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Creating a new viz extension project

By Annie (Suantak Niangneihoi)

A step-by-step guide on how to get started with building a visualization extension for SAP Lumira using SAP Web IDE

You will learn

How to start creating your own visualization extension for SAP Lumira, using SAP Web IDE and the VizPacker plugin.


What is SAP Web IDE?

SAP Web IDE is the development environment for building various applications, including visualization extensions for SAP Lumira.

What is VizPacker?

VizPacker is a plugin that allows you to visualize your visualization rendering code while still in development. In this way, VizPacker provides a real-time visual preview of what you are building and allows you to test your work before packaging it and using it in SAP Lumira and other SAP products.

This tutorial will cover:
- Setting up your development environment in SAP Web IDE and VizPacker
- Creating your first visualization extension project
- Walking through the structure and the important components of a visualization extension project
- Testing and packaging a finished extension.

  1. First, you need to set up your development environment in SAP Web IDE. For this, you need to set up your SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) account so that you can use SAP Web IDE. Please refer to the tutorial Sign up for an account on HANA Cloud Platform for a step-by-step guide on how to do so.

  2. After setting up your HCP account, you should be on this page, which is your HCP Cockpit

    HCP Cockpit
  3. In the left menu panel, go to Services and scroll down to the Dev & Ops section and select SAP Web IDE.

    In case it is not enabled, click on the Not Enabled widget.
    SAP Web IDE URL enable

    The steps above will lead you to the SAP Web IDE Overview (Enable SAP Web IDE if it has not already been enabled). Once you’re on this screen and have enabled SAP Web IDE, go to Open SAP Web IDE. This will open the link to your SAP Web IDE account. Save or bookmark this link for future use.

  4. Before proceeding with this step, make sure that you have the link to your SAP Web IDE account, i.e. your application URL that you derived from the previous steps. Once you go to your application URL, you should have this screen, which is your Welcome Screen

    SAP Web IDE application URL
  5. Next, to enable the VizPacker, on the left menu panel, select the bottom icon called Preferences, and go to Plugins. Go to the VizPacker plugin ( and enabled it. Then click Save at the bottom.

    SAP Web IDE Enable VizPacker

    You will be asked to refresh your browser for the changes to be effective. Select Refresh.

    SAP Web IDE Refresh browser
  6. You will now be directed to your workspace which you can also access by clicking on the Development icon on the left sidebar.

    Go to the right sidebar and click on the top most icon that looks like a column chart. If you do not have VizPacker enabled, this icon will not be visible.

    SAP Web IDE Development
  7. Now you will create a new visualization extension project. Go to File -> New -> Project from Template, which you can also do with Ctrl+Alt+Shift+O

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension create new project
  8. You will be asked to select a template. If you do not see the Visualization Extension template, click on the drop down box and select Visualization Extension Project.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension visualization template

    You will now be able to see the Visualization Extension template. Select it and click Next.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension visualization template
  9. Choose a project name. Remember that white space and special characters are not allowed. As an example, call it MyFirstVizExtension or any other name you like, and then click Next

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension
  10. In this step, you will complete the profile of your visualization extension. Please follow the naming conventions described below since the profile details will appear in Lumira as shown in Note below.

    • For your Extension Name, enter a title for your extension. Let’s call it My First Viz Extension. There are no syntax rules for this field.
    • Extension ID needs to be in the format company_name.viz.ext.extension_name Let’s call it com.viz.ext.myfirstviz
    • Enter the Version number: 1.0.0
    • Company Name should be your name, i.e. the name of the developer.
    • You can add a URL like a blog post or an online website related to the extension if you like.
    • Add a Description to show users in what context you have created the extension.
    • Make sure that you check Enable Compatible Mode and click Next
    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension profile


    All of these fields are relevant when you use the extension in Lumira.
    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension profile fields

