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Cognos on Google Android

TM1 blogs - Mon, 2013-09-30 03:07
There is now a native App available on the google play store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ibm.cogmob.artoo

Cognos on Google Android

James Wakefield blog - Mon, 2013-09-30 03:07
There is now a native App available on the google play store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ibm.cogmob.artoo

Cognos BI 10.2.1 3 charting engines: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-29 12:20

Feature updates went largely unnoticed with BI 10.2.1 FP1 release.  It’s highly unusual to have major feature updates in fix packs, they’re usually held up to releases. But in this case we’ve got Rapid Analytical Visualisation Engine (RAVE) available in all reports, not only Active Reports (as per core 10.2.1). And that’s big news worth spreading!
So now you have 3 different charting engines 10.2.1 BI:

  • the “old” / legacy Cognos 8 charting
  • the ”new” Cognos 10 charts
  • RAVE visualisations

I couldn’t resist and dropped them  together in one report:

It’s now a good time to say that film title reference in post name is completely accidental, as non-native speaker I just can’t walk away from obvious word play.
But jokes aside, which one do you like best? I intentionally used default settings in all charts (didn’t have much choice with RAVE, though).

  • In my opinion, 8 charts win by all rules, palette is easily distinguishable, chart looks clean and simple.
  • Palette in Cognos 10 charts is really misleading, blue bars on the left seem darker than on the right because they “blend” in with orange. It looks like there’s more than 2 colours in the bars. I understand the idea of trying to make palette softer, but it looks bad anyway. And box borders don’t help either.
  • RAVE — please just shoot me, it’s joke )

It’s all customisable, but defaults got way worse along the way, imho.

More about RAVE

RAVE is the graphical engine that powers ManyEyes, an online visualisation engine launched in about 2008. Back then visualisation + web 2.0 collaboration sounded like future, so there were a few projects that were aimed on providing online collaborative data exploration tools (anyone remembers Swivel?). As it turns out, most of the people just wanted a place to quickly build basic visualisations to embed in their posts/news and didn’t care so much about others (surprise), which lead to eventual demise of most such projects.

Here’s a wonderful post about ManyEyes IBM story, read it, it’s really worth it. I especially like this quote:

Looking back, the hardest and most frustrating part of this development exercise turned out to convince IBM legal to approve a public (!) website where people could upload any data they want (!) for anybody else to see (!).

ManyEyes eventually got stacked into IBM’s Business Analytic division and shelved somewhere, up until competition from “visualisation” vendors such as Tableau and Qlickview forced IBM to find some suitable answers. We’ve got Cognos Insight’s viz capabilities at first and then somebody just realised that they already had a viable viz engine just around the corner, so rendering engine from ManyEyes got dusted and repacked into Cognos stack. And that’s wonderful, because it’s easily extendable and customisable, so creating new visualisation types should be heaps easier than adding them to “core” charting engine. And it’s obviously scalable
Right now, though, RAVE customisations are severely limited, you can’t change a chart’s palette, label colour, anything, even your initial chart type options are quite limited, there are no combination charts / dual axises. Check the list of available visualisations at AnalyticsZone.

All changes / additional viz requirements have to go through Business Analytics support.  But there’ll eventually be some tooling to enable RAVE customisations. I would also speculate that there’s a huge number of visualisation types that are not generally available for Cognos yet and will surely come out eventually.

 

Update: The Visualisation customisation tool is now available at https://www.analyticszone.com/homepage/web/displayMarketplacePage.action#catalog/assets_viscustomizer

Enterprise Reporting with TM1: The New Landscape

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-29 08:13
The best overview of TM1 10.2 I have seen is available here at Quebit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPAa9_jeIuU

Enterprise Reporting with TM1: The New Landscape

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-09-29 08:13
The best overview of TM1 10.2 I have seen is available here at Quebit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPAa9_jeIuU

TM1 10.2 and .xls

TM1 blogs - Thu, 2013-09-26 12:42
As of TM1 10.2 the tm1web will no longer support Excel 2003 .xls files.

