Lumira 2.0 Discovery

During some downtime recently, I decided to play around with the new Lumira 2.0. I had not used Lumira 1.0 in about eight months. I was excited to see what improvements were made to the tool from the first iteration.

I knew that 2.0 is similar to 1.0 in that users have to deploy an add-on to the BI server. Lumira 2.0 renamed Lumira Desktop to Lumira Discovery and integrated Design Studio’s functionality into another tool called Lumira Designer. This blog focuses on Lumira Discovery and, in particular, about connecting to a universe.

What I Like Best about Lumira Discovery:

  1. Previously, Lumira Desktop had three screens: Prepare, visualize, and compose. In Discovery, these are integrated into one single canvas page. It removes what I thought to be excessive amount of steps, especially since this solution is supposed to be user friendly and able to provide quick access to data.
  2. After a short period of time getting used to where all the options available are, navigation was easier and seemed intuitive. Like Web Intelligence: its many options for charts can be accessed by either right clicking or from the contextual menu icons.
  3. While I didn’t do an in-depth analysis on this, it was nice to see there is an ability to consume anything created in Lumira Discovery with Lumira Designer. This is will allow for reusability and collaboration between IT and business users.
  4. Easily connecting to a Live BW source. Discovery supports BEX hierarchies and variables.
  5. I was able to connect to a universe from my BI Launchpad. The query builder screen is the same as the one in WebI, which will make any Webi user comfortable. There are a couple caveats to using a UNX, which I detail in the “Needs Improvement” section below.
  6. While users cannot create a LUMX file from BI Launchpad, it is possible to edit these kinds of files. This is a great feature if you have published something from Discovery application, but then noticed a quick fix is needed. Hopefully, future versions will include a create option from within BI Launchpad.
  7. Merge, Append and linking datasets: I remember glitches with these in Lumira 1.0. In 2.0, once you understand which one you need to use based on your use case, it’s fairly easy.
  • MERGE DATASET – While Append adds the records of data set B to data set A, Merge adds columns from dataset B to dataset A. The prerequisite is to have a common key column of the same data type.
  • APPEND DATASET – Appending two datasets is similar to performing a union between them. The mandatory prerequisite for appending one dataset to another is that both the datasets must have equal number of columns of similar data types.
  • LINK DATASET – Linking Datasets can be done when there is no common key but having a common column (e.g. Country) into which the data can be blended.

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About Mitesh Shah

Mitesh is a manager in Protiviti’s Data Management and Advanced Analytics solution. He specializes in data services, front-end reporting and analysis, and Information Governance for numerous enterprise customers across the country. Specifically he works with SAP Data Services, SAP Information Steward, SAP BusinessObjects and SAP HANA.

Categories: Lumira

We Asked: What’s Your BW Strategy? The Answers Surprised Us

Recently, as part of Protiviti’s Data Management & Advanced Analytics practice’s popular Expert Webinar Series, my colleague Vinay Suneja and I reviewed the various options available to BW customers to migrate to HANA. Our discussion included overviews of SAP HANA Enterprise, SAP BW on HANA and SAP BW/4HANA, clearly differentiating the business value each of these technologies bring to an organization’s landscape. Several hundred people attended and many of those guests asked questions, both throughout and after the presentation. What we learned from those questions confirms much of what I see in my day-to-day work with current clients: there is still a great deal of confusion in the marketplace about how organizations can optimize their investment in data tools to deliver the best return in terms of simplicity to the architecture, and provide best value to business for overall organizational growth.

During the webinar, we took a look at what we believe are the top three options for companies looking to refine, or define, a holistic Business Warehouse (BW) strategy using the SAP solutions that are best for their needs. Every day, we see that organizations are investing in increasingly complex architecture with many building blocks, resulting in complex data lineage causing reconciliation issues, longer nightly batch data management and lack of real-time data due to inflexible data loads in the resident BW system, among other issues.

The first, SAP HANA Enterprise with a side car, is an independent system which can extract data directly from ECC and other source systems, providing a multitude of analytical capabilities with text, spatial, big data, and predictive algorithms.  The second world be a migration to SAP BW ON HANA, bringing agility and versatility to data models. Finally, we covered the new release of SAP BW/4HANA, a migration and upgrade that brings redesigned modeling and enterprise-wide data warehouse capabilities integrating data from operational and digital business.

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About Sri Velicheti

Sri Velicheti is a Director in Protiviti’s Data & Analytics practice advising clients in information management strategy, business intelligence, data warehouse, data governance, and master data management. He has 18+ years’ experience in implementing SAP solutions for diverse clients in the Manufacturing, Utilities, Public Sector and Banking industries. He has been a thought leader and a frequent speaker at SAP Analytics conferences and other regional conferences.

