IBM Cognos Proven Practices: Installing & Configuring IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 Server

Nature of Document: Guideline; Product(s): IBM Cognos Controller 8.5; Area of Interest: Infrastructure

Guidelines to installing and configuring IBM Cognos Controller 8.5.

Richard Collins, IBM Cognos Customer Support, IBM

Richard Collins is an IBM Cognos Customer Support person. Richard’s focus has been on the technical side for IBM Cognos Controller, especially on configuring, performance and installing of IBM Cognos Controller in different environments.



19 August 2010

Also available in Chinese Spanish

Introduction

Purpose

This document is to be used by IBM Cognos (and Partners) technical consultants, to help perform an installation of IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 server in a standard environments.

It is possible for less-experienced people (for example customer's IT Departments) to use this document too, so long as:

  • It will be a simple/standard implementation of IBM Cognos Controller
  • The customer accepts responsibility for any problems that may arise from the use of this document
  • In other words, the customer accepts that IBM’s recommendation is always to employ an experienced IBM Cognos Technical Consultant to help them install IBM Cognos Controller.
  • Employing an experienced IBM technical consultant will ensure that the risk is minimised of unexpected issues arising from an upgrade.
  • By following these best practices the intention is to make IBM Cognos Controller installation as easy as possible, with the minimum of issues.
  • Experienced technical consultants can also use this document as a concise set of instructions for installing the software as per current best practices, for typical situations

Applicability

This document is based on installing of IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 RTM.

  • IBM Cognos Controller 8.2 and later releases use .NET 2.0, so these versions are extremely similar to IBM Cognos Controller 8.5.
  • Therefore, you may find this document helpful for installing earlier (8.2/8.3/8.4) versions (although there will of course be minor differences)

Exclusions and Exceptions

Detail any possible exceptions to the applicability or any caveats that might be encountered during the implementation of the proven practice

There are an infinite variety of possible customer I.T. Environments/needs/specialise requirements. Therefore, IBM has intentionally made IBM Cognos Controller flexible to give the customer many different ways to install IBM Cognos Controller 8.5. Therefore the advice in this document may have to be modified by the user to fit in with their specific needs/environment.

Although this document demonstrates proven practices suitable for most environments, it is not necessarily perfect for all environments. Employing an experienced IBM Cognos technical consultant to upgrade your Controller server(s) is always recommended.

This document is not intended to entirely replace the official documentation (located on the install CDs) such as:

  • ctrl_arch.pdf – Architecture and Deployment guide
  • ctrl_inst.pdf – Installation and Configuration guide
  • nfg_ctrl.pdf – New Features guide
  • qrc_ctrl_inst.pdf – Getting Started Installation guide

Instead you can use this guide as a summary companion to the official documentation. In any event of overlap, the standard documentation takes precedence.


Important Notes, Tips and Warnings

Do not ignore/skip any sections of this document, unless you understand the consequences

It is perfectly possible to upgrade IBM Cognos Controller and have it (initially) working without performing some of the steps that the author prescribes/recommends. However, customer feedback has confirmed that, unless you perform all of the recommended/extra steps, the customer’s Controller system will not work well in the long-term.

Therefore, throughout this document, there will be hints and tips disclosed.

TIP: Ignoring the tips may cause the Controller system to be slow, unreliable or have long-term issues.

In addition, there are will be important information like the below.

Warning: If the information is ignored the IBM Cognos Controller system is not likely to work correctly.

Many of the author’s tips and recommendations refer to IBM’s excellent knowledge base, which contain the IBM “Technotes” (previously known as “KB articles”). This can be found here:

http://www.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/products/cognos-8-controller/support/search.html

It is important that the reader uses this Knowledge Base resource, since it is an invaluable help for almost all issues.

In addition, all Proven Practice documents can be found here:

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/analytics/practices.html

Server name conventions – FQDN and NETBIOS

Throughout this document, the author talks about configurations that refer to the <servername> of your Controller server. There are two main conventions for server naming:

  • NetBIOS – for example ‘MYSERVERNAME’
  • FQDN – for example ‘MYSERVERNAME.uk.companyname.com’

Alternatively, you may even be using something else to refer to your servers. For example, you may want to use a “virtual” DNS name (for Disaster Recovery purposes).

Whatever naming convention that you choose, you must use the same version of your server name at all times to retain consistency.

This document is based on installing Controller 8.5 RTM.

  • IBM Cognos Controller 8.2 and later releases use .NET 2.0, so these versions are extremely similar to IBM Cognos Controller 8.5.
  • Therefore, you may find this document helpful for installing earlier IBM Cognos Controller (8.2/8.3/8.4) versions (although there will be minor differences)

WARNING: To summarise, customers should typically use NetBIOS or FQDN names throughout their entire configuration/deployment, but not both. Using a mixture of naming conventions will cause complications later on.


Important Notes, Tips and Warnings

Full details of the supported software environments for all IBM Cognos Controller versions are listed here:

http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27014433

Operating Systems

To summarise the above website, although other environments are supported, the most tested/recommended, and therefore actively supported, server environment is Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 2.

This document shall assume that you are using Windows 2003 server at all times.

Some of the screens/procedures will look slightly different in other operating systems.

TIP: If installing on Windows XP Pro (for example as a pre-sales / demo system)then the installation instructions are virtually identical apart from:

  • You must remember to give the local user account "ASPNET" NTFS write access to the system TEMP folder (default = c:\windows\temp)
  • Windows XP uses IIS v5.5 (compared with Win2003 IIS v6). Therefore, some of the website settings will look slightly different, and some options might not be visible/changeable. Do not worry – proceed as normal, but skip these section(s)
  • You may also find that you need to disable the COM+ security

i.e. Clear the Enforce access checks for this application check box:

Figure 1 shows COM+ Components
Figure 1 shows COM+ Components

Other Microsoft Software

Install the following Microsoft software/components on your application server:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7

TIP: You can use IE6 if you prefer, but it is only supported as ‘compatible’, not ‘active’.

  • Microsoft Excel XP (2002), 2003 or 2007

TIP: It is not necessary to install Microsoft Office on your application server. However, the recommendation is that you install Microsoft Excel on the application server (recommended versions either Excel 2003 or 2007), because it makes testing immediately after the installation (plus throughout the future lifetime of the IBM Cognos Controller system) very easy.

Although Office 2000 is no longer supported, it is useful to install this version instead if your customer is migrating from IBM Cognos Controller 2.x to 8.5. Installing Office 2000 will allow forms and reports to be migrated from IBM Cognos Controller 2.x. (refer to Technotes 1347630, 1347477 and 1371088 for more details).

IMPORTANT: After installing Microsoft Office, you *must* install the latest Microsoft Office service pack (for example SP3, SP3, SP3 and SP2 respectively for Excel 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007 afterwards.

  • This solves a large number of known problems.
  • This is especially important for Excel XP (2002) where there is a known issue with Controller unless Office XP SP3 is installed. See KB 1030164 for more details.In addition, if using Excel 2007 then it is important that you also install Microsoft KB 974992 (“office-kb974992-fullfile-x86-glb.exe”). See technote 1394945.
  • Windows 2003 Support Tools Launch the file SUPTOOLS.MSI and perform a default install.

TIP: This is required in order to ensure that certain DLLs are present on the system. The software can be found on the Windows Server 2003 installation CD ROM. It is inside the following folder: <cdrom>:\SUPPORT\TOOLS .

SOAP Toolkit 3.0

  1. Launch the file “soapsdk.exe” and perform a default install.
    TIP: This is currently downloadable from:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C943C0DD- CEEC-4088-9753-86F052EC8450&displaylang=en
  2. Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Re-distributable Package (x86)
    Launch the file vcredist_x86.exe and perform a default install.
    TIP: This is a new requirement, for Controller 8.5 onwards. It helps to run the ‘IBM Controller Java Proxy server’ service. This file is currently downloadable from:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=32bc1bee- a3f9-4c13-9c99-220b62a191ee&displaylang=en
  3. NET 2.0 Framework SP2 (or SP1 if preferred)
    WARNING: It is important that you do not install the original .NET 2.0 RTM release. Instead, you must install NET 2.0 SP1 or later since it contains a huge number of Microsoft bug-fixes (see technote 1371440), plus can increase the performance of IBM Cognos Controller considerably.
    TIPS:
  4. Microsoft SQL 2005 (or 2008) Client components
    TIP:Even though most customers do not utilise the “Publish to Cognos BI Data Mart” functionality initially, they may wish to do so in the future. To avoid future downtime, it is best to install the required Microsoft SQL component files now rather than later. (see Technote 1371096)
    NOTE: Microsoft SQL 2000 is no longer officially supported, as from IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 onwards.
    TIP: If you intend to install Microsoft SQL Analysis Services (see next section) then you can combine these two sections (SQL Client and SQL Analysis Services) so you only perform one installation wizard and one service pack.
    If using Microsoft SQL 2005:
    • Insert Microsoft SQL 2005 CD-ROM and launch the autorun menu
    • Choose 'Install - Server components, tools, Books Online, and samples'
    • Accept all the default values during the wizard, until you reach the screen Components to Install
    • Select the check box Workstation components, Books Online and development tools, clear all other check boxes
    • Click Next, and then continue choosing all the default options
    • After the product has finished installing, download latest service pack (for example SP3 = 'SQLServer2005SP3-KB955706-x86-ENU.exe) from Microsoft
    • Double-click to upgrade the client tools to SP3, then reboot application server

    If using Microsoft SQL 2008:
    • Insert Microsoft SQL 2008 CD-ROM and launch the autorun menu
    • This will automatically download .NET 3.5 SP1 from the Internet and install it
    • Afterwards, select Installation > New SQL Server stand-alone installation
    • In the Feature Selection screen, select the following:
      • Client Tools Connectivity
      • Client Tools Backwards Compatibility
      • Client Tools SDK
      • Management Tools – Complete
    • Accept all the default values during the wizard
    • After the product has finished installing, download latest service pack (for example SP1 = SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x86-ENU.exe') from Microsoft
    • Double-click to upgrade the client tools to SP1, then reboot application server
  5. Microsoft Analysis Services DLLs
    TIP: Even though most customers do not utilize the Publish to OLAP Data Mart functionality initially, they may wish to do so in the future. To avoid future downtime, it is best to install the required MSAS DLL files now (rather than later). (see technote 1347319)
    NOTE: SQL 2000 is no longer officially supported, as from IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 onwards.
    If your database/MSAS server is Microsoft SQL 2005:
    • Insert SQL 2005 CD-ROM and launch the autorun menu
    • Choose 'Install - Server components, tools, Books Online, and samples'
    • Accept all the default values during the wizard, until you reach the screen 'Components to Install'
    • Select the check box Analysis Services
    • Click Next and then continue choosing all the default options
    • After the product has finished installing, download latest service pack (for example SP2 = 'SQLServer2005SP2-KB921896-x86-ENU.exe') from Microsoft
    • Double-click to upgrade the client tools to SP2, then reboot application server

