SAP Lumira, great product, great access to customer base. Still not making strides mainly for lack of data connectivity and usability.
June 07, 2016

SAP Lumira, great product, great access to customer base. Still not making strides mainly for lack of data connectivity and usability.

Ravi Ada | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

We are SAP PartnerEdge partners. We develop data and visual extensions to extend the functionality of out-of-the box functionality. Currently we offer vSQL and vOLAP data access extensions. Both vSQL and vOLAP provide a visual interface to generate queries without having to know the SQL syntax.
  • Data access to disparate data sources.
  • Data mashup.
  • Ability to explore the data on desktop and schedule the scenarios on the server side to refresh the data real-time.
  • Trusted data.
  • Extensive mobile device support.
  • Add wow factors to data visualizations.
  • Performance improvements.
  • Native data acquisition capabilities.
  • More SDK support to extend it.
Other products cannot work with existing SAP infrastructure. They cannot leverage the security and trustworthiness of SAP infrastructure. They provide the native connectivity to SAP systems and data warehouses. SAP provides good support for these analytical tools such as Lumira and design studio. Also we are a SAP shop obviously our IT supports anything from SAP.
If the customer has a lot of SAP assets both transnational or historical data, connecting to SAP systems to explore the data may be much easier. Also the trusted data infrastructure that SAP offers may be crucial to many customers.

SAP Lumira Discovery Feature Ratings

Customizable dashboards
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Report Delivery Scheduling
Pre-built visualization formats (heatmaps, scatter plots etc.)
Location Analytics / Geographic Visualization
Predictive Analytics

Using SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

10 - We are partnerEdge partners develop visual and data access extensions for Lumira and Design Studio. They are technical as well as business analysts. Some of them are data scientists. Their primary concern is lack of support for disparate data sources connectivity. Just like the way they visualize the data, they want to visually generate the queries whether its ANSI SQL or MDX, without having to depend on IT resources. After all its is targeted to be a self-serve tool. One of the partner company that supports such vision is Tassio. They should seriously consider bundling their extensions with core product distribution.
5 - The primary complaint we receive from our users are to involve IT resources for data acquisition. There is no easy way to acquire the data from non-SAP sources. We had to rely on partner applications such as vSQL or vOLAP etc. to connect to most widely used MS Access or MS SSAS data sources.
  • Clean separation of data and meta-data from scenarios
  • Version control and ACL on scenarios
  • More server side support
  • Interchangeability with Design Studio for more granular control over customized reports or dashboards where self-serve cannot accomplish the goals.
  • Heat maps between physicians, census and population health management
  • SaaS based vertical BI solutions for SMB markets
  • Provide an automated migration tool from Xcelsius dashboards to Lumira
  • Custom visualization template
  • Re-usable query components with the help of data access extensions from Tassio Inc.
  • Exploit Geofencing and extensive Geo mapping capabilities

Evaluating SAP BusinessObjects Lumira and Competitors

  • Price
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
We are SAP shop, our IT is willing to support anything from SAP. Also SAP is aggressive pricing for early adapters is great. Even though some departmental use of other visualization tools such as Tableau or QlikView, our global IT is committed to support Lumira, Lumira Server for BIP and Design Studio.
Price vs Capabilities. Also vendor's commitment to support the missing features. We believe in SAP and their commitment to meet their customer needs. More than anything else, their products support more trusted data sources and security realms than any other stand-alone third-party tool. They changed their culture upside down to nurture the partner eco-system to extend the current product capabilities and make them more usable.

