Friday, April 26, 2013

Future of this blog and other things.

As of 9th April 2013, I left IBM to explore other things for my career. I worked with IBM for about 3 years and learned a lot.

IBM Cognos is a really awesome piece of software if you work on it. Sometimes it doesn't seem to work the way you expect it to, but it's not always software's fault. Through my experience, I learned there are ways to deal with IBM Cognos and that's why IBM certified professionals and there's so much talks and best practices documents.

As I leave IBM, I would not have any access to help from IBMers. However, I would be still willing to answer any queries that you have regarding IBM Cognos. You can submit your questions here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Best Practices for Cognos Transformer

IBM Cognos Transformer is a powerful tool for creating cubes out of your data for faster analysis. These cubes are quite helpful as you could take them and do analysis on them. There are ways to make it secure too. However, what we often hear are issues about performance in Transformer.

Well, for that one must read the following guide about how to model a PowerCube.

It's a really helpful documentation covering step by step procedure of cube and the best practices to get the max out of a PowerCube.

Let me know if you have any doubts on this by your comments.

Monday, February 4, 2013

IBM Cognos 10 BI SDK Application To Merge Reports

Some clients wish to merge reports, one after another. For that, IBM Cognos offers a utility to merge more than 1 reports. I worked on developing that with my colleague Jurgen. The Cognos SDK application is now published on IBM developerWorks.

You can read about the utility and how it works on the dW article (link provided below).

If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to comment!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Things to take care of while applying fix packs in IBM Cognos

Recently, I worked with a client who was facing problems after they applied fix pack to their Cognos environment. According to them fixpack was a terrible disaster and nothing seemed to work.

After careful investigation and analysis, I found out that they were missing an important step in applying the fix pack.

Since fix packs involves modified binaries, they need to be linked and working all in conjunction with each other. You cannot have a different versions of binaries working together perfectly.

That's why cmplst is there in every IBM Cognos installation to make everything work in sync with version.

Anyway, coming back to the point. If you have a IBM Cognos deployment working on servlet container like apache tomcat, all you need to do is

1. Stop IBM Cognos service.
2. Apply fix pack installables.
3. Start IBM Cognos service and you'll be done.

However, if you are running IBM Cognos on an application server like IBM Websphere or JBoss etc, the steps are little different and lengthy.

1. Stop IBM Cognos service.
2. Apply fix pack installables.
3. Rebuild the ear/war files.
4. Redeploy the ear/war file.
5. Start IBM Cognos service.

The client was using IBM Websphere and doing the steps for apache tomcat, which was the cause of the fiasco that happened.

Please follow above steps while applying fix packs. I'm aware it's documented somewhere however people do mistakes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to enable 64-bit gateway in Cognos 10.2

With IBM Cognos 10.2, IBM introduced 64-bit gateways to be more efficient. Well, this new features isn't enabled by default when you install IBM Cognos 10.2

As a result, there's a step that you would have to follow to make your gateways run in 64-bit mode.
You'll have to open command prompt on Windows operating system and terminal on Linux/UNIX system.

Navigate to <Cognos 10.2 Installation Location>\cgi-bin\ folder

On Windows, type and run

copyGateMod.bat 64bit

On Linux/UNIX, type

./ 64bit

As a result, the 64-bit gateway files are copied from the cgi-bin/lib64 directory to the cgi-bin directory.

The official IBM documentation for this is located here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Customizing error messages in IBM Cognos 10

IBM Cognos works pretty well as designed. If there's something wrong with it, it tries to help user understand the problem by throwing the error message with an optional stack trace of request and what went wrong. There are certain logging options to dig that further too.

However, sometimes it's too geeky for business users to understand the error messages. Some clients want to modify those error messages to make a better sense out of it. Some might add contact information, about who to contact in such cases to it. Well, you've multiple advantages of modifying the error codes by yourself.

IBM Cognos 10 gives you the flexibility to do so. Moreover, not only it allows your to modify error messages, it even allows you to separate them out for various languages your users might be using.

For modifying error messages, you can check out following link in product documentation of IBM Cognos 10.
Please note that XX is for language code. For ex. EN is for English, ES for Spanish etc.