Fear not though as there is a conversion tool available.

Just go into Architect/Perspectives and right click on your .xls file to find a conversion tool.

Mine converted all fine without error.

For more details see: http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/cbi/v10r2m1/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.tm1_op.10.2.0.doc%2Fc_tm1_web_converting.xlsworksheets.html

TM1 10.2 and .xls

James Wakefield blog - Thu, 2013-09-26 12:42
As of TM1 10.2 the tm1web will no longer support Excel 2003 .xls files.

Fear not though as there is a conversion tool available.

Just go into Architect/Perspectives and right click on your .xls file to find a conversion tool.

Mine converted all fine without error.

For more details see: http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/cbi/v10r2m1/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.swg.ba.cognos.tm1_op.10.2.0.doc%2Fc_tm1_web_converting.xlsworksheets.html

TM1 Tutorials Consultation – Ben Hill

TM1 blogs - Mon, 2013-09-23 00:40

When I started this site as a freelancer I was happy to cater to the need for non biased technical resources which solve real world problems. Back in Jul 2012 I joined InfoCube Consulting (Australia) as Director and Principal Consultant with the intention of creating something bigger than myself. I’m happy to say that now we are a team of over 10 expert consultants and we are growing quickly. So…

If you ever feel the need for expert advise in the IBM Cognos space, Why not call in the consultants who have been pouring their expertise into sharing best practice development for years. If geographically possible I will be more than happy to attend our first meeting and discuss how we can solve your immediate needs.

Kind Regards,
Ben Hill
Director & Principal Consultant
InfoCube Consulting Australia Pty Ltd

TM1 10.2 – Introducing CAFE

TM1 blogs - Mon, 2013-09-23 00:33

In this article we are going to introduce to you the new Excel Client for TM1 called Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel (CAFÉ). For those of you that have been using IBM Cognos BI you might think that this is not new and that you might have been using it for years. But it is new for TM1 users because IBM Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel is now integrated with IBM Cognos TM1 data sources! And I might add that it looks good too!!

CAFÉ can be used as a perspectives replacement for end-users and possibly in the future it will replace perspectives! It is an excel add in, as perspectives but it looks and feels more modern and updated while perspectives has been static for a couple of years without any significant improvements. One big advantage that CAFÉ has over perspectives is performance. WAN performance has been significantly improved in CAFÉ. All the basic functionality that you expect from a TM1 excel client is there. Like sandboxes, write back and data spreading.

CAFÉ has to modes that you can work. Explorations and Flex Views

Explorations mode

The explorations mode is very intuitive and BI users will feel right at home because it feels like your are working with Business workspace advanced (former business insight advanced).

With the explorations mode you can:

  • Explore data or to create views
  • Drill down, drill up, drag and drop items from the analysis pane
  • Edit the sets that you include in the crosstab or list
  • Filter your data using the context pane
  • Use existing subsets to populate your crosstabs or create new subsets.
  • Create calculated fields
  • Create sets using mdx
  • Convert the exploration into a flex view
  • Contribute to a plan by directly writing back values or use excel formulas or spread values across the crosstab
  • Use Excel charts

Flex Views mode

The Flex Views feels closer to perspectives. You cannot use it to explore data but to create highly customisable reports. In the Flex Views mode you can:

  • Drag and drop multiple pre-made views from the analysis pane or use a flex view created from the explorations mode. You can also use views from different cubes in the same sheet.
  • Use the dimension tree in the analysis pane to drag and drop items into the columns or rows
  • If you know the member names you can directly type them in the rows or columns and café will get the values
  • In this mode you can use excel formulas to create calculations
  • Use excel charts
  • Have multiple views in one excel sheet and you can use excel references to connect them
  • Contribute to a plan by directly writing back values or use excel formulas or spread values across the crosstab

 

Finally, for experienced users, it comes with its own API that you can use to automate the refreshing or publishing of workbook, document, and presentation content. You can also create VBA macros or use a scheduling tool to automate things.

