Data catalogs

11.1.6 icon IBM Cognos Analytics can be connected to a catalog such as Watson Knowledge Catalog (WKC).

Watson Knowledge Catalog is an extension to IBM Cloud Pak for Data that provides self-service access to data assets for knowledge workers who need to use those data assets to gain insights.

For more information, see these topics:

A Catalog in WKC can reference one or more connected assets that refer to data sources. Cognos Analytics can import and re-use the connection details. Currently, only details for connected assets that correspond to databases supported by Cognos Analytics are imported.

Notes about WKC connections in Cognos Analytics

  • Cognos Analytics displays WKC schemas and tables the same way that it displays data for other types of data server connections.
  • Cognos Analytics administrators do not manage the connection details of a connected WKC asset. Connection details are managed by the database administrator in WKC.
  • You can create Cognos Analytics connections to multiple catalogs.

Before you begin

To connect to a Watson Knowledge Catalog, you must first add the WKC certificate to your Cognos server. To do so:
  • Follow the steps in Import the CA certificates into IBM Cognos components.
    Important: Self-signed certificates are not supported for CA/WKC integration in 11.1.7 and later. The CPD/WKC certificate that is imported into Cognos Analytics must be signed by a trusted root authority. To confirm that your certificate is signed by a trusted root authority, enter the WKC URL into a browser and verify that there is a padlock to the left of the URL.

    If you import a self-signed certificate and try to create an External Catalog connection to WKC, the following message may appear:

    MSR-WKC-2404 Invalid connection string, user name or password

    If your certificate is self-signed, replace it with a trusted TLS certificate by following the steps in Using a custom TLS certificate for HTTPS connections (

  • Restart your IBM Cognos services.

Connecting to a Watson Knowledge Catalog

  1. Click Manage > Data server connections.
  2. In the Data server connections pane, click the Add data server icon new data server icon .
  3. Select External Catalog as the type.
  4. In the Edit External Catalog connection panel, enter the following text in the Server URL field:


    where url_for_wkc_server is the URL to the IBM Cloud Pak for Data main landing page for the CPD instance with WKC installed.

    For example, if your CPD URL is, then the Server URL value would be:


    Tip: Leave the Connection properties field blank.
  5. In the Authentication method section, select Use the following signon.
    Tip: This is the only valid authentication method for an External Catalog connection type.
  6. Click the plus sign icon plus sign icon.
  7. On the Credentials tab, enter a valid Watson Knowledge Catalog user ID and password.
    Tip: Specify a username and password that you want to connect to WKC with. The user credentials are the credentials that are defined in the CPD instance. You can choose to use the CPD admin userid or another CPD userid with access to WKC.
  8. Click Test to ensure that the connection works.
  9. Click Save to save the connection in Cognos Analytics.