SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition: The Comprehensive Guide

SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition: The Comprehensive Guide from SAP Press will help get you creating engaging data stories quickly, whether you are a first-time Lumira user or upgrading from a previous version.

SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition: The Comprehensive Guide by Xavier Hacking and Martijn van Foeken (ISBN 978-1-4932-1613-0) is an exceptionally upgraded book for a substantially upgraded product. SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition received a major UI redesign and tighter integration with SAP Lumira, Designer Edition (formerly known as SAP Design Studio). Whether you’re new to SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition or have experience with its predecessor SAP Lumira 1.x, this book is a helpful companion. The authors have provided multiple sample data sets in Microsoft Excel that can be downloaded from SAP Press, making it easy to follow along with its examples.

Because SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition was created for business users, not technical users, authors Xavier Hacking and Martijn van Foeken have written in a clear and easily understood style. It works equally well as both an inductive tutorial or a reference guide.

The book also addresses integration with SAP Lumira, Designer Edition, which will have its own SAP Press book in a few more weeks. Whether you’re upgrading from prior versions of SAP Lumira 1.x or taking a first look at SAP Lumira, Discovery Edition, there’s lots of material to like (nearly 500 pages) and lots of hours to save creating data stories by following a useful companion to the product.

SAP Press provided me with a digital copy to review and I must say how impressive the color illustrations look on my iPad as compared to the black-and-white illustrations of the hardcover edition. The digital copy can only be obtained by ordering directly from SAP Press, either with or without the hardcover edition. It comes in three editions (Adobe PDF, epub, and mobi) so you’ll be able to read regardless of whether your favorite reading device is a PC, an iPad with iBooks, or a Kindle device. Having the PDF copy on your workstation is indispensable, as you can make Adobe Reader do all the work looking up a desired keyword.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook

Authors Xavier Hacking and David Lai channel their inner Julia Child with tasty results.

Packt Publishing recently released SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook and I was pleased to receive an eBook edition to review.  Authors Xavier Hacking and David Lai channel their inner Julia Child with tasty results.

First of all, the book is truly a cookbook. So instead of thumbing through a reference manual that describes product functionality like chart components, dynamic visibility, and data access devoid of practical application, readers can easily find clearly organized recipes like “Opening up a Web Intelligence report using dashboard parameters”, “Building a pop-up screen”, or “Analyzing trends”.  There’s over 90 recipes to choose from, including 7 recipes for  data connectivity (even SAP BW) and 7 recipes for third-party components (from Antivia, Centigon Solutions, IdeaCrop, and Inovista). To help readers work through the recipes, a collection of sample Xcelsius (XLF) and Adobe Flash (SWF) files can be downloaded from the Packt Publishing web site.

Although the book is entitled “Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook”, most of the recipes can be baked with Xcelsius 2008 and do not require Dashboards 4.0, which is a huge plus. On the downside, I wished the book would more clearly indicate which recipes are specific to Dashboards 4.0 (and therefore not possible in Xcelsius 2008). One example is the recipe for “Using Universe queries”, as it requires Dashboards 4.0 and new UNX universes created with the SAP BusinessObjects Information Design Tool 4.0, not legacy UNV universes created with the Universe Design Tool. Also, integration with the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform is shown using Enterprise XI 3.1, not BI 4.0. However, neither of these deficiencies take away from the usefulness of the cookbook. I would guess that the authors might easily address these items in a second edition timed for the release of BI 4.1.

As an instructor of SAP’s official BOX310 “Xcelsius 2008 Enterprise: Core & Connectivity” training class, I’m disappointed that the curriculum hasn’t been updated since the initial release of Xcelsius 2008. Students tend to leave the class unfulfilled and unprepared to use new and interesting features introduced through service packs. SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook not only covers these newer features, but presents them in a task-oriented “cookbook” format that allows readers to quickly find information on implementing specific functionality in their Xcelsius dashboards.

The SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook is available in paperback, PDF and ePub formats. Kindle readers should note that the ePub format is not natively supported; however, there are several tools available to convert ePub into something Kindle-friendly. As with any cookbook, the eBook PDF edition is loaded with full-color screenshots. Reading was therefore a bit tedious on a monochrome Kindle but glorious on my Apple iPad 2 using iBooks.

Learn more about Xavier Hacking by reading his blog or follow Xavier Hacking on Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”