership

  • Access rights determine which users can consume them. Ideal if you want to limit who has access to which database.
  • All the connection details are hidden, such as the username, password, database, server etc. and so keeps these details secret, ideal for security control.
  • Only need to update the managed connection once, for example with a new password, rather than updating the connection on each client desktop saving significant effort.

Q. How do you consume a Managed connection?


From Lumira Desktop version 1.29 you may consume a SAP BW managed connection.

Step 1: Select File-New and then ‘Download from SAP Business Warehouse’

Download from SAP Business Warehouse.png

Then press Next.

Step 2: On the next screen you have a choice with ‘Connect to’. Either connect ‘directly’ using the first option ‘local BW System’ or ‘via the BI Platform’ with ‘SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform’. Select ‘SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform’:

SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform.png

You need to login to the BI Platform to gain access to the ‘managed’ connections you’re allowed to consume.

For ‘System’, enter the hostname of the BI Platform which hosts the CMS (Central Management Server).

For ‘Authentication Type’ you need to select the one you normally use and when consuming BW content will typically be SAP.

Authentication Type.png

Once you’ve entered your user name and password, click Connect.

Step 3: You are now presented with the list of SAP BW managed connections available to you. (Technically they will be OLAP ‘SAP BICS client’ connections). I have just one called ‘A4H’:

SAP BW Data Acquisition Connector.png

Now you can select the BexQuery the connection is pointing too. The connection can either point to a specific BexQuery or it can be unspecified allowing BW to show the BW Queries you have access to. After clicking ‘next’ you can then select the measures and dimensions you’d like to visualise and present in a Lumira document.

SAP BW Data Acquisition Connector Query Panel.png

Q. What are the known issues with BW Managed connections?


A. There are a few known issues with version 1.29 and we’re busy working to resolve them, probably in version 1.30.

Issue 1: When you consume a BW Managed connection in Lumira and then you later update that managed connection, for example to use a different BW system, the system name will not be reflected in the Lumira user interface, even though it will refresh against the new BW system.

Issue 2: When you consume a BW Managed connection in Lumira that is not set as ‘Single Sign On’ and then you later update that connection to be ‘Single Sign On’, you will receive an error on refresh and the document will not refresh successfully.

A Life Cycle Management workflow can expose these issues. For example, let’s say you have a development system and the connection is defined to use the development BW system. You create Lumira documents on that connection in development. You then use Promotion Management to promote the connection and the Lumira documents into production. You then update the connection details, in production, to use the production BW system. The Lumira documents, in production, when refreshing will say they are refreshing against the ‘development’ system even though they are not.

Q. Remind me, what are the Best Practices for Managed connections?


A. Always, always create the connection in one environment (i.e. dev) and promote it to other environments (test, prod) using Promotion Management. Then update the contents of the connection, within the target system, to their equivalent databases (test, prod).

Never create a new connection in the target system (test, prod) and expect documents promoted from a source system (dev) to use it.

Why? Every object (document, connection, folder etc.) in the BI Platform is identified and related to by an ID called the CUID. If you create a new connection (or anything else, like a folder, document etc.) in another system we guarantee the CUID will be different, even if you create it with the same name. Since documents are associated to the connection by the CUID, then when you create a new connection those documents will no longer point to your new connection so you’ll have to ‘repoint’ all those document to use the new connection. This a lot of work and should be avoided!

‘Repointing’ documents to use a different connection is something that can be done in Web Intelligence, for example when it consumes a BW Bex connection, but this isn’t even possible in Lumira. So, remember update contents of the connection, within the target system, don’t create a new connection.

If you don’t want to manually update the connection you’ve promoted to the target system ‘in the target system’, then you can use the Promotion Management Connection Overrides to automatically update the connection as it’s promoted into the target system.

Q. What about consuming other managed connections?


A. With Lumira Desktop version 1.30 we are planning for you to consume a SAP HANA managed connections. At the time of this blog, we are still in development of the feature so there’s no guarantee it will be available and plans do change!

Assume this is provided, we plan to provide additional Single Sign On support when using Lumira and consuming HANA managed connections. Both Kerberos and SAML authentication means are planned to be supported as follows:

SAP Lumira Desktop connecting ‘directly’
SAP Lumira Desktop connecting via BI Platform to consume a ‘managed’ connection SAP Lumira Server for BI Platform SAP Lumira Server for Teams
Download from SAP HANA (offline) SAML No SAML Yes SAML Yes SAML Yes
Kerberos Yes Kerberos No Kerberos Yes Kerberos Yes
Connect to SAP HANA (online) SAML No SAML Yes SAML Yes SAML Yes
Kerberos Yes Kerberos No Kerberos Yes Kerberos Yes

All Lumira to HANA connectivity is provided by an OLAP connection using a JDBC driver and not using a HTTP driver, unlike Analysis for Office.

Moving to HANA Managed connections means some of the current limitations will be removed, for example multiple login prompts and official Kerberos support.

There’s a plan to allow for further ‘managed’ connections, but it’s too early to give any definitive plans or timescales right now. Remember, plans do change.

Lumira Connectivity Matrix Wiki

There are a good number of connectivity options for Lumira and I’ve complied a wiki page to collect them together. You’ll find the above table included in this wiki with a number of helpful comments. Your feedback on this wiki and its usefulness if very welcome and any suggestions for improvement too. I don’t want to duplicate what is already available in the Lumira PAM.

Lumira Connectivity Matrix Wiki.

Matthew Shaw (Twitter: @MattShaw_on_BI)

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20 Comments

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  1. Hayden Gill

    Thanks, this is a good initiative – there are a lot of organisations that need to manage who can access various connections.

