Last week, I explained why I believed something so subtle as a release note on SAP Lumira Server connectivity within SAP Lumira v1.15 was a big deal. I also teased with a post on Enterprise BI Curmudgeons. That last part is going to have to wait because today, I want to talk about my wish list for SAP Lumira Server and anything set to follow.
But before I do, today, we just heard the SAP Analytics Innovation Community Call: Self-Service BI and SAP Lumira. In it, among other things, Olivier Duvelleroy shared that SAP Lumira Server will be packaged in the BI suite.
Well, that’s one big question down! I can only assume that means the drive for integration with the existing SAP BusinessObjects suite, as my pal Andrew Fox pointed out from a survey during the webinar, is very important to customers.
— Andrew Fox (@Fox_SAP) February 18, 2014
With that out of the way, let’s get into my wish list, shall we?
SAP Lumira suffers from one thing that every other data discovery tool does (as far as I know), and that is from a lack of capability in governance. I was just talking about SAP Lumira at the ASUG Georgia event last week and during my chat about it, a customer asked about controlling users and the ability to just crank out SQL in SAP Lumira. Nope. Nada. In the desktop version of SAP Lumira alone, there are no application controls available. There are also no mechanisms for a competency center to understand the BI being created, how it has been defined, where it is sourced from, or anything of the sort. Oh, sure. You want me to trust your Network of Truth but not give me anything in return? Puh-lease.
Semantic Layer Service
I’m apologizing to you now for sounding like a broken record, but the Universe is still very important to me. I hereby declare that the Universe REALLY needs to live on but it needs an identity shift away from being a proprietary source for SAP BusinessObjects content and instead, it should function like a service. You know what else? I want it to still look the same. Keep it simple. Use the Universe to define results and filter criteria all while masking the complexities of relational, OLAP, joins…whatever. But, instead of it generating something only a piece of SAP BI content can, make it…duh…universal. In a perfect world, the Universe would exist somewhere within the SAP stack and produce oData or something similar in a really intuitive way. Then, the universe can transcend SAP BI and can really be of value from any platform or technology. Boom.
UPDATE 2/18 @ 10:11pm CT – Apparently, I get my wish today. SAP announces the SAP BusinessObjects BI Universe Connector. What a tremendous step in the right direction FTW!
Let’s not diminish the value of the work that my friend, Vijay Vijayasankar accomplished last year with the first SAP BW on SAP HANA appliance on Amazon Web Services. As SAP BOBJ-types, we’ve been asking for something like this for a very long time. While this appliance was geared in large part at the developer wanting to learn more about SAP BW development on SAP HANA, it sends a message that SAP is being thoughtful (finally) to the developer community.
Now, like the next guy, $6 an hour sounds like it’s awesome, but I don’t just toss around cash like that all day long except at my favorite coffee shop. I’d love nothing more than straight up downloads/installs like the Oracle world experiences, on my own boxes. But the hardware requirements for things like SAP HANA, SAP BW, and SAP BusinessObjects are growing significant enough that my three year old Mac Pro running Linux isn’t going to cut it for all of this stuff.
For that reason, Amazon Web Services probably is the right place for Developer Editions, like the one for SAP BW developers, to allow developers to become familiar with SAP Lumira Server and technologies like it that follow.
Fold in Explorer-like Capabilities
I was actually a really big SAP BusinessObjects Explorer fan. I wish it were more. I have to call it for what it is and suggest that Explorer-like facet browsing belongs in whatever SAP Lumira is becoming. Really, Exploration Views are not dissimilar to Storyboards. The facet view, with a little polish, can make me believe that Explorer like capability has come to SAP Lumira. When I can consume SAP Lumria content on my mobile device on my corporate network thanks to SAP Lumira Server, what’s left? Thanks to today’s webinar, it sounds like this is a common thread. Bring it on.
And Finally, Unshackle HANA
I am still unclear if SAP HANA as a license will be required for SAP Lumira Server, or, if this will represent a run-time SAP HANA. Somebody out there knows, surely, but are bound to NDAs and Forward Looking Statements and what not, that will make your eyes pop out. This is the point that I will high-five the SAP Lumira folks for the run-time version of Sybase IQ under the hood. SAP HANA has so much other potential as a run-time. I’m not sure I call BW on HANA a run-time. Some will and justifiably so. But the reality is, it isn’t really just about the data. I want to see SAP HANA muscles flexed for also being a platform for other solutions. I am going to stay hopeful for some announcements that don’t just point me to HANA Cloud Platform or a full blown SAP HANA implementation.
Do you have a wish list? SAP HANA has a huge runway of potential. Let’s discuss or toss it over to #AskDSLayer.