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Implementation

Installing the desktop software on end-user machines is always challenging. The machine specifications are the biggest factor when running Lumira and be able to handle large datasets during data exploration. This often demands beefy machines at least for power-users. Although Lumira software licensing is not a big problem but managing partner's extensions and keeping track of their individual licenses may be an issue. If there is a way to bundle the more popular extensions such as vSQL or vOLAP should be bundled in core product and offer them as part of Lumira license instead of a separate license which causer operational burden.
Change management was a major issue with the implementation - There is no native support for versioning the scenarios and publish different versions simultaneously. These scenario file are distributed freely and we dont know who has access to view what type of data. The data and meta-data is stored together and lack of security or role based access to view the data is a big challenge to manage them.
  • Enterprise wide installation of desktop software from IT perspective
  • Challenges in upgrading individual desktop version
  • Publishing to Lumira Server for BIP

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
We did not take in-person training
Most of the user guides are pretty comprehensive and very easy to understand. The product itself is designed to be self-serve tool, did not need much of the end-user training. Most of the training we had is to how to read the data, how to explore the data, how to acquire the data etc.
Yes, it is designed and built to be self-serve tool. Yes because it is used for data exploration, the knowledge on the tool is necessary but we feel the most of the experience is required on interpreting the data rather than using the tool. Any savvy user be able to use the tool right away.

Configuring SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

Lumira supports SDK to extend the visual components as well as data access extensions. But the core components cannot be configured and customizable. There are no user preferences that can be configured to customize any visualization wither before or after its being built or published. There could be some disadvantages of providing customization which may result in loosing the corporate brand guidelines.
Having a corporate template would create a consistent look and feel of all reports and scenarios. The best practice would be to follow the corporate brand guidelines and incorporate their own digital assets as much of as possible instead of coming up with individual taste. When these scenarios are distributed across the organization, they should have the same look and feel and meeting their style guides.
Some - we have done small customizations to the interface - We are not able to customize much anyway. Lumira offers no UI customization to suit with individual preference. They also dont have a nice interoperability with their design studio which provides more granular control over the UI. This frustrates some users where they prefer to save the preferences to keep going back to the same interface between repeated uses.
Yes - we have added extensive custom code - We created data access extensions to connect to non-SAP supported databases such as MS Access, Oracle, MySQL, Amazon Redshift etc. also MS SSAS using variety of connectivity protocols such as JDBC and XMLA etc. This is possible by very support from SDK, although the documentation for SDK can be improved significantly.
The users often ask to reuse the queries that they use to acquire the data from non-SAP supported data sources. There must be a way to store them in the user preferences to keep re-using them. Also one of the recommended ways to save the Lumira files are to separate the data with meta data.

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Support

They have been very supportive to listen to our problems and resolve them quickly. Their customer engagement team works hand-in-hand and treat our success is their success. They are the liaison between us and their engineering teams to get access to and resolve the issues on a timely manner, otherwise our issues would have been lost.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Yes - Yes if it is affordable. We have seen an excellent paid support from SAP for their core ECC implementation, of course it is expensive. But if there is premium support is available to gain access to the actual development team to resolve any red flag issues since the product is not matured.
When we are working on our data access extension, we needed help from their engineering team on newer version of their SDK which is totally a re-write of this interface. Our extension that was developed using older version is a throw away because it would not work with newer version. The fundamental design philosophy was changed to use HTML based user interface vs supporting any programming language. We chose Java for our older version, we wanted to leverage the existing code base to make it to work with newer version of SDK. Their engineering team helped us a lot to get Java based user interface working with newer implementation of SDK.

Using SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

Any visualization tool must provide greater and easy access to corporate varied data sources, ability to provide an easy data acquisition mechanisms both at design and run-time. Another feature is support of variety of devices, form factors and equally good performance to visualize the data. Aslo the ability to protect organization's sensitive data. I don't think Lumira is strong in any of the above mentioned areas.
Easy to use
Requires technical support
Not well integrated
Lots to learn
  • Acquiring data from BW
  • Acquiring data from CSV
  • Merging different data sets after acquisition
  • Creating hierarchies, drilldown reports
  • Data acquisition from MS SSAS until we found the solution from Tassio
  • Data acquisition from MS Access until we found the solution from Tassio
  • Distribute the scenarios, the data is stored along with scenarios
  • Interoperability with design studio
Yes - Not really upto the expectation of a mobile user. There are a lot of improvements need to be done to bring the mobile support compared to their competition such as Tableau. The responsiveness and some other native functionality that mobile devices support are clearly missing at the least the versions that we are using.

