Cognos 11.2.4 is noteworthy both for its enhancements and because it is the long-term support release. It is the final release to include Cognos Query Studio, Cognos Analysis Studio and Cognos Workspace.
In this on-demand webinar, Cognos Senior Product Manager Tim Aston answers questions and shows off what’s new, including
- Query engine performance improvements
- Microsoft Teams integration for Cognos reports
- Data source support
- Capability to render maps in PDF and Excel
- Natural language generation in dashboards
- Themes support for toolbar colors
Cognos Analytics Senior Product Manager
Tim joined IBM 15 years ago as a developer. He is currently a Senior Product Manager for Cognos Analytics and focuses on the Cognos home page, customization and mobile support. He is based in Ottawa, Canada.Read more
Q: When was Cognos 11.2.4 released?
A: Cognos 11.2.4 is available and was released in December 2022.
Q: How long will the Cognos 11.2.4 long-term release be good for in terms of support?
A: Two years.
Q: Does Cognos 11.2.4 have an on-premises version?
A: Yes, 11.2.4 is available on-prem and cloud hosted and on-demand.
Q: Is Cognos 11.3.0 the next official release title and what is the timeline for the next release?
A: Yes, version 3 will be the next series of Cognos. IBM does not have a release date yet.
Q: Is the upgrade from Cognos 10.2.2 to 11.2.4 a major jump? What complications are to be expected with the upgrade?
A: Yes, it is a major jump. Complications are relative, but make sure your Framework Manager packages correctly setup, explore data modules and adjust them to the new UX/UI. Also, do the usual testing like working with insertable objects, reports and queries.
Q: Firefox was mentioned as a supported browser. Is Microsoft Edge the browser of choice though?
A: We test all supported browsers thoroughly because there is no one browser of choice.
Q: Is Cognos 11.2.4 Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) compliant?
A: Cognos is FIPS 140-2 validated in 11.2.4.
Q: When does support stop for Cognos 11.1.7?
A: It’s not yet announced but should be coming soon, probably around Q2 2023.
Framework Manager and data modules
Q: Will Framework Manager still be supported and used with both Cognos 11.2.x and 11.3.x?
A: Yes, FM is still supported and will be supported alongside data modules in 11.2.x and 11.3.x.
Q: Can data modules support short cuts between modules in Cognos 11.2.4, like the shortcuts between Query Subjects in different Framework Manager projects?
A: Yes. Check out the IBM blog post about the new alias and shortcut feature in data modules as of 11.2.3.
Q: We use the Framework Manager option of calling SQL stored procedures frequently. Is it possible to call SQL stored procedures using data modules?
A: IBM has not added the ability to work with stored procedures in data modules yet, but it is on Project Manager Zach Taylor’s radar.
Q: Are there new features in Cognos 11.2.4 with cascading prompts in data modules?
A: No. However, IBM plans to look at parameters and prompts in data modules in the future, no timeframe has been set yet as to when this update will take place.
New features and general questions
Q: Can the new image service in Cognos 11.2.4 be deployed in an independent server when running on a PVU licensed model?
A: Yes, the visualization service can run with the Cognos server or separately. It’s the same with the Notebooks docker image.
Q: Can we make the Content view the default view for all users on Cognos 11.2.4?
A: Yes, but you’ll need to use a custom home page to re-direct people to the content perspective.
Q: We’re on Cognos 11.2.1. Have there been changes to how objects in a folder are sorted in Cognos 11.2.4? (We currently sort in alphabetic order regardless of whether it’s a folder or report.)
A: 11.2.4 has several sorting and filtering options available, all of which are persisted in the users’ browsers for their next session.
Q: Does Cognos 11.2.4 enable emails to be sent from a team mail instead of a user’s email address? We’d like for questions and out of office messages to go to a central email.
A: Not currently. The Cognos user’s email address will be used.
Q: Is there way to migrate Workspace to Dashboard?
A: Unfortunately, there is no direct way.
Q: Do we need a license to use Microsoft Teams with Cognos 11.2.4?
A: Yes, you will need a Teams license to access it and a Microsoft 365 developers license to configure it.
Q: Our environment consumes most, if not all, list reports. Related to performance, there are times when we get XQE-GEN-0002 or XQE-GEN-0018 errors. These errors are very generic. Are there improvements in Cognos 11.2.4 to the error code to describe the reason for the error?
A: Contact IBM support to get help with your specific issue. IBM did have a few defects fixed in this area in 11.2.4.
Q: Does Cognos 11.2.4 still have a separate schema for report audits?
A: Cognos 11.2.4 still has a separate schema for auditing. You can put the audit schema in the same schema as the content store tables if you want. IBM recommends for most deployments they be kept separate but there is no reason they can’t be together.
Q: Can Cognos 11.2.4 be authenticated with Okta?
A: Yes. Check out the OIDC providers list. Read this article for authentication steps.
Q: Is any of the reporting or dashboarding functionality in Cognos 11.2.4 limited by our use of 32 bit Framework Manager packages? Also do you have any resources for CAP logon development outside the few pages on the Cognos reference manual?
A: 32 bit shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll need to use DQM for the latest features.
