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Thinking of upgrading to IBM Cognos 10.2.2?

Andy Best

Andy Best

Tuesday, 03 March 2015

In Q4 2014, IBM released the latest version of the IBM Cognos toolset, IBM Cognos 10.2.2. This release included a number of exciting new features as well as expanding upon existing functionality.

One question we have been frequently asked is “Why should I upgrade to the latest version”? In this article we will take you through some of the key features and enhancements within IBM Cognos 10.2.2

1. Fast Deployment

IBM Cognos 10.2.2 is designed to be the fastest release to date, capable of end to end setup times of under an hour by utilising Business Intelligence Pattern with Blu Acceleration. This takes advantage of the Blu Acceleration features of the IBM DB2 10.5 Advanced Workgroup Server Edition database (included as part of the release) which can be used for both the Content Store and Personal Data Repository. If you are deploying to a Microsoft Windows 64-bit server environment, you can also take advantage of the Quick Setup option which allows for installation "within minutes" (maybe the next blog?). This is achieved without 3rd party software, installation or configuration and all configuration is done automatically The potential time savings with such a fast deployment will minimise any necessary system downtime and resource commitment that can sometimes plague software upgrades.

2. Cube Designer Enhancements

Hopefully you are familiar with Dynamic Cubes which has been a feature since IBM Cognos 10.2 (if not, watch this space for a future blog post!). In this latest release Cube Designer can now import existing metadata models created using Framework Manager allowing modellers to re-use and deploy faster than ever before.

Cube Designer itself also has some interesting new features such as Autonomic Aggregates. Autonomic Aggregates manage aggregates on the fly at to improve performance and can automatically create aggregates that may be required.

Cube Designer now also has the ability to estimate hardware requirements directly allowing you assess the requirements and possible impact of the cube.

3. Active Reports

Active Report development has also been subject to some significant improvements in IBM Cognos 10.2.2. Report writers now have the ability to run within Report Studio therefore negating the need to compile and download the MHT file during report development. Active Report Preview has also been added to Report Studio. This allows report writers to see changes applied immediately and modify the design accordingly. IBM have also added some predefined screen resolution options (e.g. for iPads) to assist with layout design and element positioning. All these changes will streamline the report development process.

4. My Data Sets

From speaking to some of our existing IBM Cognos clients, one of the most highly-anticipated changes within IBM Cognos 10.2.2 is the addition of the “My Data Sets” feature. My Data Sets allows users to import their own data from a file (for example an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file) and create a package which can then be published, shared and used like any other package. This opens up a wealth of reporting options that previously would only have been available after the potentially time-consuming activity of engaging a metadata modelling resource and modelling the data. Administrators still maintain control of the uploaded data via IBM Cognos Administration and can set limits on file size as well as managing data retention policies.

5. Templates and Style References

Templates and Style References can be employed within Report Studio and Workspace Advanced. The templates function will allow report writers to use existing templates or even other reports as a starting point for a new report and simply plug in the required metadata. If using existing reports, the existing metadata is removed and a template is created. Style References are designed to allow for quick and easy reuse of styles across reports. This will facilitate consistency across all reports.

6. User Interface Profiles

User Interface Profiles can now be customised to meet requirements of different sets of users. Using one of the 2 default profiles as a starting point, you can create profiles that specify a vast array of details such as toolbars or even toolbox objects. From an administration perspective this will allow far more flexibility in controlling the capabilities users have. It will also allow users to work more efficiently by removing unused elements of Report Studio or Workspace Advanced from their environment and instead focus on the features they use most.

7. Visualisations

The already impressive array of visualisations has been expanded to include new items such as Chord and Polar Area. Within Report Studio and Workspace Advanced you can also access Extensible Visualisation Properties to customize the visualisation.

8. Tabbed Reports

Report Studio now has the ability to display reports in a tabbed format rather than using report pages. When viewed in HTML format users will be able to easily switch between tabs and each tab will be a separate worksheet when exported to Excel with the option to name the tabs based on the grouped report item.

9. Framework Manager

Framework Manager has also been subject to a number of new features such as Summary Query Subjects and Parameter Map Refresh. Summary Query Subjects allow modelers to perform aggregation of query subjects that previously only would have been possible when writing reports. Not only is this more user friendly it allows for aggregation to be controlled in one place rather than in individual reports. The new Parameter Map Refresh functionality allows administrators to control how often parameter maps are refreshed when running reports.

10. Compatible Software

Below is a list of the conformance update provided by IBM with regards to IBM Cognos 10.2.2, a full list of compatible software can be found at http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27042164

Application Server

  • SAP NetWeaver Application Server 7.4

Content Store

  • DB2 for z/OS 11
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Portal Servers

  • WebSphere Portal 8.5
  • Liferay Portal

Security Libraries

  • GSKit

Web Servers

  • Apache HTTP Server 2.4
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 8.5

Data Sources

  • Cloudera Impala 1.3
  • Netezza 7.1, 7.2
  • DB2 for i5/OS 7.2
  • TM1 10.2.2
  • InfoSphere BigInsights 2.1, 3
  • Apache Hive 0.11, 0.12
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012, 2014
  • Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services 2012, 2014
  • MySQL 5.7
  • PostgreSQL 9.3, 9.4
  • Teradata 15

Drivers

  • JT400 JDBC driver (DB2 iSeries)

Mobile

  • iOS8
  • Android 4.4
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