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.
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 scenario, a support analyst is presented with a situation where the delimiter of a Comma Separated Value (CSV) report output format is different between an IBM Cognos production and development system.
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 use case, the following information was provided by the client when logging the initial PMR with support.
- IBM Cognos version: 8.4.1
- Operating System: Windows
- Query Database: IBM DB2
- Content Store Database: IBM DB2
Also as part of the initial conversation, the support analyst ascertains that both the IBM Cognos production and development systems are identical in architecture, build and business content. Naturally the production report data is provided by a production IBM DB2 database while the development reports use an IBM DB2 development system where the data volume has been pared down.
Further Clarifying the Issue at Hand
The analyst has the client step through the issue through a remote session. In that session the issue is further clarified as the CSV report export from the IBM Cognos production system is not actually comma separated. This causes an issue with the client as the file is not readable as a data source by IBM Cognos PowerPlay Transformer.
Comparing the Differences Between the IBM Cognos Production and Development System
The support analyst decides to start at comparing the differences between the two actual systems the IBM Cognos environments are installed on. In order to do this, the support analyst uses the System Overview Diagnostic located at: http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24020682
This utility obtains such system information as Computer Name, Operating System version and environment variables. After stepping the client through running this utility on the two systems, the client sends in the resultant logs to the support analyst.
Upon receiving the files, the support analyst uses a third party compare utility, such as Beyond Compare, to identify environmental differences between the two systems. Although there are a few expected differences, the support analyst does not find anything that is pertinent to the issue at hand. Due to this, the support analyst deduces that the issue maybe caused by a difference in the IBM Cognos system configuration.
The support analyst uses the IBM Cognos BI Dispatcher Diagnostic located at: http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24021220
This utility not only gathers the configuration settings associated with an IBM Cognos dispatcher, but also identifies any changes made to default configurations.
The client runs this utility on the problem IBM Cognos production system first and notices that none of the configurations have changed from the defaults applied during the install of the product.
The client then runs the same utility on the IBM Cognos development system. This time the utility highlights a change in the IBM Cognos dispatcher advanced settings. The IBM Cognos development system has a setting of: RSVP.CSV.DELIMITER set to ,.
Delivering the Findings
The client calls the support analyst to discuss these findings. After listening diligently, the support analyst quickly locates the technote located at: http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21439447 which provides the steps on setting this advanced configuration setting. The support analyst and the client end their conversation and after a day the support analyst received a request to close the call.