    If your database/MSAS server is SQL 2008:
    • Insert SQL 2008 CD-ROM and launch the autorun menu
    • Accept all the default values during the wizard until you reach the Feature Selection screen
    • Select the check box Analysis Services
    • Afterwards, accept all the default values during the wizard
    • After the product has finished installing, download latest service pack (for example SP1 = SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x86-ENU.exe') from Microsoft
    • Double-click to upgrade the Analysis Services DLL files to SP1, then reboot the application server
  6. Oracle 10G (or 9i) client components
    Important (if using Oracle): If you are using Oracle as your IBM Cognos Controller application database repository, then it is essential that you install the Oracle client correctly on the application server, and also patch the Oracle client afterwards. (see technote 1347434)
    For full details of how to do this correctly see the Proven Practice document ‘Step-by-Step guide to installing Oracle 10G Client on a IBM Cognos Controller 8.3 Application server’ and ‘Quick guide to installing Oracle 9i Client on a IBM Cognos Controller 8 Application server, and configuring afterwards’.

Add Required Windows Components

By default, several required Windows components are not installed. Therefore:

  • Open Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Windows Components
  • Select Application Server and click Details
  • Select Application Server Console
  • Ensure that the following are selected:
    • Enable network COM+ access
    • Internet Information Services (IIS)
Figure 2 shows the application server and the subcomponents required
Figure 2 shows the application server and the subcomponents required

TIP:The following describes the default IIS options, which are known to work fine:

  • Common Files – selected
  • Internet Information Services Manager – selected
  • World Wide Web Service – selected (grey)
  • Drilling down further with details, this just has “World Wide Web Service” selected
  • <All others> - not selected
  • Launch http://servername and ensure that the default website appears successfully before proceeding to the next stage

Other non-IBM Cognos Software

Install Adobe Reader 8.1.2 (for example AdbeRdr812_en_US.exe) or later on your server.

TIP: Although Adobe Reader 8.1.2 is the only actively tested/supported version, there should be no problems if you use a later version (for example Adobe Reader 9.2).

WARNING: Afterwards, you must launch Acrobat Reader and accept the license agreement, otherwise you may have unexpected issues later.

Other Miscellaneous Settings

  • Ensure that all servers (for example SQL, Application#1, APP#2, Citrix #1, Citrix#2) are members of the same domain
  • If they are not in the same Windows domain, then this will cause problems when using advanced functionality (for example MSAS Data Mart publishes, and also using Optimise2/ERO)
  • Windows 2003 SP1 and later (plus Windows XP SPx+) introduces a new setting "Data Execution Prevention" (DEP)
  • To avoid potential problems, please change this to Turn on DEP for essential programs and services only
    Figure 3 shows System Properties and Performance options
    Figure 3 shows System Properties and Performance options
  • If the server CPUs support Intel HyperThreading (HT) (for example, they have Intel Xeon CPUs circa 2005/2006), then disable HT in the BIOS for all servers)

Best practices:

  • Recommend enabling Terminal Services remote connection on all the servers (for ease of remote administration of them in the future)
  • Ensure that your application server has a fast (a minimum of 100Mb Full Duplex) network connection to/from the database server
  • Ideally you should be using gigabit network connections

TIP: Try copying a large folder (for example the 500Mb ‘i386’ folder, found on the Win2003 installation CD-ROM) from the IBM Cognos Controller application server to the database server, across the network. How long does this take? 500Mb should only take 2 to 3 minutes to copy across a 100b Full Duplex network.

  • This is one of the best tests that you can perform, during the installation, since it is a fairly common problem to find out (afterwards) that there is poor network connectivity causing IBM Cognos Controller performance problems.
  • Double-check the Regional settings, before installing any software.
  • Typically, ensure that your server has been installed with the appropriate setting for your country (for example English (UK)) as default regional options/language/keyboard.
  • These regional settings choices should be consistent between the various Database, Application and Citrix servers involved Having a mixture of Regional Settings increases the likelihood of experiencing application issues.

Requirement for COM+ Application

The IBM Cognos Controller COM+ application must run under a Domain User account (to allow advanced IBM Cognos Controller functionality to work as intended).

  • Create a Windows (Active Directory) domain user (for example DOMAIN\Controller_system)
  • Ensure that the user’s password is not set to expire
  • Add this Domain User to the local Administrators group that resides on the application server
    • Right-click My Computer, and select Manage
    • Expand Local Users and Groups - Groups
    • Open Administrators and add the domain user here
  • Ensure that the customer does not have a policy (for example an AD Group Policy) which periodically automatically removes unrecognised accounts from the local Administrators group

Best Practice

Add this IBM Cognos Controller ‘service’ Windows user to the local Administrators group for all servers that are dedicated for IBM Cognos Controller-only use (for example, you may have dedicated SQL/Citrix servers). This best practice makes the installation (and future troubleshooting work) easier.

Important: As a best practice, all future parts of this document should be performed whilst logged on as the IBM Cognos Controller “system” Windows user account (for example “DOMAIN\Controller_system”) that you have previously created (see above).

Register ASP.NET 2.0 (SP2)

ASP.NET is an IIS extension that ships with the .NET Framework, but it isn't installed by default. It needs to be registered and configured to run before Controller will work.

  • Open a Command Prompt Window
  • change directory to c:\windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727
  • Run the following command: aspnet_regiis.exe /i
    Figure 4 shows the command prompt line and the need to register .NET
    Figure 4 shows the command prompt line and the need to register .NET
  • Open IIS Manager (Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Internet Information
  • Services (IIS) Manager)
  • Open Web Service Extensions and select ASP.NET v2.0.50727 in the right-hand panel
    • Double-check to make sure it is set to Allowed
    • Expand Web Sites, right-click Default Web Site and select Properties
  • Click the ASP.NET tab
  • Ensure that the ASP.NET version is set to 2.0.50727

Allow Cognos CGI/ISAPI extensions

The Cognos 8 server engine can either use CGI or ISAPI (see section 7.3 for more details). By default, these are both disabled. After you have chosen which one to use (default = CGI) you must enable the relevant extension by using either of the following methods (‘quick’ or ‘slow’):

Quick and Easy Method

  • Open the IIS administrative tool, and open Web Service Extensions.
  • Select the relevant section - either All Unknown CGI Extensions or All Unknown ISAPI Extensions and then click the Allow button:
    Figure 5 shows the Web Service extensions and what their status should be
    Figure 5 shows the Web Service extensions and what their status should be

Slower/More precise method:

  • For more precise security control, you should:
  • Create a new Webserver extension (for example, called ‘Cognos8’)
  • Configure it to allow the relevant file(s), for example:
  • C:\Program Files\Cognos\c8\cgi-bin\cognos.cgi
    Or
    C:\Program Files\Cognos\c8\cgi-bin\cognosisapi.dll

Optimize IIS website settings

  • Right-click DefaultAppPool and select Properties > Performance tab
  • Increase IIS timeout from default (20 mins) to 60 mins (see below):
    Figure 6 shows the idle time out and queue limits
    Figure 6 shows the idle time out and queue limits

Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration

Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Windows Components and clear the check box Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.

Figure 7 shows windows components and Internet explore enhance security configuration
Figure 7 shows windows components and Internet explore enhance security configuration

Add servers to Trusted Sites zones in Internet Explore

Important: It is important to ensure that communication between the application servers is not blocked by Internet Explorer. Therefore, you must perform the following steps:

  • Launch Internet Explorer, and click Tools > Options
  • Click Security > Trusted sites and click the Sites button:
    Figure 8 shows the Trusted site and the required trusted sites
    Figure 8 shows the Trusted site and the required trusted sites
  • Clear the check box Require server verification and add all the addresses for all the separate Controller servers (for example report server, gateway etc.).

TIP: In case you need it later, it is recommended you add both the NetBIOS and FQDN names, plus localhost. In other words, if you have three Controller application servers, add the following:

  • http://controllerAPP/, http://controllerapp.domain.com/
  • http://controllerREP/, http://controllerREP.domain.com/
  • http://controllerGWY/, http://controllerGWY.domain.com/
  • http://localhost

If you are using Internet Explorer 7, there is an extra step required

  • Open the Internet Options > Security tab
  • Change the security level for the Trusted sites from the default Medium to Medium-Low

Database Preparation

TIP: The following section assumes you are using Microsoft SQL. If you are using Oracle 9i/10G, please refer to the author’s companion Proven Practice documentation, for example “Step-by-Step guide to installing Oracle 10G Client on a Controller 8.3 Application server.pdf”.

Default Collation Setting for Microsoft SQL Server

It is important that you read and understand this section. Using the ‘wrong’ database collation for the IBM Cognos Controller application repository database will cause problems in the future. IBM Cognos Controller should work with almost any case-insensitive server collation setting.

NOTE: It is not recommended to use “uppercase preference” (for example SQL_Latin1_General_Pref_CP1_CI_AS) because:

  • no testing has been performed with “uppercase preference” collation settings
  • It is believe that it can potentially cause errors with alphanumeric keys. Since alphanumeric keys are used extensively in Controller, you should take this as a strong warning not to use it. You cannot transfer a database from one SQL server (to a different SQL server) if the two servers have different server default collation settings.
    This is because the IBM Cognos Controller database must match the collation setting of the TEMPDB database, so that it can transfer information correctly. (See Technote #1345692 & 1397234.)

