IBM Business Analytics Proven Practices

Working with Blob Files and IBM Cognos TM1

Product(s): IBM Cognos TM1 10.1.1, IBM Cognos TM1 10.2 and IBM Cognos TM1 10.2.2; Area of Interest: Reporting

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Purpose

This document outlines the blob files in TM1 which uses Architect, Performance Modeler, TM1 Web Cube Viewer and TM1 Application Server to create, manage and store blobs.

Applicability

This document applies to the following,

  • TM1 Web Cube Viewer and Architect 9.5.2 and higher
  • IBM Cognos Performance Modeler and TM1 Application Server 10.1.0 and higher

Exclusions and Exceptions

There are no known exceptions and exclusions at the time this document was created.

Target Audience

The target audience of this document is expected to have a moderate level of knowledge specific to IBM Cognos TM1 Administration as well as IBM Cognos TM1 model builders. This document is not suitable for anyone that does not have an understanding of how metadata is stored within IBM Cognos TM1.

What is a blob file?

When IBM Cognos TM1 and its various components save a model they put into a folder the files they need for maintaining the model and its various data and metadata functions. Included with this are the blob files (*.blb). These blob files can be anything from a definition through to a calculation. The various components use blob files in various ways and this will be discussed in the next section.

Understanding blob files

There are numerous ways in which IBM Cognos TM1 uses blob files. What follows are examples of when IBM Cognos TM1 uses these files.

IBM Cognos TM1 Application Server

Since IBM Cognos TM1 10.1, the IBM Cognos TM1 Application Server stores node-level document attachments (such as documents, worksheets and slides) as blob files. These blob files end up in the }attachments folder beneath the IBM CognosTM1 Server data directory and are given generic names by the server - for example, fWxvY2FsZXMudHh0XzIwMTQwMzEwMTIzMDU5.blb.

The interface for maintaining the commentary and attachments can be found in the TM1 Applications Guide under the section Adding commentary to TM1 Applications of the chapter Getting Started with Cognos TM1 Applications.

From IBM Cognos TM1 10.2, the IBM Cognos TM1 Application Server also creates blobs to store the application definition and security information. These BLB files are maintained by the server and are removed when an application is deleted. They should not be removed by the clients. Table 1 lists the blob files created and maintained by the TM1 Application Server. The <appid> in the file names is an application identification such as GUID (for example, {c360d882-91fc-417d-b137-d564a2b3c3e5}).

Table 1. Table 1 – IBM Cognos TM1 Application Server blob files
File NameFile Name Description
Tp_ModelBkup_<appid>.blbApplication definition component
Tp_AdminBkup_<appid>.blbApplication definition component
Tp_SecurityBkup_<appid>.blbApplication definition component
tpCDDBkup_<appid>.blbCognos Insight workspace definition
Tp_app_security}<appid>.blbComputed application security definition
Tp_app_full_security}<appid>.blbComputed application security definition
Tp_app_full_security}<appid>_alias.blbComputed application security definition
Tp_app_approval_hierarchy}<appid>.blbComputed approval hierarchy definition

IBM Cognos TM1 Architect and IBM Cognos TM1 Web Cube Viewer

IBM Cognos TM1 Architect creates blobs to maintain properties including column width and chart properties such as what type of chart is selected for display that are used by IBM Cognos TM1 Web Cube Viewer. These blobs are automatically maintained by IBM Cognos TM1 Architect and should not be deleted. Note that these blob files are not essential - removal of them does not impact the view functionality. It will simply display a default view without any customization when it is opened. Users who need these customizations should not delete these blobs.

If a view is deleted from IBM Cognos Architect, it will automatically delete its blob file. However, if a view is deleted from other clients, this auto clean-up may not happen. Under these situations, blobs can be deleted by the IBM Cognos TM1 administrator, taking care to only delete the blob files associated with the views that were deleted from other clients. Table 2 lists the blob files managed by IBM Cognos TM1 Architect. In the file names <cube> is the cube name, <view> is the view name and <user> is the user name.

Table 2. Table 2 – IBM Cognos TM1 Architect blob files
File NameFile Name Description
<cube>.<view>.blbFor public views
<cube>.<view>.<user>.blbFor private views
<cube>.blbFor Rules Editor

IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler

IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler creates blobs to maintain the model properties including links, calculations and rules. These blobs are managed by IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler and should not be deleted manually.

These blob files are either metadata or are cached and are permanently maintained. However, in exceptional circumstances, blobs can become orphaned and may be safely deleted if the corresponding cube/link that they relate to no longer exists.

Table 3 lists the blob files managed by IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler. In the file names <cube> refers to the cube name, <link> to the link name and <diagram> to the flow diagram/diagram name.

Table 3. Table 3 – IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler managed blob files
File NameFile Name Description
CubeCalculation_<cube>.blbCube calculation definition
CompiledCubeCalc_<cube>.blbCache of rules generated for cube calculations
CompiledLinkDefn_<link>.blbCache of rules generated for links
[FlowDiagram]<diagram>.blbFlow diagram definition
<cube>}_<diagram>.blbMetrics diagram definition

There are also temporary blob files that IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler uses in its day-to-day operation, such as for passing data to and from Turbo Integrator (TI) processes. These temporary blob files should be maintained by IBM Cognos TM1 Performance Modeler and should be cleaned up by it.

The temporary blob files are as follows (the * refers to an arbitrary string, usually a date/time stamp),

  • FindMembersByName_*.blb
  • Upload_FindMembersByName_*.blb
  • MatchNamesDiff_*.blb
  • feedergen_*.blb

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ArticleTitle=IBM Business Analytics Proven Practices: Working with Blob Files and IBM Cognos TM1
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