 

Categories: BW, HANA

The End is Near! Planning Your SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 Upgrade

Unsupported technology is everyone’s nightmare scenario. But, it’s inevitable that every good software program will evolve and will ultimately reach end-of-life, requiring upgrades. Both SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 and 3.1 are winding through their respective final months of tech support, with 4.0 ending Priority One Support in December, 2017 and 3.1 following just 12 short months later.

 

Highlighting New Features

I recently co-moderated a webinar outlining all the reasons why BusinessObjects 4.0 and 3.1 users should be planning now to make the switch to BI 4.2 SP4. The list of features is impressive, as BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4 is focused on strengthening how you engage your business users with better features and tools. Those features are highlighted by a new, interacted Web Intelligence (WEBI) interface with new charts that will help explain and provide better insight. There is also a geo-coding feature, displaying information on interactive maps. Additionally, with the new version of BI 4.2, your team can leverage SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Discovery and Designer. Lumira storyboards can consume personal data, universe content, SAP HANA® and more to present data with amazing insight and design. SAP is the only visualization tool that allows you to start with an engaging end-user interface and then enhance the developed content into corporate dashboard standard – it’s easy and saves time and effort.

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About Bob Zenker
Bob Zenker is a long-time member of Protiviti’s Data Management & Analytics team, and brings extensive experience in data management and visual insight to his current role as a Director. He has worked with more than 600 U.S. and international companies of varying sizes, providing integrated solutions that reduce complexity and focus on the “elegant interaction” of business needs and technology. His areas of specialization include: SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Lumira, SAP Cloud Analytics, AWS, Tableau, data modeling, server architecture, BusinessObjects SDK, portal integration, dashboard and report design.

 

Categories: BusinessObjects

Thinking of upgrading to SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4? – Not so fast!

SAP BI Blog

SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4 offers numerous new features and many of these features have been anticipated for years. Below is just a sampling of all the great new enhancements found in SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 SP4.

  1. The Web Intelligence DHTML designer can realistically now replace the Java Applet Designer. You can again create WebI reports with Google chrome and without the need to deploy an Oracle JRE.
  2. There is a new optional HTML 5 (Fiori Style) BI LaunchPad and Web Intelligence viewer.
  3. There is a new CMS Database Driver for metadata reporting against the CMS database. I always thought it was odd that you could not generate reports based on metadata generated by a BI reporting platform.
  4. You can create Run-Time Server groups and they can be assigned to folders, users and security groups. This allows you to setup dedicated “server nodes” to process workloads.
  5. New Virus Scan integrated support with…

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Categories: BusinessObjects

SAP HANA Expert Webinar Series

If you’re not sure how to make the most of your SAP HANA solutions, join one or all of these informative webinars, led by Protiviti subject matter experts.

From how to determine What’s Your BW Strategy: BW on HANA, BW/4HANA or HANA Enterprise? to Mastering the HANA Security Model, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the SAP HANA topics that are driving today’s data management industry. Our series will also touch on What to Consider when Moving to HANA 2.0, Best Practices for Optimizing your HANA Views and SAP HANA Deployment Options: On-Premise, Cloud or Hybrid. 

Join us on Thursdays beginning September 7 at 2:00 pm eastern for a deep dive into Everything HANA.

Register for one or all five!


What’s Your BW Strategy: BW on HANA, BW/4HANA or HANA Enterprise
Speaker: Sri Velicheti, Director – Business Intelligence and Vinay, Suneja, Senior Consultant – Business Intelligence
Thursday, September 7 @ 11:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Central / 2:00 pm Eastern

If you are debating whether to migrate to SAP BW on HANA, implement SAP HANA Enterprise, SAP BW/4HANA or provide a combination of these moving forward, you will want to take advantage of this webinar. You’ll gain a pragmatic approach to your SAP HANA journey, including practical insights for making the right choice and understanding how the choice you make influences your SAP S/4HANA journey.

Key Learning Points

  • Learn the value proposition and compare pros and cons of SAP BW/4HANA vs. SAP HANA Enterprise based on your specific system landscape
  • Discover a comprehensive three-step process focusing on business applications, usage statistics, and technical infrastructure that will influence your SAP HANA migration strategy
  • Understand the impact of “change” to your technical organization and opportunities to retrain your workforce to meet future demand

Sri Velicheti is a Director of Business Intelligence in Protiviti’s Data Management & Advanced Analytics group, advising and delivering solutions in Enterprise Transformation, Advanced Analytics, and Enterprise Performance Management using data as a strategic asset. An experienced business leader, he brings more than 15 years of work in implementing and managing enterprise wide applications driving results, extracting value to steer business growth with forward-look analytics.

