Upgrading to Cognos Analytics R4: What You Need to Know

Senturus’ Todd Schuman describes installation, configuration and architectural considerations that you need to know when upgrading to Cognos Analytics Release 4.

Learn what has changed since the last release. Topics include

  • Updated prerequisites
  • New installation options
  • Changes to the configuration
  • Changes to the gateway
  • Latest news on legacy studios
  • Odds and ends


Todd Schuman
Practice Lead- Installations, Upgrades and Performance Tuning
Senturus, Inc.

Todd heads up the Installation, Upgrade and Performance Tuning practice at Senturus, bringing more than 16 years of Cognos and Tableau experience to his role. Since his early days in BI working with Cognos Enterprise Planning and Cognos Impromptu to today, Todd has worked extensively on developing and designing enterprise systems and reports. In addition to managing and performing multiple architecture engagements at Senturus, Todd works closely with the IBM Cognos product development team to stay abreast the latest enhancements and changes .

This was Todd’s presentation topic at the IBM 2016 World of Watson conference. You may also be interested in viewing Todd’s webinar recording Preparing for Cognos Analytics V11: Prep Now to Ensure a Smooth Upgrade Later, in which he explains a fast way to convert Query Studio reports now before you upgrade.

Questions log

Q: Is there an option to download Cognos Analytics release 4 for an offline install?
A: If you are looking to have an offline laptop that can be used to demo the software, yes you can. You will need to download and install Cognos Analytics and run the Easy Install on a single server to simulate this. Running the content store and data source databases on the same server with Cognos BI Server is not recommended, but can be done for a POC.

Q: Is Cognos Analytics release 4 integrated with ERSI maps?
A: ERSI is still available, but Pitney Bowes will support the polygons and data sets going forward.

Q: Will Life Cycle Manager in Cognos Analytics release 4 work with Cognos BI 10.2.2?
A: Yes, it works with Cognos BI 8.3 and newer.

Q: Will agents from Event Studio continue to work in Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Yes, Event Studio is not going away, it just has not been updated to the new Cognos Analytics interface. There are discussions happening at IBM on how this functionality can be integrated better in the future.

Q: When data is added to the content store, is the actual uploaded data or just the metadata saved in the content store?
A: File uploads and data sets are extracted into a parquet file and then uploaded to the content store to ensure they are accessible in a multi-server environment. When accessing data from these sources, a temporary copy is brought down from the content store for report use.

Q: I’ve heard some people have had issues doing the install on top of the old version of Cognos Analytics. Has this issue been fixed in release 4?
A: IBM actually released two versions of 4. The first release was published in in mid-September and after issues arose, a second release was published in early October. Make sure you have the latest version to avoid this issue.

Q: Will visualizations automatically import into Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: No, visualizations need to be manually added in release 4 by downloading them from the IBM Analytic Zone website at: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/analytics-zone/

Q: Does Cognos Analytics release 4 still support Compatible Query Mode (CQM)?
A: Absolutely. CQM has not been marked for deprecation and will continue to run exactly as it does today. However, IBM has said repeatedly that it has no plans to invest any more time and resources in this technology and all future features and capabilities will be based on Dynamic Query Mode (DQM). The new version of Life Cycle Manager provides a testing and benchmarking tool that can give you better visibility into what to expect if you convert your current CQM content into DQM content.

Q: Is Cognos mobile still supported in Cognos Analytics release 4 and is there anything new?
A: Yes, it is still supported. We are still waiting to hear if the smartphone app will be the focal point or if the new portal interface is better served via a standard browser. We will watch this issue as it continues to develop. We will share the news and direction from IBM when we know more information.

Q: What is the best way to upgrade from Cognos BI 10.2.2 to Cognos Analytics? Should I uninstall 10 then install 11?
A: We recommend you install in the default location (Analytics) and run Life Cycle Manager to compare against Cognos BI 10.2. Do not uninstall version 10 until you have tested version 11.

Q: Can Framework Manager be used Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Yes, Framework Manager is still a key component of Cognos and there are no plans for it to be replaced any time soon.

Q: Are there any plans to make major changes to Framework Manager in the coming year?
A: We have not heard of any plans for further changes.

Q: Is there a way to use Studios in Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Yes, as long as you didn’t select the Easy Install, you should have the legacy Cognos Studios available. There is also a way to toggle the ability to hide/show these studios if you change your mind.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics release 4 support PowerPlay?
A: Yes, PowerPlay 10.2.2 fix pack 5 needs to be installed in an adjacent directory with Cognos Analytics to enable this. There are also rumors that PowerPlay may be coming back specifically built for Cognos 11.

Q: Does Cognos Transformer still work in Cognos Analytics release 4 and are there plans for it to work with future releases?
A: Yes, Transformer is still available in Cognos 11. There are no plans to end support for Transformer. That said, Transformer uses Compatible Query Mode technology which is no longer being invested in by IBM.

Q: In Compatible Query Mode (CQM), data source connections on Cognos BI 10, supports 32-bit Oracle client drivers only. Does this requirement still exist because the BIBusTKServerMain process is written in 32-bit code?
A: CQM uses 32-bit database drivers. To use 64-bit Dynamic Query Mode, you need to use JDBC drivers.

Q: What will happen to my Transformer Cubes if I do not want to move to Dynamic Cubes?
A: Nothing will happen to your Transformer Cubes. Transformer Cubes and Dynamic Cubes are mutually exclusive.

Q: How does configuration group work in Cognos Analytics release 4? Is it true that I only need to install it to one server and it’s propagated to others within the same group?
A: That is the goal, although it is still a work in progress. Cognos 11 uses the install options of first server and expand server. After creating and customizing the first server and content manager, each expand install should be able to capture all the configuration settings from the first server and allow you to skip having to repeat the process. We should see additional features added as releases continue to be delivered.

