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What’s New in SAP Lumira 1.3x?

by Ingo Hilgefort

February 7, 2017

Learn about the latest updates to SAP Lumira that are included in releases 1.30 and 1.31. SAP included several new capabilities and new functionality to help you deliver data-discovery workflows to your business user audience.


With the release of SAP Lumira 1.30 and 1.31 (in June 2016), SAP added some major new functionality to SAP Lumira. The range of enhancements starts with new data connectivity options and continues with new features, such as the option to use custom color schemes and new visualizations (such as scatter-plot and bubble charts specifically for data-series-based data).

In the following sections, I provide details about each of these new features, as well as a brief overview of some of the other new functionality, followed by step-by-step instructions about how to use them.

Data Acquisition and Data Manipulation

When it comes to the new features and capabilities in SAP Lumira in the area of data acquisition, there are several enhancements in release 1.30 and 1.31. I have separated them into three main areas: SAP HANA, SAP Suite for SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA), and SAP BW.

SAP HANA

With the latest version of SAP Lumira, the following new options are available for data acquisition in combination with SAP HANA:

  • SAP HANA Support Package Stack (SSP) 11 is now supported.
  • It is now possible to leverage managed connections from your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform for online and offline connectivity with SAP Lumira.
  • Managed connections from your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform towards SAP HANA are now also supported for scheduling SAP Lumira documents.
  • SAP Lumira now supports SAP HANA multitenant database containers (MDC).
SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW)

In regards to the connectivity for SAP BW, the latest release of SAP Lumira delivers some very important and useful updates:

  • SAP Business Warehouse (BW) 7.5 is now fully supported.
  • It is now possible to define filter values for the dimensions as part of the data acquisition process, so that you can reduce the overall data volume early in the process.
  • The date format from SAP BW is now supported as a true data format in SAP Lumira, which ensures that data is sorted and grouped correctly based on date values.
SAP S/4HANA

With the latest release of SAP Lumira, it is now possible to access data from your S/4HANA environment by using transient BEx Queries accessing Core Data Services (CDS) views in SAP HANA.

Data Visualization

When it comes to data visualization, SAP Lumira offers the following new capabilities:

  • Users now have the option to create a custom-color palette and apply it to their visualizations, such as charts and maps.
  • Two new charts have been added: scatter-plot and bubble chart. These are especially useful for combining date- and time-based data.
Integration with the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform

With the integration of SAP Lumira with the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, several improvements have been made to enhance this integration and to expand user experience:

  • Users can use managed connections from the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform to establish an online or offline connection towards SAP HANA.
  • For the authentication, SAP Lumira now supports the Universe credential-mapping functionality. (Credential mapping is the option to add a second set of credentials in the Universe. For example, you log on as user A, but the Universe is configured to use user B when logging on to SAP HANA.)
  • Users can create new SAP Lumira documents from the BI launch pad, accessing  SAP HANA data, without having to start SAP Lumira Desktop.
  • Additional platform support, such as SUSE Linux and Red Hat Linux, has been added to the SAP Lumira server for the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.
  • SAP Lumira documents that access SAP HANA using connections managed by the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform can now be scheduled.
  • SAP Lumira documents stored on the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform can be opened using the OpenDocument application; it is also now possible to pass parameter values as part of the URL.
  • Using the OpenDocument application, it is now possible to choose which part of your SAP Lumira document—story, page, or bookmark—should be opened.
Integration with SAP Mobile BI

When it comes to the mobile consumption of SAP Lumira documents, the latest release of SAP Lumira, combined with the latest release of SAP Mobile BI (release 6.4 or higher), provides the capability to download your SAP Lumira stories to a mobile device. This gives you the ability to view your SAP Lumira stories offline.

Using SAP Lumira 1.31

In the following sections, I take a closer look at some of the new capabilities of SAP Lumira and SAP Lumira in combination with the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. Let’s start by looking at some of the new functionality in the data-acquisition area.

Data Acquisition

In this first set of steps that follow, I show how to use the new managed-connection option. This option offers an online or offline connection from the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform towards SAP HANA. It then offers the ability to schedule the SAP Lumira document. Before you can use the SAP HANA connection in SAP Lumira, you first need to set up a connection towards SAP HANA on your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.

1. Log on to the Central Management Console of your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform and choose OLAP Connections from the drop-down options (Figure 1). Click the new-connection icon    to start the process of setting up a new OLAP connection towards SAP HANA.