Q: Can we publish/embed a Cognos 11.2.4 dashboard (when Cognos is secured) to any external website, like Tableau/Power BI?
A: Yes that is possible, read the process for setup.
Q: Do we need to pay for a CDATA subscription? And how does support work for CDATA if there is an issue with connectivity?
A: Get CDATA licensing information and pricing. IBM is hosting a webinar with CDATA on February 2, 2023. Register.
Q: Does Cognos 11.2.4 connect directly to SharePoint on the Cloud?
A: Not via a native Cognos connection, but you can connect via CDATA.
Q: Is CDATA only available for cloud installations or will it work with on-prem Cognos 11.2.4 installations too?
A: CDATA is available for both on-prem and for cloud hosted, but it’s not yet available for cloud on demand.
Q: Does IBM have plans to enhance Transformer to get more then 2 GB of data in the cube?
A: IBM is focusing OLAP enhancements on TM1/Planning Analytics instead of Transformer. IBM has some new performance features planned so that you may not need to use Transformer. These updates will come in an updated version of Cognos later this year.
Q: Is there a direct connection available to Microsoft Azure SQL from Cognos 11.2.4?
A: The support for MS SQL Server or Azure SQL aren’t affected by the offering configuration MS is providing, so Microsoft should continue to support it.
Q: I have SSO configured to use Active Directory and I use Active Directory for authentication to databases. Will the JSON Web Token (JWT) work with Active Directory?
A: The passing of the JWT requires using an OIDC namespace, see the namespace listing.
Q: We have more than 2000 roles and need to disable a few features under customization, is there an easy way to do this?
A: Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this directly in Cognos, but check out some of the third-party tools like CogBox from PMSquare.
Q: Is it possible to customize charts in Cognos 11.2.4 and then export to them Excel and PDF?
Q: Is it possible to color code graphs, such as tying a color to a value (Green = Y, Yellow = Q, Red = N) in Cognos 11.2.4?
A: Yes, there is a feature in dashboards to maintain color consistency.
Q: Have Active Report with visuals been improved in Cognos 11.2.4 to be able to use RAVE visualizations?
A: There have not been changes to Active Reports with visuals via RAVE in 11.2.4. However, IBM plans to improve visualizations with RAVE and D3 in the future for Active Reports, dashboards, etc.
Q: We are on Cognos 10.2.2 and use Query Studio a lot. Are the legacy studios (Query Studio, Event Studio, etc.) still available in Cognos 11.2.4?
A: Yes. Query Studio and Analysis Studio will be supported in 11.2.4 but not in 11.3.0. A bulk update tool is available for conversions. Other studios will still be available in 11.3.0.
Q: What will the bulk update tool for the legacy studios look like? Will this be functionality within Cognos 11.3.0 or a separate tool?
A: There is a utility that is included in the Cognos Analytics server install path, so it will be part of the Cognos installation.
Q: We use Event Studio to generate an email to the report owner should the report fail. Were the scheduling features updated in Cognos 11.2.4, so we don’t need to create an event for each report?
A: This is an important feature. Vote on the idea to add this feature and IBM will send you updates in the future.
Q: We are on Cognos 11.1.7 and using Edge IE mode for Query Studio. We did the test with Motio and it does a good job converting, but do we need to convert them to just run?
A: They don’t need to do anything, and reports continue to run. However, read the IBM blog on the conversion tool we have as well.
Q: Can you provide documentation on migrating from Query Studio to new reporting feature?
A: Learn more.
Welcome today’s to today’s webinar, what’s new in Cognos 11.2.4.
Use the Zoom Q&A panel to make the session interactive. We’re usually able to respond to your questions while the webinar is in progress, and if we don’t reply immediately, we’ll cover it during the Q&A session or via written response document that will post on Senturus.com.
Typically the first question we get is, hey, can I get a copy of this presentation? And the answer is absolutely. It’s available on the Senturus.com website. Just go to Resources tab and then the knowledge center. Or you can just grab from the link that was posted to the chat right now.
We’ve got an action-packed day for you, today’s agenda. We’re going to kind of do some brief introductions of the speakers and then get right into the topic, which will be.
Recapping the recent releases and then a deep dive into 11.2.4, there’s a lot of bullet points. I’ll let you just kind of read them on your own to save some time. And at the end of the presentation, we’ll share some useful links, provide a quick overview of some Senturus and, you know, coming events, and then we’ll wrap up with a live Q&A.
Introductions joining us today is Tim Aston. Tim joined IBM 15 years ago as a developer. He is currently a senior product manager for Cognos Analytics and focuses on the Cognos home page, customizations and mobile support. As you know, he’s very nice because he’s based in Ottawa, Canada.
Also joining us on the question panel today from IBM are Zach Taylor and Rahul Gupta.
Zach is a product manager on the IBM Cognos Analytics team who works with data access and data modelling to work with IBM for seven years and has filled in a variety of roles within IBM analytics, including customer success, sales tech advisory, product management, and more. Raul is also a product manager on the Cognos Analytics team, works with Business Analytics, enterprise and visualization teams. Anything with IBM for about 3 1/2 years. My name is Todd Shuman at Senturus.. I’ll be your host today. I run the installation, upgrade and performance tuning. practice and I’ve been working with Cognos since the days of when it came on CDs and discs, just to kind of date myself a bit.
