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What's Next with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0

Q&A with Jeroen van der A and Xavier Hacking

May 04, 2017

Join SAP BI experts Jeroen van der A and Xavier Hacking of Interdobs to learn more about what's coming next for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0.

If you missed the chat or need a refresher, you may view the chat replay or read the edited transcript below. 

Live Blog What's Next with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0

Matthew Shea: Hello and welcome to today's chat! I am pleased to be joined by BI experts Jeroen van der A and Xavier Hacking of Interdobs. They will be sharing advice on what's coming next for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Lumira.

Please post your questions for Jeroen and Xavier in the queue below. We look forward to great chat today!

Comment From Jonas: What will this merger mean for me as a user or developer?

Jeroen van der A: Hi Jonas. As a developer, it can mean that you will receive a SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, discovery component document as a starting point for developing an application. This way, you can pick up anything that a business user has already created. Furthermore, the back-end engine is the same for the discovery component as for the designer component. That means that you now can create the same visualizations. Now with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio versus SAP BusinessObjects Lumira that is different.

Comment From Roland Wammers: How will I be able to switch back and forth between editing content in the designer and discovery components?

Xavier Hacking: With SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, a new file format is introduced: LUMX. These LUMX documents can be opened in both the designer component and the discovery component. It is possible to create a document with the discover component, make some changes to it in the designer component, and run it in the discovery component again. Note: In the upcoming version, it won't be possible to make changes in the discover component, after a document has been changed in the designer component. The document can still be used in the discovery component, though.

Comment From Roland Wammers: What about SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analytics (the expert analytics part)? Does this also tie in with the designer component in SAP BusinessObjects Lumira?

Jeroen van der A: Hi Roland. There is no direct link from SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analytics to the designer component in SAP BusinessObjects Lumira. SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analytics shares some functionality with SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, so you can explore and modify the data before you put in an analysis. The resulting model can be exported, for example, to SAP HANA to predict values and store those predictions in tables. With queries, you can show these result in the designer component.

Comment From Guest: When is the release of SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0.?

Xavier Hacking: The latest update on this is that the GA version will be released around early Q3.

Comment From Gavin: What do you consider to be the most important new features in the designer component?

Jeroen van der A: Hi Gavin. In my opinion, the composite component is by far the most important feature. It allows you to create re-usable parts that can be used across applications. When your organization creates a number of applications, it is very handy to have parts centrally managed. These composite components can be enhanced with properties and methods to make these very powerful.

Comment From ALI: What training is there for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio or SAP BusinessObjects Lumira?

Jeroen van der A: Hi ALI. Personally, I got going by just opening the application and trying it for myself. You will notice that you will get going quite quickly as dragging the components into the application and setting them up by changing properties is an intuitive learning process. The scripting takes more time (depending on whether you have programming experience). The main point with scripting is to use CTRL-SPACE to find which components are in your application. If you chose a component and are adding one, [AA1] you can use CTRL-SPACE again to see what methods they have.

Comment From Nate: Why are SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Lumira merging into SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0?

Xavier Hacking: The designer and discovery components in SAP BusinessObjects Lumira will share the same code base. This has a lot of advantages:

-          -Better interoperability options

-          -Aligned user experience

-          -Single back-end component on BI platform

Comment From ALI: Is there any training center that provides training for SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, design component?

Jeroen van der A: SAP offers courses. If you are near the Netherlands, we at Interdobs provide training programs for companies.

Comment From Max: How will the PDF export improve?

Jeroen van der A: Hi Max. The problem with PDF is that it translates to DPI. When you increase the panel size to 2480 pixels by 3508 pixels, you get an A4 export with 300 DPI. You need to increase the content accordingly, but if it’s important to have high quality print, this helps. I had to use it already for a company that wanted to print their quarterly reports.

Comment From Jamie Hylton: How will licensing work for customers who already have SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 1.x licenses?