Figure 1
Choose OLAP connections

2. This opens the screen in Figure 2 where you enter SAP HANA as the Provider and enter the rest of the connection details based on your SAP HANA system (see the list that follows). For the Authentication field, you can choose either the predefined Prompt option (to prompt the user), or the Single Sign-On option. If you want to use the Single Sign-On option, your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform has to be configured with the SAP HANA Authentication. (In this example, choose the Prompt option to hardcode the user for now.) Once you’ve made your entries, click the Save button to save your connection details.


Figure 2
Enter the new connection’s details

Name: Enter a name for the connection

Provider: SAP HANA

Server: Enter the fully qualified hostname of your SAP HANA system to the field server

Instance Number: Enter the instance number for your SAP HANA system.

3. Once you’ve made your entries, click the Save button to save them and create your connection. Once the connection has been created, you can start SAP Lumira to use the connection towards SAP HANA, save your Lumira document to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, and schedule it.

For these next steps I use a very simple analytical view in SAP HANA to illustrate. You can use any of your existing SAP HANA models for this exercise, as this exercise is not about the visualization but instead is about re-using the managed connection and scheduling the document.

1. Start SAP Lumira Desktop and select the menu File > New. This opens the screen in Figure 3.


Figure 3
Select the data source

2. Select the Connect to SAP HANA entry and click the Next button. The screen in Figure 4 opens with the connection details.


Figure 4
The details for the connection to SAP HANA

3. Here you can choose either to define a local connection or to re-use the connection from the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. In this example, select the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform option from the options in the Connect to field. Enter the name of your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform in the BOE Connection System field, and enter your credentials to log on to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. Then click the Connect button.

4. In the screen that opens (Figure 5), you are presented with a list of SAP HANA connections. Select the connection for your system (SAP HANA, in this example) and click the Next button.


Figure 5
Select the SAP HANA connection option

5. In the screen that opens (not shown) the next step is to select an analytical model. Choose any of your existing models from your SAP HANA system and click the Next button.

6. In the next screen (Figure 6), you are presented with the measures and dimensions from the selected model. Select the elements you would like to use (using the check boxes on the left) and click the Create button.


Figure 6
Choose the measures and dimensions for your SAP Lumira document

At this point you have re-used a SAP BusinessObjects BI platform managed connection towards your SAP HANA system, something that you were not able to do prior to the release of SAP Lumira 1.3x.

In the next steps, I show how to create a very simple SAP Lumira document, save the document to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, and schedule the document.

7. Start SAP Lumira and set the visualization type to Crosstab (Figure 7).


Figure 7
List of visualization options in SAP Lumira

8. Select any of the measures and, using the drag-and drop-method or the plus-sign icon, add them to the Measures area of the Crosstab. Select any of the dimensions and add them in the same way to the Rows area of the crosstab (Figure 8).


Figure 8
The new crosstab with the SAP HANA data

9. Select the menu File > Save as. In the screen that opens (Figure 9), select the SAP BI Platform option on the left.


Figure 9
Select the SAP BI Platform option

10. In the screen on the right, in the first field, replace the <servername> and <portnumber> values with the values for your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. The default port number is 6405. Enter your credentials to log on, click the Connect button, and the screen in Figure 10 opens.


Figure 10
Select a folder in which to save the new SAP Lumira document

11. Here you select an existing folder in which to save the SAP Lumira document. Select the folder location where you want to save the SAP Lumira document, enter a new name (in the Name field) for the SAP Lumira document, and click the Save button to save it.

Next, you want to log on to the BI launch pad to schedule the SAP Lumira document.

1. Start the BI launch pad and log on to your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform (not shown).

2. Navigate to the folder (under My Documents) where you saved the SAP Lumira document in the previous step. Right-click it to open the context menu (Figure 11).


Figure 11
Open the context menu for the new document

3. Select the Schedule option and the screen in Figure 12 opens. 


Figure 12
Enter the scheduling details for the new SAP Lumira document

4. Here you can configure the details for scheduling. In this example (e.g., scheduling an SAP Lumira document with an SAP HANA online connection), all you need to enter is the Instance Title (in this example, Lumira Demo). Then click the Schedule button on the bottom right (not shown).

5. This opens the screen in Figure 13 with the History details of the SAP Lumira document. Wait a minute, and the Status column changes to Success and you can view the scheduled SAP Lumira document with a simple double-click. 


