Posts

When reports are run in IBM Cognos BI, a query is made to a data source and any relevant results get returned.  But what if in the moments after executing the report, the data changes and is updated?  Is there a way to auto refresh a report instead of users having to manually re-run it?  Fortunately, the answer is yes.  Here’s how. Read more

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

Difficulty: Easy

Required Ingredients: Report Studio report

Scenario:

You have a highly formatted report in Report Studio and you need a better understanding of how the report is structured. Some of the items in the report maybe hidden and you can’t easily see how things are nested. Luckily, Page Structure view can help with that. Read more

Synopsis

This article covers how to allow access to a report with a password challenge prompt, creating a password protected report.

Overview

Security in Cognos is extremely robust, letting you permit or deny access to data elements on a package, data source, or even row level in a Database. Normally, standard group permissions conveniently control report execution access for most situations, but certain business applications may require a select subset of users to run a report who may not all be in the same group. In lieu of adding a separate group and assigning those users to it, a report can start with a prompt page with a password challenge response that allows only users with a valid password to run the report. Read more

Synopsis

How to create, implement and use conditional blocks in Cognos reports.

Overview

Conditional blocks show different display results based on user interaction or parameters read in when a report is run. They provide a creative method for presenting either the same report data in various formats or executing several completely different reports from one prompt page. Read more

As Business Intelligence (BI) systems become more and more embedded into the critical, analytics-based DNA of corporate decision-making, it is more important than ever to keep the system up and running at the highest level of efficiency. This article discusses methods for providing real-time monitoring and historical trending information for your system in the form of performance metrics. 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

Over the years I have successfully used the ancestor(), parallelPeriods(), periodToDate(), aggregate(), and set() dimensional functions to develop robust and durable dimensional reporting solutions in IBM Cognos BI.

I had the opportunity to go to lunch the other day with one of my clients from a few years ago and they told me that the profit and loss reports that I wrote for them were still in use. These reports used no year or month members (directly) and required little if any maintenance over the last two years, despite daily refreshes of the source PowerCube. Read more