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Where Does SAP Lumira Fit into Your BI Toolset? Q&A with SAP Mentors Joshua Fletcher & Clint Vosloo

July 15, 2015

Joshua FletcherClint Vosloo

What is the latest on enhancements for SAP Lumira, what has changed with the latest release, 1.27, and how can you use Lumira with other tools in the BI toolset?  

SAP Mentors and BI 2015 Singapore speakers Clint Vosloo and Joshua Fletcher took readers' specific SAP Lumira questions in this live Q&A. Review the chat replay and edited transcript, below.


Live Blog SAP Lumira & Your BI Tool Set: Q&A with Josh Fletcher & Clint Vosloo | July 15 10amSGT




Bridget Kotelly: Welcome to today’s SAPinsider Chat. Today’s topic is on SAP Lumira and your BI tools, and I’m very pleased to have Joshua Fletcher and Clint Vosloo are joining us! They’ll be here to take your technical and tools selection questions on Lumira and answer your questions on release 1.27.
Josh and Clint are SAP Mentors and have presented at our BI and HANA events . Josh is a BI Architect at a large resources company; Clint is Managing Partner for APJ for EV Technologies. Both are based in Australia, and we’re delighted to be seeing them in Singapore in a few months!

Josh, Clint, thanks for both joining us here today!


Joshua Fletcher: Thanks Bridget, good to be here.bHi everyone, looking forward to answering your questions and discussing Lumira.


Clint Vosloo: Hi all - great to be here!


Bridget Kotelly: Thanks to everyone who already posted questions. Josh, Clint, we know you have quite a few questions from readers already waiting for you. We’ll let you get to those right away…

 Clint Vosloo: Just to clarify our answers will be based on the 1.27 releases of Lumira.


Comment From Handoko

Hi Josh and Clint, I am really eager to know what the main considerations or factors are in deciding which SAP BI reporting tools to use, i.e. SBOP WebI, SAP Lumira, SBOP Design Studio, SAP Analysis. Thank you. 

Clint Vosloo: Hi. This really depends on the use case for each reporting tool. SAP has outlined its direction here. Based on that you should be able to choose which tool is best.


Comment From Tony

Hi Josh and Clint. We're currently considering SAP BusinessObjects Explorer in our company and noticed on this Q&A's header that SAP Lumira will eventually replace Explorer. What's the timeframe for it? What are the key features of SAP Lumira compare to Explorer? Should we drop Explorer now and go straight and develop using Lumira?

Joshua Fletcher: Hi, Tony. Yes, Lumira will eventually replace Explorer from a functionality perspective. With each release of Lumira and BI platform integration, it is closer and closer to achieving this. Right now, I would continue to use Explorer if you are using it today, and look at the other use cases where Lumira works well.


Comment From Guest

What is the difference with Lumira 1.27 vs. previous releases, and when is the next update planned?  

Clint Vosloo: Release notes are here, from the SAP site. And here is a good blog post about the Lumira roadmap.


Comment From Vinayak

Are we going to look at basics of Lumira in this session?   

Clint Vosloo:  Not in this session. Please look at this link for a bunch of Lumira tutorials provided by SAP.  


Comment From Vamsi

What are the major differences and limitations for LS4H vs LS4BIP vs LS4T?  Where does BI Lumira stand out against Design Studio when dealing with dashboarding solutions?  

Clint Vosloo:

Lumira Server for HANA (LS4H) runs natively on your HANA box. If you are running BOBJ, then it is probably not the best bet, as there is no plan to integrate the two.

Lumira Server for the BI Platform (LS4BIP) - This works well if you run BOBJ and want to integrate Lumira documents into your platform.

Lumira Server for Teams (LS4T)  -  This is for you if you do not have BOBJ or HANA and want a team environment to share documents. There is a size limitation here.

Lumira is, in my opinion, a great data discovery tool that business users can use. Design Studio is going to be more specific to developers who want to design custom designs/applications.

Joshua Fletcher: One of my favorite features of Lumira is around data preparation. Coming from using BusinessObjects and being involved in ETL & data warehouse design, I think being able to prototype data transformation and integration within a desktop tool, that the user can drive, is very powerful and useful for the business analyst trying to capture business requirements. 


Comment From Daniel

Your thoughts on Lumira Server (non-HANA)? Write access is required to visualize, otherwise Compose view only. This limits broader access, as we cannot grant write access to all. This removes the primary selling point of Lumira, which is data discovery, and there are better tools for Dashboard type displays. It is targeted as an analyst tool, but everyone should have the opportunity to be an analyst on a trusted data source.

