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  • Latest Post - ‏2013-05-04T00:00:18Z by OpherB
55 Posts

Pinned topic Help with Database connections

‏2013-05-03T17:13:18Z |

Here is a little background on myself:

I came from a Business Objects Analyst position at a previous company with no Cognos Administration experience. When I came on at my new company, I was thrust into the position (Not complaining) of Cognos Administrator, Cognos Developer, Cognos Report Builder, Cognos Report Analyst, and I am trying to clean up a lot of mess from a previous consultant who tried to configure our systems. All Cognos lingo is pretty new to me, but I have been learning.

A question I received from my boss today: "Can you list the different ways we can connect Cognos to our sources? I believe the answer lies within the content store. What architectures can we connect to that will provide us with a similar model to what we are doing currently with [Current System]?"

Our [Current System] has a connection to Cognos through SQL Server 2008. We have about 3 other systems that we would like to connect to, to streamline our reporting. All 3 Companies who own these other 3 systems have tried to sell us their BI tools for use. But since we have invested in Cognos (Currently 10.1) as a company, we would like to utilize it to it's fullest potential. Web Services is an option that they have given us as a connection to their data. But from what I understand, Web Services is not "Live" data. Having data that is as up-to-date as possible is extremely important for our company.

If anyone could help me answer my boss's questions as well as help direct me to some of the best tools/ ways to connect to these other three systems, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you


Updated on 2013-05-03T17:16:51Z at 2013-05-03T17:16:51Z by CalebMF
  • OpherB
    1220 Posts

    Re: Help with Database connections


    Well, this is an interesting question. I'm not sure what you or your boss expect the answer to be!

    First, you can tell your boss that "the answer" - whatever it may be - does not lie within the content store. The Content Store is a database that Cognos uses to keep information about what you and the other users define for the environment. In other words - what you put in is in there and nothing more. The structure and details of the Content Store are not documented, so wanting to swim through it for insights would be quite challenging.

    Your statement that "Our [Current System] has a connection to Cognos through SQL Server 2008" reads as if SQL Server has no roll in the Current System. The only way your statement makes sense is if the Current System is using a SQL Server database. So the question is: What database(s) are the three other systems using and how can you connect to them? Are they also SQL Server? Are they Oracle databases?

    The most common technologies to connect to a data source from Cognos are native drivers, ODBC or JDBC. There are other types (such as XML or various cube technologies) but those are the BIG THREE. Nothing about "Web Services", which is a whole different kettle of mixed fish.

    And from your question it doesn't sound like you have a data warehouse. It's been best practices for reporting since the early 1990's that using the OLTP tables of a transaction system will produce terrible reporting performance. Only by re-structuring the data in a data warehouse can you hope to produce fast reporting results.

    Since you were hesitant to name the other systems, maybe there is something confidential going on with these applications. It might be best to give your Cognos Sales Rep a call and make him earn some of his bucks. Tell him what you've got and ask for options for how to connect to it.

    Good luck,