Vinay Suneja, who joined Protiviti’s Data & Analytics practice in 2016 and is currently a Senior Consultant, provides Big Data analytics solutions to Fortune 500 clients. He is proficient in SAP BI/BW and Big Data technologies including Design Studio, Lumira, Webi, HANA and Hadoop.


Mastering the SAP HANA Security Model
Speaker: Jonathan Haun, Director – Business Intelligence
Thursday, September 14 @ 11:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Central / 2:00 pm Eastern

Join us for this thorough overview of how SAP HANA’s security mechanism works. You’ll walk through technical explanations and practical examples, including best practice strategies to properly provision users and manage repository roles, explore how third party authentication can integrate with SAP HANA, and find out how to provide selective access to data using analytic privileges and more.

Key Learning Points

  • Gain best practice strategies to properly provision users and manage repository roles
  • Explore how third-party authentication can integrate with SAP HANA; see examples using SAML and Kerberos authentication
  • Find out how to provide selective access to data using analytics privileges in SAP HANA

Protiviti’s Jonathan Haun wrote the book on HANA Security – literally! He’s recently published the SAP HANA Security Guide via SAP Press and has co-authored three other books on HANA-related topics.


What to Consider when Moving to HANA 2.0
Speaker: Jonathan Haun, Director – Business Intelligence
Thursday, September 21 @ 11:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Central / 2:00 pm Eastern

This webinar will introduce you to a comprehensive overview of everything needed to implement or upgrade to HANA 2.0, the “next generation data management platform for digital transformation.” This includes impacts to SAP applications, key changes to the platform as well as information regarding the hardware and operating systems required.

Key Learning Points

  • Discover what’s new and different with HANA 2.0 and what steps are ahead to implement or upgrade to HANA 2.0
  • Examine the hardware required to support HANA 2.0
  • Understand what operating systems are required to support HANA 2.0

Protiviti’s Jonathan Haun is widely regarded as a HANA experts and recently wrote the book on HANA Security – literally! He’s recently published the SAP HANA Security Guide via SAP Press and has co-authored three other books on HANA-related topics.


Best Practices for Optimizing HANA View to Create a Robust Analytic Platform
Speaker: Marshall Kelley, Manager – Business Intelligence
Thursday, September 28 @ 11:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Central / 2:00 pm Eastern

SAP HANA is an extremely fast and powerful tool, but has your organization solved the challenge of how to best optimize HANA views for speed, flexibility and reusabilty? Attend this session to hear strategies for creating an analytical foundation in SAP HANA, which can then be leveraged directly for simple analysis and/or re-used in secondary views for advanced analysis.

Key Learning Points

  • Fundamentals of HANA modeling, and why these techniques are crucial to performance
  • Why HANA models are like icebergs and why it’s important to pay attention to what’s under the surface
  • How to optimize all types of HANA views to achieve speed, flexibility, and reusability
  • A look at Calculation Views: current and future state
  • Why performance testing isn’t just for the racetrack
  • Common challenges faced when accommodating multiple tools and use cases

Marshall Kelley is a Data and Analytics Manager at Protivit, where he specializes in strategy, design, and implementation of end-to-end business intelligence solutions for customers across all industries. He is trusted by clients for his cross-functional skills combining technological expertise with business acumen. Marshall frequently speaks at industry conferences and is an SAP certified instructor who has trained hundreds of users in various SAP BI tools. His specialties include: SAP HANA, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Design Studio, Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft SQL Server, Business Intelligence, Information Delivery, Reporting and Visualization.


SAP HANA Deployment Options: On-Premise, Cloud or Hybrid
Speaker: Scott Golden, Managing Director – Business Intelligence 
Thursday, October 5 @ 11:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm Central / 2:00 pm Eastern

Navigating the decisions around SAP HANA platforms can be daunting. In this session, Scott will review the deployment options available and offer tips on determining which might bet he best fit for your business needs, budget, and resources. Whether it’s on-premise for maximum control, in the cloud for fast time-to-value or through a hybrid model that supports a variety of deployment scenarios, this webinar will cover them all, and more.

