Beyond being the latest tool in the SAP Analytics shed, SAP Lumira also represents a modification in SAP’s business intelligence strategy as it serves as an avatar of an easier-to-use SAP. But what does it imply for companies in terms of sharing the data, and how big a deal is incorporating with SAP HANA? And, more crucial, how does it compare to best-of-breed competitors as a data visualization tool?

The SAP Lumira umbrella actually covers two various however complementary technologies. The desktop taste of Lumira is typically spoken about as a next-generation data visualization tool, and it does fit the costs on that front. Like its preceding rivals (believe Tableau, QlikView, etc.), Lumira desktop enables users to acquire/merge/cleanse/ enhance data from sources like Excel, a basic relational database, or perhaps your basic SAP BusinessObjects universe (both.unv and.unx extensions are supported) and present that data in all of the typical graphs to which we’ve grown accustomed.

The SAP Lumira Cloud solution enables users to produce and share visualizations with drag-and-drop simplicity based upon predefined data sets. The cloud version also permits users to access their datasets from their mobile device by means of the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app.

 

Native integration with SAP HANA

A lot more engaging than the graphs, however, is simply just how much data SAP Lumira can put into each of those visualizations. Initially provided to the market as a tool for visualizing SAP HANA (a cigarette smoking fast in-memory database), both SAP Lumira desktop and cloud variations natively connect with HANA at warp speed. Both tools push the data crunching down to the database level, enabling billions of rows to be accumulated and filtered properly for the chosen visualization.

While SAP Lumira Cloud relies completely on HANA for its data layer, the desktop version has one more technique up its sleeve– Sybase IQ. Sybase IQ, a column store database that’s built for analytics, is a genuine gem from SAP’s acquisition of Sybase a number of years earlier. SAP Lumira desktop leverages Sybase IQ’s capability to compress data and serve it rapidly, enabling it to obtain and merge millions of rows together on a laptop or desktop without using a server component– very powerful things. This implies that of the data you pull in from any data source (consisting of Excel spreadsheets, CSVs and HANA cloud in the free individual edition, with Freehand SQL and SAP BusinessObjects Universes in the paid version).

 

Platform matters

The historic knock on SAP Lumira has actually focused on sharing, as in, “It’s terrific that I can make these spectacular visualizations, however I need to be able to do something with them.” When initially released almost a year and a half back, screenshots of completed charts were your best option to share something with someone who didn’t have the thick-client installed. Thanks to a super-aggressive upgrade schedule (nearly when a month given that it came out) and the release of the Lumira Cloud, sharing alternatives have actually enhanced impressively.

The very best sharing alternative is presently, and probably constantly will be, SAP HANA. Lumira desktop not only lets you pull data in from HANA, however also enables you to take the designs you’ve constructed from any data source and press the results back up into HANA. From there, it can be exposed to other users by means of Lumira or anywhere else that HANA might roam. The only genuine disadvantage to this option is that you have to have some HANA in order to make it work.

After HANA, SAP Lumira Cloud is your best sharing option. This permits you to take the data you’ve pulled together in the Lumira desktop version and press it up to the cloud. From there, the sharing is as basic as emailing somebody a link. This is a fantastic department solution and enables one very technically smart analyst to feed data to multiple users. This method does have two prospective disadvantages, nevertheless. You have to be comfy putting your data in the cloud (which can be a genuine no-no in some industries), and it has a tough time scaling on absolutely monstrous data sets (although it need to manage most typical use cases).

Your last sharing options in the existing state are publishing straight to SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and publishing to SAP Streamwork. While both are technically possible, the capability is presently pretty restricted and only fits extremely minimal use cases.

An approaching release of SAP BusinessObjects BI4 will provide some integration with Lumira, however a lot of that integration will have to be asserted on owning SAP HANA. And that just makes sense, truly; the only way Lumira can provide data fast enough for its visualizations is to go through HANA. HANA, at least for Lumira, appears to be the new cost of working.

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