Since the customer will want to transfer their database between customer to Cognos Supportor Cognos Support to IBM Cognos consultant, it is essential that they are aware that each Microsoft SQL server (that they transfer the database to/from) must have the same collation setting for its TEMPDB database (also known as having the same ‘default’ collation setting). Therefore (if at all possible) you should try your best to ensure that your Microsoft SQL Server IBM Cognos 'Preferred' collation setting is: SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.

Figure 9 shows the server collation
Figure 9 shows the server collation

TIP: If you are installing the Microsoft SQL server, then you may decide that you want to use IBM Cognos’ customer’s most popular collation (SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS). To achieve this, you need to ensure that you choose a custom install. During the installation wizard, choose a custom installation of SQL (see below for an example for SQL 2000).

Figure 10 shows the type of install recommended for Microsoft SQL Server
Figure 10 shows the type of install recommended for Microsoft SQL Server

During the wizard, when you reach the Collation Settings screen, select Dictionary order, case-insensitive, for use with 1252 Character Set, which will appear similar to the following:

Figure 11 shows the collation settings
Figure 11 shows the collation settings

Install Microsoft Analysis

If you are installing the Microsoft SQL server yourself, then it is recommended to also install the Microsoft Analysis Services (MSAS) features on the SQL server now, even if you do not have an immediate need for MSAS/OLAP functionality. This is to avoid potential downtime on the SQL server (if you find that you require MSAS/OLAP functionality in the future).

Upgrade Microsoft SQL (and MSAS) to latest Service Pack

After installing SQL (and MSAS) it is standard best practice to immediately patch them to the latest Microsoft service packs. At the time of writing, assuming you're running 32- bit versions, the author recommends:

  • SQL 2005: Install SP3 by downloading and running the file “SQLServer2005SP3-KB955706-x86-ENU.exe”.
  • SQL 2008: Install SP1 by downloading and running the file “SQLServer2008SP1-KB968369-x86-ENU.exe”.

Post-install Microsoft SQL Server Optimisations

Important – if using SQL 2000:

Although SQL 2000 is not officially supported (from IBM Controller 8.5 onwards) there may be customers still using this version. There appears to be a known Microsoft issue with SQL 2000 SP4, when you run on a SQL server which has a high number of CPUs / cores (for example 4 or 8).

If your SQL 2000 server has 4 or 8 cores, then please reduce the parallelism setting of SQL 2000 down to 2 (or 1). (see technotes 1371449, 1391027 and 1347720 for more details)

PERFORMANCE TIP: There are several ways to improve SQL performance. Some of them include:

  • Ensure that system/TEMPDB, DATA and LOGS and are on separate arrays, for maximum performance
  • Change the default storage location for the DATA/LOG files on the SQL server at this point, to save time in the future.

Ideally, the SQL server should be running on a server dedicated to this task only. However, if it is performing another role (for example it is a development/test Controller Application server) then modify the SQL Server’s memory settings so that it does not use all the available RAM.

IBM Cognos Controller SQL login user and database creation

TIP: If you require exact step-by-step instructions for 2005, then follow the author’s separate document “Basic database tasks using SQL 2005 and Controller 8…pdf”. (see Technote #1347969)

Create a blank SQL database(s) for the Controller application repository (for financial data)

  • Most customers have a need for ‘live’, ‘test’ and ‘training’ databases
  • Best practice: call these ControllerLIVE, ControllerTEST and ControllerTRAIN respectively

Create blank SQL database for Controller “Cognos 8 BI ContentStore” (report server configuration data)

  • Best practice: call this ControllerContentStore

Create SQL login

  • To enable SQL logins, you must ensure that your SQL server is set to mixed-mode authentication
  • By convention, Cognos recommends using the SQL login called “fastnet”, although any name could be used (although cannot start with a number for example “1cognos” since you'll receive errors with certain processes for example DBMAINT).
Figure 12 shows logon information
Figure 12 shows logon information

Important:

  • The password for “fastnet” cannot contain any special characters.
  • For most situations, do select the Enforce password policy check box
  • Also, ensure that this SQL login (for example “fastnet”) has its Default language set to English. Otherwise you may get strange issues, such as standard reports having incorrect decimal characters.
  • Give SQL login database access rights
  • Click Server roles and ensure that only the roles Public and bulkadmin (known in previous versions of SQL as bulk-insert administrators are selected

For your information, the ‘bulkadmin’ is required for “Optimise2” (ERO) to work.

Figure 13 shows the Server Roles
Figure 13 shows the Server Roles

Important: Do not give the SQL login (for example ‘fastnet’) sysadmin rights. (See technote#1347546 for the why not)

Ensure that ‘fastnet’ is given dbowner rights to the following databases:

  • tempdb – required since Controller extensively uses this database
  • model – required since SQL will occasionally recreate tempdb from a copy of ‘model’, for example whenever SQL is restarted
  • all Controller application databases (for example ControllerLIVE, ControllerTEST, ControllerTRAIN etc.)
Figure 14 shows Login properties
Figure 14 shows Login properties

Information: The SQL login fastnet requires dbowner rights to the database tempdb to allow the ERO (Enhanced Report Optimisation – also known as Optimise2) feature to work.

By default SQL will allow the user “fastnet” read /write access to TEMPDB (regardless of whether we use Optimise2 or not). However, the reason why the Controller SQL login specifically needs dbowner rights is because of a confirmed Microsoft limitation of their SQL product, where ‘BULK INSERT’ (which is the technique behind Optimise2), requires dbowner rights.

NOTE: The fact that fastnet is ‘dbowner’ for TEMPDB should not affect other applications. Using Optimise2 should, in fact, affect other applications using the same SQL Server to a lesser extent than if Optimise2 wasn’t used! By using Optimise2, temporary tables are created in tempdb for a shorter period of time (than if not using Optimise2), thus holding a shared resource for a shorter period of time (good).

Create an Optimize2 (a.k.a. “Advance Excel Link” or “E.R.O” - Enhanced Reporting Optimisation

In most circumstances, it is easiest to place this share on the SQL server:

  • Create a folder on the SQL server (for example called “controller_BI_share”) and share it (for example “controller_BI_share$”)
  • Modify the share and NTFS permissions so that the Controller service account user (for example domain\controller_system) has full control rights
  • Create a subfolder for each of the databases
  • For example ‘ControllerLIVE’, ‘ControllerTEST’, ‘ControllerTRAINING’
  • See Technote #1347048

Restore other databases (if necessary)

You may already have a Controller database to restore (for example sent from the application consultant). Use the SQL Enterprise Manager interface to restore the database. After restoration, you will have to remove orphaned users (‘synchronize SQL logins’) by:

  • launching Query Analyzer
  • changing the database to one you have just restored
  • running the following script (update_user.SQL):
    EXECUTE sp_change_users_login 'Update_One', 'fastnet', 'fastnet'
    GO

TIP: change both the users ‘fastnet’ and ‘fastnet’ for the name of your SQL login (for example ‘cognos’ or whatever).

Create Database Maintenance Plans

Important: It is important that, for performance and stability reasons, your SQL server has a Database Maintenance plan configured. (See technote #1347569)

Microsoft SQL

Best practices are:

  • Create a database maintenance plan (for example called “Controller databases”) which:
  • Optimizes/re-indexes/update_statistics once a week (for example every Sunday morning at 4 a.m.)
  • Backs up the database nightly
  • Backs up the transaction logs nightly
  • In addition, it is also recommended that you configure an additional new maintenance job, which merely “update the statistics” every night
  • This will speed up certain operations inside Controller
  • See the separate Technote #1347569 and 1396973 for full details

Oracle: There are recommended scripts inside the official documentation, however for more details see the author’s separate Proven Practice document “06. Guide to installing Oracle 10G Server and creating databases_ on Windows, for Controller 8.2 - June 21 2007.pdf” for precise instructions.


Installation of IBM Cognos Controller Server

Server Software Installation

TIP: The following assumes that there is only one application server, with all components installed and running on this server.

  • Launch the installation program issetup.exe (located inside <cdrom>\win32)
  • Select the installation language and click the Next button
  • this is used only for the installation, it is not the default product language
  • Click Agree > Next
  • Choose the installation location (default C:\Program Files\cognos\c8), and click Next.
Figure 15 shows the installation of the components for IBM Cognos Controller
Figure 15 shows the installation of the components for IBM Cognos Controller
  • Select all components (default) and click the Next button
  • Accept the default shortcut directory (this is for the start menu) and click the Next button
  • Click the Next button to start the install
    Note: After the installation has completed, clear the check boxes for View Cognos Readme and Start Cognos Configuration and click the Finish button

Important: There have been some occasions where the Controller 8.x installation does not register all COM+ components correctly. Therefore, check that the number of components that appear (see below) is 259:

Figure 16 shows the Com+ Plus and Controller components
Figure 16 shows the Com+ Plus and Controller components

TIPS:

  • To view the total number, right-click Components and select View > Customise > Description Bar.
  • You will have to close Component Services and re-launch the tool to see the change IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 should have 259 objects

Note: Old versions of IBM Cognos Controller (8.1, 8.2 and 8.3) had their COM+ application called ‘COGNOSCONTROLLER’ (not IBMCOGNOSCONTROLLER).


Configuration of Controller Server

'IBM Cognos Controller Java Proxy' Windows Service User Account

Modify the Windows service ‘IBM Cognos Controller Java Proxy’ so that it does not run under the default Windows user (Local System).

Instead, change it to run under your Controller COM+ user account (for example ‘<DOMAIN>\Controller_system’:

Figure 17 shows the configuration of the java proxy server
Figure 17 shows the configuration of the java proxy server

TIP: For more information on the COM+ user, see previous section 4.1 "Create a Controller System Windows domain user" and future section 7.7 "Controller Server configuration".

Check JAVA_HOME environment variable for BI

TIP: Previous versions of Controller/Cognos 8 BI recommended having a JAVA_HOME variable. For Controller 8.5, this is no longer necessary. Therefore, if you are 100% sure you do not have a JAVA_HOME variable configured, then you can skip this section.

NOTE: It does no harm having a variable configured, so long as it has the correct value.

Log on to your Controller application server (report server), right-click My Computer and select Properties.

