IBM Cognos and Motio Best Practices Blog

Holly Rice

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The Strategy and Tools You Need for Managing Cognos BI Performance [Webinar]

Posted by Holly Rice on Mon, Dec 12, 2016 @ 03:44 PM

When I get a brand new, flawless, unsullied anything- laptop, smart phone, car, BI software system, or whatever the item...I vow to keep it lean and mean and tell myself, "This time I'm not going to accumulate any unnecessary content, apps, data, trash, take out Chinese food containers, etc., and I am going to stay on top of regular maintenance." Right.

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Tags: Cognos Performance, ReportCard

Testing Cognos Data Source Connections

Posted by Holly Rice on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 04:34 PM

PROBLEM:

A Cognos user (let's call him "Carlos") tries to run a report but receives an error message indicating that the attempt to connect to the data source failed. Carlos alerts you, the administrator, about the issue and you are now tasked with finding the cause. Meanwhile, Carlos' workflow is interrupted and he must switch gears to something less important until the data source issue gets resolved for him to be able to access reports again. What if you could avoid the frequency of this data source connectivity problem hitting Carlos and the rest of your Cognos users? Well, you can and we'll show you how in this blog post. 

We recently broadcast a "skills session" webinar for testing IBM Cognos administrative objects with MotioCI software. One of the featured objects we demonstrated how to test was data source connections. Data source connectivity can be automatically and continuously tested by MotioCI and comes preconfigured with the software, out-of-the box. Let's take a look...

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Tags: motioci, Automated Cognos Testing

Here's Why You Should Attend the IBM Vision Conference

Posted by Holly Rice on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 @ 02:00 PM

It seems like there is a different tech conference every month these days, so sifting through the noise and determining which one is truly beneficial for you and your personal career growth (along with which events will benefit your organization) is a task not to be taken lightly.

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Tags: Cognos TM1, Cognos Analytics, IBM Events & Conferences

Improve How You Edit IBM Cognos Framework Manager Model Elements

Posted by Holly Rice on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 @ 04:33 PM

One of MotioPI Pro's basic fundamentals is to improve workflows and how administrative tasks are done in IBM Cognos in order to "give time back" to Cognos users. Today's blog will discuss how to improve the workflow around editing Cognos Framework Manager model element names, descriptions, and tooltips. We will demonstrate a MotioPI Pro feature that makes it easy to update the information that business users see- model terminology elements.

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Tags: Cognos framework manager model, motiopi

Preventing Broken Shortcuts in Cognos Using MotioPI Pro

Posted by Holly Rice on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 @ 03:15 PM

Creating shortcuts in Cognos is a convenient way to access the information you use frequently. Shortcuts point to Cognos objects such as reports, report views, jobs, folders, and so on. However, when you move objects to new folders/locations within Cognos, the shortcuts that reference them turn into broken links. You would then have to go into Cognos and recreate all of the shortcuts to those objects that were moved. 

Or, you could conveniently move the Cognos objects within MotioPI Pro in order to prevent broken shortcuts and avoid the pain of having to recreate them. 

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Tags: Cognos admin tools, update multiple Cognos reports, motiopi

Resolve Failed Cognos Schedules by Reassigning Credentials

Posted by Holly Rice on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

In some situations employees leave companies and the organization has not fully prepared for their exit. One specific scenario when an employee leaves that causes a great deal of extra work on IBM Cognos administrators involves the ex-employee's scheduled jobs, reports, etc.  

Let's say that Ed has configured many scheduled jobs and reports that go out to a number of people, but he has left the company. Shortly after Ed's last day, several of these people are not receiving their scheduled Cognos reports. These employees contact their administrator. The administrator investigates and sees that these specific failed reports are attempting to use Ed's account and since he has left the company, his account in LDAP is inactive, causing the reports to fail. 

In IBM Cognos, schedules are associated with a "credential," which is a security token that is associated with a Cognos user. In this case, Ed's schedules execute and authenticate through his credential. His stored credential passes to the authentication source (e.g. LDAP, Active Directory, etc.) to get logged in. After an employee leaves, their account becomes inactive in LDAP, AD, or the like, and all of their many scheduled jobs and reports will fail. The Cognos admin is then tasked with figuring out how to find and then reassign all of the ex-employee's schedules.

In Cognos, there is no easy way to do this. There is no search feature that allows you to find all schedules that use a specific Cognos user's credential.

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Tags: Cognos admin tools, IBM Cognos, motiopi, mass update Cognos

Transitioning Cognos to a Different Security Source - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Posted by Holly Rice on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

When you need to reconfigure an existing Cognos environment to a use a different external security source (e.g. Active Directory, LDAP, etc), there are a handful of approaches you can take. I like to call them, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Before we explore these Good, Bad, and Ugly approaches, let's take a look at some common scenarios that tend to drive authentication namespace changes in a Cognos environment. 

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Tags: cognos authentication migration, series 7 access manager, Persona, Namespace Migrations

Improving IBM Cognos Upgrades

Posted by Holly Rice on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

IBM regularly releases new versions of its business intelligence software platform, IBM Cognos. Companies must upgrade to the latest and greatest version of Cognos in order to reap the benefits of the new features. Upgrading Cognos, however, is not always a simple or smooth process. There are many documents available that outline the Cognos upgrade steps, but the potential for uncertainties during and after an upgrade still exists. Therefore, it's important to have a methodology and tools in place that help reduce these unknown variables and improve the management of the upgrade project.  

The following is a condensed excerpt from our white paper that provides a methodology and discusses tools that improve the IBM Cognos upgrade process.

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Tags: Cognos Upgrade Methodology, IBM Cognos

How to Get Proactive Alerts for Cognos Issues

Posted by Holly Rice on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 04:00 PM

When something goes wrong in your IBM Cognos environment, it's important to immediately notify the team of people in charge of fixing issues. If an issue goes undetected the following unwanted scenarios can happen:

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Tags: Cognos troublehsooting, motioci, Automated Cognos Testing

Cogratulations Jeff Hanna, Winner of the Cognos Admin Ninja Award™

Posted by Holly Rice on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 @ 09:26 AM

On September 30th, Hug a Cognos Admin Day, we hope you hugged and celebrated your beloved, hardworking Cognos admins! In honor of this special day, we would like to recognize an individual Cognos Administrator who has shown exceptional skills and merit, by awarding him with the Cognos Admin Ninja Award. We received many worthy nominations for this award and while it was difficult to choose just one winner, we decided upon Jeff Hanna of Optum. Congratulations, Jeff!

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Tags: Cognos management, IBM Cognos, Hug a Cognos Admin Day, Cognos Ninja