Big Data Tutorials

Building Cognos BI Applications

You use the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence components to build reporting and analysis applications.

The lifetime of an IBM Cognos Business Intelligence application can be months, or even years. During that time, data may change and new requirements appear. As the underlying data changes, authors must modify existing content and develop new content. Administrators must also update models and data sources over time.

Before you begin
In a working application, the technical and security infr
astructure and the portal are in place, as well as processes for change management, data control, and so on.

For additional information, see the IBM Cognos Solutions Implementation Methodology toolkit, which includes implementation roadmaps and supporting documents. Information about the toolkit is available on the Cognos Customer Center (

The following graphic provides an overview for how to use IBM Cognos build applications across all of your IBM Cognos BI components.

1. Locate and prepare data sources and models.
IBM Cognos BI can report from a wide variety of data sources, both relational and dimensional. Database connections are created in the Web administration interface, and are used for modeling, for authoring, and for running the application.
To use data for authoring and viewing, the business intelligence studios need a subset of a model of the metadata (called a package). The metadata may need extensive modeling in Framework Manager.

2. Build and publish the content.
Reports, scorecards, analysis, workspaces and more are created in the business intelligence studios of IBM Cognos BI. Which studio you use depends on the content, life span, and audience of the report, and whether the data is modeled dimensionally or relationally. For example, self-service reporting and analysis
are done through IBM Cognos Workspace Advanced, IBM Cognos Query Studio, and IBM Cognos Analysis Studio, and scheduled reports are created in IBM Cognos Report Studio. Report Studio reports and scorecards are usually prepared for a wider audience, published to IBM Cognos Connection or another portal, and scheduled there for bursting, distribution, and so on. You can also use Report Studio to prepare templates for self-service reporting.

3. Deliver and view the information.
You deliver content from the IBM Cognos portal or other supported portals, and view information that has been saved to portals, or delivered by other mechanisms. You can also run reports, analyses, scorecards, and more from within the business intelligence studio in which they were created.

For information about tuning and performance, see the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Administration and Security Guide and the Cognos Customer Center

Integrating with Other IBM Cognos Products

IBM Cognos Business Intelligence is fully integrated with other IBM Cognos products so your business intelligence capabilities can grow with your needs.

Cognos Mobile
With IBM Cognos Mobile, you can access reports authored with Analysis Studio, Report Studio, Query Studio, and workspaces created in IBM Cognos Workspace on a mobile device (such as a Blackberry) or a tablet computer.

To download, view, and interact with reports, IBM Cognos Mobile devices are either web-based, require the download of a native client or require the installation of a rich client, in addition to the installation of IBM Cognos BI components on the server. Both IBM Cognos Mobile and IBM Cognos BI server must be at the same version.

Cognos Planning - Analyst
You can access published plan data in IBM Cognos BI by using the Generate Framework Manager Model wizard, which requires IBM Cognos Planning - Analyst 7.3 MR1 or later.If you want to use this product with the IBM Cognos BI server, you must ensure that both products are the same version.

Cognos Planning - Contributor
You can access unpublished (real-time) Contributor cubes in IBM Cognos BI by custom installing the IBM Cognos BI - Contributor Data Server component that is included with IBM Cognos Planning - Contributor 7.3 MR1 release or later. You can access published plan data in IBM Cognos BI by using the Generate
Framework Manager Model administration extension in Contributor, which requires IBM Cognos Planning - Contributor 7.3 MR1 or later. If you want to use this product with the IBM Cognos BI server, you must ensure that both products are the same version. You cannot install IBM Cognos Planning in the same path as 64-bit IBM Cognos BI.

You can access IBM Cognos Finance cubes that are secured against a Series 7namespace by using the IBM Cognos Finance Network API Service. You can also  export data and metadata from IBM Cognos Finance for use in Framework Manager.

Cognos Controller
You can access IBM Cognos BI to create IBM Cognos Controller Standard Reports by using a predefined Framework Manager model that is created when IBM Cognos Controller is installed. You can also access published Controller data and structures in Framework Manager for custom reporting and analysis.
If you want to use this product with the IBM Cognos BI server, you must ensure that both products are the same version.

Cognos Transformer
You can use IBM Cognos PowerCubes and Transformer models that were generated by Transformer 7.3 or later directly in IBM Cognos BI. The cubes and models are upwards compatible and require no migration or upgrade tools. You can run reports and analyses in IBM Cognos BI against the IBM Cognos PowerCubes.

Cognos TM1
IBM Cognos TM1 integrates business planning, performance measurement and operational data to enable companies to optimize business effectiveness and customer interaction regardless of geography or structure. Cognos TM1 provides immediate visibility into data, accountability within a collaborative process, and a
consistent view of information, allowing managers to quickly stabilize operational fluctuations and take advantage of new opportunities. 

Cognos Software Development Kit

The IBM Cognos Software Development Kit provides a platform-independent automation interface for working with IBM Cognos BI services and components.

Developers in your organization can use the IBM Cognos Software Development Kit to create custom reports, manage deployment, and integrate security and portal functionality to suit your needs, locale, and existing software infrastructure. The Software Development Kit uses a collection of cross-platform Web services, libraries, and programming interfaces.

You can choose to automate only a specific task, or you can program the entire process from modeling through to reporting, scheduling, and distribution.

The Software Development Kit is available as a separate package.


IBM Cognos Business Intelligence administrators ensure that IBM Cognos BI runs smoothly and at its optimum performance.

They can

  1. Define connections to the organization's data sources
  2. Define security permissions for users and groups in the organization
  3. Specify distribution lists, contacts, and printers
  4. Manage servers and dispatchers and fine-tune the performance of IBM CognosBI
  5. Pre-define links for an entire package that authors can then easily add to theirreports
  6. Customize the appearance and functionality of IBM Cognos BI

IBM Cognos BI is secured by setting permissions and enabling user authentication.
When anonymous access is enabled, you can use IBM Cognos BI without authenticating as a specific user.
In IBM Cognos BI, administrators define permissions so that users can access functionality. For example, to edit a report using IBM Cognos Report Studio, you must have the appropriate security and licensing permissions.

In addition, each entry in IBM Cognos Connection is secured to define who can read, edit, and run the entry. 

Scheduling Content
You can schedule most content that appears in IBM Cognos Connection to run at a time that is convenient for you. 

You can schedule
  1. Reports
  2. Metrics
  3. Metrics data refreshes
  4. Agents
  5. Deployments
You can also create jobs to schedule multiple entries together.

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