  • Inside your System properties click Advanced tab
  • Click the Environment Variables button, and locate the System Variables section
  • If there exists a variable called JAVA_HOME, then
    Either delete this variable
    Or ensure that its value is correct, for example: <installDir>\bin\jre\1.5.0
Figure 18 shows the system properties for the java server
Figure 18 shows the system properties for the java server

NOTE: You’ll have to reboot the server now for this JAVA_HOME variable change to take place

Install JRE environment for FAP

TIP: FAP (Financial Analytics Publisher) is a new feature from Controller 8.5 onwards. This requires IBM Java 1.6.0 (JRE).

  • Log on to the Controller application server as an administrator
  • Locate the folder ...webcontent\ccr.
  • TIP: By default, this is: C:\Program Files\Cognos\c8\webcontent\ccr
  • Create a folder in a easy to recall location, for example C:\Program Files\ibm\java60\
  • Extract the file jre.zip to this folder.
Figure 19 shows the Java folder
Figure 19 shows the Java folder

TIP: You should now have a folder structure with folders such as:

C:\Program Files\IBM\Java60\jre\bin

C:\Program Files\IBM\Java60\jre\lib

Configure JRE environment system variable for FAP

NOTE: If you have a value configured for JAVA_HOME (see earlier section) then you must complete the following section. If you do not have a JAVA_HOME then you can skip this section if you want to, although it does no harm to complete the section anyway!

  • Log on to the Controller application server as an administrator
  • Right-click My Computer and select Properties
  • Inside your System properties select the Advanced tab
  • Click the Environment Variables button
  • Click the New button in the System Variables group
  • Enter CCR_JAVA_Home as the Variable name
  • Enter the path for the variable value, such as: C:\Program Files\IBM\Java60\jre
  • Click the OK button three times

Configure CCR_INTEGRATION_SERVER_DEPLOY_HOME system environment variable

NOTE: This is a new requirement for Controller 8.5.

  • Log on to the Controller application server as an administrator
  • Right-click My Computer and select Properties
  • Inside your System properties select the Advanced tab
  • Click the Environment Variables button
  • Click the New button in the System Variables group
  • Enter CCR_INTEGRATION_SERVER_DEPLOY_HOME as the Variable name
  • Enter the path for the variable value, such as: C:\Program Files\Cognos\C8\Server\Integration
  • Click the OK button three times

IMPORTANT: Before continuing, you will have to reboot the application server now for all the above system variable changes to be registered.

Cognos 8 BI Report Server Configuration

Note: These instructions assume that the Microsoft SQL Server is the database type used.

  • Create the ContentStore only if you have not already done so inside step 4.3 of this document!
  • Log on to the SQL Server as an administrator, and launch SQL Server Enterprise Manager
  • Expand Microsoft SQL Servers > SQL Server Group > Local > Databases
  • Right click Databases and select the New Database option from the popup menu
  • Enter ControllerContentStore in the Name field ‘cm’ is the default database name, and that's the name that will be used at various points in these instructions, but you can choose anything you want
  • Click OK

Add a user to the database

  • Expand the ControllerContentStore database entry in the tree control in the left pane
  • Right click the User entry, and select New Database User entry from the popup menu
  • Choose <New> in the Login name drop down
  • A new dialog will appear. Enter fastnet in the Name edit field
  • Select SQL Server Authentication as the Authentication type
  • Enter a password
  • Set ControllerContentStore in the Database drop down in the Defaults section, and Click OK
  • Confirm the password and click OK
  • Click Yes
  • Set fastnet in the Login name drop down
  • Select db_owner and db_ddladmin in the Permit in Database Role, and Click OK
  • Add the Cognos 8 BI ‘runtime’ virtual directories

Add the cognos8 virtual directory

  • Launch IIS Manager
  • In the tree control in the left pane expand (machine name) > Web Sites > Default Web Site
  • Right click the default web site
  • Select New > Virtual Directory from the popup menu
  • Enter cognos8 in the Alias edit field and click the Next button
  • Browse to the (installdir)\webcontent path (for example C:\Program Files\cognos\c8\webcontent) and click Next
  • Keep the default permissions (Read only) and click the Next button, then Finish
  • Add the cgi-bin virtual directory
  • Right click the new cognos8 entry
  • Select New > Virtual Directory from the popup menu
  • Enter cgi-bin in the Alias edit field and click Next
  • Browse to the (installdir)\cgi-bin path (for example C:\Program Files\cognos\c8\cgi-bin) and click the Next button
  • Select Read, Run Scripts and Execute permission, and click Next > Finish.

Open Cognos Configuration

  • Navigate throughout Cognos Configuration, and modify all the relevant references which (by default) initially refer to localhost. Change them to the appropriate server name.
  • For example change “local configuration – environment” and “Environment – Portal Services”…
  • In the tree control in the left pane, click the Local Configuration > Data Access > Content Manager > Content Store entry
    TIP: Previous versions of Controller had the default content store type set to Microsoft SQL. From Controller 8.4 onwards, this is now DB2. Therefore, we shall change this to SQL in the next steps.
  • Right-click Content Store and choose Delete then click Yes to confirm
Figure 20 shows the content store and deleting
Figure 20 shows the content store and deleting

Select Microsoft SQL Server database

  • Type the name Content Store.
  • In the right pane, click User ID and password, then on the Edit icon (it has a pencil icon). Enter the User ID and Password, then click the OK button.
  • Fill in the other entries, to point to your ContentStore database:
    Figure 21 shows the content store for IBM Cognos Controller
    Figure 21 shows the content store for IBM Cognos Controller
  • In the left pane, right click the Content Store entry, and select the Test option from the popup menu item. Ensure it's successful (this will take a minute or so).
  • In the tree control in the left pane, click the Local Configuration > Security > Cognos Application Firewall entry.
  • In the right pane, set the Enable CAF Validation option to False.

TIP: The only reason for disabling the CAF is to give sensible error messages during the initial testing/development phase. When the server goes into production, this should be changed to True.

  • In the tree control in the left pane, click the Local Configuration
  • Click the Save Button, and then the Start Service button in the main toolbar (this can take several minutes)

Note: If you get an error at this stage, you may find that you need to reboot and try again.

Test the Cognos8 BI 'runtime' Reporting Server

TIP: Test Controller directly from the application server itself first, before trying on remote client PCs.

Open Internet Explorer, and enter http://(machine name)/cognos8 as the address - If Cognos Connection loads, the install was successful!!

Import the Controller “Standard Reports” Framework Manager model via Cognos Connection

  • Launch Cognos Connection from http://servername/cognos8
  • Click Administer IBM Cognos content
  • Click the Configuration tab, then Content Administration
  • Click the New Import icon
    Figure 22 shows the setting up a new import source for Cognos 8
    Figure 22 shows the setting up a new import source for Cognos 8
  • Select the Controller entry, then click Next then Next
  • Select the box next to the Controller entry, and click Next
    Figure 23 shows the new entry for IBM Cognos Controller
    Figure 23 shows the new entry for IBM Cognos Controller
  • Click Next > Next > Finish
  • Click Run > OK
  • Click then Home icon (you should see a Controller folder if everything was successful)
    Figure 24 shows IBM Cognos Controller Folder
    Figure 24 shows IBM Cognos Controller FolderTIP: For performance reasons, you should not have the Report Server service (i.e. the Windows service called “IBM Cognos 8”) running on the same server as your database server (for example SQL 2005). However, if you do (for example this is a very small demo/test server) then you may get an issue after a reboot, where the Cognos 8 service does not successfully start. This is caused by the SQL “ContentStore” database not being available when the “Cognos 8” Windows service tries to start. There are many different ways to solve this. See Technote #1347377 for more details.

IBM Cognos Controller Server Configuration

Add the Controller virtual directories

Add the controllerbin virtual directory

  • Launch IIS Manager
  • In the tree control in the left pane expand (machine name) > Web Sites > Default Web Site
  • Right click the cognos8 virtual directory
  • Select New > Virtual Directory from the popup menu
  • Enter controllerbin in the Alias edit field, Next
  • Browse to the <installdir>\webcontent\ccr path (typically C:\Program Files\cognos\c8\webcontent\ccr) and click Next
  • Set the permissions to Read and Run Scripts and Next then Finish

Add the controller virtual directory

  • Right click the cognos8 web site, select New > Virtual Directory
  • Enter controller in the Alias edit field and click Next
  • Browse to the same path as above (for example C:\Program Files\cognos\c8\webcontent\ccr) and click Next
  • Set the permissions to Read and Run Scripts and click Next then Finish
  • Right click the controller virtual directory and select Properties from the popup menu
  • Select the A redirection to a URL option
  • In the Redirect to edit field, enter /cognos8/controllerbin/ccr.exe
    Figure 25 shows the redirection of the ccr.exe file
    Figure 25 shows the redirection of the ccr.exe file
  • Click OK

TIP: This section controls where the client’s web browser redirects when they click the Controller link inside Cognos Connection. Therefore, if you have your Client Distribution Server on a different server, you should redirect to a different server. For example: http://CTRLsvrCDS/cognos8/controllerbin/ccr.exe

Add the controllerserver virtual directory

  • Right click the cognos8 entry, select New > Virtual Directory from the popup menu
  • Enter controllerserver in the Alias edit field and click Next
  • Browse to the (installdir)\ControllerProxyServer path and click Next
  • Select the Read and Run Scripts permissions and click Next > Finish

Add the controllerhelp virtual directory

  • Right click the cognos8 entry, select New > Virtual Directory from the popup menu
  • Enter controllerhelp in the Alias edit field and click Next
  • Browse to the (installdir)\webcontent path and click Next
  • Select the Read permission and click Next, then Finish

Launch Controller Configuration (Start Menu > Cognos8 > Cognos Controller > Controller Configuration)

  • Configure COM+ Server
  • In the tree control in the left pane, expand Cognos Controller Configuration > Web Services Server > COM+ Server
  • In the right pane, select the Specify Account option
  • Enter an administrative Windows user in the User edit field (for example domain\controller_system)
  • Enter and confirm the password

Important: The Windows user entered here must be:

  • A domain user (for example of why see Technote #1347048)
  • A member of the local Administrators group on the application server itself (see technote #1367316)
  • In the Controller COM+ roles and users, click in the area, and then click the New (‘white page’) button from the main tool bar
  • In the COM+ Role, enter a suitable name, such as ControllerUsers
  • In the COM+ User, enter everyone
  • Repeat the three previous steps, but enter NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM as the user
    Figure 26 shows the COM+ roles and users
    Figure 26 shows the COM+ roles and users
  • Click the SAVE icon (top left corner)

TIP: For more precise security controls, you can narrow the security further by using the following COM+ roles and users instead of the ones that I listed above:

  • ControllerUsers NT AUTHORITY\IUSR_<Servername> (the Widows account that, by default, runs Controller’s virtual Controller directories in the default website)
  • ControllerUsers NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE (the account running the default application pool in which Controller’s virtual directories have write access)
  • ControllerUsers NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM (the account which runs the Controller Windows ‘batch service’)

Configure the database connection

  • In the tree control in the left pane, expand Cognos Controller Configuration > Web Services Server > Database Connections
  • Click the New button from the main tool bar
  • In the right pane, enter the following information:
    • Database type: SQL Server (TIP: you can simply double-click this cell to change it)
    • Name: Default (for example)
    TIP: usually the name of the server and/or purpose is used to help identify the database. e.g.“Default” and “controllertest”

IMPORTANT: The database connection names are case-sensitive. Therefore, for ‘SelectDB’ and ‘single-user mode’ to work correctly, your main (live) database should never be called ‘default’. Instead, it should be ‘Default’ with a capital ‘D’ (for more information, see Technote #1364826).