    One issue that stops us deploying Lumira Desktop is that the user’s PC needs firewall access to the ports on the CMS server to log onto the BI Platform.

    I assume the PC also needs direct access to the database server even when pulling data from a Universe (haven’t been able to test this due to the above).

    Will these managed connections mean that we can have 3 tier connections (a bit like 3 tier WebI Rich Client) or will enterprises still be expected to open up all ports to their CMS and database servers ?

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      1. Hayden Gill

        Thanks, so it’s just the connection to the BI Platform that is the issue.  You can’t open a Universe without logging into the CMS, and currently you need direct access to the CMS server.

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  2. Hillary Bliss

    What types of connections are available for managed connections?  Only HANA, Universe, and BW?  Your diagram leaves out RDBMS (freehand SQL), which is what I’m looking for.  Can these be managed connections?  Thanks!

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    1. Matthew Shaw Post author

      Hello Hillary,

      Q Only HANA, Universe, and BW?

      A Yes, only these today, but we would like to introduce more for things just like freehand SQL.

      Did you see my Lumira Connectivity Matrix Wiki which shows which data sources can and cannot be consumed by a managed connection, for both ‘acquiring’ and ‘interactive refresh’ workflows?

      Regards, Matthew

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  3. Andre Jost

    Hey,

    can you describe which APS / technology is used to fetch the managed connection? It´s because with Lumira it takes 30 minutes to get the next Screen after selecting a managed connection. It works many times faster with a local connection.

    Kind regards

    Andre

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    1. Ashutosh Rastogi

      Hi Andre,

      We are not aware of any differences in the performance of acquisition via a Managed connection and direct connection for the same source. I would suggest you report an IT ticket so that support can closely look at your system.

      Ashutosh

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  4. Derek Fox

    Hi

    How do we switch a Lumira document from using a ‘local BW connection’ to a ‘managed BW connection’ with minimum impact?

    I see SAP has a SAP Note 2337153 – How to convert SAP Lumira documents using local HANA connection to Managed HANA connection which includes an utility but I cannot find anything similar for  changing/switching the BW connection?

    Regards

    Derek

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    1. Matthew Shaw Post author

      Hello Derek, Sadly we don’t have a tool for switching HANA local to HANA managed connections. How many documents do you have to switch over? Regards, Matthew

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      1. Derek Fox

        Hi Matthew

        I’ve attached an except from Note 2337153 (this was released on 2016/07/05) which is why I was asking about if there was something similar for BW connections.

        2337153.PNG

        I have a project starting at a customer but the BI Platform server (with the Lumira add-on) will not be available for a while yet, so one is trying to determine whether it would be worthwhile to start using a local BW connection to do the development of the reports/storyboards, etc… and then later switch to a managed BW connection.

        Regards

        Derek

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        1. Matthew Shaw Post author

          Hello Derek

          I would recommend that you do not create your Lumira documents based off a local BW connection with the intention to then find a way to convert it to use a managed BW connection. (and I realise you won’t planning on doing that! we have no means to switch from local to managed)

          Instead, I’d recommend you to only use a managed BW connection. Ask your customer to send you their BI platform managed BW connection in an LCMBIAR file (assuming they’re ok with that) and then import that into your system. This way, anything you build will be based off a connection that will have the same CUID as your customer. This means you can then promote your content, from your system, into your customers system, as since the same connection has been used there won’t be any binding problems between your Lumira content and the connection.

          If your customer system really doesn’t exist yet, then build your content off your managed BW connection, and then be sure the customer is aware they will need to import, not just your Lumira content, but also the BW managed connection from your system.

          I think that’s the best thing to do. Regards, Matthew

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  5. Sri Palagummi

    Hello Matthew,

    I upgraded the version of my Lumira desktop to 1.30, but I do not see the option to connect to “SAP BI Platform” when connecting to a HANA online dataset. All my other colleagues see that option. In short, when I go to add a new data set and select “Connect to SAP HANA” option, I see the option to connect to HANA only. I was expecting the “SAP HANA Data Acquisition Connector” dialog. Any idea what I a missing here. I am on Lumira Desktop 1.30 Build 109.

    Thanks,

    Sri

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    1. Matthew Shaw Post author

      Hello Sri, I’m sorry for not replying soon (leave a bit busy!). Did you manage to resolve this problem? Nothing springs to my mind for what the issue might be.  Regards, Matthew

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  6. Saurabh Sharma

    Hello Matthew,

     

    Please let me know what is the migration strategy for Migrating the already existing Lumira to new host. We have to take our old Lumira to old Host, we have to take it to new host.

    Thanks

    Saurabh

     

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    1. Matthew Shaw Post author

      Hello Saurabh, I’m a little unclear with your question. Are you talking about content or the server components? Does this blog ¬†https://blogs.sap.com/2017/05/19/updating-sap-businessobjects-bi-platform-to-lumira-2.x/ help? Regards Matthew

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  7. Saurabh Sharma

    Hello Matthew,

    Thanks for your reply. Let me clear my question to you . We already have a lumira in our host. We have to take it to cloud .

    I just like to ask that we have to migrate Lumira to Cloud. So in that case we have to do a new installation of Lumira in cloud or we have to export some files and take it to cloud. How it will be ?

     

     

    Thanks

    Saurabh

     

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    1. Matthew Shaw Post author

      Hello Saurabh,

      You’d need to install Lumira BI Platform server add-on in your cloud BI Platform, then you can promote Lumira content into it. The promotion can be live-to-live or you could export as LCMBIAR and import as LCMBIAR. Copying Lumira content will be just like any other content, nothing too special about Lumira content compared to all the content types. Regards, Matthew

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