Before we jump into the meat, let’s just do a couple quick polls to kind of get a polls of the audience and see what version of Cognos you’re on today. So if you could just take a second and let us know, are you cutting edge? Are you somewhere in the middle or are you still running Cognos 10? Hopefully not too many people on Cognos 10, but please take a second and just do a vote so we can kind of get the polls on that.
I do have some Cognos 10 out there,
So looks like the top answer was 11.1.
About 10% to 13% are on 11.1 11.2.2 11.2.3 and then in the small group of people on 11.2.4.
Got about 4%, four people on Cognos 10 and some people actually on an earlier version.
Good to know. Thank you for that.
We’ve got one more poll.
What are your biggest challenges with Cognos? Feel free to select all that apply if you have multiple issues or multiple challenges that you’re dealing with.
Got enabling adoption of self-service performance reporting, general cleanup, data migrations, hybrid environments licensing.
This looks like a lot of performance.
Reporting, clean up and a good amount of self-service enablement.
OK. Thank you for those responses. I’m going to turn it over to Tim and let him go through the what’s new slides and I’ll be back with you at the end to kind of recap. Thank you.
Great. Thank you very much. Thank you for everyone joining. It’s a nice big crowd today and thank you to the, the good folks from Senturus for inviting myself and Zach and Rahul to speak with you today and answer your questions. So I’m going to go through a summary of what’s new in this latest version of Cognos Analytics with Watson. It was released back in the middle of December.
So you can get it right now.
And the theme of what we’re doing with Cognos with this release and with our recent releases and our going forward releases is really about getting the right data to the right people in the best way. And I think that’s a theme that you’ll see in this presentation and in future materials from us as well getting that data that is authoritative government data, getting it to the people that need to see it that is.
Customized for those people and in a way that they can best consume, whether that’s an emailed PDF or something on their phone or all kinds of other potential ways of delivering analytics.
I’ll cover a few of the release, the recent releases first. I noticed from the poll there that we’ve got a few of you on some previous releases. Some of you are on the latest, so this will be a bit of a review for some of you, but I’ll keep this part short.
11.2.0 of course was the first release in the, you know what we call the 11.2 stream. This was a major release and there was some important UI changes here around the home page and the content navigation as well as some more subtle changes kind of throughout the tool. So there was definitely a big improvements in the usability. Starting with the 11.2.0 release there was some improvements.
In our AI with the assistant and the forecasting supporting OLAP cubes where they didn’t previously, we had some new visualizations, new customization options, better Watson Studio integration.
The S3 support for TLS certificates as well as the big, actually very big jump in performance of loading dashboards.
11.2.1, this is actually where we did rebrand. You may have noticed that I introduced this as IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but that is our full name nowadays and that’s to acknowledge that AI is a big part of what we do in Cognos Analytics. It’s, it’s otherwise largely a name change and a recognition of where things have been going for a while now. It’s not any kind of like additional add-on or anything like that you need to buy.
With this release we had a simplification of our multi tenant on demand cloud tiers. We used to have three tiers, they’re now two and they’re lower cost starting at just $10 per user.
In addition, we launched the mobile only license. So if you have users that only want to use Cognos on a mobile device and not through their desktop computer, you can license those users now for just $5 a month. We had various mapping improvements. We had support for Dremio and IBM Cloud and SQL query, big performance improvements with TAB reports and donut visualization. Bunch of other stuff too.
11.2.2. This is where we introduce what we call the natural language generation. Rephrase her so in 11.2.2. The natural language generation is apparent in the explorer component in a side panel on the right, and the wording for that used to be a little clunky and clearly very computer generated, and it’s now just reads in a much more natural and readable way.
There’s some big improvements in the AI assistant. So that’s where you can ask natural language, questions. And as of 11.2, it started understanding a lot of things about time, particularly, you know, things like you know you. So you could ask like what were sales by product line last year or from this date to that date and a lot of other ways of expressing time in those filters.
Improvements across data modules dashboard in terms of usability.
And reporting as well. Some improvements there. This is where kind of the full release that had all the log for J upgrades. They were delivered in various fixed packs along the way as well, but this one had the cumulative accumulation of all of those.
You’ll hear more about JWT later on. That’s Java web tokens. That’s to another way of authentication, authenticating into your databases. And that’s we started expanding that support in 11.2.2.
11.2.3 this is the previous release to of course to 11.2.4 this one came out.
In the late summer, this was a major release for sure. We launched our support from Microsoft Teams in this release and you’re going to hear more about that support in a little bit in the latest release where it’s been expanded.
There was data access and data modeling improvements, and fairly significant one’s usability improvements.
No more of those narrow side panels for editing properties. You’ve now got a full page experience. There we have the search, which was expanded to also be able to search just subfolders and not just the entire content. Some more customization improvements on the home page.
Various visualization improvements to numerous to mention that were available and reporting improvements to Jupyter notebooks with exporting and kernel upgrades, more enhancements to the AI assistant similar to that time related stuff that I mentioned before. This is when we added support for things like holidays so you could say what were sales last Christmas.
