IBM Cognos and Motio Best Practices Blog

Why using MotioPI Search Filters helps you work more Efficiently in Cognos

Posted by Kevin Strong on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 11:20 AM
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Filtering In MotioPI

One of the most powerful features in MotioPI is its ability to filter search results. Intelligent usage of filters will enable you to answer complex questions about your environment easily via MotioPI. Using filters isn’t always as simple as just clicking "Search." In this blog post, I’ll provide general instructions on how to use filters, and then go in depth on a few filter types. Specifically, I am going to talk about text property filters.

What can filters do for me?

MotioPI can answer a whole host of questions that you may have about your Cognos environment. Filters are a big part of that. With filters, you can find precisely the Cognos content you are looking for. Combine this with MotioPI Pro's ability to mass update that content and you’ll be flying around Cognos solving problems in no time! FREE Copy of MotioPI

Text Property Filters

What Are Text Property Filters?

Text Property filters are the most common and most versatile filter types in MotioPI. They are designed to filter on any property in Cognos Connection that you would identify as a text based value. Examples include:

  • Name
  • Description
  • Search path
Text Property filters are not for filtering on numbers or dates, as those properties are handled in numerical and date filters, respectively.

Using Text Property Filters

Filtering is enabled in most panels in MotioPI including, but not limited to these panels:

  • Content
  • Output
  • Validation
  • Schedule
To add a filter to one of these panels, follow these steps:  
  1. Click the button labeled Edit Filters. edit_filters-cr.png
  2. The filters dialog will appear. In the filters dialog you can view, add, or remove filters on your query.
    Click to enlarge
  3. To add a Text Property filter click on the words Text Property and press Add, or just double click on “Text Property.” 
  4. An additional dialog will appear, this one labeled “Text Property.”edit_text_property_filter-cr.png
    1. Select which property you wish to filter on.
    2. Select if you want to do an exact or partial match.
    3. Enter the text value which MotioPI compares against the values stored in your Content Store.
  5. Once you have set up your text property filter, press OK to create it.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 to create additional text property filters.
  7. Once you have set up your filters press Apply to apply your filters to the current query.
  8. Next to the edit filters button is a checkbox labeled Match All.match_all_filters-cr.png 
    1. By checking this box, MotioPI will perform "and" filtering. Content must match ALL filters to appear.
    2. By unchecking this box, MotioPI will perform "or" filtering. Content will appear if one or more filters match.
  9. Now all search results will match the filters you applied.

Text Property Filter Examples

I want to highlight some text property filters that may be useful to you, explain what property in Cognos they act on, and tell you how to use them. Hopefully this will give you a good feel for how to use not only these specific text property filters, but text property filters in general. Remember, this is just a small sample of the dozens of filters that MotioPI provides! With that in mind let’s dive into the examples.  

Hidden Property

The "hidden" property in Cognos can be enabled in the general tab, under properties.hidden_property-cr.png

A hidden report is not shown by default, however users may configure their account to optionally display hidden reports. Hiding reports is useful when a Cognos Admin wants to keep reports in the Content Store but they are not designed for direct consumption by a user.

To use the hidden property filter in MotioPI, add a text property filter, select Hidden as the property and then enter in “true” or “false” as the value to filter on.hiden_filter_value-cr.png


Owner Property

The owner property in Cognos is, quite simply, who owns this Cognos content. As with the hidden property, you can see the owner in the general tab of the properties screen. owner_property-cr.pngYou may want to filter on report ownership because you need to find all reports owned by a specific individual. Maybe this individual is leaving the company, or maybe you need to verify the specifics of which reports they own. In any case, use the owner filter to find all objects in your Content Store with a specific owner.

To use the owner filter in MotioPI, add a text property filter, select Owner as the property and then enter in the Default Name of the user. This usually looks like the First and Last name of your user.owner_filter_value-cr.png Double check the value by looking in Cognos Connection to verify how the owner property appears in your environment.

If you want to find all reports without an owner, add an owner property filter and leave the value filter blank. If you want to find all reports with an owner, check Negate filter on the blank value filter.

Base Report Property

The base report property is unique to report views and points to the report linked by this report view. Once again, the base report property is viewable under the properties section of the Report View. source_report_location-cr.pngYou can use the base report text property filter to find all Report Views that link to a given report. This can be extremely helpful if you are updating a report and have to determine which report views are affected.

To use the base report filter in MotioPI, add a text property filter, select Base Report and then enter in the search path of the report you wish to search by.base_report_filter_value-cr.png  

An example of a search path is:

/content/folder[@name='Demo Content']/folder[@name='Reports']/report[@name=’My Report’']

You can find a report's search path under the general tab of its properties screen.

Things to be aware of

  • You don’t have to add multiple text property filters of the same type. Simply separate your search terms with a semicolon ( ). Don’t forget to escape any real semicolons you want to search for with a backslash! ( )
  • If you check the "regex" checkbox, then MotioPI will treat your search terms as a regular expression search. Regular expressions let you perform more sophisticated searches by enabling wild card matching and a whole host of additional tools. Specifics of regular expressions work is well outside the bounds of this blog post- you can find ample information online!
  • Be very precise with your filters. If you apply a filter that does not match any of your Cognos content, then you will see no results!
  • Even if you filter out most objects in your Content Store, MotioPI still needs to check them all to see which objects match your filters. In other words, adding filters does not noticeably decrease the time it takes to perform a search.

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Tags: Cognos admin tools, motiopi