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Recommended practices for using Cognos with Informix, Part 2: Deploy Informix with IBM Cognos BI Server 10

Install and get up and running

Sreeni Paidi, Enablement Consultant, IBM
Sreeni Paidi photo
Sreeni Paidi is an Enablement Consultant with the IBM Information Management Technology Ecosystem organization. Sreeni has about 15 years of experience working on DB2, Informix, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server database servers as a Database Programmer, DBA and an Integration Architect. Sreeni is part of a worldwide team that provides technical skills and consulting services to help business partners and customers accelerate the integration of IBM data management software with their applications.
Jeffrey Williamson (jeffrey.williamson@jcbpartners.com), Senior Consultant, JCB Partners
A picture of the author Jeffrey Williamson
Jeffrey Williamson is a Senior Consultant and Southern California Market Lead for JCB Partners. Jeffrey has 4 years of experience implementing IBM Cognos Analyst, IBM Cognos Contributor and IBM Cognos TM1 as both a builder and a design architect. He has worked with clients in a wide range of industries including pharmaceutics, gaming and hospitality, retail, and restaurants. He is part of a team that helps organizations optimize the resources they have and better align their time and skills with the value of the organization.

Summary:  Connecting your Informix® databases to Cognos® Business Intelligence software gives you a way to unleash the power of your data with expanded query, reporting, and analysis capabilities. If you're ready to take that step, this two-part tutorial series gives you the information you need to install, configure, and deploy the necessary components to achieve the best results. Part 1 showed how to get started with using IBM Cognos Express V9 together with IBM® Informix V11.5 as a content store and data source. Now in Part 2, you'll find the same level of detail for deploying Informix with IBM Cognos BI Server V10. The tutorials include recommended practices for each step along the way, based on lessons learned from real-world deployments on the Microsoft® Windows® operating system.

View more content in this series

Date:  07 Jul 2011
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (2044 KB | 40 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

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Installing and configuring Cognos BI Server software on the Cognos server

Prerequisites

Make sure that the following software is installed on the Cognos server / node2 before installing Cognos BI software:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for x86 64-bit
  • Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • Internet Information Service (IIC) version 6

Instructions on how to install IIS 6 on Windows Server 2003 can be found in the Resources section.


Install Cognos BI software

Recommended practice: You can install Cognos BI components on just one computer or distribute them across multiple computers in the network. Before starting the installation, read IBM Cognos Business Intelligence version 10.1.0 Installation and Configuration Guide. Verify the system requirements and review the default port settings for Cognos BI by following the instructions in the "Planning your installation" section in the Installation Guide.

Do the following steps to install the Cognos BI software:

  1. Insert the Cognos BI server install media disk into a drive to start the install program. If you downloaded the installation media, extract the files from the package, maintaining the downloaded folder structure delivered in the media and double-click the install.exe file.
  2. Select the language you want to use to run the installer and Click Next.
  3. Read and accept the license agreement and click Next.
  4. Choose the default install folder and click Next.
  5. Choose the default components when prompted to choose the components to install and click Next.
  6. On the configuration screen, the express administrator account name will default to administrator. You can leave it as is, or shorten it to admin. You can also enter a password.

Best Practice: As shown in Figure 2, the Cognos Content Database is not installed by default, and we want to keep it that way. Cognos recommends not installing the default Content Database (Derby DB) for production. Later on, you will learn how to configure an Informix database as a Cognos Content Database.


Figure 2. Selecting the components to install
Selecting the components to install
  1. Choose the default Shortcut folder and click Next.
  2. On the following screen, you are presented with the pre-installation summary. Click Install. The installation process will begin. It will take a few minutes, with the installation bar denoting the progress along the bottom.
  3. Click OK when prompted about non-English documentation installation.
  4. When the installation is done, click Finish.

Create a content store database in Informix

Cognos Content Manager uses the content store database to store global configuration data, global settings, connections to data sources, and product-specific content. You must use one of the supported enterprise-level databases as the content store in a production environment.

Recommended practice: It is recommended to have a local Informix content store database on the Cognos BI Server. For this reason, install Informix server software and create an Informix instance on the host that is running the Cognos BI Server software. You can install free-of-charge Informix Innovator-C Edition for the content store. Refer to the section titled Installing Informix server software for more information on installing Informix software. Make sure that the Informix server name (instance name), and the Informix server alias are different from those created on the database server.