Xavier Hacking: See the following breakdown:

  • Customers entitled to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, server version
    • Receive successors to both functionality, including both enterprise dashboard and self-service data discovery functionality
    • SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, discovery component
    • SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, designer component
    • SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, server version – all functionality
  • Customers entitled to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, but not SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, server version
    • Receive successors to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.x functionality
    • Enterprise dashboard and analytic application functionality only. Does not include self-service data discovery functionality like web-based creation, data mashups, or data prep.
    • SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, designer component
    • SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, server version – excluding data mashup and data preparation
    • Customers entitled to SAP BusinessObjects Lumira (desktop) only
      • No change – receive discovery component under maintenance, or repurchase if not under maintenance
      • SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, discovery component

Comment From Jamie Hylton: How will you refer to the merged products in the singular context?

Jeroen van der A: Hi Jamie. I noticed I just use the designer component and the discovery component as naming for the tools to distinguish between the two.

Comment From Peter S: Can we use SAP BusinessObjects Lumira against universes created with IDT?

Jeroen van der A: Hi Peter. You can use the designer and the discovery component against universes.

Comment From Jamie Hylton: How will SAP BusinessObjects Mobile work with new SAP BusinessObjects Lumira? Will the preview option be a representation of what you will see in the app?

Jeroen van der A: As far as I know, the mobile app will work the same as it does now regarding the new SAP BusinessObjects Lumira.

The preview is rendered on a browser (Internet Explorer or Chrome), so some differences are still expected. Additionally, the mobile app takes some room off the screen which makes the size of the application on screen just a bit different. On Chrome, you have the option to render the application on iPad, iPhone, Android, and so on to see how it will work out. Use that option with different screen sizes to find out how it will work out.

Comment From ALI: Is there any training book for SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0? If so, would you kindly share the link with us?

Jeroen van der A: Hi ALI. Xavier, Dwain, and I are currently writing that book and its expected release is in November/December.

Comment From Peter S: How well is SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 connected to SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) queries?

Xavier Hacking: The discovery component made huge improvements regarding SAP BW BEx queries. It will be possible to use these BEx queries ‘live,’ without the need to ‘acquire’ all the data. There is support for BEx elements like hierarchies, display attributes, variables, conditions, zero suppression, scaling factors, and so on.

Note that with live connections, either to BEx queries or SAP HANA views, it is not possible to use a lot of the data preparation actions (data merging, custom grouping, replacing, and so forth).

Comment From Guest: Hi Jeroen and Xavier. I have two questions: What are your impressions of SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0? And can you convert from SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio/SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 1.31 to SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0?

Jeroen van der A: Hi. My first impressions are that there are a number of nice features added. For the designer part, it feels to me more like a ‘normal’ upgrade instead of a completely new product. On the discovery part, the GUI has been changed which does take some getting used to.

Comment From Max[AA2] : Back to PDF export — with SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, the PDF export won't change significantly in quality?

Jeroen van der A: There are additions to the functionality of PDF export regarding the header/footers and flexibility on what you want to export — but not in quality of export.

Comment From Jamie Hylton: Will the discovery component licenses havea named users? Any plans to have a web-based discovery component (like originally when you had SAP BusinessObjects Lumira in the cloud) rather than a client-side installation?

Jeroen van der A: As far as I know, there is a license for named users and for concurrent users. What is often applied is a couple of named users for the administrators/developers and additionally a number of concurrent users for the rest of the user base.

Comment From Jamie Hylton: Will there be a ramp-up program where we can get early access to SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0?

Xavier Hacking: The SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 ramp-up is currently active, so you can join that to get the software before GA.

Comment From ALI: In SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, how can I set the page resolution to fit any screen (auto fit)?

Jeroen van der A: You can set it to fit by setting the margin properties of a panel component to zero and the height/width to AUTO. All other components you can set into that panel. The panel will grow/shrink with the screen.