And cascading filters. Last but not least, because that’s a big feature, cascading filters and dashboards allowing you to have multiple layers of filtering that that kind of filter each other. So if you’ve got Country, State, City that you’re, your state filter becomes filtered by the country that you select, and then your city filter gets filtered by the state and country filter that you select. And that kind of thing.
So it’s been a busy year and it’s been a busy, you know, the entire 11.2 stream has been busy with a lot of new features and 11.2.4 is an important release because it marks the end of the 11.0 stream. So here’s a summary of what’s in it. I won’t read this because I’m going to go into details. I’m hitting the main highlights today. There is more than.
I’ll cover probably at least 3/4 of this. It’s the most important things that I’m going to get into.
Just want to reiterate though that before I get into some of this is that 11.2.4 is the new long term support release, so I know there’s a lot of you are still on 11.1. I’m imagining that you’re on 11.1.7 because that was the previous long term support release. 11.1.7 is continuing to be supported for now, but it will be announced.
Sometime this year when that will go out of support and that there will be at least a 12 month notice on that announcement, but it’s start time to start thinking about upgrading. If if you do prefer to stay on the long term support releases, then this release 11.2.4 is the one for you. Of course there will be releases after this. The next release will be 11.3.0 coming in the first half of this year.
All right. So let’s get into some of the detailed features. 1st, I’m going to talk about some stuff in the realm of AI and what we call narrative services. So there’s a little video playing here right now that’s showing a dashboard, but it’s showing the new narrative insights feature. And I’m just going to hit pause right now to kind of explain what has happened here. So, you know, so far this was a pretty normal dashboard experience, but we’ve opened this new analytics panel.
And we’re enabling the insights and what you see over on the right hand panel here is these natural language insights and this is where that natural language rephrase or that I mentioned comes in to, make sure that these are insights that are not just giving you important information, but that they’re easy to read, consumable so that you can actually get something out of them as well. So I’m in edit mode right now and what’s happened is, is the various insights that can be generated are being shown and then you can go in and you can.
Favorite the ones that you think are most important and that you want your dashboard consumers to see. So now I’ve gotten out of edit mode. Now we’re in consumption mode, so the ones that have been favored are highlighted. You can still see the other insights as well, but it means that as an author, you can choose which insights you want to make sure that the viewers of your dashboard pay attention to.
So that’s a really powerful feature, obviously deeply infused with the AI.
So I mentioned how Microsoft Teams support was just launched recently. This is a big initiative for us that we expect to continue from through multiple releases. So we certainly enhance that in 11.4. Now when you are sharing to Microsoft Teams, you can choose a mix of recipients that used to be that you had to choose just between individual users or chats or channel. Now you can have a mix of those so that you can you can send it to multiple destinations all at once.
As well the initial Teams support when you’re embedding content in Teams, because this is not just about pushing from Cognos to Teams, but you can actually just stay within Teams, never leave Teams and see your Cognos content. We started with just supporting dashboards within Teams, but now you have reports in Microsoft Teams as well. So like you see in the screenshot, you know you’ve got this tab here that can be available to different groups of users within Microsoft Teams showing an.
The report embedded with all the interactivity of the report and the conversation panel on the right hand side from teams, where you can then chat with your colleagues about what you’re seeing here.
We had some mobile improvements in this release, mostly around performance. This is particularly on the Content tab where you load dashboards in the mobile app that’s been entirely re architected. So this is not just a big performance boost from the previous versions of the mobile app. You’ll also see that the way that visualizations are rendered now is going to be much more consistent with how they would show up in your regular desktop browser, for example, the coloring and the conditional highlighting and tables will now be totally consistent.
This is a small but much requested feature that for the content navigation. The content navigation would always default to a tile view and though any user could change that to be a list view and we would remember that default, a lot of you did want to have list view be the default system wide so that is now possible. It’s just advanced preference that you have to configure.
And now this view would will be the default for all your users. Once you set that property, those users can still switch back to tile view. It’s not restricting that, it’s just changing the default view.
For those of you who still own Cognos 10, I think this is a great option if you want to keep the experience relatively consistent for your Cognos 10 users. Because you know having this in list view is going to be very similar to the old way the Cognos connection displayed content.
All right, we’re going to cover some dashboard features now.
This little video here is showing the desktop depth dashboard zoom feature.
OK, I think this one just auto plays. I’ll give a little background while this is playing here. When you choose when you create your dashboard, you’ve got two layout modes. One is relative and that’s where things are sized in percentages. So when you’re using relative, it means as you resize your browser window that the visualizations and the widgets in the dashboard are going to resize along with it. When you use absolute mode, everything is set to be in a.
Fixed size in pixels, so that’s. That’s often good when you don’t want things to resize but it can still be useful to depending on your browser size that may mean things are going to be cut off or not fill the screen necessarily. So that’s why we introduced this zoom capability so you can zoom in and out, you can see stuff bigger or smaller, make it fit your screen or more than fit your screen as you desire. So just a it makes the absolute.
Layout mode of dashboards a lot more useful and powerful I think by giving your users a lot more control over the size of what they then see.
Some visualization enhancements around the zoom bar. I didn’t mention it earlier, but the zoom bar was introduced I think in a Cognos 11.2.3. On some visualizations we have added it to more visualizations, including visualizations now where it’s both a horizontal and a vertical zoom and this is this is equivalent functionality that you could you had already with your scroll wheel or by using pinch and.
