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

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

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

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

Guarding the security of and defining access to data is often a necessary business requirement. Not all users can or should have access to a total data set, so filter strategies need to be applied to restrict what appears to different users running reports. As Cognos developers, the first question we should ask when faced with this requirement is what filter strategies work best for our data and why? 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