The following values are used in this tutorial:

  • Server Name: cbilocal
  • Service Name for SQLI connections: cbilocal
  • Port number for SQLI: 9088
  • Server number: 0
  • Server Alias for DRDA support: cbilocal_drda
  • Port number for DRDA support: 9089

After installing Informix and creating the instance, do the following steps to create an Informix database for the Cognos Content Store:

  1. Login to the Cognos BI host as a local administrator user or Informix.
  2. Bring up the command window for the Informix instance by clicking Start -> All Programs -> Informix Dynamic Server 11.50 -> (server_name).
  3. At the command prompt, run the following command to set the environment variable DB_LOCALE:
    • set DB_LOCALE=en_us.utf8
  4. As per Cognos recommendations, in the ONCONFIG.cbiwin file (%INFORMIXDIR%\etc\%ONCONFIG%), set the property SHMBASE to at least 0x14000000L.
  5. Recycle (stop and restart) the Informix instance service (Informix IDS - server_name) in the windows services.
  6. As per Cognos recommendations, create two sbspaces namely CMDATASPACE and CMOBJPROPS7SPACE, with the logging turned on, by running the commands shown in Listing 2 at the cbiwin command window:

Listing 2: Commands to create sbspaces for the content store database
type NUL > C:\IFMXDATA\cbilocal\CMDATASPACE.000
type NUL > C:\IFMXDATA\cbilocal\CMOBJPROPS7SPACE.000
onspaces -c -S CMDATASPACE -p C:\IFMXDATA\cbilocal\CMDATASPACE.000 
	-o 0 -s 300000 -Df "LOGGING=ON"
onspaces -c -S CMOBJPROPS7SPACE -p C:\IFMXDATA\cbilocal\CMOBJPROPS7SPACE.000 
	-o 0 -s 300000 -Df "LOGGING=ON"

  1. Now you are ready to create a database for the content store. The Content Store database has to be created with log mode ANSI as shown in Listing 3.
  2. Save the following "CREATE DATABASE" SQL statement into a file called create_csdb.sql at %INFORMIXDIR%.

Listing 3: Command to create the content store database
CREATE DATABASE csdb WITH LOG MODE ANSI;

  1. Run the create_csdb.sql script with the command dbaccess - create_csdb.sql at the cbiwin command prompt.

Recommended practice: Set the system environment variables GL_USEGLU and DB_LOCALE with the following values:

  • GL_USEGLU=1
  • DB_LOCALE=en_us.utf8

Install 32-bit Informix client software

It is required to install 32-bit Informix Client software on the machine that is running Cognos BI Server. You can install either Informix Client Software Development Kit (CSDK) version 3.50, or Informix Connect (ICONNECT) version 3.50, which is runtime equivalent of CSDK.

IConnect software is free to download and install, whereas there a license fee is associated with CSDK software. If you have the 32-bit Informix Server software media, you can find the IConnect software under the IConnect folder. Please see the Resources section for a link to download the IConnect software.

Recommended practice: Install 32-bit Informix-Connect software version 3.50 on the Cognos Server by running ICONNECT\setup.exe program or installiconnect.exe program from the product directory. Reboot the host after installing the ICONNECT software. As noted at the beginning of the tutorial, Cognos BI is certified on Informix 11.50 at the time this tutorial was written. You can still connect to Informix 11.70 databases as long as you install 32-bit Informix-Connect version 3.50 on the Cognos BI Server. Do not install Informix-Connect version 3.70 that comes with Informix version 11.70.

Install IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ

You would need to install IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ in order to connect to the content store database. Please see the Resources section for a link to a copy of the IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ. You can also find a copy of the Data Server Driver bundled with the CSDK software. Download and install the driver software.

Configuring client/server connectivity on the Cognos Server

As a next step, you need to configure client/server communication between client products (such as Cognos BI) and the Informix Server using a program called Setnet32 on the client machine. The Setnet32 utility is part of the IConnect / CSDK software. It has the following four tabs:

  • Environment: allows you to set environment variables
  • Server Information: allows you to set database server network information
  • Host Information: allows you to set your host computer and login information
  • About Setnet32: provides information about the Setnet32 utility

Please see the Resources section for a link to the Informix 11.5 Information Center where you can find more information on Setnet32.

Configure SQLHOSTS information on the Cognos Server

The following steps walk you through the procedure to configure client products on the Cognos Server to connect to Informix Server running on the database server.

  1. Start Setnet32 by clicking Start -> All Programs -> IBM Informix Connect 3.50 -> Setnet32.
  2. If you have installed Informix Server software on the Cognos BI server and created the content store database, you would see an entry for the local Informix instance on the Server Information tab. You are going to make a new entry for Informix server instance running on the Informix server. Enter the following information, as shown in Figure 3.
    • IBM Informix Server: Name of the Informix instance. For example, cbiwin.
    • Host name: hostname or IP address of the database server which is hosting the Informix Server instance.
    • Protocolname: olsoctcp.
    • Servicename: Name of the service or port number for olsoctcp protocol.