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira Reliability

Enterprise wide implementation is a challenge with data security and trustedness. No easy installation can be done across the enterprise. no upgrade paths also available from SAP. They have so much of experience with desktop implementation, there it could be a controlled environment with a capital budget. These may be resolved in the upcoming releases.
Lumira is a desktop application runs in its own JVM. It installs its own java runtime libraries to avoid any core java version conflicts. The availability of the application is completely relies on individual machine hardware configuration. On a decent desktop, it performs well and always launches in either 32 or 64 bit environment based on the hosts system's OS.
The performance is linear with amount of data that is being explored. We have done some benchmarks acquiring 10million data cells without having any performance problems. We need to make proper adjustments to jvm run time properties to start with higher heap size and other parameters that optimizes the run time performance.

Integrating SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

Current SDK2.0 does not support any other data formats other than comma delimited data. It would be nice if it supports XML or JSON which is the standard data format for Rest APIs. This becomes easier if SDK supports multiple data formats which enables to integrate with several other functional areas.
  • Lumira server for BIP
  • Lumira server for teams
  • Design Studio
Integrating it with LS4BIP is not difficult and also publishing scenarios to LS4BIP. The only concern is to store user credentials to run the queries at scheduled intervals.
  • Design Studio
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Lumira for Cloud Analytics
We should be able to open Lumira scenarios in Design Studio vice versa. This feature is scheduled to be available in the upcoming releases.
  • File import/export
  • API (e.g. SOAP or REST)
  • Javascript widgets
  • ETL tools
Rest API is the much needed integration in the world of APIs. Every system that is either internal or external is exposing the data or functionality through an API.
SDK must be updated to expose much more functionality than what we have today. It has limited functionality that is exposed which limits the level integration that can be done. In order to meet everybody's needs, SAP need to spend more time to give more powers to end-users to customize anyway they want, add more functionality to suit their needs.

Relationship with SAP

Pre-sales team is great way to get the help needed during the eval phase. They provided excellent support to explain the current features and also good in understanding our issues and recommend the right process or right tool to accomplish our goals. They recommended the right partner tools to meet our needs. That is how we found vSQL and vOLAP from Tassio. We are very happy with the sales process.
There was no pressure in selling the product. We are already SAP customer, buying an additional software from them was much easier. These decisions are at the department level at the moment but moving to enterprise wide should not be as big of a problem. We have a good working relationship with SAP and their sales teams.
The pricing for Lumira. Initially we thought that Lumira licenses were free for us since we are already SAP customer. We had to negotiate volume pricing and also the license model for Lumira is rather straight forward than ECC pricing model. SAP sales team understands this, and aggressive about this tools adoption.
I think SAP sales team will work with every customer to make Lumira more widespread adoption. They will work on the pricing as long as there is commitment from customer side to evaluate and provide enough feedback on the product that is not market tested and proven. Start small and make one department successful with it before making the enterprise wide installation.

Upgrading SAP BusinessObjects Lumira

Yes - Yes. There is no easy way to distribute upgraded software on to individual user's desktop through IT automated software installation process. Instead we need to distribute the executable file to individuals and inform them to install the latest version. Also there was no easy to tell individual user's version is most recent upgrade.
  • S4HANA
  • BW Improvements
  • Performance Enhancements
  • usability
  • design studio convergence
  • advanced geo mapping
Yes - This change is required to use third party extensions. Without third party extensions, Lumira out of the box is good for doing small proof of concepts etc. If we need to acquire the data from MS SSAS, we had to get the data access extension from Tassio. Out of the box functionality was limited to keep our users productive.
Yes - In order to make this an enterprise tool, we were waiting for several features that were in the roadmap of their development path. One such example is Design Studio convergence to build more customized applications and advanced geo mapping functionality. We also need offline/online data access to BW/HANA data. Some of our mac users also waiting for Mac version of Lumira.