  • Provider: SQLNCLI.1 (for SQL Server databases only)
  • Tip: For, Oracle, this should be “OraOLEDB.Oracle.1”

NOTE: Previous versions of this document recommended using ‘SQLOLEDB.1’ instead of ‘SQLNCLI.1’. For SQL 2005 and later it is possible to use SQLOLEDB.1, but it is recommend that you use SQLNCLI.1 (the “native” client) instead of the older ‘SQLOLEDB.1’. The main reason for this is that SQLNCLI works better when using the Controller FAP.

NOTE:

  • User ID: The user ID used in the Create Controller Database step for example fastnet
  • Password: The Password used in the Create Controller Database step
  • Initial catalogue: The name of the database created previously step for example ccr
  • Data source: The name of the machine hosting the database (do not use localhost)
    Figure 27 shows the Cognos Controller Configuration
    Figure 27 shows the Cognos Controller Configuration
  • Click the Save icon from the main tool bar
  • In the tree control in the left pane, select the database connection you've just created, and click the Run icon from the main tool bar
  • If a warning comes up saying "Unable to determine current database version", click the Create Db button
    TIP: change the group/local language settings as appropriate – for example to EN/EN
  • If the Actual and DbConv versions at the top of the dialog do not match (for example in picture 512 doesn’t equal 577), click the Run Steps icon (this takes a bit of time).
    TIP: You will also have to do this step after using the “createDB” step the first time.
    Figure 28 shows the database conversion utility
    Figure 28 shows the database conversion utility
  • Click Close.
  • Configure the location of the Cognos Report server (i.e. typically the Cognos8 BI run-time server, which is typically the same as the Controller application server, unless you have a “distributed” installation)
  • In the tree control in the left pane, expand Cognos Controller Configuration > Web Services Server > Report Server
    TIP: You may receive the following message concerning registry settings which you should acknowledge
    Figure 29 shows web services registry
    Figure 29 shows web services registry

If you get this error, it will always appear (when you launch Controller Configuration) until you follow the details inside later section entitled “Configure the location of the Cognos Report server”

IMPORTANT: The Report Server section will appear to have already have been filled in. However, you must make a subtle change, re-save and then reverse the change, and re-save.

If you do not do the next section, then these settings will not get saved and registered properly.

  • In the right pane, in the report server field, change the Report Server section
    • from http://<servername>/cognos8/...
    • to http://localhost/cognos8/...
  • Click the Save icon at the top-left corner of Controller Configuration
  • Now reverse the above change by modifying the Report Server section
    • From http://localhost/cognos8/...
    • to http://<servername>/cognos8/...
  • Click the Save icon at the top-left corner of Controller Configuration
  • Ensure that the dispatcher URI is set to http://<servername>/cognos8/... :
    Figure 30 shows the Report Server
    Figure 30 shows the Report Server
  • Ensure that Controller is the package name, and click Save
  • At this stage, you should see the following message, and you should click Repair.
    Figure 31 shows the repairing of the Report Server Connection
    Figure 31 shows the repairing of the Report Server ConnectionTIP: This step ensures that the system reports can work (handled by the Cognos8 runtime component). Clicking the Repair button creates a connection (“data source”) between Controller and Cognos8 BI reporting services. This step has to be done again whenever you create a new database connection in the future.

Inside the Client Distribution Server Config, ensure that:

  • SelectDB is set as appropriate
  • Typically set this to “off” so that (by default) users can only see the single “Default” database connection
  • Then the ‘superusers’ (who want to see multiple databases for example “test”/”training” databases) can click Maintain > Database > Database Selection Mode in order to see the other databases
  • Ensure that all end users' computers can resolve the URLs that are specified
  • Typically this means changing the NetBIOS names (for example VBRACONT8AP1) into FQDN names (for example vbracont8ap1.companyname.com)
    Figure 32 shows the client distribution server
    Figure 32 shows the client distribution server
  • The settings (CASUrl, WSSUrl and HelpUrl) defined here are the ones that the client computers will attempt to use, so it is important that they are correct
  • After making changes, click the Save icon

TIP: Check IIS settings, especially if this is a shared web-server. If your webserver is hosting other (non-Cognos) websites (for example sharepoint server), then check for potential conflicts in the following two web ‘config’ files:

  • Launch Notepad
  • Open the file C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\iexplore.exe.config
  • Ensure that the entries for Controller 8 are using the correct server name convention (for example NetBIOS or FQDN), similar to the following:
    ...
    <add key="CASUrl" value="http://servername/cognos8/controllerbin" />
    <add key="WSSUrl" value="http://servername/cognos8/controllerserver" />
    ...

Enable Batch service(s):

  • Inside Cognos Controller Configuration, open Web Services Server and then Batch Services
  • IMPORTANT: Unless the server is exceptionally powerful, you should only enable one batch service
  • Therefore, click Batch Services 1 and press the Play icon so that the status changes to Running

Enable Optimise2

  • IMPORTANT: Optimise2 (also known as “ERO”) is useful for speeding up Controller Excel-based reports. It is important that this is configured, to allow the end users to speed up their system (see technote #1347048 for full details of how to configure ERO/Optimise2.

Install and Configure Financial Analytics Publish (FAP)

FAP Overview

FAP is a new feature, available from Controller 8.5 onwards. It allows near real-time reporting from Controller, by trickle-publishing the Controller data to a TM1 cube. It consists of:

Financial Analytics Publisher client

  • This is the administration console for FAP.
  • This is typically installed on the Controller application server.

Financial Analytics Publisher database

  • This may be located on a separate/dedicated database server.

Financial Analytics Publisher Service and TM1

  • This is typically located on a separate/dedicated ‘TM1’ application server.

TIP: IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 is bundled with TM1 version 9.4.1 (32-bit and 64-bit versions). Therefore, before continuing, please download one of the following (as appropriate):

IBM Cognos TM1 32-bit V9.4.1 for Windows Multilingual (CZA5ZML)

IBM Cognos TM1 64-bit V9.4.1 for Windows Multilingual (CZA60ML)

These can both be downloaded from the Controller 8.5 download site here:

http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24024154

IMPORTANT: You can only use TM1 v9.4.1 with FAP. Currently, TM1 9.5 is not supported for Controller 8.5 (see technote #1417823). The potential benefits of using FAP are so huge, that it is strongly recommended that all customers install and configure FAP, as part of their IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 system.

Further preparation information and reading – TM1 Install

For more information on how to install TM1 9.4.1, see:

  • Pages 94 to 100 of the official Controller 8.5 document “Installation and Configuration Guide” (“ctrl_inst.pdf”)
  • The official TM1 9.4 MR1 document “TM1 Installation Guide” (“tm1install.pdf”)
  • The separate Proven Practice document (“Installing the Financial Analytical Publisher (FAP) for Controller 8.5”)

Note: The following sections are based on the official “Installation and Configuration Guide”.

TIP: Many of the steps listed below (for example creating a new SQL database, or installing IIS) are similar/the same as the steps needed to perform on the Controller application server itself. Therefore, for more guidance/detailed-instructions of how to perform some of the following tasks, please refer to earlier in this document (for example Chapter 3).

Component installation locations – Initial Assumptions - FAP

As the installation of Financial Analytics Publisher includes several different server components, there are a number of different options on how to perform the installation.

This document shall assume that:

  • The Financial Analytics Publisher client (that is, the administration console) will be installed on the Controller application server.
  • There is a separate/dedicated application server, upon which the Financial Analytics Publisher database, the Financial Analytics Publisher Service and TM1 are all installed.

NOTE: To repeat the above, the following instructions assume that you have a dedicated TM1 server, upon which no Controller components are installed. In other words, only the TM1 application server and TM1 database are going to be hosted on the “TM1 server”. This is the most likely/common/recommended configuration for most customers.

In addition, the following instructions assume that the customer’s requirements are ‘standard’. Therefore, the options are generally left as the ‘defaults’. If your customer has any specific requirements, then please refer to an experienced TM1 consultant who can modify the settings as appropriate.

Creating a Financial Analytics Publisher Database

If you are installing the IBM Cognos 8 Controller Financial Analytics Publisher Client for the first time, you must create an empty Financial Analytics Publisher database. This is because Financial Analytics Publisher requires a database to publish data from the Controller database.

Figure 33 shows the controller data flow to the TM1 cube
Figure 33 shows the controller data flow to the TM1 cube

In other words:

  • You need to create a blank database (labelled ‘Controller Published Data Mart’ in diagram above)
  • This stores the data that is continuously being trickle-published out of the Controller Operational Database (more commonly known as the Controller application repository database).
Figure 34 shows the trickle-published process
Figure 34 shows the trickle-published process

TM1 itself will then build cubes in memory from the data that is held in the Data Mart (see diagram on the right). In other words, the TM1 cubes are not stored in the SQL database, but instead they are dynamically created from it.

