Quando omni flunkus, mortati. Die dulci fruere.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cognos on the iPhone?


Built a couple of the report samples out to an iPhone emulator yesterday. Even out-of-box the viewer looks pretty decent. The Cognos Viewer navigation buttons are manageable but would be obviously better if specifically designed for the iPhone.

Oracle and MicroStrategy BI both have offerings now for the iPhone so I'm sure we can expect it is only a matter of time until IBM Cognos picks this up.

(Click the image to see it larger)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Drop down lists: Customize label


After creating a simple list in Report Studio you may want to create a drop down parametrized filter for it. First thing you'll notice when run the report is that the default selected text on the drop down is always set to the first field name of the list. I had requests to make this a little more representative, to something like 'Select field...' or 'Choose something...' which would give the user an indication that there were more choices available in the drop down.

To solve this issue, I found 2 techniques:

First is to create a static choice with the right correct display value for this prompt and set the default value to this static choice's value. Obviously this won't prevent the user from seeing the first line when he opens the drop down list.

The second technique would harness the following Javascript code. Drag a new html item into the report and include the following:

<script language="javascript">

var x = document.getElementsByTagName('select');

var RN_SelectClass = "clsSelectControl pv";

var is_Required;

for (var i=0;i 1) {
switch (x[i].options[0].text) {
case 'parameter1': x[i].options[0].text = 'NewLabel1'; break;
case 'parameter2': x[i].options[0].text = 'NewLabel2'; break;
default: x[i].options[0].text;

Next, change the parameter and NewLabel in the above syntax to suit your required label name conventions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IBM is looking at Sun


There is breaking news that IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. This could be good news for the open source community especially with projects like Open Solaris. Also - IBM is heavily into Java and development of products using Java so I can see a real benefit in this area for them. Not sure what this does to Sun's recent cloud announcement...

Is $6 billion too much?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Need PDF with Digital Signature?


I was surprised to learn that there is no internal functionality to digitally sign a PDF file rendered by Cognos. I would expect that this would be a necessity for most Banks or financial institutions. After a quick bit of research (and some Google searches) I came up with one out-of-the-box method which might facilitate. The method in theory goes like:

Step 1: have the burst report run and save the output to filesystem in PDF format. Step 2: use a 3rd party software to process (digitally sign) the output file.

For step 2 I found something called "iText" (http://www.lowagie.com/iText/) which uses a Java JDK to post-process and add the digital signature to a PDF file.

I plan on investigating this method further but I'm interested in feedback or additional insight.