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A Quick Guide to Connecting SAP Lumira to SAP HANA

by Vinayak Gole, Senior Business Intelligence Consultant, Tata Consultancy Services

July 11, 2017

Learn about the connectivity options between SAP Lumira and SAP HANA. See how direct connectivity to SAP HANA models enables efficient data exploration and how connectivity through a semantic layer enables users to easily navigate through complex data to build storyboards and present data effectively. 

SAP HANA enables fast processing of massive raw data to churn out relevant, clean key performance indicator (KPI)-ready data. When molded into appropriate visualizations, these KPIs provide business users with insightful information that can be used to influence business-critical decisions.

SAP Lumira’s native connectivity, coupled with its intuitive interface, makes it the preferred tool to work on SAP HANA-based KPIs (Figure 1). SAP Lumira (formerly SAP BusinessObjects Lumira) also integrates into the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, enabling end users to work on the web without the need for any software to be installed locally. With each new release, SAP Lumira has added connectivity options to new data sources. Since SAP Lumira is native to the SAP HANA platform, it can be used to explore data, build storyboards, and visually represent the output of SAP HANA models.


Figure 1
SAP Lumira connection options

SAP Lumira facilitates direct connectivity to SAP HANA as well as through a managed connection over a semantic layer with SAP BusinessObjects. For data exploration, direct connectivity comes in handy since it facilitates browsing through data quickly and deriving relationships. For data presentation, a BusinessObjects Universe would provide ease of use along with user friendliness. Managed connections are made available through the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform and have security and access levels associated with them.

I explore both options for connecting to SAP HANA, and provide step-by-step instructions for connecting to SAP HANA and bringing up data to SAP Lumira’s Prepare tab.

Connecting Directly to SAP HANA

This connection method is more effective for data exploration than it is for data visualization. SAP Lumira enables native connectivity to SAP HANA. However, to enable this connection, first the SAP HANA database driver and the client must be installed on the client system.

1. Start SAP Lumira.

2. In the screen that opens (Figure 2) select File and then New (or Ctrl+N).


Figure 2
Select New to create a new data source from SAP Lumira

3. This opens the connection box shown in Figure 3. Click the Connect to SAP HANA option and the Next button.


Figure 3
Connect to SAP HANA

4. This opens the screen in Figure 4 where you select the server to which you want to connect. In this case, select HANA.


Figure 4
Select the SAP HANA server

Depending on how you connect to your SAP HANA server, you do one of the following (Figure 5):

a. Connect using database credentials: Enter your user name and password and click the Connect button to establish the connection.

b. Connect using Single Sign-On (SSO): This enables users to connect to multiple systems using a single user name and password without having to input your user name and password every time you establish a connection.


Figure 5
SAP HANA authentication

In this example, you want to connect using SSO. So, if SAP HANA has been set up to allow users to connect using SSO, click the Authenticate by Operating System (SSO) check box (Figure 5). Notice that the User: and Password: boxes are now grayed out implying there is no need to explicitly input the user name and password for connecting to SAP HANA. Click the Connect button.

5. Once you have connected to SAP HANA, the screen in Figure 6 opens. It is populated with all the SAP HANA views available for your account.


Figure 6
Select an SAP HANA view for data acquisition

6. Expand the SAP HANA package that contains your view (in this case, SALES1) and click the Next button.

7. The screen on the right of Figure 7 opens with the dimensions and measures from the SAP HANA view. You can select specific measures and dimensions by checking the boxes as shown in the figure. Once you’ve made your selections, click the Create button.


Figure 7
Select objects from the SAP HANA view

8. This opens the screen in Figure 8 that shows SAP Lumira acquiring data from the SAP HANA view.


Figure 8
Data acquisition in SAP Lumira

9. If there are any variables that have been defined in the SAP HANA view, SAP Lumira prompts you for input values. Select the appropriate values from the list in Figure 9 (in this case, 090 for SAPClient) and click the OK button.


Figure 9
Input for variables on the SAP HANA view

10. Once SAP Lumira has finished acquiring the data from the SAP HANA view, the data is now available in the Prepare tab (Figure 10). This data can be explored to find trends and create visualizations in the Visualize tab.


