With every new release of SAP Lumira Designer, Visual BI Solutions works at capturing and presenting the newest features that the latest release offers. And it is no different this time either – we have captured the latest features of Lumira Designer 2.2 (that you can view here).
This time around, in addition to the “What’s New” that we usually put up, we thought we’d work at helping customers through another decision point that they’re at – the decision whether to upgrade their version of the tool, and which version to upgrade to.
We’ve worked with several customers for their dashboarding needs, and we have seen them using different versions of SAP Lumira Designer – some who were updated to 2.1, and some who were still using 1.6. And those of them on versions as early as 1.6 are generally in a dilemma about upgrading their tool – the most common reason being the apprehension that their existing applications could break. This blog aims at putting this apprehension to rest and giving our views on the best move forward.
From Design Studio 1.6 to SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 in contrast
Prior to looking at the migration path and options, it might be a good idea to understand the offerings on the different versions from the tool. A bird’s eye view of this ttis available in the image above.
Customers on SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 are currently using a version of the tool which is at the end of its mainstream maintenance cycle. While the features offered by Design Studio are still solid, the subsequent versions have re-worked the architecture being used by the tool to introduce interoperability with SAP Lumira Discovery. A very notable feature on version 1.6 is Online Composition using Portable Fragment Bookmarks (which has been removed in subsequent versions).
With the release of SAP Lumira Designer 2.0, SAP brought about significant changes on the tool – new applications created in Lumira Designer are wrapped in a document called a ‘LUMX’ file. The SAPUI5 mode has been eliminated. The architecture of the tool has been re-worked to allow interoperability with SAP Lumira Discovery. This allows application designers to acquire data from BW queries, HANA views or even Excel Spreadsheets using SAP Lumira Discovery and then bring the data into Designer to build an application. This version also introduces the concept of ‘Composites’ – the ability to modularize or componentize parts of an application. Mobile-based design has also become a whole lot easier thanks to an Adaptive Layout Container that allows for a responsive UI. (View the major features here.)
SAP Lumira Designer 2.1 takes the tool forward from 2.0 and adds more power to the end user in the form of collaborative features. The biggest of these are the ability to create and leverage both the Scheduling and the Commentary framework offered by the BusinessObjects platform. There are also additional enhancements in the form of small options added to Charts, Crosstabs and Context Menus giving end users more options at run-time. (View the major features here.)
The latest release, as of August 29th, 2018 is SAP Lumira Designer 2.2, which again takes the tool forward in terms of self-service capabilities. The addition of the Authoring feature and the ability to save changes at runtime offer a capability like or even better than the Online Composition from back in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6. Variant Support and additional options included in the components allows more end-user flexibility when using the tool.
Primary reasons to migrate from older versions
With the differences between each of the versions in mind, the ideal path forward is to identify the right reasons behind upgrading to the next version of the tool
For customers currently using Design Studio 1.6
Customers currently using Design Studio 1.6 are running a version of the tool which is nearing the end of its mainstream maintenance cycle. The tool stops being supported by 28th December 2018 and carries only Priority 1 support after that. This, of course, means that customers running this version of the tool will no longer get patch support to fix issues arising from newer browsers or databases.
Fortunately, these customers will have a very easy time upgrading to the latest version, as the upgrade path is quite simple – this is something that we’ll throw light on later on the blog.
For customers currently using SAP Lumira Designer 2.0 or 2.1
SAP Lumira Designer 2.0 and 2.1 (with the latest patches) are still very stable tools to use as is. There are a few minor fixes from earlier versions that have been made on the newest version of the tool. You find more details at this link (SAP Note: 2587459). However, more importantly, customers on SAP Lumira Designer 2.0 should consider the upgrade to allow for more end-user collaboration through Scheduling and Commenting. Customers already on SAP Lumira Designer 2.1 can still consider an upgrade to SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 to allow for authoring and BW variant support – this is especially useful if you’re a customer who has a lot of users accustomed to using WAD.
Upgrading from SAP Design Studio 1.6 to SAP Lumira Designer 2.2?
There are a couple of primary concerns that customers running SAP Design Studio 1.6 may have about upgrading their tool:
- Deprecation of SAPUI5 (Commons) mode – Designer 2.x only has the ‘m’ mode
- Deprecation of HANA JDBC support
- Re-worked features like Bookmarks may require manual effort
Customers who are concerned about these issues do have two options of mitigating them. The first is to keep the 1.6 applications as they are and run them in a compatibility mode, or the Legacy mode in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2. This way, the application retains all of the features in 1.6, and can still run on the new version of the tool.
Another approach to this, as you can see in the image above, is to convert or upgrade your application to the 2.x format. While this would require a bit of manual effort from the designer’s side, the conversion process is straight forward. Moreover, when upgrading to SAP Lumira Designer 2.2, customers can set up scenarios like the Online Composition feature in SAP Design Studio 1.6 using the new Authoring feature. Moreover, applications using HANA through JDBC can easily be swapped to an HTTP based connection using a connection wizard (which is a new feature in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2). The migration steps are the almost the same whether customers would like to migrate from 1.6 to 2.0, 2.1 or 2.2. You can look at this blog for more information.
Upgrading from SAP Lumira Designer 2.0 or 2.1 to SAP Lumira Designer 2.2
The upgrade process here is very straight forward and very easy. To convert applications from 2.0 or 2.1 to SAP Lumira Designer 2.2, designers need to only have the upgraded client tool. From there, it’s a simple step of opening the 2.0 or 2.1 document and then re-saving in the 2.2 format. It would be a good idea to upgrade from earlier versions to capitalize on the latest features that the tool has to offer.
Considering the host of options available in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2, it makes a lot of sense for customers currently running earlier versions to upgrade their product to the latest version. While this is easier said than done in most customer environments, this blog hopes to help customers settle any dilemmas that they have about the upgrade decisions.
For customers on SAP Design Studio 1.6 and lower, as mentioned before, there may be a bit of a manual effort involved in migrating the applications. However, customers still have the option of keep older applications in their legacy mode as SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 still offers reverse compatibility for these applications. What is more important to understand is the upgrade path itself, and this is a very crucial point – for customers just upgrading out of SAP Design Studio 1.6, the logical move is to upgrade directly to SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 rather than do an iterative interim upgrade to 2.0 or 2.1. This way, customers will be able to leverage all the latest features that the tool has to offer, and still experience familiarity with earlier versions of the tool.
Reach out to us to know more on this topic.