IBM Cognos and Motio Best Practices Blog

Converting Reports to Fully Interactive Mode in Cognos Analytics

Posted by Kevin Strong on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 @ 12:00 PM
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The launch of IBM Cognos Analytics marked the release of many new features along with phasing out many mainstays of previous Cognos versions. One of these new features is a type of report, called a “fully interactive” report. Fully interactive reports have additional capabilities when compared to reports that are not fully interactive reports (sometimes called “limited interactivity”).

So what is a fully interactive report? Fully interactive reports are a new way to author and view reports in Cognos Analytics. Fully interactive reports enable live analysis of the report. This live analysis comes in the form of toolbars that enable the user to filter and group information or even generate charts. All this without re-running your report!IBM-cognos-create-interactive-reports.gifImage Source:IBM Analytics

However, there is no such thing as a free lunch, and fully interactive reports are no exception. Fully interactive reports demand more processing power from your Cognos server, and because of this increased server demand, IBM Cognos Analytics does not enable full interactivity for imported reports. That way you won't substantially alter your server requirements when you import hundreds of reports into a freshly minted Cognos Analytics server. It is up to you to enable them for your imported reports. If you wish to leverage new Cognos Analytics functionality and transform your reports to fully interactive mode there are a few factors to consider.

Things to Consider for Fully Interactive Reporting

First thing to consider, as I have already mentioned, is performance. The fully interactive experience can be more demanding on your Cognos server, so it is advised that you ensure sufficient processing power before you make the switch.

Second is the value added consideration, do the new capabilities justify switching over? This is a judgement call and is dependent on your company's needs, so unfortunately I cannot really help you in this decision. I will say that fully interactive reports are quite slick and responsive to my queries. I encourage you to try them out on your environment and make this decision yourself. Do your due diligence here to ensure that fully interactive reports are right for your company.  

Finally, it is important to note that some features are not supported in fully interactive mode. Embedded javascript, drill through links, and the prompt API do not work in fully interactive reports. While fully interactive mode generally provides substitutes for these features, if you have many reports that depend on any one of these features it may be best to hold off on upgrading.

Converting to Fully Interactive Mode in Cognos

IBM Cognos Analytics does not provide a method to convert your reports en masse. You can convert an individual report, but you would need to repeat this process many times to fully update your Content Store. I’ll show you how to update reports to fully interactive mode in Cognos Analytics and then show you how you can do it much more quickly and efficiently using MotioPI Pro.

  1. In Cognos Analytics, open a report in the "Authoring" perspective. You may need to click the "Edit" button to switch to the edit mode.1Cognos_portal_edit_report.png
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  2. Then open up the properties page. It will be blank initially, don’t worry. 2Cognos_portal_show_properties.png
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  3. Now select your report by clicking on the "Navigate" button.3Cognos_portal_navigate_menu.png
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  4. If the properties of your report are not already populated, click on the item labeled "Report."4Cognos_portal_select_report.png
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  5. On the right you can see the option, “Run with full interactivity.” Set this to “Yes” to enable fully interactive mode. Selecting “No” will return to how reports worked before Cognos Analytics. 5Cognos_portal_edit_interactivity.png
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    There you go!  You have now successfully converted only ONE report. Clearly this would be a bit tedious for any number of reports. Here’s how you can use MotioPI PRO to do the heavy lifting by converting all your reports to fully interactive mode at once! 

Using MotioPI PRO to Convert Cognos Reports to Fully Interactive Mode

  1. Launch the Property Distributor Panel in MotioPI PRO. 6MotioPI_open_Property_Distributor.png
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  2. Select a template object. A template object is already configured how you want it. That is, the template object is already a fully interactive report. MotioPI will take the state of the template object (fully interactive) and distribute that property to many other objects. Hence the name, “Property Distributor.”  7MotioPI_select_template_object_pt1.png
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  3. Here I have selected the report, “Bond Ratings,” which is already fully interactive.8MotioPI_select_template_object_pt2.png
  4. Once I have selected my report, I need to tell MotioPI which properties to edit. In this case I only need the property “Run in Advanced Viewer.” The reason fully interactive reports are called “Run in Advanced Viewer” is because that is what Cognos calls the property that determines if a report is run in fully interactive mode or not.9MotioPI_select_template_properties.png
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  5. Then you need to select your target objects, or the objects that will be edited by MotioPI. Remember the template object is already in the state you want, and is not modified by MotioPI. Here I will search for all reports that live under a certain folder. I am only acting on a certain folder because I do not want to switch all my reports to fully interactive mode, only some. 10MotioPI_select_target_objects_narrow_pt1.png
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  6. In the “Narrow” dialogue, select the folder you wish to explore, press the right arrow, and click “Apply.”11MotioPI_select_target_objects_narrow_pt2.png
  7. Click “Submit” and MotioPI will show you all results that match your search criteria. 12MotioPI_select_target_objects_submit.png
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  8. You'll see the results from the search criteria in the bottom half of the UI. Click the top check box to select all of these for editing.13MotioPI_select_all_target_objects.png
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  9. Click “Preview” to review your changes before you make them. Previewing your changes is important to ensure you are making the changes you intended. 14MotioPI_open_preview_dialog.png
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  10. Make sure you selected the correct property and only the intended reports are edited. Notice that not all reports are marked as “Added/Changed,” that is because they already are in fully interactive mode. Click “Run” and MotioPI will commit your selected changes to the Content Store. 15MotioPI_preview_and_submit.png
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Just like that MotioPI can mass update your reports and help your transition to Cognos Analytics. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about fully interactive reports, or the transition to Cognos Analytics in general and I’ll do what I can to answer them for you. 

To try out MotioPI PRO for yourself- request a 2-week trial to see what else it can do.

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Tags: update multiple Cognos reports, motiopi, Cognos Analytics