The pinch and that kind of thing. But by enabling the zoom bar like you can see here, it’s just a lot less hidden. So it’s I think for a lot of users just a nicer way to interact with the chart and being able to zoom in on portions of it.
This has definitely been much requested is value labels for line charts and as well the line and column combo charts. You can see a nice example of it in this picture here how you can have the labels there right on the chart because of course the property that you can control and then it has several properties associated with it as well for you to further customize it.
We have some enhancements on the reporting front. This is quite a big enhancement actually.
Certainly one of the biggest of the year I would say and that’s the ability for the your PDF and your Excel output to include the latest visualization types. So those familiar with reporting, you know well that we have several visualization engines in the product and these kind of map to the various generations of reporting visualizations through the years.
But the latest generation of visualizations, they’re all rendered within the browser. Unlike previous ones which are server side rendered and delivered as images essentially to the browser. The latest ones are all implemented client side. But that had a disadvantage in that when you’re producing PDF or Excel output which is rendered on the server side, those visualizations wouldn’t show up so that has all changed.
And you can now include those visualizations in your PDFs and Excels. So that notably includes the latest maps or Mapbox maps and all those great features that that they can do. You know with the with the bubbles and the heating and the hex spinning and all kinds of stuff, you can now have that in your PDF.
Couple of restrictions. This doesn’t yet support custom visualizations though. That’s coming soon and because of the way it is implemented using the headless browser.
Which is only available for Windows and Linux systems, so I know that’s almost all of you, but there are a few cases where this feature is excluded. Just wanted to make you aware of that.
OK, let’s move on to data access enhancements. I’ll spend a little time just kind of going over the overall data access landscape and how we view things. And sorry, the formatting on this slide got a little mangled at some point in time. Something got lost in translation a little bit. But what I’m trying to highlight here is that you have these several different types of data sources that you can access. You’ve got your.
Enterprise data warehouses with DB2, big Query Snowflake got various major systems that you use within your organization like Salesforce or OLAP sources. You’ve now got your data lakes data bricks which we’ll talk a bit about more being a major player there as well as IBM cloud data engine virtualized data becoming a lot more common Now there’s dremio and trino presto that we support and.
As well as IBM’s product Watson query.
Also really growing area is your business applications and the data that they are feeding through and wanting to get those into Cognos. So that would typically be accessed by REST API’s, but we’re going to talk about CDATA shortly and how you can get that data into Congress there as well and plus of course your user content which is Excel or CSV files that that people upload for more add hawk type analytics.
So databricks, this is a data lake house tool that is becoming very popular, so we have added support for this. This is a new data connection type in Cognos alongside you know, the many other types of data sources that we support.
And CDATA is the other major addition in terms of data sources that we support. And what CDATA is a service that provides connectors to a variety of enterprise applications, typically through rest API. So that’s why I say you’ve had the rest connector and Cognos for a few releases now where you could create your own configuration for communicating with different applications. But I mean a sometimes that’s a lot of configuration because you have to be pretty familiar sometimes with the actual rest API yourself to configure that.
Also, it does have limitations, which sometimes prevents you from talking to some kinds of applications. So that’s where CDATA comes in. This is a third-party service. It’s something that you would have to subscribe to, but when you do, you’ll have this is even only a subset of the applications that it supports, and you’ll be able to access the data from. These applications live in Cognos just the way you access.
Any other data sources like your data warehouse or your uploaded files and everything in between. So you can see it’s a huge list of applications. So this increases the order of magnitude of data sources that we can actually support in Cognos and removes pretty much any limits on what we can support so.
If you’ve got data you can get into Cognos is the message that I want to make sure is clear with all this.
OK, a little bit more on data sources. I mentioned JWT, Java web tokens. We’ve added support for this for Dremio now by the way, what Java Web tokens is a way Cognos user credentials are passed along to the database for authentication. So it allows you to have an extra layer of authentication or governance into your data, a typical way of doing it as you’d usually have some kind of service account, an admin account or something like that, which would be what Cognos talks to the database with. But JWT allows the actual end users credentials to be passed along so that the it’s that the end user that is being authenticated into the database as well. So you’re allowing that security to be managed within the database.
Speaking of creating data source connections.
This is a whole new experience in 11.4. And again it’s those little side panels and flyout things and with creating data connections that was especially cumbersome. I think you’d have to go through four or five or six layers of those. It’s a brand new, very simple full screen experience. If you spend any time at all managing your data source connections in Cognos, you’re definitely going to be a huge fan of this feature. It’s just a massive improvement.
Compared to the previous release.
All right. On the data modeling side of things now.
One of the big changes here is with dynamic schema support. This is one of those features that was supported in framework manager. So you could do dynamic schemas in Framework Manager, but you couldn’t do them with data modules. It’s one of our missions to make sure that you can do pretty much everything in data modules that you could do in Framework Manager. And this is for some customers anyways, this is an important feature. So we are bringing this with 11.4. We’re bringing this capability into data modules now.
