Cognos 10 Administration Tutorial

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Installation

In this article, we will learn How to install IBM Cognos 10 on Windows Server 2012?
In IBM Cognos Architecture, we have three different tiers separated by a firewall. In other words, we have three different machines for the specific task. On one we have a Web Server. Another is for the Application Server. And the last one for Data Server. In this article, we will install everything on a single server machine. So Web Server, Application Server, and Database Server all reside on a single machine. 
Installing everything on a single machine is not recommended. But we can use such a machine to test and/or development.
On a single server installation, we have only one firewall. Check the following image for more detail.

Prerequisite

The prerequisite for this article is you need to install the following software on your windows server 2012.

  1. You are using a unique Computer Name for your Server. Though this step is not mandatory. But it is a good practice to use an easy computer name. Why? Let's compare WMX-HGADYUO vs MyPC. MYPC is easy to remember compared to WMX-HGADYUO. You may ask why we need an easy Computer Name? Because we need to share the Cognos Connection URL to end Users or Business Users. MYPC is just an example, you can rename it to based on your company name.
  2. Next, we need a database server on our Windows Server 2012. Why? We will store the Content Store in SQL Server Database.
  3. Configure SQL Server to allow remote access.
  4. Allow SQL Server ports from the firewall to communicate with other machines. You may ignore this step for Single Server installation.
  5. IIS must be installed with the ISAPI module. We will use it as a web server. We can use any other web server also. But why use any other when IIS is already available with the Windows installation. 

You can check the following articles to install the prerequisite

  1. How to Rename Computer on Windows Server 2012?
  2. How to Install SQL Server 2012 on Windows Server 2012?
  3. How to allow SQL Server Remote connection?
  4. How to create firewall rules to allow SQL Server ports for remote connection?
  5. How to install IIS on Windows Server 2012?
  6. How to install WinZip on Windows Server 2012?

How to Install IBM Cognos BI Reporting Server on Window Server 2012?

Let's start by installing IBM Cognos Bl Server on Windows Server 2012

IBM Cognos Installation files come in tar.gz format. Use Win Zip to uncompress the installation files.
Under the installation files, you need to double-click on isetup.exe. It will launch the IBM Cognos Installation Wizard.

Following are the different installation wizard screens.
Welcome Windows: Select your installation language.

IBM License Agreement: Agree with IBM License terms and conditions to continue.

Installation Location: Select the IBM Cognos BI Server installation location. It is the physical path where the installation wizard will copy all the selected components related files. If the mentioned directory is not available installation wizard will create it.

Component Selection: In this article, we will install everything on a single server. Select everything except "Cognos Content Database". Why? Because we will use our own database server for "Cognos content database".

Shortcut Folder: It is "All Programs" shortcut folder name. Use a unique name to avoid any overwrite one the existing thing shortcut folders.

Summary: It will show all the information based on the selections in previous windows. If you are fine with the installation summary, click on Next to start the installation. If you need to change anything, go back to the respective Window and correct the appropriate option. Progress: It will show the progress of the installation. After the installation, you may get a dialog box for Language-Specific documents.

Progress: The actual installation is now started. You can find file copying progress on this window. Wait for the installation wizard to copy all the files.

Finish: IBM Cognos installation is now completed. You can check the summary for file transfer using transfer log. If due to some reason the installation is failing you can investigate the cause of failure using the error log. At the bottom, we have an option to launch the IBM Cognos Configuration Manager. If the checkbox is checked on click on the Finish button IBM Cognos configuration wizard will launch the IBM Cognos Configuration. Click on Finish button to close the installation wizard.

Our IBM Cognos Installation is completed successfully. Next, we need to configure it.

IBM Cognos Configure  

To launch IBM Cognos configuration go to All Programs -> folder name which you selected during the installation. Select IBM Cognos Configuration.

In this article, we will discuss the minimum options to start the IBM Cognos Services. Why? Just to reduce the complexity. You can find all the configuration related information in this tutorial series.
Edit the Gateway URI: You can find it under Local Configuration -> Environment.

Old Value: http://localhost:80/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognos.cgi
New Value: http://localhost:80/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognosisapi.dll
Why? For IIS ISAPI is recommended. If we you want to install and use Apache then you can use cognos.cgi. Or existing gateway or Old URI.

Content Store: We need to create a new Content Store Entry. The current entry is for DB2. We need to use SQL Server. Delete the current entry and create a new entry with the same name but with Microsoft SQL Server. Provide the valid SQL Server login information and test it. Before testing, if your database is not available you can create it using SQLCMD. You can know more about SQLCMD here.

Note: For SQL Server we have two options. First is Microsoft SQL Server and another one is Microsoft SQL Server (Windows Authentication). With the first option, we can use SQL Server user and password to connect. In the second option, we can connect to SQL Server using Windows User.

Delete Entry

Create a new entry for SQL Server

SQLCMD for creating a new database. You can run SQLCMD in Command Prompt.

Database Connection Settings

Finally, start the IBM Cognos Services. If Cognos services are started successfully visit http://localhost:9300/p2pd/servlet/dispatch

Cognos Services are started successfully. We can see the IBM Cognos portal. But it is not visible clearly. For the time being, ignored it. We need to first Configure IIS before start using IBM Cognos Connection or IBM Cognos Web Portal.

