How to Configure GMAIL SMTP with IBM Cognos Analytics

How to Configure GMAIL SMTP with IBM Cognos Analytics

In this article, we will learn How to use GMAIL with Cognos Analytics to send emails.

Before start, we need the following

  • GMAIL Account: We need a Gmail account which we need to use with IBM Cognos Configuration.
  • Less secure app access: To use our Gmail account with IBM Cognos configuration, we need to enable access for the Less secure app.
  • IBM Cognos Configuration Access: To edit the IBM Cognos Configuration, we need access to the server where IBM Cognos Services installed.

Step to Configure Gmail with IBM Cognos Analytics 
Launch IBM Cognos Configuration. Navigate to "Notification". It is available under the "Data Access".
We need to provide the following

SMTP mail server: smtp.gmail.com:465
Account and password: Your Gmail address and password.
Default sender: Your same Gmail address
SSL Encryption Enabled: True

Once done, test the configuration. If everything is fine, you will see the success message. Save the configuration and Start or Restart the IBM Cognos services.

IBM Cognos Configuration Window

Note: It is not mandatory to stop IBM Cognos Analytics Services. You can change the configuration and then restart services if already running.

Test Configuration - Configure GMAIL SMTP Server with IBM Cognos Analytics

Our test is successful.

Test Message - Configure GMAIL SMTP Server with IBM Cognos Analytics

In your Gmail inbox, you will receive a test email.

In case the Less secure app access is disabled, you will see the following error message.

Error because of Less secure app access Disabled

Above images showed the scenario when the Configuration test failed due to the Less secure app access Disabled. We also received one email from Gmail about the "Sign-in attempt was blocked". To use the SMTP server with IBM Cognos Analytics Services, we need to enable it.

In case the Less secure app access is disabled, you will see the following error message.

Step to enable the less secure app

First, we need to open the "https://myaccount.google.com/security" page. On the security page, scroll down and search for the Less secure app access section. Click on the link "Turn on access (not recommended)" to change the option for the less secure app.

Google Account Security

Note: It is crucial to use a separate Gmail account only for notification. Why? Because we are using less secure app-enabled for this account. It is not recommended due to various security reasons.


Once the less secure app access is enabled, test the IBM Cognos Configuration if the test result is success start or restart the IBM Cognos Services.

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