  • Log on to your database server (for example SQL 2005) and create a new FAP data mart database (for example called ‘ControllerLive_FAP_data_mart’)
  • Ensure that your SQL login (for example ‘fastnet’) has dbowner rights to this database
  • Launch the database scripting tool (for example “SQL Server Management Studio” for SQL2005 or “PLSSQL” for Oracle)
  • Open the script nrtr_createTables.sql
    TIP: This can be found inside the folder “C:\Program Files\Cognos\c8\server\FAP\SQL” or “C:\Program Files\Cognos\c8\server\FAP\Oracle” on the Controller application server
  • Run this script on the blank FAP database that we created earlier (for example ControllerLive_FAP_data_mart) to create the database tables on the Financial Analytics Publisher database

Creating an ODBC Data Source for TM1

You need to create an ODBC Data Source pointing to the Financial Analytics Publisher database to be able to use the database from TM1.

Note: The ODBC Data Source must be named FAP and must be created on the same server as the TM1 installation.

  • Log on to the TM1 server as the COM+ Administrator account
  • Open Control Panel
  • Click Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC) > System DSN
  • Click Add and choose the relevant database driver (for example ‘SQL Native Client’)
  • Click Finish

Configure the ODBC connection, for example:

  • Name: FAP
  • Description: Controller FAP Connector
  • Server: <SQL Server Name>
  • User ‘SQL Server’ authentication
  • Enter SQL login (for example ‘fastnet’) and password
  • Tick ‘Change the default database to:’
  • Select the FAP trickle publish data mart database (for example ‘ControllerLive_FAP_data_mart’)
  • Accept all the other default options
  • Click ‘Test Data Source’ to confirm
  • OK

The client software for your relational database (for example SQL 2005) must be installed on the same machine on which you are creating the FAP ODBC Data Source and TM1 server.

  • Log on to the TM1 server as the COM+ Administrator account
  • Install the relevant database client (for example SQL 2005 ‘Workstation Components’ Client Components)
  • Patch to latest service pack (for example SQL 2005 SP3).

TIP: For instructions on how to do this, refer back to section 3.2 of this document.

Installing IBM Cognos TM1 9.4.1 software

Steps to creating ODBC Data Source for TM1:

  • Add the Controller COM+ Windows user account (for example “<DOMAIN>\Controller_System”) to be a member of the ‘Local Administrators’ group on the TM1 Server
  • Log on to the dedicated TM1 server using the COM+ Windows user account (for example “<DOMAIN>\Controller_System”), and perform all the following tasks when logged on as that user account
  • Ensure that the TM1 server’s regional settings (for example “English UK”) match the regional settings on the Controller server
  • Open Add/Remove Programs and ensure that IIS is installed
  • Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration
  • Install Microsoft Excel (2003 or 2007 recommended), with the latest service pack
  • Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 (“dotnetfx30SP1setup.exe”)
  • Modify the Web Service Extensions so that ASP.NET v2.0.5077 is set to Allowed
  • Locate the TM1 9.4.1 installation media, and double-click setup.exe
  • Click OK > OK > Next > I Accept > Next
  • Accept the default option (“TM1”) for the product to install (to install “TM1 Server and clients”), and click Next.
  • Click Standard > Next
  • Enter the Controller COM+ Windows user account (for example “<Domain>\Controller_system”) and password, then click Next
  • Click Install > Next

Creating a new TM1 Server Data Location

To be able to run the Financial Analytics Publisher, you need to create a local TM1 Server on the TM1 application server (admin host server). The TM1 Server manages requests from TM1 clients by loading shared cubes into memory, managing security, sending data to spreadsheets, updating cubes on request, and maintaining a log of changes to the database.

TIP: The following instructions assume the software has been installed in the default location. If not, then please modify as appropriate. In addition, modify <tm1servername> for the name of your TM1 server.

  • On the TM1 server, create a new folder (to store data) such as D:\TM1Data\<tm1servername>
  • Copy the file "C:\Program Files\Cognos\TM1\Custom\TM1Data\PlanSamp\Tm1s.cfg” to the new folder (such as D:\TM1Data\<tm1servername>\Tm1s.cfg)
  • Repeat for the file TM1s.lic
  • From the Start menu, click Run and type the following (modify folder as necessary) and then press <Enter>: notepad "D:\TM1Data\<tm1servername>\Tm1s.cfg"
  • Modify the ‘DataBaseDirectory’ to the correct value (for example ‘D:\TM1Data\<tm1servername>\’)
  • Modify the ServerName to the correct value (for example myservername)
  • Normally you can leave the PortNumber value as the default (12345)
  • However, if you have multiple services started (for example ‘PortNumber=12345’) then you must make each server run under a unique TCP port number
  • For best results add (or modify the existing) the following setting (inside the ‘[TM1S]’ section): GroupsCreationLimit=1000

TIP: This can be increased (default = 20, maximum = 65535) later if necessary.

Installing a TM1 Server as a Windows Service

To be able to update the TM1 cube with data, you must install a TM1 Server as a Windows Service. When you install the TM1 Server it automatically installs a TM1 Server Service called ‘TM1 Admin Server’, which is the main Windows service for the TM1 Server. In addition to this, you must have a separate service installed to be able to write and read data from the TM1 cube. To be able to update the TM1 cube, both services should have the status Started.

  • From the Start menu click Run
  • CMD <Enter>
  • cd C:\Program Files\Cognos\TM1\bin <Enter>
  • type the following command, where tm1servername is the name of the TM1 server: tm1sd.exe -install -n tm1servername -z "D:\TM1Data\tm1servername"

TIP: If the result set returns "TM1 Server / tm1servername installed", the service was created successfully.

  • Open the Control Panel and click Administrative Tools > Services
  • In the Services dialog box, on the Standard tab, double-click TM1 Server - Planning Sample
  • Modify this from Automatic to Disabled, then Apply and OK
  • Right-click the service TM1 Admin Server and click Start
  • Double-click TM1 Server / <tm1servername>
  • Modify this from Manual to Automatic
  • Click Log on tab
  • Modify from Local System account to This Account
  • Enter the COM+ user (for example '<DOMAIN>\Controller_system') and password
  • Click Apply
  • Click the General tab then Start > OK

Installing and Configuring the Financial Analytics Publisher Service

You need to install the Financial Analytics Publisher Windows service (“IBM Cognos FAP Service”) to be able to retrieve data from the Controller database and send it to TM1 and the TM1 cube. You configure the Financial Analytics Publisher Service to point to a valid Financial Analytics Publisher database.

  • Log on to the Controller Application server as an administrator (COM+ User)
  • Open a Command Prompt, and change to the directory to where the FAPNTService.exe file exists. By default this is:
  • From the Start menu click Run
  • CMD <Enter>
  • cd C:\Program Files\Cognos\c8\Server\FAP
  • Run the installUtil.exe utility to register FAPNTService.exe. By default this is:
    C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.050727\installUtil.exe FAPNTService.exe

In the Set Service Login dialog box, set the following, then click OK:

  • Username: COM+ User (for example ‘<Domain>\Controller_service’)
  • Password: The COM+ user’s Windows password
  • Using NOTEPAD, open the file ‘C:\Program Files\ cognos\c8\Server\FAP\FAPService.properties’
  • Edit the file to include the correct database, host, database type, user and password:
    db=<database name> (SQL Server) or <oracle sid> (Oracle)

TIP: This is the FAP data mart database which hosts the trickle published data (for example called ‘ControllerLive_FAP_data_mart’).

  • host=<dns_to_the_FAP_database server>
  • Typically this is just the SQL server name, such as myserver
  • However, if you are using a SQL Server instance called “instance1” on a server called “myserver” then you would need to use the TCP port number of the instance, such as: myserver:1434
  • dbType
  • For Microsoft SQL, this should be sqlserver
  • For ORACLE, this should be oracle
  • user=<username> TIP: For example this is the SQL Login ‘fastnet’
  • passwd=<password> TIP: This would then the password of the user ‘fastnet’

TIP: The FAPService.properties file can be edited for an Microsoft SQL Server FAP database, or an Oracle FAP database connection.

Note: If you are using another JDBC provider, such as one from Microsoft, you must add the following parameters:

  • sqlserverDbConnectionType=<SQL Server connection type, defaults to JSQLConnect>
  • sqlserverProvider=<SQL Server provider, defaults to com.jnetdirect.jsql.JSQLDriver>
  • oracleDbConnectionType=<Oracle connection type, defaults to oracle>
  • oracleProvider=<Oracle provider, defaults to oracle.jdbc.driver.OracleDriver>
  • You also need to download a .jar file, and copy it to the directory where the lib folder exists
  • From the Start menu, click Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services
  • Right-click IBM Cognos FAP Service, and select Properties
  • Click the Log on tab. Notice how the service is configured to run under the account which installed the service. It is possible to change this to the “Local System Account”. However, the author recommends configuring it to run under the COM+ User account (for example ‘<DOMAIN>\Controller_system’).
  • In the Services dialog box, right-click IBM Cognos FAP Service and click Start to start the Financial Analytics Publisher Service.

Installing the TM1 Client

TIP: When installing the TM1 Server on a 64-bit server it is necessary to install the 32-bit TM1 client on the server where the Financial Analytics Publisher service is installed. This is to allow the user to create the required TM1 local servers and to allow the Financial Analytics Publisher service to communicate with the TM1 Server.

This step is required when the Financial Analytics Publisher service (which we have installed on the Controller application server – see above) and the TM1 application server reside on different servers. The TM1 client includes the .dll files that are required for the Financial Analytics Publisher server and the client to communicate with the TM1 server.

