What are the IBM Cognos TM1 Integration Points?

IBM Cognos TM1 is fast becoming a critical component of the IBM business analytics suite of offerings. As the application becomes more prevalent in the industry, we are seeing more and more customers inquiring about the integration points between IBM Cognos TM1 and the IBM Cognos BI suite of tools. There are six common integration points between TM1 9.5.2 and IBM Cognos BI:

-IBM Cognos BI Security
-Utilization of previously developed TM1 Web content within the Cognos Connection interface through TM1 Portlets
-TM1 cubes as a data source within the IBM Cognos BI environment
-TM1 Widgets
-TM1 cubes as a source within the IBM Cognos BIA studio
-IBM Cognos TM1 Package Connector to access IBM Cognos Framework Manager packages

Utilizing IBM Cognos BI Security within a TM1 cube

One of the most common integration points between TM1 and BI is to leverage existing IBM Cognos BI security thru the use of the namespaces defined within the Cognos BI framework. Users who wish to access TM1 can pass through Cognos BI security picking up their appropriate permissions along the way. In the case of users who have not previously accessed TM1 or been manually added to TM1 security, the user is automatically created in the TM1 environment and added to existing groups (or added to newly created groups) based upon the users assignments.

TM1 Portlets within Cognos Connection

In order to utilize TM1 data within Cognos Connection pages, three portlets have been made available that can be added to the existing portlets found in the standard Cognos BI installation.

-TM1 Cube Viewer
-TM1 Navigation Viewer
-TM1 Websheet Viewer

These portlets provide a method for developers and end users to consume TM1 data within the Cognos Connection interface. This allows for the creation of portal pages that may contain information from multiple sources.

Installation of these additional portlets can be accomplished in two ways: Specific installation on individual Cognos servers or utilize the IBM Cognos TM1 Business Intelligence interoperability installation program.

Note: The Cognos TM1 Portlets 9.5.2 FP1 installer is for use with IBM Cognos 10.1.1 (Cognos 10 RP1).

TM1 as a Cognos Data Source

Data sources can be defined within IBM Cognos Connection to allow for the consumption of TM1 cubes within Query or Report Studio. These data sources are made ready for consumption by publishing packages within Framework Manager.

To make use of this functionality it is necessary to install the TM1 Client API files into an adjacent directory on the IBM Cognos BI servers. Depending on your environment and your use of compatibility mode versus Dynamic Query Mode you may need to install the 32 or 64 bit client files. Please feel free to contact us if your organization needs assistance in this area.

Accessing TM1 from Business Insight

TM1 data can be consumed within Business Insight. In order to take advantage of this, it is necessary to provide both TM1 and IBM Cognos BI the necessary connection information to allow for communication. End users will have the capability to select TM1 information from the source pane of the Business Insight studio and utilize the information within a dashboard.

Regarding installation: It will be necessary to modify the tm1_contribution.atom as well as the variables_TM1.xml file within your installation. On the TM1 side, it will be necessary to ensure that each TM1 server has a CAMPortalVariable defined within the Tm1s.cfg file.

Utilizing TM1 Widgets in Business Insight

TM1 Widgets allow content stored in TM1 cubes to be viewed in Business Insight in real time, utilizing dedicated TM1 viewer widgets. It is necessary to complete the installation steps outlined in the previous section to ensure that Business Insight has access to the appropriate TM1 sources. There are three types of widgets that can be added to a dashboard in Business Insight:

-TM1 Websheets – Allows you to view content developed in TM1 web as an html object in the BI studio.
-TM1 Cube views – Allows the user to display a saved view from a TM1 cube.
-TM1 Contributor – Points to TM1 Contributor web client and displays the interface within a widget on a page.

It should be noted that TM1 objects cannot interact with slide filters and select value filter widgets in the same manner as other objects. In the case of both the websheets and the cube views the end user is working with “static” content that has been created within TM1Web or TM1 Architect.

IBM Cognos TM1 Package Connector

The IBM Cognos TM1 Package Connector allows a developer to import data from IBM Cognos BI packages into a TM1 server through the use of TM1 Turbo Integrator processes. These IBM Cognos BI packages can be sourced from SAP Business Warehouse, relational or ODBC sources. This application is a separate install that must be installed on both the client machine containing the TM1 Architect tool and on the TM1 server itself.

The Future

IBM continues to enhance the integration points between IBM Cognos TM1 and IBM Cognos BI and provides a more seamless relationship between the two products. The true value of the relationship between the two tools becomes apparent when an architect considers the power of consolidated virtually instantaneous high level (OLAP) information combined with atomic level relational information. Stay tuned for future improvements to the IBM product family and the relationship between IBM Cognos TM1 and IBM Cognos BI in particular.