It’s probably a good time though for me to emphasize that even though obviously data modules is where we put our modeling efforts into, nowadays we have absolutely no plans to get rid of Framework Manager. We know that many of you rely on it. It’s what you use for your data model, your data models. So Framework Manager packages are not going anywhere. So. don’t ever worry about that. But it would certainly encourage you that whenever possible.
To use data modules for all your new modeling needs, because the gaps between it and framework manager now are pretty few and far between. There are some use cases where you’ll have to stick with framework manager packages, but.
The majority of times you should be good to go with data modules now.
We have a few more capabilities just improving our governance around data modules, data sets and uploaded files.
And then my last topic I think is the last topic for today is just some conformance updates, some fairly minor stuff here, a few databases that were deprecated. By the way, we generally only deprecate data sources when the actual vendor themselves no longer supports them. So these are things that you couldn’t even get support from Microsoft for example, for so that that’s generally why you’ll see any database deprecated. We continue to keep support as long as the vendor is supporting it.
Several performance points were added, like the latest Firefox ESR latest.
Versions of Oracle, RedHat and AI X as well.
Oh yes, sorry, I do have an additional topic that wasn’t the last topic. APIs and security.
We have been working a lot to open up more APIs, making it so that those wanting to develop custom solutions with Cognos are going to have an easier time. A big step in the right direction at 11.2.4 is the support of API keys and for those of you that develop against various other applications and rest API’s will be very familiar with this kind of authentication.
For APIs, it’s done in very much in a standard way in Cognos. I think you’ll be familiar with it with from other tools. So it certainly makes developing applications that use Cognos Rest API that need to authenticate and Cognos. It just makes that a lot smoother, a lot more standardized.
And there are some new APIs that we have published as well around configuration settings and storage.
This is kind of the thing that we’ve been looking to progress every single release with making more and more API that available.
Well, yeah, I’m a little bit on the security front.
The we have FIPS compliance that’s you know one of these various kind of government compliance standards that that some customers need to adhere to. So we have that.
And the audit extension, we actually now built that into 11.2.4. This used to be a separate thing that we would make available, but that’s now completely built in as of this latest release of Cognos.
And then finally, to get the upgrade, it’s really just like any other Cognos upgrade. You can go to fix central and download it for those of you moving from 11.1.7.
I would certainly encourage you to do the upgrade and I would say that you know based on you know now we’ve had quite a number of customers that have done the upgrade is the experience is generally quite a positive one. There aren’t significant under the covers architectural differences actually between 11.1.7 and 11.2.4, you know not the ones that kind of caused large disruptions or you know difficult compatibility.
Situations or anything like that. So it is generally speaking a very smooth upgrade.
I would encourage anyone on a previous release to get on this release. Like I said, it’s a long term support release. That means you’re going to get a minimum of two years where you’ll be seeing updates to security fixes and other critical issues, as well as the option for an additional one year support beyond that. So this is a release. If you don’t want to upgrade that frequently, it’s the one for you. I certainly would encourage you to.
Upgrade frequently if your business allows for it, so you always have the latest and greatest features. But for those of you prefer not to, 11.2.4 is the one to stay on.
Back to the Senturus folks.
Great. Thank you, Tim. Lots of great information there. Also have some really good questions coming in. So keep them coming. I’m going to go through a couple of Senturus slides and then we’ll answer or try to answer as many of the questions that haven’t already been answered at the end as far as getting help upgrading Cognos, we do that. We have three different types of upgrade support plans that we provide. We implement hundreds of calculus upgrades, installations and configurations every year. That experience translates into efficiencies and best practices that we share with our clients.
Additional resources. We provide hundreds of free resources on our website in the knowledge Center that aren’t comparisons. We have been committed to sharing our BI expertise for over a decade. Just go to senturus.com/resources and check them out.
We’ve got some upcoming events dashboarding comparison, Power BI, Tableau and Cognos that’s on January 26 and yours truly will be providing a tips for installing Cognos Analytics 11.2.4 Thursday, February 9th. So go ahead and register for those if you’re interested in any of those topics.
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Let’s go to the Q&A panel. So if you’ve got questions, go ahead and put them in now. Um, hopefully you’ve got some of your answers already answered by the panelists.
About the support, how long will 11.2.4 long term support be in terms of the life cycle? It’s a minimum of two years. So that means by support for those two years is not only will take your phone calls if you have problems, but there will be updates, critical defect fixes, security fixes and that kind of thing over that time period. So it’s a minimum of two years and then with an option for one year extended on top of that. So if you want to go for as long as three years, that’s guaranteed.
There are a couple questions about the CDATA.
Connection to data sources? Do you have any additional information that as far as licensing or what that involves?
And my colleague Zach on the line here want to handle some of that. Zach talked about CDATA. First one is a link to the CDATA web page that shows you the list of their connectors that are available. So I would suggest definitely browsing through that. I think they have about 130 connected sources right now available, and they’re adding to that list, you know, as they add other drivers to.
It’s called the CDATA Cloud Connect product and so they’re adding new drivers to that, all the on a regular basis and expanding the number of drivers. So I’ll send the link, you can go to that. It’s in the chat now. Thank you for that. That’s where you get the list. Additionally on that page there is a link to the licensing information for CDATA. They have different options available for however much you want to scale that up. And then the second link there is for the.
