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Sunday, December 18, 2011

IBM Cognos 8.4.1 Fix Pack 4 is out!

Fix packs are great! IBM just released fix pack 4 for IBM Cognos 8.4.1 BI. You can get the details here http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24031582

Well, if you want to know what's been fixed, you can get the details here http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27023702

Please go through the standard procedure of applying fix packs as given in support docs before applying one.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

IBM Cognos 10 BI Administrator Certification

This morning, I gave a test which is technically known as COG-622 but better known as IBM Cognos 10 Administrator Certification. Well, I passed and there was a lot of learning that I gained from preparing for it.

My biggest mistake was the order in which I started preparing for it. Well, if someone is trying to prepare for it, you don't need any thing other than IBM books.

Preparation Material:

1. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Installation and Configuration Guide 10.1.0

Yep, that's enough for you to score in exam. I studied books in order 2, 1, 3 which I think is kind of stupid. I should have done it like 1, 3, 2. Well, that's upto individual but if you don't have much time (like I had), that's the best way to score.

I believe 1 week (smooth learning) or 3 days (stressed learning) is enough for this exam. Still, if anyone has doubt or need help preparing for it, just comment here.

p.s. It's a 47 question MCQ exam of duration 1 hour. You could easily finish in 30 minutes ;)

update: here's what the certificate looks like, just to get you excited ;)

 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Need help in upgrading to IBM Cognos 10?

Businesses are upgrading to IBM Cognos 10, are you?

Well, if not IBM might be able to help you. All your queries regarding upgrade process, workflow, IBM offerings to ease the upgrade, everything you need is available here.

Check out the top upgrading to IBM Cognos 10 FAQs here.

There's an offering called IBM Cognos Lifecycle Manager which eases the process of upgrading along with assisting you during upgrade process.
Check out IBM Cognos Lifecycle Manager FAQs here.

There's a nice presentation about the whole upgrading process and best practices. You can get the presentation here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: IBM Cognos Mobile app for iPad

I didn't get to play with my hands-on IBM Cognos Mobile app on iPad however I've found a nice review of it in two parts. It's a neat and clean app which works smoothly as it should be. The reviews are positive about it and best of all, it supports offline mode. So, you can take reports/dashboards with you and jump on a flight for your meeting with customers and get all the analytics fun in flight.

It's really amazing app for CXOs and BI users who travel a lot during their course of work. You could digest all your reports and get all insights and when you arrive in your company's network again, you could connect and refresh all those.

The app from iTunes store comes with sample reports and dashboards built in it with multiple levels of sophistication to play around app completely. It's nice, really nice.

Read the two part review here
Part 1
Part 2

source: www.performance-ideas.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

IBM Cognos & FPM Webinars (web seminars)

New to BI? Confused with so many implementation questions with BI? Want to know more about BI?

Here's your chance. IBM has prepared various webinars targeted to BI users across the globe to help them in evaluating power of BI and different implementation scenarios and what all you could benefit from BI.

From case studies to Cognos's new features, from report authors's perspective to CXO's dashboards. 

Here's the link to list of webinars (web seminars) on IBM Cognos BI & FPM to help you out with.
Get all the magic here

Note: It's targeted for IBM customers and business partners, so it would require you to fill up a form first.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick tips to improve bursting in IBM Cognos BI

Ever faced performance related issues with report bursting in IBM Cognos? Can't get enough work done in time from report bursting?

Here's a quick guide written to help you out. It contains tips and tricks at various points to improve performance in bursting. Go through it.

Here's the link 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

IBM Cognos Mobile app for iPad available in iTunes

With the launch of IBM Cognos BI 10.1.1, there's now an iPad app available in iTunes.

The new app enables customers to take advantage of the capabilities of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence for the Mobile Workforce and Cognos Active Report.

From IBM US announcement letter of IBM Cognos BI 10.1.1

"Mobile application for the Apple iPad
          Interactive native iPad application that enables mobile consumption of active report and HTML Studio reports. Users can leverage and interact with existing business intelligence (BI) content while connected or disconnected."

Get the app here

Cognos 8.4.1 on z/OS available now!!!

Leverage the power of running IBM Cognos on highly reliable, secure, powerful IBM z/OS.
Cognos 8.4.1 is now available on z/OS.
Catch all the exciting statements and features list here

IBM Cognos 10.1.1 available now!

I love updates, don't you? They bring so many awesome new features and bug fixes that we all have been waiting for.

So with IBM Cognos 10.1.1, it bring tons of new features for business intelligence users!

IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence V10.1.1 enables business users to access and analyze the information they need to improve decision making, gain better insight, and manage performance. IBM Cognos Business Intelligence solutions include software for query, reporting, analysis, and dashboards, as well as software to gather and organize the information from multiple sources.

Catch all the excitement here

For what's new, check here

Friday, September 2, 2011

Proven Practice on Report Bursting

We recently had to get down and dirty with report bursting and found the following article to be very useful: Notes on Report Bursting in 8.3. Don't fear, the article holds true for recent versions too. Especially, the section on the various ways of using queries in the report was very enlightening.





Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cognos Audit Logging: Demystified

Audit logging is one of many important administrative features available with IBM Cognos BI. However, it tends to confuse ibm cognos administrators with various levels and tables it has for it. For ibm cognos 10.1 (it applies the same to ibm cognos 8 except the grey ones), there's a chapter available in redbook for understanding Cognos Audit Logging.

The redbook (page 503 onward/ Chapter 10.5 Auditing), lists setting up audit db, various audit tables and their definitions and the effect each audit logging level would have in general sense. Although, this definition and effect of levels is generalized in Cognos environment sense, you could set up audit logging higher for a particular component to audit its usage.


Audit database table definitions

Table name

Description

COGIPF_ACTION

Stores information about operations performed on objects

COGIPF_AGENTBUILD

Stores information about agent mail delivery

COGIPF_AGENTRUN

Stores information about agent activity including tasks and delivery

COGIPF_ANNOTATIONSERVICE

Stores audit information about annotation service operations

COGIPF_EDITQUERY

Stores information about query runs

COGIPF_HUMANTASKSERVICE

Stores audit information about human task service operations (tasks and corresponding task states)

COGIPF_HUMANTASKSERVICE_DETAIL

Stores additional details about human task service operations (not necessarily required for every audit entry, for example, notification details and human role details)

COGIPF_NATIVEQUERY

Stores information about queries that IBM Cognos software makes to other components

COGIPF_PARAMETER

Stores parameter information logged by a component

COGIPF_RUNJOB

Stores information about job runs

COGIPF_RUNJOBSTEP

Stores information about job step runs

COGIPF_RUNREPORT

Stores information about report runs

COGIPF_THRESHOLD_VIOLATIONS

Stores information about threshold violations for system metrics

COGIPF_USERLOGON

Stores user logon and logoff information

COGIPF_VIEWREPORT

Stores information about report view requests



IBM Cognos audit and logging levels

System activity type

Minimal

Basic

Request

Trace

Full

System and service startup and shutdown, runtime errors

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

User account management and runtime usage

Y

Y

Y

Y

User requests

Y

Y

Y

Y

Service requests and responses

Y

Y

All requests to all components with their parameter values

Y

Y

Other queries to IBM Cognos components (native query)

Y




Sunday, June 5, 2011

IBM Cognos 10.1 FP1 adds support for more softwares

IBM Cognos 10.1 FP1 is out with support for more softwares. I just found out this link and prepared a list of all new things that have been added by FP1. See the following table for the newly added support


IBM Cognos BI 10.1    

Relational Databases
Client OS Support
Cognos BI 10 Server, Data Manager & Transformer
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
AIX, HP-UX, Linux (x86), Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)

ODBC
Client OS Support
Cognos BI 10 Server, Data Manager & Transformer
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 via DataDirect 6.0 SP2
AIX, HP-UX (PA-RISC), Linux (x86), Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)
Netezza 6.0
AIX, HP-UX (PA-RISC), Linux (x86), Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)

OLAP Support
Database Client/ OS
Cognos BI 10 Server
IBM Cognos TM1 9.5.2
AIX, Linux (x86, System z) Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)
Oracle Essbase 11.1.2
AIX, Linux (x86), Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)

Dynamic Query Mode
OLAP Support
Client OS Support
Cognos BI 10 Server
CognosTM1 9.5.2
AIX, Linux (x86, System z), Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)
Oracle Essbase 11.1.2
AIX, Linux (x86), Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)

Content Stores via JDBC
Operating System
Cognos BI 10 Server
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition via JSQLConnect Driver
AIX, HP-UX, Linux (x86), Solaris, Windows
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)


IBM Cognos Mobile 10.1

Browsers
Operating System
Support
Playbook Browser
Blackberry Tablet OS
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)
Android Browser
Android 3.0+
Active
(As of 10.1 FP1)

Friday, June 3, 2011

IBM Cognos Mobile to support Android 3.0 (honeycomb) and Blackberry Playbook

IBM Cognos Mobile has just announced with FP1 for their latest release of IBM Cognos Mobile 10.1 more support for tablets. IBM Cognos Mobile 10.1 FP1 will support Android browser also the Playbook browser. This is a giant step of IBM Cognos support towards tablets. Earlier only Apple Safari browser was supported with IBM Cognos Mobile 10.1.

