SAP going all-in on SAP Analytics Cloud

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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.

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How to use SAP Analysis Office with SAP Analytics Cloud

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In the below video I give a quick run-through of how the use SAP Analysis Office in combination with SAP Analytics Cloud. Not only can we use SAP Analytics Cloud models as a data source in SAP Analysis Office, we can also store the workbooks on SAP Analytics Cloud. Even better, we can open them from there, and make SAP Analysis Office refresh them for us without having to enter user credentials again! As you’ll see, the current integration is still very basic, but hey, we’re getting there. In the video I’m using SAP Analysis Office 2.6, but it should also work with version 2.5.

Scenario:

  1. Create Analysis Office Workbook with SAP Analytics Cloud Model as a data source.
  2. Store Analysis Office Workbook on SAP Analytics Cloud.
  3. Open Analysis Office Workbook from SAP Analytics Cloud.

Coming soon: SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition – The Comprehensive Guide

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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.

The book will be available at SAPPress.com and Amazon, probably by the end of this quarter, in ebook, print and bundled editions.

SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition – The Comprehensive Guide
475 pages, 2018
E-book formats: EPUB, MOBI, PDF, online
ISBN 978-1-4932-1613-0

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5 crazy SAP BI predictions for 2018

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2017 is over, 2018 is here, so it is time to make some crazy (or maybe not so crazy) predictions for the SAP BI universe this year!

1. SAPcoin

SAP will launch its own cryptocurrency based on the blockchain technology, to simplify transactions between and within organizations that run SAP software. The coin will probably be called SAPcoin, The Walldorf or The Hasso. At the end of 2018, the market capitalization of SAPcoin will be larger than that of SAP itself.

2. SAP Lumira Cloud

In the yearly SAP BI naming shuffle, SAP Analytics Cloud will be renamed once more. After Cloud for Analytics, SAP BusinessObjects Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud, the new name will now leverage the stronger and more unique Lumira brand. Therefore, the tool will be called SAP Lumira Cloud (at least for the remainder of the year).

3. SAP Lumira Mobile

The three (!!!) mobile BI apps that we currently have (SAP BusinessObjects Mobile, SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile and SAP Roambi) will merge into a single app. Obviously, this app will be called the SAP Lumira Mobile app (at least for this year). Navigation in the app will be based on content from the SAP Analytics Hub, and will support all the document types that the current apps support (Lumira applications and stories, Crystal Reports, Webi, Analytics Cloud and even Xcelsius dashboards). Roambi will disappear as a standalone product, and will be integrated into SAP Analytics Cloud as a (mobile) template provider. Instead of spreadsheets, these templates will use the SAP Analytics Cloud models as a data source. The SAP community decides to call them “Roambies”, to keep this lovely tool in remembrance.

4. Interoperability!

Infinite interoperability! SAP Analysis Office workbooks can be hosted on SAP Analytics Cloud, to eliminate the need for a SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. This way, long-time SAP BI customers can completely switch to the cloud solution, without completely alienating their beloved Excel users of the finance department. Furthermore, on-premise Lumira applications and stories can use SAP Analytics Cloud models as a datasource, and it will be possible to import a SAP Analytics Cloud story into Lumira Designer as a composite.

5. SAP Community

SAP Community is closed down, and replaced by either a basic, Reddit-like forum with structure, or a third-party starts a completely new SAP community platform that makes sense.

SAP Lumira Discovery 2.1 – New Features Overview

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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.