Figure 13
The new SAP Lumira document is successfully scheduled

In the previous steps, I showed how to leverage managed connections towards SAP HANA and schedule an SAP Lumira document based on a managed connection. Another very important enhancement in the Data Acquisition area of SAP Lumira is the ability to define filter values as part of the data acquisition of SAP BW data. In the following steps, I show how to do this using a BEx Query, based on the SAP NetWeaver demo model, to illustrate. (You can re-use any of your existing queries when taking these steps, as the focus is not on the visual aspects of SAP Lumira.)

1. Start SAP Lumira desktop and select the menu File > New. In the screen that opens (Figure 14), select the Download from SAP Business Warehouse option and click the Next button.


Figure 14
View the list of available data sources

3. This opens the screen in Figure 15, where you select your SAP BW server from the list of available servers. (This list is based on the entries from the SAP Guided User Interface [GUI].) Enter the Client ID for your SAP BW system, log on with your credentials, and click the Connect button.


Figure 15
Enter the SAP BW server details

4. In the next window that opens (Figure 16), choose a BEx Query as the data source for SAP Lumira. (In this case, you can select any of your existing queries.) Then click the Next button.


Figure 16
Choose a BEx Query from the list of data sources

5. This opens a screen like the one in Figure 17 where you can move measures and dimensions from the left side to the right side using the arrows.


Figure 17
The data acquisition details

You can see that the filter icon appears for all the selected dimensions on the right. You now have the option to specify filter values before you acquire the data, which helps tremendously in reducing the overall data volume and, in that way, improving performance.

6. Click one of the filter icons to open it (Figure 18)—in this example, I click the filter icon next to Country.


Figure 18
The Country filter (dimension) details

7. You are presented with the list of values for that selected dimension— in this example, the dimension Country—and you can specify the values that you would like to use as filter values for your SAP Lumira document. Once you’ve made your entries, click the Apply button.

Steps for Creating SAP Lumira Documents in the SAP BusinessObjects BI Launchpad

In addition to these new options in the data-acquisition area, the latest release of SAP Lumira (in combination with the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform), also adds a very interesting new capability: the option to create a new SAP Lumira document within the BI launch pad. In the following, I show the steps for how to do this.

1. Start the BI launch pad and log on to your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform (Figure 19). Once logged on, select Applications and then Lumira.


Figure 19
Log on to SAP Lumira via the BI launch pad

2. In the screen that opens (Figure 20) you are presented with the list of available data sources. Notice that only SAP HANA is available right now. Select the Connect to SAP HANA option and click the Next button.


Figure 20
The list of data source options

3. A screen like the one in Figure 21 opens, where you can choose from any of your managed SAP HANA connections. In this example, select a connection towards your SAP HANA system, and click the Next button.


Figure 21
The list of SAP HANA connections

4. In screen that opens (not shown) select an SAP HANA model for your new SAP Lumira document and click the Next button.

5. You are presented with the list of measures and dimensions based on your selected SAP HANA model (Figure 22). Select the measures and dimensions for your SAP Lumira document (as you did in the previous section) and click the Create button.


Figure 22
Select the measures and dimensions for the SAP Lumira document and click the Create button

6.Voila! You have created a new SAP Lumira document (Figure 23) based on an SAP HANA connection using a browser-based workflow, without having to use SAP Lumira Desktop.


Figure 23
The new SAP Lumira document is created using a browser

Product Roadmap Disclaimer: The descriptions in this article of future functionality are the author’s interpretation of the publicly available product integration roadmap. These items are subject to change at any time without any notice, and the author is not providing any warranty on these statements.

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Ingo Hilgefort

Ingo Hilgefort started his career in 1999 with Seagate Software/Crystal Decisions as a trainer and consultant. He moved to Walldorf for Crystal Decisions at the end of 2000, and worked with the SAP NetWeaver BW development team integrating Crystal Reports with SAP NetWeaver BW. He then relocated to Vancouver in 2004, and worked as a product manager/program manager (in engineering) on the integration of BusinessObjects products with SAP products. Ingo's focus is now on the integration of the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite with  SAP landscapes, such as SAP BW and SAP BW on SAP HANA, focusing on end-to-end integration scenarios. In addition to his experience as a product manager and in his engineering roles, Ingo has been involved in architecting and delivering deployments of SAP BusinessObjects software in combination with SAP software for a number of global customers, and has been recognized by the SAP Community as an SAP Mentor for SAP BusinessObjects- and SAP integration-related topics. Currently, Ingo is the Vice President of Product Management and Product Strategy at Visual BI Solutions, working on extensions to SAP’s product offering such as SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP Lumira. You may follow him on Twitter at @ihilgefort.



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