Visual BI recently evaluated SAP Lumira 2.1’s current standing in contrast to a number of legacy SAP BI tools, the results of which were published in our webinar. In this blog, I’d like to recap the crux of our webinar, which answers the following question: “Does the newest version of SAP’s on-premise visualization tool check all the boxes for customers looking to migrate from tools such as SAP Dashboards/Xcelsius or SAP Web Application Designer”?
 

Strategy

 
SAP has been consistently driving consolidation of its BI Portfolio, with fewer tools supporting all the needed capabilities. Customers also benefit from this approach with easier maintenance & scalability.
 
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Part of this convergence strategy drove SAP to merge SAP Lumira 1.x and SAP Design Studio 1.x into one product, SAP Lumira 2.x. This product has one integrated server component, with two different front-end options – SAP Lumira Discovery and SAP Lumira Designer.
 

SAP Lumira 2.1 – An Overview

 
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At the outset, SAP Lumira 2.1 delivers significant improvements to both SAP Lumira Discovery and SAP Lumira Designer. The newest version delivers capabilities that would help replace BEx web, and also offers a host of features for end-user collaboration. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the newest features:

SAP Lumira DiscoverySAP Lumira Designer
Linked AnalysisCommentary
Enhancements to Input ControlsDynamic Component Creation
BW Live Analysis support on LaunchpadResult Set Iteration
Filter by MeasureScheduling and Broadcasting
Time Series AnalysisImproved Run-Time Features for Charts
Improved Export OptionsConditional Formatting Enhancements

A more comprehensive analysis can be found in our blogs on SAP Lumira Discovery and SAP Lumira Designer.
 

Migration Options from SAP Xcelsius/Dashboards to SAP Lumira Designer

 
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This is a comparison that we have been running across different versions of SAP Lumira, and each time, we see a range of improvements on the tool.

The biggest concerns for migration from SAP Dashboards/Xcelsius were the ability to use a wide variety of data sources. With interoperability, this problem is easily addressed by acquiring any data source via SAP Lumira Discovery and consuming the same in SAP Lumira Designer.

SAP Dashboards/Xcelsius was particularly liked for its ability to consume a Web Service as a data source (such as in the case of WebI). This particular feature is currently on the roadmap for SAP Lumira. However, Extensions for SAP Lumira 2.1 already allow customers to use their WebI-based Web Services as a Data Source in SAP Lumira Designer.

In addition to addressing the gaps, Lumira 2.1 also takes dashboarding to a new level with the ability to enable Self-Service Interactions on an application, and to design applications that are truly resolution-agnostic. Applications or Dashboards can now be viewed on multiple resolutions and devices, thanks to the ability to create responsive designs using the Adaptive Layout Container. A huge plus is also the performance across high data volumes.

Enterprises who have been waiting to migrate from SAP Xcelsius to SAP Lumira Designer should find this the right time to make a move.
 

Migration Options for SAP Web Application Designer to SAP Lumira Designer

 
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SAP Lumira 2.1 brings with it the ability to schedule applications with even an ability to leverage BW Process Chains for Scheduling. This addresses one of the biggest concerns that existing WAD customers had in migrating to SAP Lumira.

Customers who revered the 0ANALYSIS template that Web Application Designer had to offer should now find the in-built, ready-to-run Generic Analysis template available through SAP Lumira Designer. A lot of collaborative features such as the ability to create and publish templates has also been addressed through the introduction of Composites. Existing features such as a powerful Crosstab and a complementing, specialized Context Menu should take care of the end-user experience for people who love SAP Web Application Designer. SAP Lumira 2.1 is a go with respect to migration from this tool as well.
 

Migration Options from SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to SAP Lumira Designer

 
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Legacy BusinessObjects users loved using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. All the popular features that Explorer has can now be matched by SAP Lumira 2.1. Components within SAP Lumira Designer 2.1 can be scripted to create the Faceted View in BOE. Partner Extensions are also available today that will allow users to recreate the interface & user experience with minimal need for scripting.

Furthermore, improvements in Visualizations for SAP Lumira 2.1 now match the capabilities that SAP BusinessObjects Explorer offered on this front. A wider range of Export options in SAP Lumira has also matched BOE’s offerings. Customers looking at building a BOE replica will now find it the right time to migrate to SAP Lumira 2.1.
 

Summary

 
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SAP Lumira 2.1 hits all the marks on legacy SAP BI tools such as SAP Dashboards/Xcelsius, SAP Web Application Designer and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer for enterprises who are looking to migrate. It leverages your existing SAP back-end and SAP BusinessObjects ecosystem and covers the gaps that it used to have in the past.

Concerns such as the 20,000-row limitation for Universe Data Sources, can now be overcome by using Discovery to acquire data sources first. Glitches with Bookmarks have been sorted out with a new framework in SAP Lumira 2.x. Performance optimization has further advancements, with ability to release and suspend resources to conserve server-side resources. The ability to use the tool for planning is strong, with excellent support for BW Integrated Planning. And to cap it all off, newer features such as Result Set Iteration, Component Generation, Commentary and Scheduling bring a good deal of power to collaboration and ad-hoc analysis on the tool.

All in all, we would definitely recommend SAP Lumira 2.1 as a viable successor to legacy BI tools.

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