Figure 3. New server entry in Setnet32
New server entry in setnet32
  1. Now click the Environment tab and set the following environment variables, as shown in Figure 4:
    • CLIENT_LOCALE=en_us.utf8
    • DB_LOCALE=en_us.utf8
  2. Click OK, and then click OK for any other prompts.

Figure 4. Environment variables in setnet32
Environment variables in setnet32

Test the client/server connectivity on the Cognos Server

Informix client software comes with a simple program called ILogin Demo that can be used to test the connectivity to an Informix Server.

  1. Start ILogin Demo by clicking Start -> All Programs -> IBM Informix Connect 3.50 -> ILogin Demo.
  2. Click File -> Run.
  3. Enter the connectivity information for the Informix database running on the database server, as shown in Figure 5, and then click OK.

Figure 5. Testing the connectivity from ILogin Demo
Testing connectivity from ILogin Demo
  1. You should see a screen with no results from the customer table. If you see errors that the client/server connectivity test was unsuccessful, try the test again after resolving the issues.

Setup the connectivity for the content store database

Set up Client/Server connectivity for the Informix content store database using the following two steps.

  1. Copy IBM data server driver files. You have already installed IBM Data Server Driver for JDBC and SQLJ on the Cognos server. Just copy the db2jcc.jar file from DataServerDriver_location\java to the c10_location\webapps\p2pd\WEB-INF\lib folder.
  2. Set up the SQLHOSTS information as follows:
  • Start setnet32 by clicking Start -> All Programs -> IBM Informix Connect 3.50 -> Setnet32.
  • On the Server Information tab, enter the information as shown below:
    • IBM Informix Server: This is same as the SERVER ALIAS defined for the DRDA support at the time of Informix installation on the Cognos BI Server. This is also the value of DBSERVERALIASES parameter in the ONCONFIG.servername file. For example cbilocal_drda.
    • Host name: hostname or the IP address of the Cognos BI server where the content store database is created.
    • Protocolname: drsoctcp.
    • Service name: service name or port number for the DRDA protocol, for example 9089.
  • Now click the Environment tab. Click OK when prompted for confirmation to define new IBM Informix Server.
  • Make sure that the environment variables CLIENT_LOCALE and DB_LOCALE are set to en_us.utf8 and click OK.

This concludes setting up client/server connectivity for an Informix content store database. You will be using this content store database when you configure and start the Cognos BI Server.


Cognos BI Server configuration

We are now ready to configure Cognos BI Server and start the service. Follow the steps given below to configure the Cognos BI server:

  1. If it is not already set, set the following system environment variables:
  • DB_LOCALE to en_us.utf8
  • CLIENT_LOCALE to en_us.utf8
  • GL_USEGLU to 1

Recommended practice: Unset or delete the JAVA_HOME environment variable if it is already set. It is better to use the Java that came with Cognos installation, so if you unset the JAVA_HOME environment variable now, Cognos BI will automatically use the Java that came with the Cognos installation.

  1. Start the Cognos BI Configuration by clicking Start -> All Programs -> IBM Cognos 10 -> IBM Cognos Configuration.
  2. Set the database connection properties for the Content Store.

The following instructions will walk you through the process to define an Informix database (csdb) that was previously created on the Cognos Server as a content store database. Defining any other type of the database as a content store is outside the scope of this tutorial.

  1. In the Explorer window, as shown in Figure 6, under Data Access -> Content Manager, right-click Content Store and select Delete.

Figure 6. Deleting the default content store
Deleting the default content store
  1. As shown in Figure 7, right-click Content Manager, click New resource, and then select Database.

Figure 7. Creating a new source for the content manager
Creating a new source for the content manager
  1. As shown in Figure 8, type csdb as the name, select Informix Dynamic Server as the type, and then click OK.

Figure 8. Entering csdb information
Entering csdb information
  1. You will see the Database Resource Properties displayed on the right hand side. Remember that the content store database was created in the Informix instance running on the Cognos BI Server. Enter the following database properties, also shown in figure 9, and click OK.
    • Type: Informix Dynamic Server Database.
    • Database server and port number: hostname or IP address of Cognos BI server: drda_port_number. For example: panther:9089.
    • User ID and password: Type Informix as the username and password of the Informix user on the Cognos BI Server.
    • Database name: Name of the content store database that was previously created. For example, csdb.

Figure 9. Entering database properties
Entering database properties
  1. As shown in Figure 10, from the Explorer window, under Data Access, Content Manager, right-click csdb, and then click Test.

Figure 10. Test the content store connection
Test the content store connection
  1. Click Close if the csdb database connectivity test passes, as shown in Figure 11. If the connectivity test fails, click Details to see the reason for the failure and correct the problem.

