IBM Cognos TM1 Certification

February 17, 2011
I have just found some time to take the TM1 certification exam.
TM1 
To become a certified Cognos TM1 Developer you just need to take one exam, COG-310 :
 
http://www-03.ibm.com/certify/certs/47010601.shtml
 
 

Magic Quadrant for BI

February 7, 2011

Here is the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for BI as of Jan-11:

http://www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/oracle/article180/article180.html

Cognos 10

October 23, 2010

Ready for Cognos 10?

Parameterized URLs

July 23, 2010

Cognos Connection is a well designed UI for navigating through all your reports, but there will always be a need for calling Cognos reports from outside of Cognos Connection. You will always have a requirement for integrating Cognos 8 into third-party applications or linking a report.

You can directly use the report URL in other applications/URLs; a sample report URL is shown below:

 http://biapps03:80/cognos8/cgi-bin/cognos.cgi?b_action=cognosViewer&ui.action=run&ui.object=%2fcontent%2ffolder%5b%40name%3d%27Hire%20Live%20Reports%27%5d%2freport%5b%40name%3d%27Booked%20Ex%27%5d&ui.name=Booked%20Ex&run.outputFormat=

You can check the URL of a report from Set Properties>View the search path, ID and URL:

But reports are generally not that simple; and you will need to play with the parameters of the URL.

Most commonly used parameter will be p_<parameter-name> which will enable you to send parameter values to report prompts. Check the URL below:   

http://biapps03:80/cognos8/cgi-bin/cognos.cgi?b_action=cognosViewer&ui.action=run&ui.object=%2fcontent%2ffolder%5b%40name%3d%27Hire%20Live%20Reports%27%5d%2freport%5b%40name%3d%27Booked%20Ex%27%5d&ui.name=Booked%20Ex&run.outputFormat=&run.prompt=false&p_ProdID=234

As you may have noticed we used the parameter p_ProdID to feed the report parameter ProdID with the value “234”. Please note that we also used the parameter run.prompt with value “false” in order to get rid of the prompt page.    

There is a very detailed document on IBM website about how to use parameterized URLs. “Performing Tasks using Parameterized URLs in Cognos 8”

IBM Cognos 8 Report Studio Cookbook

July 17, 2010

I have recently finished reading a new book : IBM Cognos 8 Report Studio Cookbook”

It is written by a Cognos consultant: Abhishek Sanghani.

(You can also check his blog: http://biandcognos.blogspot.com/ )

You may need & use other studios in Cognos according to your business requirements but in most cases you will be using Report Studio for your BI development; and the book is entirely focused on Report Studio.

Unlike official structured Cognos books or training guides, Report Studio Cookbook is designed to have individual recipes; some of them simple ones for beginners and some of them advanced ones for more experienced report developers.

Each recipe is written with the same formula:

  • Introduction: Real-life business requirement for the recipe and/or the goal of the scenario
  • Get Ready: Initial steps for the solution
  • How to do it: Solution with lots of screenshots which you will enjoy to follow since the actual report writing work is a very visual-interactive process.
  • How it works: Some brief discussion about how the solution –the implementation in the previous step- works.
  • There’s more: And finally some further references or suggestions.

 If you are a beginner, this book is for you; you can start with first two chapters which include basic recipes to explore Report Studio features.

 If you are an experienced developer, the book is again for you; you can just open any recipe and learn new tips & tricks about advance topics like JavaScript, XML Editing or Macros.  

 You can check the book from the publisher’s website:

https://www.packtpub.com/ibm-cognos-8-report-studio-cookbook/book

Data Virtualization – Composite

July 3, 2010

I have recently attended a webcast “It’s Time to Think Outside the Box – Extend BI with Data Virtualization” by Composite Software. (Composite is basically a Data Virtualization – Data Federation software. It also has close partnership with Cognos. For detail information: http://www.compositesw.com/ )

The webcast was focused on “Composite Data Virtualization Usage Patterns” listed below:

  •   Data Federation

  •   Data Warehouse Extension

  •   Enterprise Data Sharing

  •   Real-time Enterprise Data Infrastructure

  •   Cloud Data Integration 

 All these are discussed in more detail at the Composite white paper attached:

http://go.compositesw.com/resources/white_papers/DVPatterns.pdf

is missing?

June 17, 2010

Simple arithmetic may not work sometimes when you are after just a simple variation. Please see the attached report screen-shot: 

A simple subtraction will not work for you to calculate the variance between Actual data and Prior year data when one of them missing.

 If we update the simple formula [Actual]-[Prior] with a nested if statement we can check the missing numbers:

 

See the correct results both in rows and also in total:

IBM Cognos Planning Certifications

May 23, 2010

I just renewed my IBM Cognos Planning certifications. You need to take two exams for Cognos Planning modules:

Its good see certification exams included lots of BI integration questions (particularly the second exam – 480 Solution Expert).

I always believed that a strong Cognos Planning consultant should also be able to understand and work on BI to a certain degree (especially nowadays when these modules are so integrated)

COG 400 COG 480

Cognos Job Market

March 27, 2010

A good try about Cognos job market with some fancy charts (only for BI):

 http://jobgraphs.com/cognos/

But there is a better site with more data (both for Cognos Planning & BI, historic & more detail) for a long time:

 http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/cognos%20planning.do

 http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/cognos.do

SQL Server log file

March 16, 2010

SQL Server default recovery mode is “Full”, so when you create an application db or a publish container they will inherit the default recovery mode. And you will end up gigantic SQL Server log files. So, the best way to prevent this is to change the recovery mode as soon as you create the databases. But if you miss that here is a step-by-step guide to delete the log file; you will need it once for each application.   

  • Make sure that there are no users in the system.
  • Take the application offline.
  • Backup DB in SQL.
  • Set the recovery mode from “Full” to “Simple” (DB>Properties>Options)
  • Detach DB
  • Rename Log file
  • Attach DB
  • New log file will be recreated
  • Delete Renamed Log file.
  • Take the application online.

Alternatively you can use some SQL codes to do some of the tasks above.