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Cognos Tutorial

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Business intelligence is not a new term in this modern era. Whether you are from an IT industry or outside IT, business intelligence is something that every organization is using to close their effective business deals. IBM Cognos is yet another business intelligence tool that is used to create and view reports, make data analyses, monitoring events so that effective business decisions can be made. It handles large amounts of data which is helpful for all sizes of organizations.
The Cognos software suite is intended to allow non-technical individuals to gather corporate data, analyze it, and then generate reports that aid business decision-making. By giving the organization the ability to foresee or uncover market trends and then respond to them, Cognos enables it to become an edge and analytics-driven business intelligence tool.

In this IBM Cognos Tutorial, I will be discussing the following topics:

What’s Inside IBM Cognos?

IBM Cognos Tutorial: Architecture of IBM Cognos

IBM Cognos Tutorial: IBM Cognos Components and Services

IBM Cognos Tutorial: IBM Cognos Framework Manager

IBM Cognos Tutorial: Data Model Relationships

IBM Cognos Tutorial: IBM Cognos Reports


What’s Inside IBM Cognos?

IBM Cognos has an interactive reporting option that contains graphs, multiple pages, tabbing system, and prompts. Reports can be exported in PDF or XML formats. If you have to give a presentation in a business meeting and have a report to showcase, then this can be easily done using IBM Cognos. It allows a report to run in the background at a particular time. It saves time to view the report as you do not need to open it frequently. IBM Cognos makes use of Java and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for its execution. IBM Cognos’s official documentation states the availability of the following components:

Component TypeUsed for
IBM Cognos ConnectionPublish, manage, and view content
IBM Cognos InsightManage workspaces
IBM Cognos WorkplaceCommunicative workspaces
IBM Cognos Workplace AdvancedTemporary querying and exploring data
IBM Cognos Report StudioManage to report
IBM Cognos Event StudioEvent management and alerts
IBM Cognos Metric StudioScorecards and metrics
IBM Cognos for MS OfficeAllows BI content for MS Office
IBM Cognos Query StudioTemporary querying
IBM Cognos Analysis StudioExploring data

The following can be the users of IBM Cognos:

  • Power Users
  • Analysts
  • Business Executives

IBM Cognos Tutorial: Architecture of IBM Cognos

Cognos has three tiers in its architecture:

First Tier: Web Clients

The first tier is responsible for the gateway management and is also used for encryption and decryption of the passwords, extracting the information that is required to submit a request to the BI server, authenticating the BI server, and transmitting the request. Tier 2 is responsible for managing the gateway and is used for encrypting and decrypting passwords, extracting the information needed to submit a request to the BI server, authenticating the server, and transmitting the request for processing to the Cognos BI dispatcher.

Second Tier: Web Application Server

The Cognos BI server and its related services are hosted on this tier. Application components, the content manager, and the bootstrap service are all found on the application server. The Apache Tomcat server runs the Cognos TM1 web application server, which is based on Java. Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can be converted to TM1 web sheets at this level, and web sheets can be exported in Excel and PDF formats.

Third Tier: Data

Content and data sources are found on this level. It has at least one TM1 server and the TM1 Admin server. The TM1 Admin Server must be on the same network as the TM1 server and can be installed on any computer on your local network. The TM1 server version must be the same as or newer than the Cognos TM1 web version.

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IBM Cognos Tutorial: IBM Cognos Components and Services 

Different Cognos components interact with each other via the BI Bus, which uses the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and supports WSDL. The BI bus in the Cognos architecture is a set of protocols that facilitate communication between Cognos services, rather than a software component. Processes enabled by business intelligence bus include the following:

  • Information passing and distribution
  • Processing log message
  • Management of database connections
  • Communication with Microsoft .NET Framework
  • Port usage
  • Processing the request flow
  • Portal Pages

Following components are required by IBM Cognos:


A gateway is a component of a web server program that allows data to be sent from one server to another. Direct web connectivity with an IBM Cognos 8 dispatcher is also possible, however, this is a less usual alternative. The following gateways are included in IBM Cognos: 

CGI: It is the default gateway of Cognos. CGI can be used on any web server that is supported. You can, however, use one of the other supported gateway types to boost performance or throughput.