Key Learning Points

  • Review the pros (and cons) of on-premise, cloud or hybrid platforms
  • Address security and performance concerns
  • Discuss license types: perpetual versus subscription
  • Analyze Cloud Options: Subscription, Hosted, Platform as a Service (Amazon, Azure)
  • Learn best practices to achieve maximum operational efficiencies

Scott Golden is a Managing Director in Protiviti’s Data Management and Advanced Analytics practice. He joined the firm in November 2015 when the company he co-founded, Decision First Technologies, was acquired by Protiviti. Scott brings more than 20 years of experience in developing and implementing analytic solutions across a variety of industries and involving a number of technologies. Solutions include large enterprise data warehouses, small targeted data marts, and real time ODS coupled with reporting, dashboard and visualization solutions deployed locally and in the cloud.

Categories: HANA

Creating Dynamic References in Universes

This is a guide to create easy dynamic references in a universe for easy dynamic date filtering in BusinessObjects. The following steps are for universes based off HANA Analytic and Calculation Views. 

A common ask from a client is automation, and we are definitely fans. It’s preferable to write a report once, then not have to touch it again, a la the old Ron Popeil adage: “Set it and forget it.” There are many Web Intelligence documents that are time-based analyses. Perhaps a year-to-date (YTD) report that compares the current year over the previous three years. Without some kind of dynamic data in there for filtering, we are stuck constantly updating the date. If this report is also on a scheduled burst to users, updating the date range becomes a monthly (even weekly) activity. Who wants to keep doing that?

We recently implemented a solution with one of our clients that offers a plethora of dynamic date options to use as filters in Web Intelligence. Given that we can filter a data dimension by another object in the query, we can use these dynamic dates to always return the appropriate dates regardless of when they are run/bursted. Let’s walk you through the steps to create them in a universe via the Information Design Tool (IDT).

    1. When is now? 
      The first step is to create the current date. Organizationally, we are going to create additional folders and sub-folders to make it easier for our users. Let’s create a few folder and sub-folders:

 

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About the Authors 

Jason Kehl

Jason is a Manager in Protiviti’s Data Management & Advanced Analytics practice. A multi-year veteran of SAP products, he has helped customers move from BEx Queries into HANA powered BusinessObjects, upgrade environments, security and administration, and build various reports and dashboards. Jason is proficient on SAP BW, Business Explorer queries, Web Intelligence, Information Design Tool, Universe Design Tool, Lumira, HANA modeling, BusinessObjects administration, security and upgrades. He has also spoke at numerous ASUG and SAPinsider events.

 

Russ Cohen

Russ is a senior consultant in Protiviti’s Data Management & Advanced Analytics practice with a strong business and technological background in SAP HANA modeling, Design Studio, Lumira, Web Intelligence, and Information Design Tool. Russ is familiar with and has worked on multiple databases including HANA, ECC, BW, as well as OLAP and relational databases. he is skilled in all stages of the development cycle: requirement analysis, design, development, testing, deployment and end-user training abilities.

Categories: HANA, IDT

Bring the Power of SAP Analytics to Salesforce.com

When standard Salesforce reporting just isn’t enough, leverage the power of your SAP Analytics Suite. Protiviti’s Salesforce ® Connect for SAP® Analytics solution is an automated integration that brings the full potential of the SAP BusinessObjects platform to Salesforce.com users.

Sales reps, marketing professionals and customer service personnel can leverage the robust scalability and security of their SAP BusinessObjects content from within Salesforce.com, anywhere and at any time, increasing productivity, reducing training, and providing the team with a true 360 degree view of their customers.

Protiviti Salesforce Connect expert Patrick Nesmith will review how Salesforce Connect lets you mash-up, merge and view data from SAP Lumira®, SAP Crystal Reports®, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, SAP® BusinessObjects™ Web Intelligence® and more.

Join us for this 45 minute session to learn how to:

  • Access, view, update and refresh SAP BusinessObjects developed content within Salesforce.com including Salesforce and non-Salesforce data – eliminating the need to move data
  • Integrate specific report / visualization content into existing Salesforce tabs or pages
  • Deliver visibility via KPIs that drive your Sales and Marketing activities

About Patrick Nesmith 

Patrick Nesmith is a director in Protiviti’s Data Management and Advanced Analytics practice. He is a recognized expert in the field of Business Intelligence, with significant experience advising clients on their BI strategy and managing large scale BI projects. Patrick joined Protiviti in November 2015, when Decision First Technologies (DFT) was acquired by the global consulting firm. He had been with DFT for more than a decade, as director of presales and director of client development. Prior to joining DFT, Patrick was co-owner of Capricorn Consulting. He is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology.

Categories: BusinessObjects