Since the growth of tablets and Google and RIM launching their competitive tablets to Apple's iPad, support for these two browsers was much needed. Still, HP's webOS is missing from the list of supported environments, probably because HP's much awaited TouchPad still isn't available in market.

Check out the link for all supported environments for IBM Cognos Mobile 10.1.








Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SSO between Cognos 8.4.1 and Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 using NTLM experiences

In a recent installation( better call it experiment), we were facing issues with integrating Cognos BI into Microsoft SharePoint portal and implementing SSO between them.

The setup was like this
-One machine having complete Cognos 8.4.1 installation.
-Another machine having Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 installation.

Both systems were using same ntlm domain for security. Due to performance considerations, we were not allowed to have both enterprise softwares running on same machine.

For intergration, we referred this document. It's written for version 8.3 but it still works fine for 8.4 and 8.4.1. A newer document for Cognos 10.1 with Sharepoint Server 2010 is in works, I guess.

We followed every step given in the document still landed up into errors like

"CPS-CCM-1209 Unable to create a URL connection to the requested WSDL file at 'path'
The remote server returned an error:(401) Unauthorized."

to 
HTTP 500: Internal server error.

Somehow, we were able to generate the XML from WSDL url, we were able to get Cognos objects into SharePoint but somehow it was not able to process our requests. 

I tried to debug at every point and still problem was not going away. We were exhausted up at this error.

"Unable to process the request" !!!

In webparts logging, we were seeing, 

"1,"error",
2011-05-06T04:13:35,"ctl00$m$g_c0624069_3bd3_49b5_8d11_13c980c2523d",1,"InitPersistentData(), Fault=System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapException, Message=, Stack=   at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.ReadResponse(SoapClientMessage message, WebResponse response, Stream responseStream, Boolean asyncCall)
   at System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapHttpClientProtocol.Invoke(String methodName, Object[] parameters)
   at Cognos.Portal.Services.WSRP.WSRP_v1_Markup_Binding_SOAP.initCookie(initCookie initCookie1)
   at Cognos.Portal.Services.Consumer.GetCookies(Boolean retry)
   at Cognos.Portal.Services.Consumer.InitPersistentData()"

We brought in SME of this area and found out solution to this. If you land up in such situation, try this

1. Uninstall Cognos components from the machine having Microsoft SharePoint.
2. Have at least one gateway in Cognos which has "Enable Anonymous Access" and use that for configuring/integrating in SharePoint.
3. Copy all SharePoint files mentioned in the document from Cognos machine to SharePoint machine.
4. Modify settings accordingly.
5. Restart Cognos service and you'll have the integration done.

Shoot comments if you face any issue.

p.s. I would be posting step by step guide for integrating Cognos 10.1 with Websphere Portal 6.1 soon.










Thursday, March 24, 2011

Changing default port of IBM Websphere

About a month back, I wrote how to deploy Cognos 10.1 on Websphere. However, I missed an important setting in it. Though logically, IBM Websphere detects and uses a free port for its application server, I didn't point out flexibility of changing it.

Users had to change the port in their IBM Cognos configuration, as mentioned in step 4 of preparing Cognos 10.1. Let me now show you how to configure IBM Websphere on a port that you want Cognos 10.1 to run.

1. Launch admin console of IBM Websphere.

2. Click on Application Servers, under Servers in the left side pane. You'll see server1, your Node and your version in right pane.

3. Click on server1, you'll  a lot of properties related to your IBM Websphere profile. Under Communications, expand Ports.


4. Clicking on Ports, will lead you to a page where you can modify ports used by IBM Websphere.

5. Click on WC_defaulthost to change it. It'll open up a new page, where you can change it. Since, Cognos by default uses port 9300, let's input that in here. Click on OK to apply changes.

6. If any of your applications running on your IBM Websphere is currently using the old WC_defaulthost port, it'll throw up something like this. You don't need to worry. Just click on save changes. Stop your applications. Modify ports in those applications and upgrade applications.

If no application was running, click on save and restart IBM Websphere server profile to apply the changes. For deploying Cognos, the steps remain the same.



If you face any problems or would like to discuss more on this, please leave a comment.