  • og on to the Controller application server
  • Browse to the TM1 v9.4.1 installation media, and double-click setup.exe
  • Click OK > OK > Next > I accept > Next
  • In the Choose a Product to Install, select the TM1 (Server and Client) option, and then click Next
  • Assuming that you have not installed Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0, you will get a “TM1 Rules Editor requires Microsoft .NET Framework Manager Version 3.0” warning. Click OK to this warning
  • Typically leave the install as the default (C:\Program Files\Cognos\TM1)
  • Choose Custom install > Next
  • Inside Component Selection ensure that the following is selected:
  • IBM Cognos TM1\Clients
  • Do not select the following:
  • IBM Cognos TM1\Developer's Environment
  • IBM Cognos TM1\Servers
  • Click Next
  • Click Next to accept the default TCP/IP Port Configuration
  • Accept the defaults for the Admin Server Host configuration, then click Next
  • Click Install
  • Click Finish

Add a Path for the TM1 Client System Variable

Steps to adding Path for TM1 Client System:

  • On the Controller application server, right-click My Computer, and select Properties
  • Go to the Advanced tab
  • Click Environment Variables
  • Under System Variables, select Path, and click Edit
  • Append this with an extra entry at the end, for the path to the TM1\bin directory, for example:
    ;C:\Program Files\Cognos\TM1\bin
    C:\Program Files\Support Tools\;C:\oracle\product\10.2.0\client_1\bin;%SystemRoot%
    Important: Do not forget to add the semi-colon (;). This separates all the entries listed in the Path. For example, you Path may afterwards look similar to:
    \system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem; C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\DTS\Binn\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\90\Tools\Binn\VSShell\Common7\IDE\;C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\;C:\Program Files\Cognos\TM1\bin
  • Click OK to all dialog boxes that follow

Install the Financial Analytics Publisher

In our scenario, where we have already installed the FAP onto the IBM Cognos Controller application server as part of the default install (see section 6.1).

Finally, please note that when running either Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or Microsoft SQL Server 2008, the SQLNCLI.1 SQL Native Provider for Microsoft SQL 2005 is required (not the SQLOLEDB.1).


Post-Install Optimisation

Recommended: Proactive Server Reboots

Best practice is to configure each server to reboot periodically, to minimise risks from ‘memory leaks’ etc. Recommend doing this via “scheduled tasks” pointing to a batch file for example.

c:\reboot\shutdown.exe /r

  • Citrix server: once a week (for example every Sunday morning @ 2am)
  • Application server: once a week
  • SQL 2005/8 server: typically not necessary, but ideally once a month

Recommended: Split the COM+ application

IMPORTANT: Before making any changes, it is recommended that you test that the IBM Cognos Controller functionality works before and after. By doing this, it will reduce (in the long term) the time taken to troubleshoot any future problemsThis section explains how to split the single COM+ application called ‘IBMCOGNOSCONTROLLER’ into two separate COM+ applications.

  • Many customers find that they do not need to perform this splitting step.
  • However, other customers may encounter performance issues (such as the entire system ‘not responding’ for all users during a consolidation process) unless this section is performed.

TIP: Splitting IBMCOGNOSCONTROLLER into two separate applications ON THE SAME PHYSICAL SERVER helps to optimize the server to cope with high demands/loads. An alternative (ideal) solution is to have 2 PHYISICALLY SEPARATE servers, and splitting the 2 COM+ applications over these two physically different application servers:

  • Server#1 – hosts IBMCOGNOSCONTROLLER
  • Server #2 – hosts COGNOSVFP

How to split the COM+ application in two on a single Controller application server:

  • Ensure that no users are using Controller
  • Log on to the application server as an administrator
  • From the Control Panel click Administrative Tools
  • Click Component Services
  • Expand the top row (by clicking on the '+' symbols) until you reach the COM+ application called "IBMCOGNOSCONTROLLER"
  • Expand this, and click Components
  • Select the two components, frangovfp.cglobvar and frangovfp.main
  • Right-click, and choose Delete
  • Click Yes to delete them
  • Right-click the COM+ Application folder and choose New Application
  • In the wizard, choose Next then click Create an Empty Application
  • Name the application COGNOSVFP and ensure Server application is selected
  • Select this user, and use the Cognos Controller administrative user account (also known as the "service account") as the identity for the COM+ application
  • At the next screen, select CreatorOwner and select Remove
  • Then click Add role and type in 'ControllerUsers' then click OK, so that it looks correct (i.e. the same settings as for the COGNOSCONTROLLER COM+ application)
  • Click Next
  • Add the groups(s) that you use to give access to the Cognos Controller application (for example 'everyone' and 'NT AUTHORITY\system'). TIP: You may have to type in 'system' rather than 'NT AUTHORITY\system', depending on your environment.

TIP: For more precise security controls, you can narrow the security further by using the following COM+ role and user instead:

ControllerUsersDOMAIN\<Controller_COM+_account>

Replace ‘DOMAIN\<Controller_COM+_account>’ with whatever the Widows account that you are using as your COM+ user account on the ‘main’ application server.

  • Click Next > Finish
  • Expand the COGNOSVFP application, and right-click Components and select New > Component
  • Click Next, then choose Install new components
  • Click Next
  • Browse to the file 'frangovfp.dll' and click Open. [By default, this is located inside: C:\Program Files\Cognos\C8\server]
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish
  • Select both components in the COGNOSVFP application, right-click and select Properties
  • Click the Security tab, and then select both check boxes for Enforce and CognosUsers
  • Click OK
  • Reboot the application server
  • TEST

Note: It is particularly important to test consolidations afterwards, since this is the main function that is affected by the above.

Optional: Split Controller Forms COM+

In very rare cases, it has been seen that some customers will benefit from splitting the COM+ application further – in other words, splitting it into 3 separate sections.

Optional: Enable Email Functionality

End-users can use the email functionality inside Controller 8 for sending things like reports, intercompany balances and export files via e-mail. If you know the email server settings, then you can perform the following:

  • Open Controller
  • Click Maintain > Configuration > General
  • Click the General 3 tab
  • Fill in the details (for example see example below)
Figure 35 shows the email settings
Figure 35 shows the email settings

NOTE:

  • You will not be able to save the above changes on a blank database until you first configure some other settings. For example, click Reconcile and set both the balance sheet and P&L to an appropriate value (for example “1001 – sales”)
  • Inside the official Controller 8 help file, it has references to “Outlook”. This seems to be a mistake in the help file. Controller 8 is not able to send emails via MAPI. Instead, it only sends via SMTP.
  • Ensure that you have an email address defined for the user (that you have logged in as) in Maintain/Rights/Users:
    Figure 36 shows security groups
    Figure 36 shows security groups
  • You also require a properly configured SMTP server, which trusts SMTP messages sent from the users/computer(s)

TESTING: The easiest way to test whether the above works is to go into:

  • Click Transfer > Export Structures
  • Inside the dialog box, ensure that you type in a valid email address (for example see below):
Figure 37 shows the email example
Figure 37 shows the email example

Optional: Change Controller 'Standard Reports' to use ISAPI not CGI technlogy

IMPORTANT: Before making any changes, please test that 'standard reports' work OK for CGI. This will ensure that you do not waste extra time troubleshooting if Standard Reports fail to work on ISAPI afterwards.

TIP: ISAPI is a Microsoft technology, optimised for Microsoft websites (IIS). By default, Cognos products use CGI technology which is compatible with IIS and Apache etc., but not optimised for Microsoft.

For most scenarios, changing from using CGI to ISAPI will provide no noticeable benefit. HOWEVER, there *are* occasions where it is useful to make this change.

Scenario 1 – If deploying Controller via RDP (Microsoft Terminal Services), then sometimes using CGI will cause ‘standard reports’ and ‘single-signon’ to fail. NOTE: The problem does *not* affect deploying Controller via ICA (Citrix) protocols – it *only* affects RDP (Microsoft) Terminal Services protocols.

For more information, see the Microsoft article http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;829011.

Scenario 2 – If deploying Controller via using a ‘gateway’ (e.g. DMZ) configuration (i.e. using the ‘t=controller’ parameter), then using ISAPI can dramatically reduce the CPU overhead on the gateway webserver.

For more information on the t= parameter, see Technote #1347535.

For more details on the following steps (including a multimedia presentation), you can see IBM Technote 1338671.

  • launch Cognos Configuration
  • Locate “Environment” – and then search for “Gateway URI”
  • Modify entry to have “cognosisapi.dll” instead of “cognos.cgi” at the end
    Figure 38 shows the change to gateway server
    Figure 38 shows the change to gateway server
  • Click “save”
  • Restart the Cognos8 BI service
  • Launch the following: Notepad.exe c:\program files\cognos\c8\webcontent\default.htm
  • Modify the entry from “cognos.cgi” to “cognosisapi.dll” instead:
    Figure 39 shows the default.htm
    Figure 39 shows the default.htm

Repeat the above for the file c:\program files\cognos\c8\webcontent\index.html.

Finally, change the “Report Server” setting (inside “Controller Configuration”) to use cognosisapi.dll:

Figure 40 shows the set up of the report server
Figure 40 shows the set up of the report server

Optional: Change the Cognos8 'Windows' service to use a medium configuration

Important: Beware of the advice on page of official document “rdm_ctrl.pdf” - “Cognos 8 Controller 8.2 – Readme”:

Using medium or large configurations for the Cognos 8 service does not work – no error message makes it back to the user. The first verions of a microsoft patch 921883 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924054/en-us) causes problems when lots continuous memory is requested by an application. The second version of the patch (as described here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924054/en-us), was sent out to patch the patch”.

TIP: By default, Cognos Configuration will configure Cognos 8 BI to use a “small” configuration, where it allocates 768Mb RAM for the JAVA process. This “small” configuration is suitable for most environments, for example:

  • small-to-medium sized Controller-only usage
  • small Cognos 8 BI reporting environments, e.g. development or small number of users

However, for larger environments (e.g. if using dedicated Cognos 8 BI server because using Cognos 8 BI for non-Controller work), “Small configuration” will allocate much less resource for the JAVA garbage collection. Therefore, under high loads, you might receive error Launch Cognos Configuration.

  • Locate “Environment” – “Cognos 8 Service”
  • Right-click on “Cognos 8”, and choose “delete” then “yes”
  • Right-click on “Cognos 8 service” and choose “New Resource” – “Configuration”
  • Name: Cognos 8
  • Choose Medium configuration
  • Save and restart the Cognos 8 BI service messages such as “java.lang.OutOfMemory”. Therefore, consider changing this to “medium”

Creating a software 'Repository' Share

Overview – Software Repository Share

As a best practice, to make future client installs easier, you should create and populate a IBM Cognos Controller software repository share, from which to install the software in the future.

IMPORTANT: It is absolutely important that the person installing Controller performs these steps. Failure to do so will increase the effort required to install the Controller client on user’s computers, which (in turn) will increase the risk of mistakes/errors/issues later.

Creating a share “Client_Share” on your Application Server

For full details on how to achieve the above, please see the author’s companion document “How to install the IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 client on a user's PC - Proven Practice.pdf”.