Additionally, there is a new adaptive component that allows you to make the positioning of the components more responsive. You can say you want three components next to each other in a wide screen and one column on a small screen.

Comment From Peter S: With SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, can we then match Tableau functionality (difficult question, I know)?

Jeroen van der A: It’s a bit hard to tell as my experience with Tableau isn’t quite as extensive. I would say in data preparation, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira made a good step, but on the front end, there are still things you can do easier in Tableau.

Comment From Jamie Hylton: SAP BusinessObjects Mobile has functionality on a mobile device, such as short tap, long press, pinch, and so on — how will the designer component allow for these to be utilized?

Xavier Hacking: The only update regarding designer reports in the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app is that scrolling should now be supported. I've seen no update on advanced gestures.

For desktop usage, we will have the option to use shortcuts in SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0, but that is a different topic.

Comment From Peter S: When running a SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 application from the SAP BusinessObjects platform, do I need a client installation?

Jeroen van der A: No, you don't need a client installation. On the SAP BusinessObjects platform there will be an installation to handle the runtime. The only thing you need is a browser and access to the server.

Comment From Jamie Hylton: Will SAP Lumira extensions that currently work in 1.x need to updated/rewritten to work in SAP Lumira 2.0?

Jeroen van der A: Hi Jamie,

I will have to pull the 'that depends' card here :-)

Because the extensions are in JavaScript, you would expect that they are still able to run. However, if you use a library from SAP Lumira that is not used anymore, you will have to add a line in JS to include that library. If you wrote the extensions using D3, there should not be any problem.

Matthew Shea: Thank you to everyone who is posted questions so far. There's still time to post more!

Comment From Jacob: Can you convert from SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio or SAP Lumira 1.31 to SAP Lumira 2.0?

Xavier Hacking: Yes. It is possible to move from SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 documents that are using the m-mode to SAP Lumira 2.0.

1. Upgrade to SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6

2. Migrate your documents to m-mode.

3. Upgrade to SAP Lumira 2.0

For SAP Lumira 1.31 it is possible to migrate to SAP Lumira 2.0 as well.

Note that in both situations existing bookmarks won't work after conversion.

Comment From Guest: My team currently uses an SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio add-on and SAP Lumira, server version for the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, which is installed in the same SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. Do we need to uninstall those components and install the new components?

Jeroen van der A: Hi,

I am not sure about that. You are able to simultaneously run SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 and the designer component of SAP Lumira 2.0 on the same computer. Additionally, we made a clone of our current SAP BusinessObjects server and installed SAP Lumira 2.0. That worked fine. However, this is of course only anecdotal evidence. So to be sure, check the administration guide when it's available

Comment From ALI: Are there any help resources /references available for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP Lumira?

Jeroen van der A: You can find help on help.sap.com/boad.

That link refers to the current SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 version.

Comment From Max: Will there be a "Responsive Container" component now or in the future so we can more easily build responsive dashboards for iPad, iPhone, and desktop with just one application? If there is or will be one, how good is it (be honest :D). Thanks in advance!

Jeroen van der A: Hi Max,

There will be an adaptive container component. It will have 12 columns. You can set the colspan of boxes in that component based on the width of the screen, and you can set the thresholds. So with a wide screen you can set colspan to 2 to create 6 columns, and with an iPhone you can set colspan to 12 to have a single scrollable column of elements.

Comment From Guest: Will SAP Lumira 2.0 only be able to use .unx universes, not .unv universes?

Xavier Hacking: Yes, only .unx universes are supported.

Comment From Peter S: Can you define the "jumps" from an SAP Lumira 2.0 application into, for example, SAP ERP transactions?

Jeroen van der A: Yes, performing a “jump” into these transactions is possible.

You can jump to transactions and you can pass parameters. I used jumps to VA30 with contract number passed so you could view the details of a contract. This is already possible in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio now using APPLICATION.openNewWindow, where you can concatenate the url and parameter in script.

