Sleepless nights for BW admins…

SAP BusinessObjects Lumira and BW Cells Limit

With the rapid advent and proliferation of self-service BI tools within large companies, there is increasing anxiety in IT land concerning its impending risks.

I will share my thoughts and experience with self-service BI tools in later articles, but let me give you a glance of an interesting issue I experienced lately.


Lumira Cells Limitation

Lumira has a limit of 1 million data cells that you can retrieve. This proved to be far too little for a Lumira user who tried to extract nearly 3 million data cells with a BEx query.

Fortunately, Lumira provides an easy backdoor in the SAPLumira.ini file, usually located in C:\Program Files\SAP Lumira\Desktop, you can override the safety belt by a setting in the following line:


If you want to set it to 2 million data cells, simply change the value to 2000000

Ensure that the memory allocation is also increased by altering the following line:


Change it to at least -Xmx2048m. Or -Xmx4096 if you have much memory on your system.


SAP BW Cells Limitation

To prevent users from running gigantic queries on BW, the BW admins can set a cells limitation on BW queries as well. However, the cell limit override trick will also override that SAP BW limitation!

This could cause sleepless nights to some BW administrators, as their protective measures are completely squandered.



How to handle this issue? First of all, the IT admins can limit the access to these files by end users. In larger enterprises, this is mostly the case. The Lumira cells limit can be aligned with the SAP BW cells limit and pushed to the clients by central IT.

If this is no option, it is imperative to make clear agreements with the end users on how to responsibly work with self-service BI tools in conjunction with the backend systems. They have to understand that they can slow or bring down systems with their queries and they should be trained how to work around it. This is a step that always has to take place before rolling out a self-service BI tool.

As this is one of the interesting issues and challenges encountered so far, I will share more on self-service governance in future articles. In the meantime, hang on!

This article belongs to
  • BW cell limits
  • Lumira
  • SAP BO Lumira
  • SAP BW
  • Raid Fikri