Extend, Enhance and Integrate Your BI Solution: The New IBM Cognos 8 Mashup Service
IBM Cognos 8 Mashup Service (CMS), a new web service shipped with the 8.4 Platform, is an API (application programming interface) that automatically and securely exposes BI content as a web service for use in operational applications, business process management (BPM) workflows and mashups. With this capability, you now can extend your BI content into existing applications and processes that are critical to your business users as well as add new context by “mashing” content with other applications.
Why Use Cognos 8 Mashup Service
- It provides the capability to deliver business intelligence into any essential component of your everyday business processes.
- Integrate entire reports, analysis, ad hoc queries and metrics, or just the most relevant sections of these, into your applications for HR, procurement, sales force and more.
- It improves decision-making outside the realm of traditional BI applications by making information more broadly available to business users.
- It increases the value of applications you already use by adding trusted BI information.
- It provides BI information without requiring any additional effort by the BI team.
- It integrates with all your applications with support for both REST and SOAP interfaces.
- It increases the reach of trusted BI content.
- It increases your IT staff’s ability to drive better business decisions by providing a new way to use the trusted BI content you have already created.
When to Use Cognos 8 Mashup Service
There are four major scenarios where Cognos 8 Mashup Service offers significant advantages:
- Embed Cognos content in other applications your organization and business users are currently accessing as part of their everyday work.
- Create a “mashup” using Cognos content with other information such as market data or weather data.
- Apply a new visualization to existing Cognos content such as, Google Maps, or industry specific visualizations like corporate process diagrams.
- Use Cognos content within a BPM process to trigger an event.
How to Use Cognos 8 Mashup Service
With the IBM Cognos 8 Mashup Service all BI content is automatically available as a SOAP or REST API. This is accomplished by the creation of a Web service that brings back a rich store of information every time a report, analysis, ad hoc query or metric is saved in IBM Cognos 8 BI. No additional components or development effort is required by your IT professionals with this out of the box functionality. By using Mashup services you have access to all your BI content in all aspects, including business rules, query context, charts, conditional formatting, prompts and drill paths.
You can perform mashup service tasks by using either REST or SOAP interface:
- Representational State Transfer (REST) provides a URL interface for passing requests and responses between an external application and the IBM Cognos 8 server.
The URL syntax for a REST request is:
The fundamental components of REST API are:
- Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a standard development interface that can be used to programmatically access the CMS API. Depending on which programming language you choose, you can access SOAP API using numerous methods and classes. The table below shows some of the generic methods available through the SOAP API interface:
For more details please refer to the Mashup Services Developer Guide.
Mashup Service vs. Software Development Kit (SDK)
Already familiar with the SDK? CMS is included as part of it. As a developer you have the choice to select which one to use based on your needs. The fundamental difference between the SDK and CMS services is that the SDK can create and extract BI content while CMS can only access existing BI content. The following table compares and contrasts the Cognos SDK with CMS.
Start exploring IBM Cognos 8 Mashup service today and you will see how much more you can do with this new capability!