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...
Data Source Connection Test Case Assertion:
Once you've installed MotioCI, there are a number of "assertions" that come with software, one of which tests the connectivity of your data sources and is called "Data Source is Valid."
To access this test case, cruise on over to the "Admin" project in MotioCI.
Go to "Directory" and then "Cognos." You will see all of the available data sources here.
For this example, I will use the "Audit" data base. Clicking on it will reveal a test case associated with it and the "Data Source is Valid" assertion.
This test case validates signing on to the database so that Carlos and your other users can access their reports without interruptions. There are several reasons why this test might fail. The database could be down or passwords may have expired. Whatever the cause, this test case proactively checks connectivity to data sources and alerts administrators to failures, so they can quickly troubleshoot before too many end users are affected.
Continuously Testing Data Source Connections:
Now that you know where your data source connectivity test cases are located, here is how to set up some criteria for when you want it to run and get notified when it fails.
Under the Admin Project scroll down to the "Test Script" folder.
In this example, add a new test script.
Go over to the "Test Script Setings" tab and select "Add" to specify criteria.
Select the path under the "Audit" data source and click "OK."
Click on "Add Schedule" to schedule the frequency for the test case to run.
Set this to run however often you choose, such as every 15 minutes.
Set the notifications to email you every time this test case fails.
Now you have a proactive approach in place to detect a common administrative issue before it creeps up on your user base. For more detail on using MotioCI to test data source connection failures and other administrative objects, watch this short webinar.