IBM Plus AC data community webinar that’s coming up on February 2nd. You can register for that and we’ll jump in. We’ll do a kind of description of, you know, how Cognos is connecting to see data, a little bit about the see data company. They’re going to be there and introduce themselves. Run through a demo and you’ll get a feel for how this explosion of new use cases. So the data that may be generated in some of these applications like a work day, ServiceNow, JIRA, even like Excel online, Google Sheets, Gmail, calendars, all these kinds of things can now be data that’s accessible to Cognos. And so maybe there’s no use cases around, you know, dynamics CRM, who knows. Whatever the case may be, there’s a lot of new ideas there that could be brand new use cases or could be used as additional data to augment.
Some of the other reporting they are doing, so definitely check those links out. If there’s additional questions beyond that, we can talk more about this.
I see another question. I’m going to just about Cognos connected to SharePoint in the cloud. SharePoint is one of the options that CDATA does connect to. So in the case where. So the strategy here and Tim showed the slide that showed the blue bubbles that reached out to different sources, the kinds of data sources that we as Cognos as a product team are going to focus on optimizing are the sources such as you know, Google Big Query, RedShift, DB2, Oracle.
Those, those enterprise data warehouses where the sequel that we generate sending to send down to the warehouse needs to be optimized for the specific data source so we can squeeze out the most performance. For a lot of business applications, the data, the database on the back end is not accessible and the only way to get the data is to arrest API. And so in those kind of situations we’re going to lean on partners like CDATA to get that data accessible to Cognos, Analytics and so in that case.
We’re not going to add a native SharePoint connector, but you can still access that data through a connection like CDATA. So that’s kind of like the what specifically for that source, but also the kind of the why behind it and you can see where we’re going and where we’re focusing.
I see a couple questions on upgrading. One, you know upgrading from 11.1.7 to 11.2.4, does it need to do a fresh install or is it just install on the top and the answer should be installed on the top? I believe you can install almost any version of 11.0 above over the top obviously. I think Tim mentioned your level 11.7 to 11.2.4 is pretty much the same under the covers. There’s not a whole lot of back end changes that can cause issues so it should be.
A relatively smooth upgrade. Obviously, there’s some steps to back that up just in case things do go wrong. Like I mentioned earlier, we have a presentation in February that I’m doing on upgrading. So if you have questions or want to listen in on that before you do it, I’ll kind of cover some of those backup contingency things you can do. And then as far as upgrading, someone also asked about going from 11.7 to 11.4. What are the complications that you expect with that? That’s a big one as well.
Besides it being completely a fresh install and major changes, I would recommend looking at some of the information we have on the Senturus Knowledge Center on our website. We’ve got a lot of good information about planning on moving to whatever Cognos level and the challenges around the studios and things that go away. So if you have questions or you’re interested, I’d say start with start with that and then if you need to reach out, you have a lot of information and experience on that.
When does support end for 11.1.7?
And the clock has not started yet because we have not made an announcement. So, so we do have an official process for that. It’s IBM wide process actually for products going versions going out of support.
When that announcement is made, it will be a year ahead of time. So that announcement will happen this year. We just don’t know the exact timing of it yet. That’s just still being worked out. It’s probably not that far away. And when I say not that far, I would say, you know, a few months. So yeah, you’ve got at least a year.
About a year plus a few months. Don’t know exactly about that amount of time. But you’ll when the announcement is made, you will have 12 months from that period of time.
We’re not springing anything on anyone. I hope no one feels too caught out about this.
Yeah, you can. You can safely plan to do the upgrade. I would say as much as a year from now and you should be fine.
There was a couple of questions about the bulk update tool. Is it a separate tool or is a function with Cognos? I believe it’s a separate tool that you run.
As part of the installer gets included in the SDK folder, but does anyone have any additional insight on that tool that they can share?
Yeah, unfortunately I’m not the best person to ask about that tool, so I’m not sure I can add anymore there.
Yeah, I’ll be touching on that in my upgrade installation and upgrade webinar in a couple of weeks.
I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but I’ll have more information then for sure. I know in the past if you have modio, had kind of a conversion tool as well that could bulk update those.
And rapid fire. So that that’s been something we’ve been, you know, pushing people to do get out query studio now for a long time. I think it was announced for deprecation back in 2015 and we’re already in 2023. It’s still hanging around. So it is time to say goodbye to that, so.
We’ll touch on that hopefully in a couple of weeks and if you still have questions or need help with that, feel free to reach out.
Let’s see, what else do we have on here? We haven’t touched on to a free to anyone on the.
Yeah, we’re definitely some several questions about CDATA. So again, check out the links put into the chat here for this. While there’s Cognos documentation about the CDATA connector, there’s also the CDATA website that shows the list of connectors and licensing information.
There are a lot of questions around what are the of the legacy studios are being deprecated and which ones are supported. So just to kind of repeat that information query studio and Analysis Studio will be supported for the last time at 11.2.4. This does not impact framework manager, does not impact transformer so.
Those you can continue to use. I know the people will someone had mentioned oh my users really like transformer and then that’s OK, you can keep using them. So we are focusing efforts for development around OLAP technology around planning analytics team one cubes. So that is just mentioned that is that’s our area of focus for enhancements. In addition if you’re not using queuing cubes, we are we do have some exciting kind of performance performance capabilities coming out.
