Posts

The Preferred Syntax to use in Cognos and Why

Cognos is not a programming language, but it does allow programmable syntax such as a case or an if logic statement.  The question is, which is the preferred syntax to use and why?

Generally speaking, the answer is that it does not matter.  The best one to choose should be based on your brain’s ability to write and perceive the code one way or another.  The best application, however is to use them as follows: Read more

Synopsis:

Enable a user via a prompt to pre-select if a value will be filtered before or after aggregation.

Overview:

Normally, the report author hard codes filters placed on facts in the Properties pane as before or after aggregation. While this is adequate in most report scenarios, hard coding can be limiting if the executing end-user would like to dynamically choose which aggregation method to use on the fact value at run time. When creating typical reports, this option is not obvious or apparently possible. Read more

Synopsis: How to create an external data file to use as a burst table for a Cognos report.

Pre-Requisites: This article assumes familiarity with how to burst a report and how to use external data, and creating an external data package. Read more

Synopsis

Define the technique behind and benefits of standardizing prompt conventions in Report Studio.

Overview

Report authors can easily create automatically generated prompt page prompts for data items in a report using the question mark syntax, as shown below: Read more

Due to the rapid pace of today’s business world, new strategies, products, projects, and tools are being introduced on a constant basis. This means that the speed of business often does not match the speed at which IT departments, which tend to have to follow rigorous testing and governance policies, can provide ways to measure the success of the given implementation. With tools like social media and Google at our fingertips to provide constant and immediate information at our every whim, the ability to get answers to business questions with the same deftness as we can in our personal lives becomes expected by BI end users. That’s why accounting for self-service options is essential. Read more

Synopsis:

Three methodologies for documenting Report Studio reports.

Overview:

Reporting tools like IBM Cognos Report Studio do not naturally provide a means of documenting and commenting procedures like traditional programming languages do. As a result, once a report has been created, it may be difficult to follow the logic and design of the original report, modify it, or reverse-engineer how it works. Additionally, the lack of documentation makes it difficult to determine how and why a report was built and what specific techniques were used to create it. Read more

clock graphicSecurity in Cognos is extremely robust, permitting or denying very precise access to data elements in a package, data source, or even to row level access in a database. Read & Execute permissions are usually applied to a report allowing certain Groups or Roles the ability to run a report. However, you can also allow or deny access to a report to only let it execute within specific hours of the day. Read more

Difficulty: Easy

Required Ingredients: Prompt macros and static values within a prompt parameter.

Scenario:

You have some existing reports that prompt on Year and Month.

Users would like a better experience by having default selections provided for them. For scheduling purposes you’d also like to set relative time so the report can run based on current month and current year. You can accomplish this using macros. Read more

Difficulty: Easy

Required Ingredients: Report Studio, List Object, PDF Viewer

Scenario:

A report that you expected to be viewed exclusively in HTML will need to be printed. In order to do this, you switch the output to PDF to create a printable report and find that the columns span across multiple pages, making the report more difficult to understand.

You’ll need to make some minor modifications in order for the printable report to remain effective. Read more

Difficulty: Medium

Required Ingredients: Two or more crosstabs, Report Studio, report formatting

Scenario:

You have two or more crosstabs on a Report Studio report. All of the crosstabs should have the same report formatting, which differs from the Cognos default. Read more