Sunday, December 30, 2012

IBM Cognos 10 Report Designer Certification

Back in March 2012, I had completed COG-612. That's another great certification and prerequisite to become IBM Cognos Specialist. The exam checks your knowledge of report designing, precisely the features of report studio that come alive when you are designing your intelligent reports.

For someone doing the report design, this test would be easy however it is still advised to go through the books. I used IBM's documentation to prepare for the test and that's a good place to learn from.

There are other books too, smaller ones like cookbook etc. You'll learn a lot from them even if they don't come in exam. I'm attaching the screenshot of certification, like earlier to keep readers motivated.

If anyone needs help in preparing, or got any question, feel free to contact me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

IBM's Documentation of deploying Cognos on Websphere

Some of the folks have been wondering about my earlier post that, is it the official documentation? What if it doesn't work?

Well, I didn't know that documentation existed for deploying Cognos on Websphere and tried multiple combinations, many of which didn't work out. I wouldn't say it was the discovery of something great, I'd rather say it's how I made it work and I continue to make that integration, with small changes for 64-bit versions.

A colleague of mine was searching for official documentation so I thought of sharing that with everyone. It's not easy to find as it doesn't contain the word "deploy" which is daily used by people dealing with application servers.

Here's the plain ibm's textual documentation link.
Feel free to explore the other sections around it for other application servers.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Automatic renew of credentials in IBM Cognos 10

If you remember in Cognos 8, you had to update credentials everytime in schedules after changing your login password otherwise schedules would fail. If not, here is the link to refresh your memory (if you are still on Cognos 8)

However, since this was kind of tedious job if you had large number of schedules defined. In Cognos 10, this wasn't required as it was designed to automatically renew credentials. However, there have been cases, where this was misunderstood. We came across one such occasion and had to publish a technote clarifying the concept of automatic renew of credentials in IBM Cognos 10.

You can read the technote here.

Funny thing, you could turn this good feature off too ;)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What is CMCAPACITY table?

Recently, I was approached for clarification on CMCAPACITY table and what does it do. Well here's the simple answer

The CMCAPACITY  table keeps track of the registered dispatchers.  Just do a test on your machine, when you start CM, you'll see your dispatcher with usage = 4 and when you shutdown, it should be blank.
If CM has a row = 4  and CM is not running, it could have been improperly shutdown or something of that nature. If there is a usage of 4, it can prevent CM from locking the content store DB on start-up of IBM Cognos.

Well, if you love complex answers, there an developer works article and utilities about understanding your Cognos Content Store database using Content Manager Size and Browser Tools

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trimming large sized Active Reports

We recently had a customer who had a 55 MB mht file being created for his Active Report. The report had two level of drill downs with charts and crosstabs on the deck. This kind of size is generally not recommended for Active Reports, especially if the Active Report is to be used on an iPad. It is important to note that an iPad is a relatively small form device.

On further analysis it was found that there were many charts in the .mht with no data and many of them were inaccessible by the end user. This was pointed out to the team on the ground. They then tweaked the queries driving the card creation and the file size was reduced to as little as 8.5 MB.

These guidelines were used by the team on the ground.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

64-bit mashup: Cognos on Websphere Application Server

My earlier blog post about integration of Cognos with Websphere Application Server was based on 32-bit versions. Recently, someone contacted me as they were facing problems because they had 64-bit versions of both Cognos and Websphere Application Server (WAS that we call, for short).

It was showing some CAMCrypto.dll error. I reviewed the steps they had followed (actually they followed steps from my blog-post ;) ). So, I thought of putting this little post about initial analysis.

Whenever you are trying to run Cognos over Websphere Application Service, please
  1. Make sure both are using same version of java, otherwise it will cause unacceptable behaviour.
  2. Make sure you've copied bcprod*.jar (and db2 jars, if using db2 as Content Store) into <java>/lib/ext.
  3. Double check the ports used by Websphere profile and Cognos environment in Cognos configuration.
Well, this was all correct. There's one small change for playing with 64-bit versions. In step 23, of deploying Cognos over WAS, change PATH to point to <your Cognos installation directory>\bin64 instead of <your Cognos installation directory>\bin for 32-bit versions.

64-bit versions lets your Cognos use more memory than 2Gbyte limitation of 32-bit JVM. So, that you could have more resources for your Cognos.

Let me know, if you still face issues.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's inside Cognos Audit DB tables?

I was (like some of you), curious about what kind of structure does audit database has. I was always interested to find out what's actually getting stored in various tables that I talked about earlier. Well, I've found one link on ibm's website which gives pretty much every information about the tables and the columns it stores in audit database.

It's really helpful if you want to trace the stats and error conditions or maybe to start a deep investigation about your IBM Cognos environment.

The audit table definitions can be read here. Click on individual table to get its column details.

There's a lot to explore here. I'll be doing that in free time and posting about those. Till then, you could go ahead and browse table's structure and define your own ways to use audit database information to get more insight into IBM Cognos's behaviour.