IBM Business Analytics Diagnostics: Use Case: Tracking Down an IBM Cognos Power Cube Connection Issue

Product(s): IBM Cognos BI; Area of Interest: Infrastructure

In this particular scenario, a support analyst is presented with a situation where all IBM Cognos Power cube data sources are failing after the IBM Cognos BI application was migrated from one physical server to another.

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Business Analytics Proven Practices Team, Business Analytics Proven Practices Team, IBM

Business Analytics Proven Practices Team



20 March 2012

Also available in Russian

Introduction

Purpose

This document is intended to provide a troubleshooting methodology which incorporates publically available utilities (http://www.ibm.com/software/data/support/cognos_sdk.html) to diagnose and resolve an issue identified within a specific use case.

Applicability

Although the troubleshooting approach outlined is not IBM Cognos version specific, some of the diagnostic utilities used are. The version of the utility to be downloaded will be specific to the IBM Cognos version that is experiencing the issue.


Use Case Description

In this particular scenario, a support analyst is presented with a situation where all IBM Cognos Power cube data sources are failing after the IBM Cognos BI application was migrated from one physical server to another.


Troubleshooting the Use Case

As with troubleshooting any use case, a set of basic information needs to be collected in order to further clarify the environment and the issue at hand. In this particular case the client’s IBM Cognos Administrator who did the server migration is able to provide the support analyst with the following details within the PMR.

The original environment consisted of a single server install with the following details:

  • IBM Cognos version: 8.4.1
  • Operating System: Windows 2003
  • Query Data Source: IBM Cognos Power Cubes

This environment was migrated to another single server install on a different server with the following details:

  • IBM Cognos version: 8.4.1
  • Operating System: Windows 2008
  • Query Data Source: IBM Cognos Power Cubes

During further conversations with the client’s IBM Cognos Administrator, it is discovered that everything else within the environment works as it did prior to the migration, only the IBM Cognos Power Cube data sources are affected.

Further Clarifying the IBM Cognos Power Cube Connection Issue Details

Since the support analyst does not have the actual error message, the client’s IBM Cognos Administrator is guided through the connection test of several IBM Cognos Power Cube connections. Each test results in the following error message:

DS-PCT-0020 Unable to open the PowerCube: (Open Data Cache). Cube path/name may be incorrect; cube may be corrupt or may not be a PowerCube.

Analyzing the IBM Cognos Cogserver.log Log File

By itself, the above error is not very helpful. The client’s IBM Cognos Administrator has access to physical logs directory on the BM Cognos Report Server.

The support analyst decides to use the “IBM Cognos From Log Errors to Technotes Utility” located at http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24028415

This tool individually loads the cogserver.log file and displays all the errors within a given date range. The client is then able to double click any of the error messages to automatically search the online IBM Technotes for a solution.

The support analyst steps the client through the loading and filtering of the cogserver.log file. After loading the log within the utility, the support analyst discovers that the cogserver.log file reveals no further hints beyond the original error message. The support analyst double checks the IBM Cognos Power Cube name and location as defined in the data source connection. The support analyst suddenly realizes that although the cube name and folder locations are correct, the corresponding root drive is not. The previous server had the cubes on the E:\ drive. The new server does not have an E:\ and all cubes are located in the identical folder structure on D:\.

The client’s IBM Cognos Administrator mentions that they have over 100 cubes and each data source connection requires multiple manual clicks to update.

Delivering the Findings

The support analyst searches for any approach that would speed up the update to 100 connection definitions.

The support analyst finds the “Update IBM Cognos 8 BI PowerCube DataSources Utility” located at http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24021276

This tool has the ability to mass changed IBM Cognos Power Cube connection strings.

The support analyst steps the client though the use of this utility automatically updating all 100 data source connection definitions. The support analyst instructs the client’s IBM Administrator to re-test the connections that previously failed. The client’s IBM Cognos Administrator agrees and requests that the PMR be closed at the end of the day.

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