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Thursday, December 18, 2008

IBM Cognos 8.4 - Released to the masses


Just in time for Christmas, Cognos 8.4 was released for download on December 15th. Highlights include Flash-based dashboards, improved BI search, location-aware mobile delivery and new data lineage capabilities. A new viewpoint interface lets business users manage hierarchies and dimensions. A bus full of new features have been added:

  • Increased visual appeal includes new background designs and colors. Users can add gradient colors and behind charts
  • New chart types: Merimekko, Stepline, Sparkline, Sparkbar, Spark Win/Loss
  • Report annotations: Users can add comments directly within the body of HTML-rendered reports
  • Enhanced suppression: Suppress all types of reports against relational, dimensionally-modeled relational, and OLAP sources. Also, users can also suppress rows, columns, or rows and columns based on "zero" values, "divide by zero" values, missing values, and overflow values
  • Extended filters now include wildcards, range, and between operations
  • Associated frames now drill together
  • Strategy Maps and Impact Diagrams now available as portlets that can be integrated into IBM Cognos Connection, IBM WebSphere, and MS Sharepoint portals
  • Data lineage: Users can access and view major transformations to data as it moves through the system
  • Expanded data access: Use data from IBM Cognos Now! and IBM Cognos TM1
The reviews are fairly positive (quote from intelligententerprise.com):
"I give Cognos a lot of credit for taking the time, a few years ago, to rewrite the entire platform, but with that effort they fell somewhat behind on bells and whistles," says Forrester Research analyst Boris Evelson. "With 8.4, Cognos is filling out many of the pieces that competitors have provided over the years."
Read the complete review here: After Leading on Platform, Cognos Catches Up On Details

More information can be found on the Cognos site: What's New in 8.4

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Your Corporate Brand on the C8 UI


Want to modify / customize your C8 headers (and add your company name and logo for example)? Look to make these changes directly in the system.xml (cognos\c8\templates\ps\portal\system.xml).

  1. 1. Place an image in the folder \c8\webcontent\skins\my_style\branding, where "my_style" is one of the skins/styling that is being used for the portal.
  2. 2. Edit the /c8/templates/ps/portal/system.xml file using Notepad or an XML editor.
  3. 3. Search for You will notice that this section is commented out. Un-comment out this section and customize as needed.
  4. 4. Restart the Cognos 8 service for these changes to take effect.
Ensure you make a backup of your original system.xml file. Refer to the section: "Part 8 Customization" in the Cognos 8 Administration and Security Guide.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reference book: IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence


From the editorial review: Develop, deploy, and maintain a complete BI solution across your enterprise. IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence: The Official Guide shows you how to take full advantage of the robust service-oriented architecture and simplified role-based user interfaces. Learn how to create, share, and analyze data-rich reports that lead to increased productivity and better business decisions. Featuring real-world insight and expert tips, this is a must-have guide for IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence users of all levels, from administrators to end users.

Measure and monitor performance using dashboards and scorecards; Assign user roles and privileges; Provide complete and consistent access to a broad range of data sources via Cognos Connection; Use Cognos 8 Go! to extend BI to Office applications, mobile devices, and search engines; Enable business users to create reports with Query Studio; Develop new insights by exploring data in multiple dimensions and perspectives with Analysis Studio; Build Dimensional Reports with Report Studio; Use Event Studio to identify and deliver mission-critical information; Create, modify, organize, and publish a model from Cognos Framework Manager;
Implement sound security measures; Take advantage of the management tools in Cognos Administration to ensure maximum reliability and availability.

We'll review this book soon. You can purchase this book on Amazon or as an eBook.

Disclaimer: The author of this blog is not affiliated with the author or publisher of the above described book.