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Webcast followup: Questions about upgrading to IBM Cognos 10
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  cognos10
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Back on June 2, I moderated a live webcast featuring Straub Distributing and its IBM Business Partner Senturus. The title was Keeping it fresh: How Straub Distributing uses Cognos Active Report to reduce beer disposal costs
To me, the idea of disposing any beer at any time causes me great pain. But for Straub Distributing, that pain comes with a cost. Straub is one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the US and to keep its revenues flowing, it must ensure a steady flow of fresh lager through its channels. In the webcast, IT Manager Kim Cunningham demonstrated how the company's Southern California sales representatives use IBM Cognos Active Report in the field to stay on top of customer inventories and reduce annual costs associated with disposing outdated products. Kim also talked about Straub's smooth upgrade to IBM Cognos 10, the lessons the company learned and the best practices they developed. In addition, Senturus gave a demonstration of IBM Cognos 10 Active Report.
The webcast drew a crowd of more than 340 people, many of whom had many, many questions. We couldn't get to all of them in the live event, so instead we've asked Albert Valdez, Director of Education Services at Senturus, to answer those we couldn't via email. I've included them below.
In the Straub demo, I saw that there is a Show the Drill Level on top of the list. How can we do that?
I used a list and removed the classes on the Data Deck. Then I used the Inter Active Behavior and set the behavior of the lower levels to empty.
How many concurrent users do you have accessing your reports at one time?
30 concurrent users; Active Reports are standalone and emailed so they are accessed one at a time.
How easy is it to move from IBM Cognos 8.X to IBM Cognos 10? How do the reports transfer?
The upgrade is very easy, much like moving from 8.x to 8.x+1. We have not experienced any significant issues with moving content. For the most part objects move over 1-to-1 without issue. The new Lifecycle Manager is a big help with large upgrades.
Is IBM Cognos Business Insight the same as IBM Cognos Active Report?
No, Business Insight is a self-service authoring environment. Active Reports are the final product of reports authored from Report Studio using Active Report features. Active Reports are standalone .mht files with built-in interactivity that is limited in scope but can be consumed off of the network. Authors in Business Insight have full access to all available packages.
Can global filters be applied where a filter on one widget affects all other widgets?
Can we apply global filter on the canvas so that all widgets update based on that filter (for eg. year, or region)
Does Business Insight Advanced require more than an enhanced consumer license?
Yes, it requires the BI Advanced Business Author or Professional Author license.
Would you say there is a significant improvement over Go Dashboard in Cognos 8? Does Business Insight better integrate with portal tabs in IBM Cognos 10 than it did with IBM Cognos 8?
Yes, this is a big improvement over the previous generation of GO Dashboards. Integration is not 100% clean, but it is fairly easy, and definitely an improvement over the previous functionality.
The current slide references "single metadata layer." Can you explain further?
In Cognos, we are able to develop a single metadata package that is accessed by all authors, whether they are ad-hoc, analytical, professional, or self-service. That means that every studio can leverage the same model, reducing the cost of development.
Our organization is still on IBM Cognos Series 7 Will I need to throw out all my reports if we move IBM Cognos 10? Do I have major rework in future?
Migration from Series 7 to Cognos 8 or 10 is a significant task. The entire architecture has evolved and we typically use the opportunity to optimize metadata and reports leveraging new feat
"Self service" report authoring is one of the features of Business Insight allowing non-professional report authors to build their own reports. Does this open chance of inaccurate data if developer not have a clear understanding of the underlying data? There is always a risk of data ignorance whenever we introduce new tools to new users. One of the responsibilities of project managers is to effectively educate new users not only on the new technology, but also on the proper use of available data and a thorough understanding of that data.
I created a simple active report containing a Data drop-down list and a list. I'm looking to pass data from one control to the other. Is there someone that can help me?
YES! Senturus is offering a one-day remote Active Reports Authoring course on August 23. Sign up here.
How can I show a 3 or multiple dimensions in a dashboard graph?
There are numerous techniques for presenting additional content in charts using nesting and other techniques.
Do we have any size limitation for Active Content Report?
Not as far as we know. Typically we do not like to see reports that result in files greater than 10MB, but there is no published limit.
Does that mean Active report data is not real time? Is it more like interacting with canned data?
Yes, that is correct.
How can I view active report on iPhone4? So far i haven't been able to find a browser that can do that?
So far, iOS does not support the .mht format. However, iPhone and iPad devices can view and consume all other report objects that IBM Cognos software can produce. For example, an iPad user can connect to the IBM Cognos 10 server and browse reports, respond to prompts, drill up/down, etc.
Can you send an Active Report in a format other than .MHT?
Active Report output is .mht only. However, you can deliver non-active reports in any format that you wish, such as .PDF, .HTM, .XLS, or .CSV.
Can I use a Sharepoint Content DB as a data source?
Yes, any relational database is supported.