Clint Vosloo: Lumira Server for BI Platform is still in the early stages and I would keep an eye out for a future release which will add functionality. I agree that the first release is limited, but I know there is a lot of development/enhancement happening in this space.


Comment From Jaye Dutton

Does LS4H 1.27 support HANA SP10? There are no release notes in the PAM.

Clint Vosloo: No, it won't be yet. There is a big delay between HANA revision and support on Lumira Server. Even the Rev 9 versions of HANA are not supported for Lumira Server yet in production. This taken from the latest PAM:  “Note that HANA Revisions 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, and 95 are supported for test and via evaluation only.”  
For important information about using HANA SPS09 with Lumira Server, please refer to note 2118990.

Comment From tfaruq

How do you decide between Lumira or Design Studio when designing a scorecard dashboard?

Joshua Fletcher: If you want to develop a scorecard dashboard, then Design Studio is the best choice to start. Specific requirements might mean you have to look at alternatives, but I'd recommend starting with Design Studio.


Comment From Guest

Can you automate extraction of data using Lumira, as well as use it to prototype a solution by importing data from Excel/CSV?

Joshua Fletcher: Hello, I don't think this is possible with Lumira today. If you have a data extraction requirement, it might be best to use something other than a BI platform. Regarding prototyping, this is one of my favorite features of Lumira - being able to prototype with offline data, including transformation and data quality rules!


Comment From tfaruq

In what cases is Lumira is a better option compared to Design Studio? We are trying to replace balance scorecards created using Xcelsius. What do you think?

Clint Vosloo: Hi, I feel that Design Studio may be a better fit here. Lumira is a great data discovery tool, but if you are looking at a Dashboard feel, then Design Studio is the way forward.


Comment From Sachin

What value-add does SAP Lumira bring over the current Dashboard designer?

Joshua Fletcher: Thanks for your question, Sachin. Lumira is aimed at data discovery use cases, rather than presenting a formal dashboard. For formal dashboards, the strategy is to use Design Studio.


Comment From Made Suarnaya

Hi Josh and Clint, What is the main benefit of using Lumira compared to using Web Intelligence interactive mode? Is it worth investing in Lumira if you also can set up users to use Web Intelligence interactive mode? Will Lumira be available in a Desktop version and a Web version?

Joshua Fletcher: Hello, good question. There are pros and cons. For example, Web Intelligence allows quite interactive slice-and-dice within an ad hoc canvas, and can easily be turned into a fixed report.
Lumira allows you to work on one specific dataset and visualise it many different ways, and has much richer visualizations than Web Intelligence, and then these visualizations are collected to produce a more informal dashboard or report.
Lumira is free to try out, so I'd recommend giving it a try yourself and making your own evaluation.

Clint Vosloo:  If you have the BI Platform Add on for Lumira Server, then you can add/modify documents through the BI Platform if needed (this functionality is limited).
Lumira is also available in Desktop mode and content can be published to your BI Platform for consumption/editing.
Lumira is a great data discovery tool and my recommendation is to use Lumira for data discovery and then, if your end users want the report "productionised," move it into WebI.


Comment From Sachin

What sort of challenges do we encounter when we move users to Lumira? Is change management or a sizing exercise required?

Joshua Fletcher: From my experience, Lumira should be a complementary tool to what you are already doing. So change management will be specific to what other tools you are using, and any pain points you are experiencing.
Some suggestions to look at training in using the tool itself, some rules around when to use Web Intelligence vs. Design Studio vs. Lumira to guide users.
From a BI platform perspective, yes, sizing definitely needs another look, and there are also some specific server tuning steps required to ensure data from the BI platform can be sent to Lumira.


Comment From Rohini Sreedhar

Is the current version of Lumira supported on BI launchpad mobile as well?

Clint Vosloo: Yes, but it's limited. According to the PAM from SAP, SAP BusinessObjects Mobile Client(s) support only story viewing for SAP Lumira Server.


Comment From Guest

Can Lumira integrate with BusinessObjects? Can you publish reports created in Lumira to BusinessObjects?

Joshua Fletcher: Yes it definitely can. This was announced back in April this year. You can read about it at this link. Secondly, for specific integration, you can check the PAM.

Comment From Guest

Can Lumira connect to any data sources natively — for example SAP HANA or SAP BW — for dashboards or interactive reports?

