Before we dive into the concept of variants in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2, it helps to understand what Variants are.
Variants allow you to save values selected for input prompts before executing a query. From an end-user standpoint, the concept of Variants makes running reports with many input parameters (or) prompts (or) variables very easy, thanks to the presets of selections that it allows them to create.
Traditionally, Variants have always been available on tools like the BEx Analyzer or Analysis for Office. Lumira Designer 2.2 brings this concept into the tool for easier prompt handling on applications.
Variants in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2
SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 provides 2 different types of variants usage modes:
- Document Variant
- Query Variant
The mode of Variant handling can be toggled by the Application Designer within the properties of the application. The option can be found under the “Prompts” section of the properties and is titled “Variant Mode”.
- Query Variants:
The “Query Variants” mode leverages variants that have already been created in the query being used in SAP Lumira Designer, using tools such as the BEx Analyzer or Analysis for Office. This, of course, means that this mode has a limitation in that it can only handle variants on BW-based Data Sources.
- Document Variant:
The “Document Variants” mode allows end users to create and save variants on the LUMX document as a whole, rather than individual queries. This means that the end-user can create prompt variants for any type of Data Source being used in SAP Lumira Designer – whether it is BW, HANA or a Universe.
Working with Document Variants
The steps to create and modify a Document Variant have been outlined below:
- Creating the Variant
Creating a document variant can be done within the prompt window for SAP Lumira Designer. When data sources having prompts are used in the application, and the Variants mode has been set to “Documents Variant”, end-users will have the option of saving new variants. The end user must:
1. Enter values for the different prompts which they want to save inputs for.
2. Enter a name for the variant in the input box at the top of the prompt window.
3. Click on the save button to save the prompt value.
The variants thus created will be available within the prompt window whenever the application is being executed.
- Editing a Document Variant
Once created, a variant’s scope can be edited. As it stands, a variant’s scope can be of 2 types:
- User: When Initially created, a variant is automatically assigned a “User” scope. As the name suggests, these variants can only be seen by the end user who created them and are not publicly visible.
- Public: These variants are visible and available to use for all end-users accessing the application on which it was created.
As seen on the screenshot above, we can change the scope of a variable using the “Edit Variants” dialog. When changing the scope of a variant from “User” to “Public”, the end-user would need to save it under a new technical name.
Note: If a variant is created in document mode and changed the scope to “PUBLIC” it would be reflected in the query run time.
In Lumira edit variant screen:
Variant Name: Doc_Global
In Bex Analyzer:
- Deleting a Document Variant
Document variants can be deleted in Application run time and in Analyzer/Query designer run time.
Working with Query Variants
- Creating a Query Variant
Query variants are applicable and usable only for prompts within BW-based data sources. These variants can also be created within the BEx Analyzer for use within SAP Lumira Designer. The process of creating them is pretty similar to creating Document Variants:
1. Open BEx Analyzer
2. Enter values for the required prompts (or) variables
3. Click on the “Save as New Variant” icon (highlighted on the screenshot shown below)
4. BEx Analyzer then prompts for a Description and Technical Name for the variant to be saved.
5. The scope of the Variant can be assigned when saving the Variant. The “Save as User Variant” option ensures that the Variant, when saved, can only be viewed by the user saving the Variant. If unchecked, the scope of the Variant is Public, and any user using the same query can access the Variant.
- Editing a Query Variant
Unlike with Document Variants, when editing a Query Variant, only the “Description” of the Variant can be changed. The scope of the Variant remains fixed and cannot be changed using BEx Analyzer.
However, the scope of the Variant can still be changed when accessing it using SAP Lumira Designer.
- Deleting a Query Variant
Query Variants can be deleted either using BEx Analyzer or from within the Application’s prompt window at run-time.
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For customers who have been ardent users of BW-based reports, the ability to create Variants is very useful. While features such as these were prominent in legacy SAP BI tools such as the BEx Web Application Designer, it had always been missing from SAP’s flagship tool – SAP Lumira Designer. However, with the introduction of Variants in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2, it should help customers looking at migrating from legacy SAP BI tools take the step easily.
Reach out to our team here if you are interested to evaluate if SAP Lumira Designer is right for you.