SAP Lumira designer, the successor of SAP Design Studio, is on the market and in use for more than 2 years now. I have been using it for a while as well, and this is the tool I have been waiting for, ever since Design Studio came on the market. If you are looking to build a BI application, I don’t think there is a better tool. Especially on a SAP BW datawarehouse. there is so much possible with just the standard functionality! In this blog I want to focus on the positives and will write about the three best things I like. As with everything, there are also some negatives, but I will save that for another time.
Number 1: Composites
With composites it is possible to make small building blocks, with a certain look and feel and functionality, and then use them as many times as you need to build up a full application. So in short, with composites, everything is possible. I learned a lot from this blog but there are many more with valuable insights. I have been using composites in the template report for a BI application, which helps to maintain the application easier. But it comes really into the spotlight when you can build custom made visuals based on just the data and programming logic. Also when used for a more operational type report with a lot of different panels and elements, it is really amazing to see the simplicity in coding you can achieve for so many complex operations. I made one of those operational reports, which had a sibling in Design Studio, and the way to build it is so much more cleaner, understandable and flexible. I really love this functionality.
Number 2: Bookmarking
One of the best liked features of the SAP BEx and SAP Design Studio tooling has always been to possibility of bookmarking. With bookmarking it is possible to capture the selections and navigation state in a report, save and use it for later purpose. For example for a monthly repeating report, users can just use the bookmark which had the settings and selections they liked, and refresh the data. In a way this is a kind of self service BI, hence it’s popularity. Bookmarks made by a user could be shared by sending an email with the bookmark link. In this new version, it is possible to build an application that shows all the available bookmarks there are, for a user, for the specific report or for certain groups. And it is possible to make ‘public’ bookmarks, which are automatically available for all users of the report they are related to. This makes it a lot easier for users to create and share specific states of a report. For users this functionality is the main reason why they are willing to do a conversion from Design Studio to Lumira Designer.
Number 3: Action sheet
With the action sheet component it is possible to create a nice menu item list that is linked to other components. It’s typical use is to have a menu area with action sheets linked to the icons. I think this is a nice component that is a user-friendly way of showing several menu items.
Honorable mention: Comment function
With the comment functionality It is possible to make context related notes, either for public or private usage. For example, a user can make a private reminder connected to a number which raises questions, or can make a public note about the same number with an explication why the number raises questions. This is a promising functionality, and although I have not implemented it fully, users respond well to the demonstrations.
To summarize: Lumira designer is the best tool for building a scripted BI application on a SAP BW datawarehouse.