Configure IIS for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence

Assuming you already installed IIS with ISAPI Module. To configure IIS launch it first. Press "Windows + R" from the keyboard and type "inetmgr". Hit enter to launch IIS.

Application Pool: First, we need to create a new Application Pool. It is not mandatory, but if you are maintaining multiple websites on a single Server then it is recommended to have a separate application pool for the different websites group. On our demo server, we will host only one website so we can use the default Application Pool. But we want to cover How to create an Application Pools? That's why we will create a new Application Pool for IBM Cognos Portal.

We are using a 32-bit installation so we need to change the Application pool to support 32 bit.

Add a virtual directory: We need to access Cognos Portal using the URL http://localhost/ibmcognos. Here, http://localhost is pointing to the default IIS website.
For the ibmcognos web portal, we need to create a new IIS virtual directory with alias name ibmcognos. The physical path for the new Virtual directory will be pointing to IBM Cognos web content folder. You can find the IBM Cognos web content folder in the IBM Cognos installation directory. For example on our testing environment, IBM Cognos installs in C:\Program Files (x86)\ibm\cognos\c10\. You can find the web content in the same directory, assuming you installed the correct component.

Our virtual directory for IBM Cognos is created successfully. Now we can access it by visiting http://localhost:80/ibmcognos/, in the URL we are using the default working port for IIS. If your website is running on the different port number, then you must need to change it

Let's visit http://localhost/ibmcognos/

On visiting above URL you will be redirected to http://localhost/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognos.cgi?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/main.xts&startwel=yes. Why? Our URL, http://localhost/ibmcognos/ is mapped to directory C:\Program Files (x86)\ibm\cognos\c10\webcontent. Under web content folder we have two file default.htm and/or index.html. As per the IIS default document preference if any specific document is not mentioned in the URL, then first it looks for a default.htm file if it is not available it will look for index.html. If none of the listed default document is available, then the HTTP request may fail with 404 error. We can change the list of default documents using IIS. Following is the list of current default documents.

On requesting for http://localhost/ibmcognos/ URL the defaul.htm file will be called. In this file, we have a JavaScript function which redirecting users to http://localhost/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognos.cgi?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/main.xts&startwel=yes. It is not correct. Why? If you check IBM Cognos Configuration section we are using cognosisapi.dll or ISAPI module. But the default.htm file redirecting us to cgi module. To redirect the user on ISAPI module we need to edit the default.html and index.html file. Following is the before and after the change in the code. Change both the files. 

Before

function genMainContent()

                                                {

                                                                document.body.innerHTML = '<div align="center"><img src="' + splashImg.src + '" style="position:relative; top:80px"></div>';

                                                                window.setTimeout("window.location.replace('cgi-bin/cognos.cgi?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/main.xts&startwel=yes')",5);

                                                }

After

function genMainContent()

                                                {

                                                                document.body.innerHTML = '<div align="center"><img src="' + splashImg.src + '" style="position:relative; top:80px"></div>';

                                                                window.setTimeout("window.location.replace('cgi-bin/cognosisapi.dll?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/main.xts&startwel=yes')",5);

                                                }

 

Edit both the files save it and finally, restart the IIS Services to apply the new changes.

Let's visit http://localhost:80/ibmcognos/ again now if the changes are correct you will redirect to http://localhost/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognosisapi.dll?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/main.xts&startwel=yes.

As shown in the image IIS not able to find the cgi-bin. To resolve this, we need to create another virtual directory. Right-click on ibmcognos and select "Add Application" option. Why? We will explain it later. Don't select the "Add Virtual Directory". Now provide alias "cgi-bin". Select Application Pool which we created previously. In physical path, select C:\Program Files (x86)\ibm\cognos\c10\cgi-bin. The path may vary based on your installation.

On visiting again to http://localhost/ibmcognos/ will download a file. Let's download it and check the file name. It is cognosisapi.dll. What is wrong here?

Currently, IIS doesn't know what to do with the cognosisapi.dll file. We need to execute it. Or on each request, IIS needs to execute it. For this, right click on the ibmcognos virtual directory and add a new Application. Why? Because we need to execute the cognosisapi.dll on each request. Create a new Application with Alias name cgi-bin. Select the application pool which we specially created for IBM Cognos. In the physical path provide the path for cgi-bin directory available in the IBM Cognos installation. To allow execution for cognosisapi.dll we need to create a new Module Mapping for cognosisapi.dll.

Add a new Module Mapping with the following information

Request Path: cognosisapi.dll

Module: IsapiModule. 

Note: It is only available if you installed it with IIS. Check IIS installation for more details.

Executable Path: Provide the physical path for cognosisapi.dll.

Name: A unique name for this Module Mapping.

When you click on OK button IIS ask you to allow execution of this module. You must select yes for this option. If you by mistake selected any other option you can change it again from Module Mappings.

Restart IIS and finally visit http://localhost/ibmcognos one more time. This time you can see the IBM Cognos Home Page. Congratulation your IBM Cognos installation and configuration is completed.

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About The Author

Hello, I am Mayank Sanghvi I am primarily a BI developer with experience in MSBI and Cognos BI Suit. Also having interest in various other technologies such as Android, Java, C#, ASP .NET and other. I enjoy learning new technologies and share my experience with others.

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