Shocking news this week, as SAP made a major announcement on the SAP BI product strategy, and specifically on SAP Lumira, Discovery edition. In summary, SAP Analytics Cloud will be the primary solution for data discovery from now on. The consequence is that new investments in this area will be focused on SAP Analytics Cloud only, leaving the on-premise SAP Lumira, Discovery edition, released just 6 months ago, behind.
As the co-author of the upcoming SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition – The Comprehensive Guide book for SAP Press, I would be lying if I’d say that I was very happy when I read the announcement blog by Mike Flannagan. Of course there were some rumors going around in the weeks before the announcement, so I wasn’t completely taken by surprise on the news itself, but more on the timing of the announcement.
Let’s decompose the message by SAP a bit. First, SAP Lumira, Discovery edition did not instantly die this week. The tool is supported at least to the end of 2024, which, knowing SAP and its customers, will probably be extended when required. Heck, there are plenty of Web Application Designer apps still running, and the BEx Analyzer is also massively used even SAP Analysis Office has been around for ages. And remember Xcelsius (SAP Dashboards)? Yup, still being used. 2018 will deliver at least versions 2.2 and 2.3 of SAP Lumira, Discovery edition, although these releases won’t include much new real functionality besides performance and quality improvements. So if you are currently using SAP Lumira 1.x or SAP Lumira, Discovery edition 2.x, it makes sense to keep using (and updating) your Lumira installation alongside your SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. This would also be the case if cloud solutions are no part of your organization’s IT strategy.
If you currently don’t use SAP Lumira, Discovery edition, and you are looking for a data-discovery type of tool, SAP Analytics Cloud would be a logical product to consider (over SAP Lumira, Discovery edition). Here we also get to why I’m surprised at the timing of the announcement. Since October 2017 I’ve been heavily involved in several large-scale SAP Analytics Cloud projects, and my initial skepticism has been substituted with more and more enthusiasm (check my 2016 blog about my first encounter with SAP Analytics Cloud). A lot of necessary features to make this an enterprise-ready BI solution have been added of the past 18 months, for example the live SAP BW and SAP HANA connectivity options, which are key in a SAP BI landscape. Still, there is a lot of catching up to do to get SAP Analytics Cloud at the feature and integration level of the on-premise solutions. There are still lots of limitations when using the live connections for example, and especially platform features that we know from the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform and SAP BW, like object, authorization and user management, or scheduling, are years behind or not even available. The positive news is that things get better with each release (last year they did 24 of these release waves!) and that there is full commitment to get things right.
Big news, as I am very happy to announce our newest SAP Press book: SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition – The Comprehensive Guide. For this book I teamed up with my Interdobs colleague Martijn van Foeken (@mfoeken), who is a seasoned SAP BusinessObjects specialist with over 10 years of hands-on experience.
The major SAP Lumira 2 release of last summer brought so many changes and that much new stuff to the toolset, that we decided to not just update the existing “Getting Started with SAP Lumira” book from 2015 (based on SAP Lumira 1.18, ‘member?), but to start all over again. Our book will cover the recent SAP Lumira 2.1 update as well. In the weeks towards the release date, I’ll share some more details on the exact content and what you can expect to learn from this book.
SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition – The Comprehensive Guide
475 pages, 2018
E-book formats: EPUB, MOBI, PDF, online
SAP Lumira 2.1 is here and comes with a couple of nice new features! In the below video I have a quick look at the added functionality for the SAP Lumira Discovery client tool.Posted in: SAP Lumira, Video
The wait is almost over, SAP Lumira will be GA by the end of August 2017! As you probably already know, Lumira 2.0 is the successor of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 and SAP Lumira 1.31. Indeed, both products will be converged in one tool (to rule them all!). I’ll discuss the impact of this, and of course all the other new features in this blog. By the way, for those who understand Dutch, please check Interdobs.nl for the original post.
A new foundation
The last major release of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 dates back to November 2015. Since then, some service packs have been issued on quite a regular basis, which even contained some new functionality in a few cases. For example, almost all components have now been made m-mode compatible, currency conversion is possible and the generic analysis template has improved considerably.
SAP Lumira 1.31 was launched in June 2016, and since then we have only seen some patches with bug fixes, including running Lumira in combination with BI Platforms that use SSL.
The long time between major releases with new functionality is definitely something we weren’t used to regarding SAP Lumira. The reason behind this is that for Lumira 2.0 a completely new foundation has been laid to keep the tool future-proof. The focus of the development team has been deliberately shifted to Lumira 2.0, with the consequence that the further development of the two existing tools has mostly shut down.
Lumira 2.0 consists of two client tools and a common backend add-on for the BI Platform.The client tools are Lumira Designer (successor of Design Studio 1.6) and Lumira Discovery (successor to SAP Lumira 1.31). Both tools are built on the same code base and use the common file type LUMX. This means that a document created in Lumira Discovery can be opened in Lumira Designer and vice versa.
Before we dive into this scenario, let’s get a have look at both tools first.
As mentioned, Lumira Designer is the successor of Design Studio 1.6, and remains within Lumira 2.0 the client tool for developing advanced BI applications and dashboards. It is still the place to build predefined applications, in which scripts can be used for specific functionality.
An important new feature is the Composite. The composite allows you to develop your own component based on other components. You can then reuse a composite in your applications; even in other applications! An example is a composite of a KPI tile, which consists of a text, a KPI value and a chart. You could reuse such a composite four times in an application, showing for each version the values of another measure.SAP Lumira
Another year, another set of product names for our beloved SAP BI tools. Seemingly out of nowhere a list of new names were presented last week at the SAPPHIRENOW event in Orlando FL. Even after all the name changes we had in the past 10 years (‘member Xcelsius?), this still came a bit as a surprise for me.
— Doug Henschen (@DHenschen) May 18, 2017
So let’s have a look at what happened here. First it seems like the whole BI portfolio is now recognized as SAP Analytics. Apparently it was named SAP BusinessObjects Analytics before (I always thought it was ‘SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence’, but that could be because I’m mostly focussing on the BI part of the tools), but this makes sense. The old BI terminology is probably seen as too limited, as the current and future analytics will go way beyond only internal data and usage scenarios. Of course the bigger change is that SAP continues to ditch the BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Cloud becomes SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira will be SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Roambi just SAP Roambi.
Meanwhile, some of the more classic BusinessObjects tools keep their BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise. Analysis for Office loses the ‘for Office’ specification: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis. Following the conversion strategy this makes sense, as Analysis OLAP hasn’t been improved for a while and should be replaced by the Design Studio generic analysis template. Talking about Design Studio, which is not in the above photo, it is now labeled as SAP Analytics Design Studio (!!!) on SAP.com. Which, is a pretty insane name change at this point in time as the upcoming edition of the tool (only weeks away) will merge into Lumira 2.0 anyway. Talking about insane stuff, when I was browsing SAP.com I also saw that SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) is still actively advertised. Madness.
Anyway, what I don’t understand is why SAP is keeping this BusinessObjects brand alive at all. Does it still have a value if all your major (new) tools are not using it? Maybe it’s for the non-SAPBW/HANA legacy customer base? But come on, it has been 10 years now since the acquisition and this is again (or still) a mess. Some tools have SAP Analytics in the name, some SAP BusinessObjects and some only SAP. I can’t wait for next year’s edition!Posted in: Featured, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Lumira