For the last 20 years, SAP and Microsoft have partnered to develop joint solutions that benefit our customers. In 2014, this partnership was broadened to include more interoperability for our shared customers in cloud, BI and mobile.

Today, we’re excited to announce the ability for SAP Lumira to connect to Spark for Azure HDInsight allowing for interactive visualizations on top of Big Data. This demonstrates our continued commitment to deliver value to both SAP and Microsoft customers.

Azure HDInsight is Microsoft’s managed Hadoop-as-a-service offering. It takes the Apache open source Hadoop distribution from Hortonworks and architects it for the cloud. Customers get the benefits of Big Data without needing to procure hardware, install/tune, or maintain their own Hadoop clusters. This has been transformative for many customers like Virginia Polytechnic Institute who uses the power of HDInsight to analyze petabytes of DNA sequencing data in the cloud.

One area where Big Data technologies were lacking, was allowing analysts and data scientists to interactively explore, and build BI models and reports over large data sets. Apache Spark was designed to solve this issue. Spark is an open source processing framework that runs large-scale data analytics applications in memory. This allows Spark to deliver queries up to 100 times faster than traditional Big Data solutions, along with a common execution model for various tasks like extract-transform-load (ETL) processes, batch queries, interactive queries, real-time streaming, machine learning, and graph processing.

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With the release of Spark for HDInsight, analysts and BI professionals can use tools like SAP Lumira to analyze large unstructured data and build reports. Users of SAP Lumira can create the interactive maps, charts, and infographics that they know and love over terabytes and petabytes of unstructured data. This can all be done with a Spark cluster that is up and running in minutes because of the power of the cloud. You can also scale to larger clusters on demand and have peace of mind because Microsoft is monitoring your clusters 24×7 ensuring you’re always up and running.

How do I get started?

To get started, you will need to have an Azure subscription or a free trial to Azure. With this in hand, you should be able to get a Spark cluster up and running in minutes by going through this getting started guide.

After your Spark clusters are up and running, you’ll need to follow these high-level steps:

  1. Download and install Simba ODBC with SQL connector
  2. Configure the Simba ODBC with SQL connector
  3. Download and install Simba Spark Extension for SAP Lumira
  4. Launch SAP Lumira
  5. Acquire data


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