Posts

Last week at Analytics University, IBM formally announced the release of the next major version of Cognos Analytics, v11.1.

IBM has hinted at the inclusion of “smarts” for “augmented analytics” and improvements in the usability of this new version over the past year. Our expectation was that these improvements would continue to “modernize” Cognos and help address some of the competitive pressures that organizations with legacy investments have been encountering in recent years. Read more

Well in advance of the IBM acquisition of Cognos, the Cognos name was synonymous with powerful, trusted enterprise business intelligence and managed reporting. Between its ability to scale to meet the needs of the largest enterprises, its robust, governed metadata layer that made it possible to report against a vast array of different data sources, powerful reporting capabilities churning out highly complex managed BI reporting solutions, and ad-hoc reporting and analysis against those governed data sources, IBM Cognos was the answer for almost all enterprise reporting needs. Until it wasn’t. Read more

Maintaining system availability is an important aspect of every Cognos Analytics administrator’s job. Monitoring your Cognos Analytics environment is a key part of maintaining this availability. You’re likely already monitoring the IBM Cognos service for Start/Stopped status, but this doesn’t always give an accurate representation of what’s going on with your servers. Often times, a user will report that Cognos isn’t available but the service is running. What else can you do? Fortunately, Cognos Analytics provides some informative URLs you can use to check the status of your content managers and dispatchers. Read more

The last several years have represented an interesting journey for organizations and teams leveraging Cognos for analytics. During that time, visual data discovery tools have made a significant impact. However, as of late, we have seen the pendulum swing back to concepts introduced by enterprise BI tools long ago.¹ What’s old is new again.

When these new tools arrived, they challenged both the status quo and what many of us saw as an ideal solution to the localized, ungoverned, manually-intensive, and often error-prone data manipulation (i.e. “shadow analytics”) processes of the past. If we think back to the dawn of the modern business intelligence age in the mid 1990’s, we realize that these challenges are what tools like Cognos were developed to solve. Read more

When configuring an OpenID namespace, some information is required in order to complete. For this article, I will be utilizing the OKTA OpenID Connect namespace as an example, but other configurations are fairly similar. I will also show some typical errors encountered and how to resolve them. Read more

One size does not fit all. Try as they might, there is not a single BI platform that can offer every capability that users require. With organizational complexity increasing, and the growing demand for self-service analytics, it has become commonplace, even recommended, for organizations to maintain multiple BI platforms to meet the needs of people in diverse roles with differing needs across the organization. Read more

When looking at authentication options for applications, integration and single sign on – especially for different web-based apps in an organization – there are a few standards to be considered. Initially, there was SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) which is an open standard for authorization and authentication and primarily used for single sign on (SSO) for enterprise apps. Next was OAuth2, or open standard for authorization, which was used for API Authorization. And finally, OpenID Connect, which is a combination of SAML and OAuth2. It’s an open standard for authentication, whose primary use is SSO for consumer apps. Read more

When dealing with a Cognos environment there are a lot of moving parts, especially in a multi-server environment. For instance, there is the Application server, the Dispatcher, the Gateway, the Database server, and so on. This isn’t even including the general IT infrastructure components like the network, VPN and firewall. One component that tends to get overlooked is the Web Server. Read more

As we’ve mentioned before, as of April 2018 there will be limited extended support for Cognos 10.x. Sure, that sounds like a long time from now, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from my time in enterprise IT, it’s that making a change is like turning a battleship. You need to start actively planning for it and plotting your course way ahead of time to ensure everything runs smoothly. Read more