Populate Share with the required Controller client software

For full details on how to achieve the above, please see the author’s companion document “How to install the IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 client on a user's PC - Proven Practice.pdf”.


Testing

Install Client Software on the Application Server (Requirements)

You will need to:

  • Add .NET 2.0 trust
  • Run Caspol_disable2.bat
  • Disable/Bypass proxy inside Internet Explorer settings
  • Install ControllerClient.MSI
  • Launch http://controllerserver/cognos8/controllerbin/ccr.exe

To achieve this, follow the instructions that are defined inside my companion document “How to install the IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 client on a user's PC - Proven Practice.pdf”.

Install Client Software on the Application Server (step by step guide)

The amount of testing that is possible depends on whether you have only “blank” Controller databases, or a fully-populated database.

  • Open Controller Configuration
  • In the Explorer window, select COM+ Server
  • In the right pane, enter the Identity and Users for the application, and click Save
  • There should be no error
  • In the Explorer window, select Report Server, and enter the ReportNet server you wish to use
  • Click the Check button (there should be no error)
  • Choose the Controller package, and click Save (there should be no error)
  • Open Internet Explorer, and enter http://(machine name)/cognos8 in the address bar
  • Click the Controller link
  • A popup dialog with the text "Do you want to install Controller Client" will appear. Click Yes

Login Test

  • In the database selection page, choose the new database you've created in the previous step
  • Enter ADM as the user and kbs as the password
  • If the main application window appears, log in is successful
  • You may be asked to Optimise the database. If so, go into Single User Mode and do this

Documentation Test

  • From the Help main menu, select Contents
  • If the HTML user guide is displayed, the help files are ok

System Information Test

  • From the Help main menu, select System Information
  • If the information is correct, system information is successful

Forms and Data Loading/Saving Test

  • From the Maintain menu item, select Account Structure > Define...
  • Click the New button
  • Enter 1001 as the Code - edit Field
  • Enter Sales as the Name - Group edit field
  • Enter Sales as the Short Name - Group edit field
  • Click the ... button for Account Type, and select Income as the type
  • Click Save then close
  • From the Maintain menu item, select Account Structure > Define...
  • If the Sales account is available, the data loading and saving is successful

Standard ‘System’ Reports Test #1a (“Regular reports”)

  • From the Maintain menu item, select Account Structure > Reports...
  • Select Codes from the Report Selections group
  • Select Texts from the Additional Reports group
  • Click the ... button for the Account edit field in the Account/From Selection group
  • Click the Sales account, then click OK button (the green check mark)
  • Click the Preview button
  • If the Report appears in PDF format, the report execution is successful

NB: You may find that the report server fails at this point. Try repeating the same thing (the report server may not have started yet). Also, you may have to launch Adobe Acrobat reader and “accept” the license agreement first.

Standard ‘System’ Reports Test #1b

  • Click Maintain > Account Structure > Verify...
  • Select Check account structure and click Preview

IMPORTANT: You may now see a screen similar to the following:

Figure 41 shows internet explorer message
Figure 41 shows internet explorer message

You must leave the In the future do not show this message check box selected and click Yes. This is because the information between the client and the application server is all sent via HTTP (usually via Internet Explorer settings) and therefore if you clicked No it will forever block traffic in the future.

ALSO: If you see a message “Page cannot be displayed” during the above testing, then this is normally because you have forgotten to change the server name from “localhost” to <servername> - see earlier section entitled “Configure the location of the Cognos Report server”

  • Standard ‘System’ Reports Test #1c
  • Click Maintain > Company structure > Reports
  • Select Tree structure and click Preview
Figure 42 shows company structure reports
Figure 42 shows company structure reports

Standard Reports Test #2 (Result Sets Processed by VFPCOM)

  • From the Group menu item, select Reconcile > Intercompany Balances...
  • In the Report Number edit field, enter 2
  • Select the Detailed check box for the Report Content item
  • In the Group edit field, enter 1000
  • Click the Preview button
  • If the Report appears in PDF format, the report execution is successful

TIP: This will explain how to ensure that msvcr71.dll is correctly registered, and also REGSVR32 VFPCOM.DLL.

Test Excel Link

  • From the Reports menu item, select Run...
  • On the Reports and Forms tab, select Report
  • Select both Show Rows and Show Columns inside the “show zero values”
  • Click the Preview button

If a print preview in Excel appears correct, the test of the Excel Link is successful.

Troubleshooting

One of the most useful tests that you can perform is to test whether your Controller application server (“ControllerProxy Server”, a.k.a. “WS server”) is responding:

  • In a web browser, type: http://<servername>/cognos8/ControllerServer/CCRWS.asmx
  • It should respond with a screen with a list of lots of services that are available

General Windows (non-Cognos specific) Performance Testing

If time permits, check that the application/SQL servers demonstrate good I/O network performance (etc.) by performing tests such as the following:

TIP: Experiences have seen many high-performance server environments ruined by using the wrong network card speed (for example ‘auto-detect’ instead of 100Mb Full Duplex or Gigabit).

  • File copy test
  • Copy a file from a remote (WAN) client PC to the front (application) ‘gateway’ server
  • make sure you have a minimum throughput of 256-500kb per sec
  • 1mb is better
  • 10mb is optimal
  • Copy a file from each server to each other server
  • Copy a large file (for example 100mb+) from the main application server to database (for example SQL) server, and vice versa
  • make sure you have a minimum throughput of 10mb
  • 20 when using NIC teaming, and 30 with a gigabyte NIC
  • Make sure to test both ways from each physical server, as switch ports can be mis-configured for inbound and outbound per port
  • Check network cards - make sure the server NIC is set correctly (for example 100mb FD minimum if supported by switch)
  • Controller will benefit if the NIC is set on gigabit (if supported by switch)
  • Check that File and printer sharing is set to Maximise throughput for network applications

To test if SQL server is overloaded, use perfmon (administrative tools) on the SQL server to check the following average performance counters:

  • Memory: Available Bytes not under 5mb; between 5 and 10mb free is normal (add physical memory)
  • Memory: Pages/sec not over 20 (ad physical memory)
  • Physical Disk: % Disk timenot over 55% longer then 10 min. (add or change disk setup)
  • Physical Disk: Avg. Disk Queue Lengthnot over 2 longer then 10 min. (add or change disk setup)
  • Processor: % Processor Time not over 80% longer then 10 min. (add or upgrade cpu’s - preferably with large level2 cache like 2mb)
  • System: Processor Queue Length not over 2 PER PROCESSOR. (add or upgrade cpu’s)
  • SQL Server Buffer manager: Buffer Cache Hit Ratio*not under 90%; the closer to 99 the better. (add physical memory)

Note: This performance counter is selectable during SQL server installation.


Creating a software 'Repository' Share

Log on to the end user’s PC using an Administrative account, follow the instructions that are defined inside my companion document “How to install the IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 client on a user's PC - Proven Practice.pdf”.

Important: Ensure that the customer is given good instructions on how to install the Controller 8 Client

IMPORTANT: It is important that the person installing Controller provides the customer with good client installation instructions. Failure to do so will increase the effort required to install the Controller client on user’s computers, which (in turn) will increase the risk of mistakes/errors/issues later on.

Provide the I.T. department with a copy of “How to install the IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 client on a user's PC - Proven Practice.pdf” and (after testing Controller on the application server itself first) go through the procedure on several client computers to ensure that Controller installs successfully on multiple client computers before leaving the site.

Provide the customer with any extra customer-specific notes, as necessary.

Important: Ensure that the customer is given good instructions on how to install the Controller 8 Client.

IMPORTANT: It is important that the person installing Controller provides the customer with good client installation instructions. Failure to do so will increase the effort required to install the Controller client on user’s PCs, which (in turn) will increase the risk of mistakes/errors/issues later on.


Basic Testing for each Client installation

Ideally, you could launch Controller as the Administrative user (the one that you installed the software with) first. After the testing, log off and log on as the “normal” end-user and test as him/herself.

Assuming that Controller worked on the application server, it is almost certain that each client PC will work as well, so long as the software is installed as per my best practice document. Therefore, the following two simple tests should be enough:

Main Controller Program

Launch Controller from URL and log in. Click Help > About Controller and then Help > System Info and ensure that the Controller version matches what you expect.

Excel Link

Launch Excel. Click Help > About Controller and ensure that the Controller link version matches what you expect.


Installing on Citrix (or terminal services) server

Overview – Citrix (or terminal services)

To achieve this, follow the instructions that are defined inside my companion document “How to install the IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 client on a user's PC - Proven Practice.pdf”.

Appendices – Further Reading

Potential Additions/Enhancements/Optimisations

The following are things that you could potentially do to your Controller system, together with some suggestions for further reading (other documentation) that will help you understand how to accomplish it.

IMPORTANT: Before making any changes, please test that all Controller functionality works before and after. By doing this, it will reduce (in the long term) the time taken to troubleshoot any future problems.

Enable IIS Compression

  • Useful if deploying Controller client over a WAN (for example deploying Controller over the Internet, without using Citrix)
  • Change Security from Native to Cognos 8 and utilise Active Directory or Access Manager namespace, and/or Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Deploying ControllerAdmin.MSI instead of ControllerClient.MSI
  • Typically you should use ControllerClient.MSI (the ‘standard’ client version)
  • Split Directory Install
  • Full details to come in future version of this document

Distributed Installations

  • Full details to come in future version of this document
  • Enabling use of SSL on a Controller Gateway
  • Deploy ControllerConv.MSI only if migrating from Controller 2.x to 8.x

This gives you an extra menu item inside Controller itself

  • Open Controller
  • Click Maintain > User > Single Mode
  • Click Maintain > Special Utilities > Convert > Reports to New Design
  • Click the green checkmark. This takes approximately 1 to 20 minutes (or so)
  • Click Maintain > Special Utilities > Convert > Forms to New Design
  • Click blue Play button to proceed
  • This takes approx 30 minutes or up to an entire day, depending on the size of the form
  • Configure for Data Mart publishing (see technote #1347788)

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Zone=Business analytics, Information Management
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ArticleTitle=IBM Cognos Proven Practices: Installing & Configuring IBM Cognos Controller 8.5 Server
publish-date=08192010