Matthew Shea: We have time for a few more questions before the chat wraps up in 15 minutes! Thank you everyone!

Comment From Max: How deep has the code pushdown implemented within the "preparation"? Do we have to load data on the most detailed level, or will there be aggregations/calculations at the DB? (I’m asking specifically about SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA.)

Xavier Hacking: If you want to do data actions, merge of multiple data sets, etc., you still have to acquire the data on the lowest level of detail that you require. Only when using a live connection is this not necessary, but in that scenario the preparation data actions are limited.

Comment From Roland Wammers: In the past, the release cycle both of SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio was rather short (three months if I recall correctly). We are currently in a longer cycle (presumably due to the merger). Will SAP return to quarterly releases after that?

Jeroen van der A: The reason they expanded the release time was because they wanted to address more fundamental things. They found that in the three month release cycle, they couldn’t really do work on necessary features that took more development time. The way they will handle bookmarks in SAP Lumira 2.0 is an example of that. I think after this release they will go back to 3 months for the most part, but some releases will be longer.

Comment From Max: Can we disable by default (system customizing) the fact that data from SAP Business Warhouse is stored locally within the SAP Lumira document? (e.g. Other users without analysis authorizations can view the data by just opening the document.)

Xavier Hacking: There is an option (checkmark) to save a document without data when you save the document to the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. Unfortunately, this cannot be enforced. Coincidentally, we recently created an idea on the SAP Idea Place for this: https://ideas.sap.com/D42191. Please vote! :-)

Comment From Jamie Hylton: I love that animated GIFs work in the current version. Please don't remove this feature!

Jeroen van der A: I will do no such thing :-)

Additionally, there will be a new component that handles SVG components. You can then change the color and line thickness in the properties. I think you will like it almost as much as animated gifs.

Comment From Guest: Will there be two versions of SAP Lumira 2.0, a desktop version and a server version, as in SAP Lumira 1.x?

Xavier Hacking: There will be two client tools: The designer component of SAP Lumira (formerly SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.x) and the discovery component (formerly SAP Lumira 1.x). On the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, a single SAP Lumira server component/add-on needs to be installed.

Matthew Shea: Thank you to everyone who posted a question. Jeroen and Xavier are answering the last few questions now.

Comment From Matt: What are the top new features of the designer component of SAP Lumira?

Jeroen van der A: The designer component has a couple of new features:

  • Composite component – The ability to create reusable parts of an application
  • Adaptive layout – A better ability to create a responsive layout
  • Renewed Bookmarks - A technical component where you can checkmark the parts you want to bookmark (including data sources and global variables)
  • SVG component - Use SVG components as images and change color/lines as properties
  • Global variables can be arrays now
  • New features for PDF and Excel exports

Comment From Max: In case of some implementations are not visible in the discovery client, what happens when changes happen in the discovery client? Will the hidden designer implementations be deleted?

Xavier Hacking: In the current interoperability scenario it is possible to create a document in discovery, change it in designer, and use it again in discovery. After changing it in designer, it won't be possible to make adjustments in discovery anymore, except for the data update and preparation features.

Comment From Max: Are all implementations of the designer client visible within the discovery client?

Xavier Hacking: What I've seen is that documents that have been created in discovery and adjusted in designer can be opened again in discovery.

Matthew Shea: Thank you Jeroen and Xavier for your time and all your insightful answers! I will send everyone an email when the transcript of the chat is posted.

Jeroen van der A: Thanks all for the questions. It was very nice answering them.

Matthew Shea: Jeroen will be speaking at BI 2017 in Amsterdam. His sessions will be:

Live demo: An introductory walkthrough of how to create a predictive model, apply it, and verify accuracy

Unlock advanced capabilities of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio to create customised dashboards, reports, analytical apps, and more!

Xavier Hacking: Thanks Matthew. Till next time!

HackingSAP.com

@xjhacking

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