ISAPI: The Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) web server can use ISAPI. It allows IIS to run more quickly.

Apache mod: With the Apache web server, you can utilize an apache mod gateway.

Servlet: A servlet gateway can be used if your web server infrastructure supports servlets or if you're utilizing an application server.

Application components:

A dispatcher is in charge of operating the services and routing requests in this component. The dispatcher is a multithreaded service that processes requests using one or more threads. During execution, all dispatchers are notified of any configuration changes in a methodical manner. Cognos Application Firewall is included in this dispatcher to provide security for Cognos. Requests can be sent to a local service, such as the Report Service, Presentation Service, Worker Service, or monitoring service, via the dispatcher. A dispatcher can also direct requests to a specific dispatcher in order to complete them. Based on load balancing requirements, these requests can be sent to specific dispatchers of the package or user group.

Content manager:

Access Manager, Cognos's core security component, is part of Content Manager. For usage with Cognos, Access Manager takes advantage of your existing security suppliers. It includes user authentication, authorization, and encryption, as well as a uniform set of security and API features for Cognos 8. The Cognos namespace is also supported.

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IBM Cognos Tutorial: IBM Cognos Framework Manager 

The IBM Cognos Framework Manager is used to develop a data business model from one or more datasets. It's a Windows-based application for publishing business models to Cognos BI as packages for analytical reporting and analysis. Before you begin a new project in Framework Manager, you must first review the BI reporting requirements, which will assist you in identifying data strategies, data, report package distribution, and so on. It aids in the identification of data sources required in the Framework Manager in order to obtain the necessary data for the BI report.

IBM Cognos Tutorial: Data Model Relationships 

In a data model, relationships are utilized to generate queries on numerous objects. Objects are distinct entities with no use in the data model unless they have a relationship. Relationships can be bidirectional. A main or foreign key in the data source was used to log in to each object in the data model. To suit business needs, you might add or remove relationships in the data model.
Following are the available data model relationships in IBM Cognos:

One-to-One: When one instance of a query topic is linked to another instance of the same query subject.
One-to-Many: When an instance of the query's subject is related to numerous instances, this relationship happens.
Many-to-Many: When many instances of a query subject are related to multiple instances, this relationship is called many-to-many.

Following data model notation is available in IBM Cognos:

 0..1 represents zero or one match
 1. .1 represents a one-to-one match
 0 ..n represents zero or no matches
 1..n represents one or more matches
 1 - A join with all matching rows of the two objects.
 0 - An outer join with all objects of both, including items that don't match.

IBM Cognos Tutorial: IBM Cognos Reports

Following types of reports are available in Cognos:

List Reports: You can use these reports to see your whole client base.

Cross tab Reports: are used to display quantity sold along with product and region on many axes.

Charts: Charts can be used to display data in a graphic format. A chart can be used in conjunction with a crosstab or a list report.

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Following options can be used to run reports in Cognos:

Run with prompt: You can run a report from a user prompt.

Run with all data: When you use the Run with all data command, the report is run using the entire data source. A report may take a long time to run. If you want to make multiple updates to a report, run it in preview mode

to save time and computational resources by restricting the number of rows of data retrieved.

Preview report without data: When you want to see how the report will look, you can utilize the preview option. This comes in handy when you need to adjust the formatting of a document.

IBM Cognos also allows the user to run a report in various formats including PDF, XML, or CSV.

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Reports can use IBM Cognos tutorial can help business experts to develop, execute, and manage Revolutionary Reports. Finance, Operations, Sales, and Sales experts rely largely on information from sensational and transitory reports to carry out their duties. Due to its key characteristics, such as ease of use, learning, and performing numerous functions, IBM Cognos is becoming a popular business intelligence tool. This information will assist you in mastering the few ideas of Cognos and advancing your career. Happy Learning.

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Last updated: 08 Jan 2024
About Author

Ravindra Savaram is a Technical Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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