Following suit of their release schedules, after SAP Lumira Designer 2.0 and SAP Lumira Designer 2.1, SAP has made the next version of Designer, SAP Lumira 2.2– Designer Edition, generally available as of August 29th, 2018. With this release, it brings in a few features that allow for better performance on applications as well as a leap in the self-service capabilities of the tool.
With the introduction of the new features, SAP fortifies Lumira’s position as their premier offering for Data Discovery and Application Design on-premise. While the roadmap for the tool offers plenty of promise, here’s a look at the newer features that have already made it to the tool this time!
1) Authoring – New Feature
If there is just 1 feature on SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 that can take up the spotlight (which is not the case, of course!), it’s Authoring. Authoring is a new feature that allows more control on the canvas and components for an end-user, and hence better self-service capabilities. This is a new feature that allows end-users to drag and drop new components from a list at runtime, copy and paste existing components, modify the position and size of components and even save their modified work. In other words, it’s the ability to design their own dashboard at run time, like the Online Composition feature back in SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6.
We have a full-fledged blog coming up on the Authoring feature, so watch out for more on this space.
2) The ‘Document’ Technical Component – New Technical Component
VERY powerful new feature on its own, and even more so when used with the Authoring Technical Component, the new ‘Document’ Technical Component in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 has two VERY profound uses in SAP Lumira Designer:
Refreshing Document Offline Data Sources
This is one feature that a lot of application designers have been avidly waiting for – the ability to refresh the offline data used by a Lumira Designer application. When acquiring Data Sources, the only way to do this in previous versions was with the use of SAP Lumira Discovery. With SAP Lumira Designer 2.2, designers can trigger a refresh of an offline data source such as a BW query acquired through Lumira Discovery from within Lumira Designer directly.
Saving LUMX Documents… at Runtime
The Authoring Technical Component now allows users to modify their dashboard at runtime. But combined with the Documents Technical Component, designers can now create applications that can allow end-users to modify AND save their applications all at run-time. This means that you could run an application that’s almost a thin client for Lumira Discovery.
3) Variants Support – New Feature
We’re not ranking features here, but this is another big one. SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 gets support for 2 different types of variants:
- Document Variants
- Query Variants
The feature is simply toggled on or off using the properties of the ‘APPLICATION’ being designed and allows end-users to create or use variants when answering prompts for their applications. Query variants support all variants created for BW queries being used in the application. Users will be able to choose the Data Source and the Variant they wish to apply for that Data Source.
While Query variants are limited to BW data sources, users using HANA or Universe Data Sources will also have support for Variants. These variants are linked to a document instead of a single query and will allow users to save and choose prompt answer variations from a dropdown menu.
4) The Grouped List – New Component
Some of you may know this component by another name – an Accordion Menu. SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 introduces this as the “Grouped List”. This component finds a special mention here because of its two-fold ability. The first of these abilities is the component serving as a normal selector component that can show users values grouped under different headers.
The other ability which makes it even more useful is when this component is grouped with the ‘Authoring’ Technical Component. Application Designers can define a set of components within this menu that end-users can then drag-and-drop to create or modify the dashboards to their taste, at run-time.
5) Performance Improvements – New Features
The general performance of applications has been improved on SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 with the addition of some new options for application designers:
Fast Startup Enabled
This is an option that allows application designers to marginally delay the loading of data sources until AFTER the components have been rendered, to allow quicker rendering. This option delays the loading of all data sources on startup but will still allow designers to load data sources on demand using other options.
Component Load Optimization
It is now possible to further optimize the performance of applications in SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 by optimizing the roundtrips between the browser and the web server to process. This basically queues the web server requests that are not instantly needed to a point where a command that really requires the trip is triggered. A lot of the setup comes down to modifying the configuration file, but once done, can show noticeable improvements in performance.
6) Composites – Feature Enhancement
Composites were a feature introduced back in SAP Lumira Designer 2.0. Since then, there have been several improvements. The latest version of Designer brings additional features to Composites, namely:
The ability to use one composite inside another composite is finally available in the current version. There are multiple use cases possible with the latest feature, allowing designers to further modularize their applications.
Including Composites in Bookmarks
While the bookmarking feature was re-worked in SAP Lumira Designer 2.0, the ability to bookmark a composite was still lacking in the tool. The new version allows designers to bookmark composites by including them in the definition of a bookmark, if the composite itself has a Bookmark Technical Component within itself, and the ‘Save with Parent Bookmark’ property has been enabled.
7) Custom Dynamic Calculations at Runtime – Feature Enhancement
It is now possible to define custom calculations using a crosstab and the context menu at runtime. While calculations were possible in earlier versions, these were limited to simple calculations or BW based calculations such as Cumulates, Averages, Running Averages etc. Now, users will be able to define custom calculations with a limited set of formulae on a formula editor at runtime.
8) Crosstabs – Feature Enhancement
SAP has given a few enhancements (that may not necessarily be visible to the plain eye) to the Crosstab component, making it more user-friendly and better performing. They are:
End-users have drag-and-drop functionality to remove result rows from within a data set on the crosstab. Furthermore, scrolling performance has been improved and an addition for Page Up/Down Key support has been made, for a smoother user experience on the crosstab.
Copy and Paste Functionality
The crosstab now comes with Copy and Paste functionality to copy and paste values between different cells when using BW integrated planning.
9) Chart Reference Lines – Feature Enhancement
This is a relatively smaller feature, but it has a pretty big impact considering that a lot of customers have been looking for this. SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 brings end-users the option of creating reference lines within a chart at run-time using the in-built context menu. This can be a line based on a static or a dynamic value and it’s simple to configure.
Apart from the features mentioned here, there are a few more new features available on SAP Lumira Designer 2.2. These features, however, are more relative to authentication and application semantics and have hence been skipped here.
With the addition of all these new features, especially considering the performance enhancements and the self-service options, what we mentioned earlier in this blog is apparent – the investment that has gone into SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 and the features we can look forward to in the near future clearly place SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 as a premium offering for application building for on-premise customers. If you are running SAP BW, SAP HANA or have BusinessObjects enterprise, SAP Lumira Designer can deliver solutions capable of a high degree of customization while also making room for self-service on them.
Tune into Visual BI’s Webinar to know Why Customers Need to Upgrade to SAP Lumira 2.2
Wondering whether to upgrade to Lumira 2.2? Check out our blog on why SAP Lumira Designer 2.2 is the next logical upgrade.