Q: Have there been any announcements about using Power Cubes instead of Dynamic Cubes in the future?
A: Not that we are aware of. The only thing we are seeing is Dynamic Query Mode (which is the underlying engine of Dynamic Cubes) is being invested in, while Compatible Query Mode (which is the underlying engine of Transformer) is being supported, but not invested in.

Q: Does the Senturus Analytics Connector for Tableau and Cognos work with Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Yes, see all the technical specifications and other details here.

Q: Is the report URL available in Cognos Analytics release 4 or can I only access report ID?
A: Yes, this is available in the properties.

Q: When will the Cognos Analytics’ licensing admin be updated? I would like to be able to sort users alphabetically.
A: The date for the licensing admin update is yet to be determined. We hope to see it in release 5 or 6.

Q: Is Cognos Analytics release 4 a stable version? We are wondering whether we should install it now or wait a few months until the bugs are worked out.
A: Cognos Analytics release 4 is stable and is the first version we feel confident promoting for production environments. However, there are a few quirks that are being resolved, but nothing serious enough that we wouldn’t recommend you install release 4 now.

Q: Can you give an estimate on the work needed to rebuild Query Studio and Analysis Studio reports in Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Query Studio can be converted by Cognos automatically by clicking on the ellipse next to a Query Studio report and selecting Convert to Report. However, you will need to repeat the process for every Query Studio report you want to convert. To further complicate things, doing so creates a new Object ID in the content store, so existing references such as schedules, jobs, shortcuts, etc. will not update to the new version. Using the Senturus plug in for Motio PI Pro can automate the conversions and repoint the references with just a few clicks.

There is no conversion method for Analysis Studio. However, our experience has shown us, that these reports are limited as far as design complexity and can quickly be rebuilt by users and IT.

Q: Will custom JavaScript work with Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: JavaScript will continue to run as long as Interactive Mode is set to False. If you want to have the best of both worlds, you will need to move to the centralized JavaScript concept introduced in Release 4.

Q: Can the Transformer install be shared between Cognos BI 10.2.2 and Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Yes, but you will need to constantly re-run the configuration tool and generate crypto keys each time you repoint to a different environment. MDC files can be moved or referenced from the same place as an option.

Q: Are there any changes or updates in Cognos Analytics release 4 to Cognos SDK?
A: No, all existing code should continue to run. However, SDK libraries for new features such as dashboarding have not been released as of early November.

Q: How will your Cognos training courses and the Cognos certifications cope with frequent Cognos Analytics releases?
A: Senturus has recently updated our training courses. We have the following courses available for Cognos Analytics: Self-Service OLAP Data Exploration in V11, Dimensional Report Authoring in V11, Professional Report Authoring in V11, Self-Service Data Modules and Dashboarding in V11, V11 New Features for Experienced Authors.

Q: Do you have any tips or gotchas we should be aware of when migrating to Cognos Analytics?
A: Before you migrate, you may be interested in viewing the Senturus webinar recording Preparing for Cognos Analytics V11: Prep Now to Ensure a Smooth Upgrade Later, in which we explain a fast way to convert Query Studio reports now before you upgrade.

Q: Will we be able to migrated from Cognos BI 10.2 to Cognos Analytics release 4 easily without using the Motio tool?
A: Yes, the Motio PI Pro tool is not required, but will make things easier as it can automate labor intensive tasks.

Q: Is JavaScript supported in Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Sort of, JavaScript is supported in interactive mode, but in separate files.

Q: Does Cognos Analytics use the same licensing as Cognos BI 10.2.2?
A: Yes, the same licensing is used. You may be interested in Senturus’ free Cognos Licensing Renewal Review service, we evaluate your license and determine where you can save money by right-sizing your licenses and making sure you have the best type of license for your needs.

Q: Is there a way to customize the Public Content view, like we can in Cognos BI 10.2?
A: The extensions and themes capabilities introduced in release 4 are beginning to address this. Expect more functions available in releases 5 and 6.

Q: Can Cognos BI 7 or 8 upgrade to Cognos Analytics release 4?
A: Cognos BI series 7 uses a completely different architecture then what was introduced in Cognos BI 8/10 and cannot be upgraded. Most versions of Cognos BI 8 can be converted. If you want to make sure, you can contact us for additional assistance at: [email protected] or 888 601 6010 ext. 1.

Q: Where can I view the recording to this webinar?
A: The slide deck, video recording and answers to these questions are available on our website at https://senturus.com/resources/what-you-need-to-know-before-upgrading-to-cognos-analytics-senturus/

Presentation outline


  • Supported software
  • Operating systems
  • Content server databases
  • Data source databases
  • Browsers

Installation Options

  • Easy install
  • Custom
  • Smarter Cognos configurations
  • Centralized configurations

Gateway/Web Server Configurations

  • Optional gateway
  • IIS/IHS redirects/rules
  • Reverse proxy

Companion/Legacy Tools

  • Report Studio, Workspace Advanced viewer
  • Query Studio
  • Analysis Studio
  • Cognos Workspace
  • Event Studio
  • Metric Studio
  • Cognos for MS Office
  • Cognos Connection

Odds and Ends

  • JDBC drivers
  • Uploaded files, data sets
  • Unique install paths – no more 64 or 32 bit file paths

Releases vs. Fix Packs

  • No more fix packs
  • Releases are full builds, available on Passport
  • Run on existing install directory
  • Goal is quarterly releases

From the Labs

  • Release 5
  • New features?

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