  11. Next you will configure the layout of your extension. Most charts are drawn using D3.js (which is in-built in VizPacker and SAP Web IDE), which uses SVG to draw chart elements. Using DIV is another option. For this example, we will select SVG. It is recommend that you also keep the Title and Legend checked. If you wish to remove them, you can remove from your project later. However, it is more difficult to add them later to the project if you haven’t configured them first. You can also choose where you want to position your title and legend in your chart. Select Next.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension layout configuration
  12. Choose the sample dataset provided, data.csv and load it on to your project as the reference data that the extension should be built on. Make sure to define your measures and dimensions. In this case, the City and Year columns are the dimensions, while the rest of the numeric columns are measures. Hit Next once you’re done.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension load data


    In case you want to change certain columns to a different type, for example, Year from being a measure to a dimension, simply click on it. You will see an option to select what type of data column it should be.
    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension data

  13. Now you will configure the way your data will work in your extension. Based on your measures and dimensions, you will define the Measure Set and Dimension Set.

    For each set, click on the + icon and add your data measures and dimensions respectively.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension data measures and dimensions

    Rename your measure sets from the default Untitled Measure Set 1 to Y Axis. Rename your dimension sets from the default Untitled Dimension Set 1 to X Axis. Click on Next

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension rename sets

    On the next screen, click on Finish

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension finish create project


    In the previous screen where you configured your measure and dimension sets, you can alternatively click Finish there as well.

  14. You should now have your visualization extension project created and ready. You will see that your workspace is now busier, with your project folder tree structure on the left pane, your code in the middle section, and your visualization preview on your right pane.

    The main components of the project that are of concern are render.js and default.css
    - render.js is where all of your visualization rendering code will go. This file can be found under MyFirstVizExtension --> bundles --> com --> viz --> ext --> myfirstviz --> com_viz_ext_myfirstviz-src --> js --> render.js
    - default.css is where all of your SVG and CSS styling goes. This file can be found under MyFirstVizExtension --> bundles --> com --> viz --> ext --> myfirstviz --> com_viz_ext_myfirstviz-src --> style --> default.css

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension main project components
  15. The render.js file is the main JavaScript file, which comprises of a top-level define() function, which contains a render() function. All of your visualization implementation code should go here.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension render
  16. The default.css file contains all the styling code for the SVG elements that you render in render.js


    When assigning CSS classes to chart elements, please make sure that they have unique identifiers. When extensions are used in Lumira, they all become part of one single DOM structure and hence, overlapping of class names can take place.
    For example, if there is an extension with an element having the class name .axis, which is also present in another extension with the same class name, both those extensions will have visualization errors due to overlap of class names.
    It is recommended to use unique identifiers as prefixes to class names. For example, if your extension is called MyExtension, and you want to assign a class to your axis, use sap_viz_ext_myextension_axis for the class name.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension style
  17. In the visualization pane(VizPacker quick preview) on the right, click on the icon highlighted below for displaying the Data Table (data that was loaded when the project was created)

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension data table
  18. Click on the adjacent icon (highlighted below), to display how the Data Binding takes place between the data values with respect to the measures and dimensions and how they are being used in the chart.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension data binding
  19. Test and preview your extension in the visualization pane. For now, you will only see a legend and nothing else, since you haven’t added any visualization rendering code yet (This tutorial does not cover coding. Adding code will be part of subsequent tutorials. For now, we will just have a blank sample with a legend on the right)

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension preview

    You can also have a full screen preview by clicking on the Run button at the top.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension test

    This will “run” your chart in a new browser tab in full screen so that you can test and debug it using your browser developer tools.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension debug
  20. Once you have finished developing and testing your extension, you can now package it for use in Lumira. Click on the Pack button

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension package

    Your extension will be packaged as an installable .zip file which you can install into Lumira. You will see the following pop up. Click OK on the pop up

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension download
  21. Save the extension in your computer. You can then use the extension in Lumira as explained in the tutorial: Install and Deploy SAP Lumira extensions. Download the CSV file from your Web IDE project by right-clicking on it and selecting Export.

    SAP Web IDE Lumira extension install

Optional Steps

Next Steps

Updated 12/15/2016

Time to Complete

15 Min.



Next Steps

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