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

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

In the world of data and analytics, technical debt is what happens when organizations make conscious decisions to solve short-term problems, even when they know there could be long-term and potentially negative implications around their actions. It exists in every organization, including yours. Not all technical debt is bad, as long as it is strategically planned and tactically paid off. Read more

Analytics platform migrations and upgrades are among Ironside’s core competencies. We’ve been doing them since our inception, and we do a lot of them.

Here are four common pitfalls that we’ve seen organizations from a variety of industries suffer from during the process. 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

Ironside recently reported a new issue to IBM that is now confirmed as having an impact on all TM1 sites regardless of version. The Ironside Managed Services team uncovered the issue while troubleshooting a client’s environment.

“In our efforts to secure an environment for one of our larger insurance clients, it was noticed that the SSL certificate was going to expire shortly,” said Erik Romanek, Ironside’s Director of Platform and Managed Services. “John Commons, one of Ironside’s platform consultants, worked with IBM to come up with a few solution options. This is just another example of Ironside going the extra mile to make sure the implementations we work on are configured securely and for longevity.” Read more

Cubes (including Cognos PowerCubes and Dynamic Cubes, as well as other file-based cube technologies) are well-known, commonly used, and valuable data sources in reporting.  As specially indexed binary files, report performance with cubes is generally robust, however when cube files grow very large (or there is high simultaneous demand reading from the cube), response time can and will decrease. That’s why it can sometimes be useful to show cube sizes on BI reports to let authors know when a cube’s size could be affecting performance. Read more