Figure 11. Connection test results
Connection test results

Note: Defining other properties such as a connection to the mail server account is outside the scope of this tutorial.

  1. Save Cognos Configuration by clicking Save from the File menu, or clicking the Save button.
  2. As shown in Figure 12, start IBM Cognos Services by clicking Actions -> Start, or by clicking the Start button.

Figure 12. Starting Cognos service
Starting Cognos service
  1. Click OK when a warning window is displayed about warnings during test phase. This was mainly because of not having a mail server defined.
  2. After Cognos Services start successfully, click Continue, as shown in Figure 13.
  3. Click Close.

Figure 13. Warnings during Cognos service startup
Warnings during Cognos service startup

Note: There are many reasons why Cognos service will not start successfully. Some of the common reasons are insufficient memory, incorrect JAVA_HOME, and Microsoft Data Execution Prevention (DEP).

Please see the Resources section for more general information about DEP, as well as errors related to DEP.


Configure the web server

You must configure the web server in order to access any web pages generated by the Cognos BI server. In this tutorial you are going to use the Internet Information Server (IIS) version 6. Installation of IIS is outside the scope of this tutorial. Please see the Resources section for a link to instructions on installing IIS 6 on Windows Server 2003.

Note: If you are configuring IIS v7.x then see the Resources section for a link on how to configure it. Though the instructions at the given link are for Cognos BI version 8.x, they will give you an idea about configuring IIS v7.x.

Add virtual directories

Let us continue with our instructions for configuring IIS v6. Once the IIS Web Server version 6 is installed, you have to create a couple of Virtual Directories and add a new Web Service Extension by doing the following steps.

  1. As shown in Figure 14, start the IIS console by clicking Start -> Run -> inetmgr.
  2. Expand localcomputer -> Web Sites, right-click Default Web Site, choose New -> Virtual Directory.

Figure 14. Creating virtual directory
Creating virtual directory
  1. Click Next on the welcome screen.
  2. As shown in Figure 15, type ibmcognos as Alias, and click Next.

Figure 15. Virtual directory alias
virtual directory alias
  1. As shown in Figure 16, type c10_location\webcontent as PATH, and click Next.

Figure 16. Virtual directory path
virtual directory path
  1. As shown in Figure 17, leave the defaults for access permissions (Read) and click Next.

Figure 17. Access permissions
access permissions
  1. Click Finish to create the virtual directory ibmcognos.
  2. Now you have to create a virtual directory under ibmcognos. Right-click the ibmcognos virtual directory that you just created and choose New -> Virtual Directory.
  3. Click Next on the welcome screen.
  4. Type cgi-bin as Alias, and click Next.
  5. As shown in Figure 18, choose c10_location\cgi-bin as the PATH, and click Next.

Figure 18. Directory path
directory path
  1. Choose Read and Execute as the Access Permissions, and click Next.
  2. Click Finish to create the virtual directory cgi-bin under ibmcognos.

Create a Web Service extension

Perform the following steps to create a Web Service extension.

  1. As shown in Figure 19, right-click Web Service Extensions and click Add a new Web server extension.

Figure 19. Adding a new web server extension
Adding a new web server extension
  1. As shown in Figure 20, type Cognos as the extension name, and click Add.

Figure 20. Entering Web Server extension name
Entering Web Server extension name
  1. Browse and choose c10_location\cgi-bin\cognos.cgi as the file and click OK.
  2. Click OK again to create the Web Service extension.
  3. As shown in Figure 21, click the Allow button to allow the newly created web service extension and exit IIS.

Figure 21. Changing WSE permissions
Changing WSE permissions

Test the Web Server connectivity

If they are not already running, start the Cognos BI Server (by going to IBM Cognos Configuration Console), and the Web Server (by going to Windows Services). You can now test the Web Server connectivity by typing the Gateway URI in a Web browser. The Gateway URI can be found in the IBM Cognos Configuration Console on the Environment page.

As shown in Figure 22, the default Gateway Welcome URI is: http://localhost:80/ibmcognos/cgi-bin/cognos.cgi?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/welcome/welcome.xts

It may take a few minutes for the Web page to open. If you see the Welcome page in the IBM Cognos BI portal, as shown in Figure 22, then your installation is working.


Figure 22. Displaying Gateway welcome page
Displaying Gateway welcome page

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Zone=Business analytics, Information Management
ArticleID=696949
TutorialTitle=Recommended practices for using Cognos with Informix, Part 2: Deploy Informix with IBM Cognos BI Server 10
publish-date=07072011
author1-email=spaidi@us.ibm.com
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author2-email=jeffrey.williamson@jcbpartners.com
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