 

 

TM1 Server Monitoring

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-22 05:07
as of TM1 10.2 you no longer get tm1top available to you.
On the bright side though there has been massive improvements to OperationsConsole.
This of course gives you monitoring on your TM1 service but not the whole box.
A really useful and not expensive option is to use a complete monitoring tool like http://www.mobilepcmonitor.com/
This way you can even log onto the box via your iphone to restart any service.

TM1 Server Monitoring

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-09-22 05:07
as of TM1 10.2 you no longer get tm1top available to you.
On the bright side though there has been massive improvements to OperationsConsole.
This of course gives you monitoring on your TM1 service but not the whole box.
A really useful and not expensive option is to use a complete monitoring tool like http://www.mobilepcmonitor.com/
This way you can even log onto the box via your iphone to restart any service.

TM1 in Cognos Workspace

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:56
Not many people realise that Cognos Workspace can be setup to see the TM1 Application folder and Cubeviews. This means that users can drag/drop websheets and cubeviews onto their workspace and combine them with BI reports.

Essentially this is an evolution of the tm1 portlets capability.

To set this up on your server you need to modify 2 files.

Tm1_contribution.atom = This is to add the Tm1 instance to workspace
Tm1_en.properties = this is to give the instance proper name

Be aware the 10.2 requires you to edit some further files but its all explained in the documents. Cognos BI will also require a restart to kick in the new settings

TM1 in Cognos Workspace

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:56
Not many people realise that Cognos Workspace can be setup to see the TM1 Application folder and Cubeviews. This means that users can drag/drop websheets and cubeviews onto their workspace and combine them with BI reports.

Essentially this is an evolution of the tm1 portlets capability.

To set this up on your server you need to modify 2 files.

Tm1_contribution.atom = This is to add the Tm1 instance to workspace
Tm1_en.properties = this is to give the instance proper name

Be aware the 10.2 requires you to edit some further files but its all explained in the documents. Cognos BI will also require a restart to kick in the new settings

TM1 Setup in Cafe

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:50
When you open the new Cafe 10.2 interface and want to connect to a TM1 server then in the options you need to set the url to be:

http://ServerName:9510/

i.e don't try putting pmpsvc at the end which is the url for your applications server

TM1 Setup in Cafe

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:50
When you open the new Cafe 10.2 interface and want to connect to a TM1 server then in the options you need to set the url to be:

http://ServerName:9510/

i.e don't try putting pmpsvc at the end which is the url for your applications server

CDM and TM1 Aliases

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:45
I have been doing quite a bit with CDM (Cognos Disclosure Management) and integrating TM1 as a datasource.
A key thing for people to be aware of is CDM requires an Alias set in TM1 called MEMBER_CAPTION.
The easiest thing to do is create the alias and then use a rule to dynamically populate the value from an existing Alias

CDM and TM1 Aliases

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:45
I have been doing quite a bit with CDM (Cognos Disclosure Management) and integrating TM1 as a datasource.
A key thing for people to be aware of is CDM requires an Alias set in TM1 called MEMBER_CAPTION.
The easiest thing to do is create the alias and then use a rule to dynamically populate the value from an existing Alias

TM1 10.2 TM1Web

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:43
TM1web  10.2 dramatically changed TM1web for the better.
A really good summary of the changes and differences can be found here:

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27039576&myns=swgimgmt&mynp=OCSS9RXT&mync=E#toggle

TM1 10.2 TM1Web

James Wakefield blog - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:43
TM1web  10.2 dramatically changed TM1web for the better.
A really good summary of the changes and differences can be found here:

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27039576&myns=swgimgmt&mynp=OCSS9RXT&mync=E#toggle

TM1 10.2 with Excel 2013

TM1 blogs - Sun, 2013-09-22 04:41
The release of TM1 10.2 is very exciting.
Here are some points people may have missed like TM1 now supporting Excel 2013:

http://www.tridant.com.au/blog/tm1-10-2-release-but-wait-theres-more/
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