You know replace some of the use cases for which you’re using transformer, so stay tuned on that and we’ll have some new updates in that areas well.
Dynamic cubes too, same thing. Not going away, but we hope to have something that’s would kind of entice people away from that because we’re developing in a new direction. So if you are using dynamic cubes and you want to talk about some new options, feel free to reach out to us and we can share more.
Yeah, one thing to add about the legacy studios like Analysis Studio Query Studio 11 two, starting with 720, IE was completely phased out, so it doesn’t support IE as a browser anymore. So if you haven’t already tried it, you’re not running even 11.2 yet. That is going to be a bit of a challenge. So I believe the only browsers that can actually fully integrate or interact with those queries reports is like a specific version of Firefox, like an ESR version. In the past you could kind of run IE mode in edge and there was kind of some other ways to work around it. It’s gotten much more difficult to even access that tool so.
If you’re a big query studio shop, you definitely want to test it out before you try to move everyone into the new version because it’s going to be probably some converting that’s going to have to happen on your end. We have some documentation now too to help people migrate off of the older studios query studio analysis studio. By the way, if there’s any event studio fans out there, don’t worry, that is not on the list of things being deprecated. We continue to support events studio and that does work in both Chrome based browsers and Firefox.
A couple other questions on here. There’s been a lot of questions on sorting. The Cognos 10 kind of had the ability to kind of do custom sorts. You can move the most important things to the top. And then in Cognos 11, there was sort of the ability to put like any or like a number one to kind of move things to the top.
Someone’s asking is there any way to do that yet? Is it still just alphabetical?
Or is there any way or anything on the way of that’s going to allow you to kind of custom sort of like kind of pin things to the top?
We don’t have any anything on custom sorting at this point in time, not like Cognos Connection had anyways. There was a sorting enhancement made, it was it was just kind of some additional capabilities I think in 11.2 or 11.3 and it’s slipping my mind right now unfortunately what we changed. So I’ll have to get back to the person that that asked that question, on what we did there.
Another sort of customization, can we make the content view the default view for all users?
Guessing the answer is yes, but it’s going to involve you know, tweaking some extensions or some of the front end screens. Is there anything you’re aware of out there that’s on the knowledge base or in the user community that’s been published that kind of lets people bring content up? Yeah, I don’t think I’ve seen a step by step thing there. The easiest way I think would be to override the homepage in the role customization.
Which you override to an extension? So the extension would just then do the redirect, I think to the content. I haven’t seen an example of this in real life, but.
That should work no problem. That kind of approach.
Yeah, I’ve seen some pretty cool customizations and landing pages people have made. So I’m sure it can be done. I’ll see if I can find anything and if I do it because ultimately it’s just a URL, right? You know, it’s the if you’re familiar with developing extensions and stuff, you know, we have our different perspectives and so the content is used just another perspective and that you know, it’s reflected in its URL.
I just thought I just wanted to say one thing. There was only one person who asked about it but I just thought we should cover it. For the Microsoft Teams portion, there is no additional or special license needed to get access to that so it was 11.2. Cognos 11.2.4 that automatically comes in it. However, you will need two licenses to behave right with the Microsoft Teams. You need a Teams license to access it and then you need a Microsoft 365 license to configure it.
But if your organization is using Teams, then you’ve already got them. Then you’ve already got it yet, but there’s no extra, you know, special hidden license or any cost associated with it from the cognitive side.
And if your organization uses Slack, then don’t worry, we haven’t left you out. Actually, we supported Slack before we supported Teams. We’re adding more features for Teams and with Slack. Partially that’s because Teams is a more capable platform than Slack, and also because Teams just seems to be more popular with our customers, but we do have the ability to share your cognitive content into slack as well.
There’s a question about migrating from Workspace to dashboard. I don’t believe that’s possible.
Workspace was kind of a canvas that drop existing reports, so there’s not really a tool that does that.
Taking some hopefully rebuilding any report and copying over your queries and objects and putting them into a table or something like that. But there is no equivalent of workspace I don’t believe and it wouldn’t convert to a dashboard which is kind of a new.
New type of report that didn’t exist in in calculus 10.
It’s asking about documentation migrating query studio to the reporting features. I can try to touch on that in a couple of weeks.
What’s not new is if you click on the more button or the three dots depending on, you know your view, there’s been an option to convert to report that’s been there all along. So you can manually convert your queries to reports whenever you want. Just those people in organizations that have hundreds if not thousands or more queries through reports in various folders. You know, it would take forever to manually go and just click that button each time. So these bulk tools are nice.
You can scan your whole content store, find all the queries studio formatted files and say hey, convert them all at once. Or if you want to do a folder by folder you can kind of chunk them up, but the ability to kind of convert them is nothing new. It’s been around for a couple of years now as far as I know it’s built into the tool.
Um, so feel free to put any last questions you have and we’ll capture the questions and post the recording, the slide deck and your questions with written answers hopefully in the near future, so you can check back and see if you had a question that we didn’t get to today.
Yeah. Thank you so much everyone. And again, feel free to put any last minute questions in and check back in a little bit and we’ll have them ready for you.