Figure 10
Data in the Prepare tab in SAP Lumira

Connecting to SAP HANA Using the Universe (Semantic Layer)

Although not governed by a hard-and-fast rule, this method is more effective for data visualization than it is for data exploration. The first step is to connect to the Universe. The Universe, in turn, uses a managed connection governed by rules in the Central Management Console (CMC).

1. Start SAP Lumira and select File and the New option (Figure 2).

2. This opens the Add new dataset screen shown in Figure 11. This time, select the Universe option as your data source and click the Next button to get the connectivity options.


Figure 11
Select Universe as the data source

3. In the screen that opens (Figure 12), enter the BusinessObjects server name and port along with your user name and password.


Figure 12
Review and select the Authentication Type from the drop-down options and connect to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform

4. The Authentication Type options are like those for connecting to the BusinessObjects BI platform. The connectivity options shown in Figure 12 are as follows:

  1. Enterprise: If you do not use SSO and have a user ID set up explicitly on the BusinessObjects Enterprise server use this option and input your user name and password.
  2. LDAP/ Windows AD: These are options for connecting to the BusinessObjects Enterprise server using SSO. However, please note that the user name and password would need to be entered, unlike when connecting to SAP HANA.
  3. SAP: This option lets you connect to the BusinessObjects Enterprise server using your SAP credentials.

(Note: The connectivity options offered are entirely dependent on how the administrators have enabled application access in your organization.)

5. Select the appropriate Authentication Type from the list as shown in Figure 12 and click the Connect button. In this example, select Enterprise as the Authentication Type.

6. This opens the screen shown in Figure 13 with the list of available Universes.


Figure 13
The list of available Universes

7. Select the Universe (in this example, Test.unx) and click the Next button. This opens a new window showing all the objects under the Universe (Figure 14).


Figure 14
The list of objects under the selected Universe

8. Select the City folder to expand the list of Universes (Figure 15) and select the objects needed for completing the query (e.g., Id, City Name, and City Coordinate). Then click the Next button.


Figure 15
Select Result Objects from the Universe

9. This opens a screen with the Prepare tab that now shows the city data added the dimensions, as shown in Figure 16.


Figure 16
The data is now available in the Prepare tab

Connecting to SAP HANA Using the Universe (Semantic Layer) Through the Universe Query Panel Extension

The Universe Query Panel extension allows for connecting to a BusinessObjects Universe and building a query in an interface like the Web Intelligence query panel. The extension allows for an easy and intuitive way to build Web Intelligence queries. The steps for downloading and installing this extension are as follows.

1. Start SAP Lumira and select File and then the Extensions option (Figure 17).


Figure 17
Select the extensions for SAP Lumira

2. This opens the Extension Manager screen shown in Figure 18. Select the SAP Universe Query Panel extension and click the download icon next to this extension, as highlighted in the figure.


Figure 18
Install the Universe Query Panel extension

3. Then, when you restart SAP Lumira, the Universe Query panel extension is now available for use (Figure 19).


Figure 19
The Universe Query Panel extension is installed on SAP Lumira

4. Log on to SAP Lumira, select File and the New option to select a new data set (Figure 2). Under the Select a Source section, a new Universe Query Panel option is now available as shown in Figure 20. Select this option and click the Next button (not shown).


Figure 20
Select the SAP Universe Query Panel

5. In the screen that opens (Figure 12), enter the System, User Name, Password, and Authentication Type. Click the Connect button.

6. SAP Lumira is now able to connect to the BI platform and lists all the Universes available, as shown in Figure 21. Select your Universe and click the Next button.


Figure 21
Select the Universe

7. This opens the Universe Query Panel showing all the objects available in your Universe (Figure 22). Select the objects you want to include in the output of the Results Objects Panel. This view is like the Query Panel in Web Intelligence. If you are familiar with Web Intelligence, you will find this option easy to use. Once you’ve made your selections in Figure 22, click the Finish button.


Figure 22
Select the Universe objects in the Universe Query Panel

8. The query is automatically sent to SAP HANA (Figure 23) and the data is now included in the data-preparation (Prepare) tab, as shown in Figure 24.


Figure 23
Select objects in the Result Objects for Query #1 panel


Figure 24
The data is now available in the Prepare tab

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Vinayak Gole

Vinayak Gole (vinayak.gole@tcs.com) is a senior Business Intelligence consultant with 15 years of experience in IT across multiple business domains.





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