Clint Vosloo: Yes, it can connect natively. BW connection was added in the 1.27 release
For HANA connectivity, yes, online, and you can download the data. With online mode, mapping does not work, so be aware of that limitation.
In my opinion, Lumira is a great data discovery tool; then you can use Design Studio or WebI for more formal reports/dashboards.


Comment From Sachin

Is there a trial version of Lumira we can showcase to our business?

Joshua Fletcher: Hi Sachin, Yes, there is actually a free version you can download. You can get to it here.


Comment From Raja

Previously, with the Lumira Desktop trial version, were were allowed to download with our S-User ID. Now that this has been linked to SAP Store, what authentication we need to possess to download? 

Clint Vosloo: Hi Raja - that's news to me, sorry. The personal edition is free and I have not downloaded it for a while — rather updated it via the tool. I would reach out to the Lumira team or via twitter at @SAPLumira.


Comment From Made Suarnaya

Do you need the desktop version of Lumira for data preparation, or can it be done in web version?

Clint Vosloo: By web version are you referring to Lumira Server for the BI Platform? If yes, then currently you can only edit documents —not do data preparation — but this should be available in a future release.

Here is a blog post about that, and also a link to the user guide here


Comment From Guest

What's the latest on creating storyboards with Lumira?  Anything new in 1.25/1.27?

Clint Vosloo:  Here is a good blog post around new features in 1.27. There are a few points around storyboards here.


Comment From Rohini Sreedhar

Hi Josh & Clint, We have used some of the chart add-ons available on the Lumira desktop. Are these add-ons supported on BI Platform as well? We were not able to see the add-ons on the portal.

Joshua Fletcher: Hi Rohini,
Regarding using the custom visualization components: from one of the blog posts regarding Lumira Server for BI Platform, the support for these extensions in Lumira Server for BI Platform is planned for H2 2015. 


Comment From Sachin

Will the same infrastructure used by BusinessObjects Explorer suffice for Lumira server? If not, what is the way forward to get the exchange?

Joshua Fletcher: Hi Sachin, you will need to look at your sizing, whether you are replacing Explorer with Lumira, or adding Lumira to an existing Explorer deployment. SAP released an updated sizing guide for Lumira which would be useful for you to look at.

Comment From Meda

What is your experience with geomapping in Lumira as compared to Design Studio?

Clint Vosloo:  Mapping in:

  • Lumira — Using HANA online mode is limited, so be aware of that. There is also a 10,000 point limit on this.
  • Design Studio — In 1.5 they have switched the mapping to OpenStreetMaps, which, from the feedback I have got, is great.

There are also Esri maps in Lumira, but that requires additional $$ for production use. Hoping for some good mapping updates in Lumira soon.


Comment From Raja

What is the scope of support for SAP VizPacker, whichis used to customize visualization? Thanks.

Joshua Fletcher: Hi Raja,

Good question, and I don't know exactly. My expectation is that the VizPacker utility packaged with Lumira would have some level of support, but any extensions developed would not be supported. There are more details here.


Comment From Guest

We are the differentiating features in SAP Lumira, compared to competing products and solutions? 

Clint Vosloo: All the data discovery tools have their pros and cons. The key to me is that if you are an SAP customer and run BOBJ, then Lumira is going to integrate with your BI platform, where the other tools will not.


Comment From Meda

Can Lumira access data from Webi and BEx reports?

Joshua Fletcher: Hi Meda, you can access BEx queries (more info here) and you can access the universe directly. You can't use Web Intelligence reports as a data source.


Bridget Kotelly: As we come to the end of today’s Q&A, thank you for joining us. We invite you to see past podcasts and Q&As with Josh and Clint on our BI channel. You can find both of them on Twitter at And I hope to see you at our upcoming BI and HANA 2015 conferences this September in Singapore!   


Joshua Fletcher:  Thanks everyone for your questions, see you in Singapore! if you are interested in more discussions and podcasts regarding SAP BI, check out our podcast.  


Clint Vosloo:  Thanks everybody ... look forward to catching up in Singapore! Get me on @vosloo77 if you need more help or on


Bridget Kotelly: A big thank you to Clint Vosloo of EV Technologies and SAP Mentor Josh Fletcher for joining us today!

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8/18/2015 5:26:50 PM

Lumira has a way to get scheduled data gathering via Scheduling Agent.


8/18/2015 5:25:38 PM

Lumira has a way to get scheduled data gathering via Scheduling Agent.