Framework Manager features not supported by data modules

Long-time IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence users who are accustomed to modeling in IBM Cognos Framework Manager might be curious how this modeling environment compares to data modules.

Data modules currently don't support some of the modeling capabilities that Framework Manager provides. The following features are not, or not fully supported by data modules:

Multiple cubes
In Framework Manager, you can include multiple cubes in a package that is then used as a source of data in Cognos Analytics. As a result, users can author reports, dashboards, or explorations based on multiple cubes that are packaged as one source. Data modules currently support one cube per module.
Dynamic schemas
In Framework Manager, the data source connection, cube, catalog, or schema can be set up to be dynamically selected, based on a macro. This allows users to create models that are independent of the source that the data is fetched from. The source can be selected at run time based on the macro, which can be based on the credentials of the user viewing it.
Stored procedures
In Framework Manager, you can import database-stored procedures as a query object that can accept parameters, and can either retrieve or update data based on the nature of the stored procedure.
User-defined functions
In Framework Manager, you can import user-defined functions (UDF) from a database. Data modules do not support UDFs.
Multilingual metadata
A Framework Manager model can contain multiple languages allowing modelers to provide metadata for the reporting objects in multiple languages. The metadata presented to the users is based on the Content locale that they select in their Cognos Analytics session.
Prompts and parameters user interface
In Framework Manager, you can set the default prompt properties, such as the prompt type, use and display values, or filter item reference, on each query item in the user interface.
This type of user interface currently doesn’t exist in data modules. To create new parameters and prompts in data modules, you need to use the macro functions - prompt() and promptmany(), as well as the ?parameter? syntax in expressions. The data modules can't generate a preview of data for unresolved parameters, but the parameters work as expected in reports and dashboards.
When a table definition in a data module includes a column with an expression based on a prompt, the user is always prompted when any column from that table is included in a report or dashboard, even if the column with the prompt is not added to that report or dashboard. This behavior provides a consistent view of the data, and applies to both data modules and Framework Manager models.
Object security
In Framework Manager you can specify security on the reporting objects, such as query subjects and query items (tables and columns). The object security determines which objects a user can see in the metadata tree in reports or dashboards.
Parameter maps
In Framework Manager modelers can dynamically substitute one value for another by using parameter maps. The parameter maps have two columns, one column for the value that you want to pass in via a macro expression that is calling the parameter map, and the other column for the value that you would like to substitute the first value with.
Governors in a Framework Manager model allow to modify queries at run-time. For example, by using governors, you can specify the maximum number of report tables or the query execution-time limit. Data modules don't have the user interface to specify governors. For more information, see Governors and data modules.
Relationships (joins) with expressions
In Framework Manager, modelers can create complex, custom join conditions directly in the Relationship Definition dialog box.
The Edit relationship user interface in data modules doesn’t support custom joins.
Publish, change impact, and report dependencies
In Framework Manager, you can find report dependencies on specified objects, as well as a publish impact based on changes made to the model. As a result, the modeler can notify authors that their reports might be affected by the change in the model.
SAP HANA input variables
In Framework Manager, when importing an SAP HANA view that incorporates an input parameter, the parameters are exposed as a tab in the data source query subject. This allows modelers to provide a hard-coded value or dynamic value by using a macro expression.
Sorting of query objects
In Framework Manager, you can change the order of objects based on their names. Objects can be ordered in ascending or descending order. The scope of reordering applies to objects and their children, and includes descendants of child objects.
Model Advisor
Model Advisor in Framework Manager is used to analyze models. It looks for problem areas based on the Cognos Analytics modeling guidelines.
Framework Manager namespaces are containers that organize and uniquely qualify content in a model. As a result, the same name can be used for multiple objects, as long as they reside in different namespaces. For example, you can have a query subject called Time in namespace A, and a query subject called Time in namespace B. The namespace name is part of the object identifier so that the objects can be distinguished from one another.
Star schema grouping presentation
Star schema grouping refers to the presentation of fact tables and their related dimension tables. Framework Manager uses namespaces and shortcuts to allow modelers to present the star schema groupings to authors. Each namespace contains one fact table and its related dimensions. Namespaces with the same dimensions in them are considered shared dimensions, which can be used to query facts from multiple namespaces that contain the shared dimensions.
Data modules don't support namespaces and shortcuts to aid authors to understand the relationship scope between objects. However, modelers can allow authors read-only access to the data module to see that scope through the relationship diagram.
Context explorer
Context Explorer in Framework Manager provides a view of the model based on an existing object. In Context Explorer, modelers can view, test, and modify relationships of an existing object. They can also hide an object, change the layout, fit all objects in the window (with zoom-in and zoom-out), print, preview diagrams before printing, and change the page setup. Context Explorer is helpful when troubleshooting modeling issues.
The focus mode in data modules offers some similar capabilities, but the functionality is limited.
Model automation
In Framework Manager, model builds can be automated. This functionality is valued by many OEMs who want to automate model builds for their clients.
Detecting relationships
Framework Manager allows you to use specific criteria to detect and create relationships between tables during and after import. Data modules can currently detect relationships during import, but not after the import.
Creating agents, events, and tasks in Event Studio
Framework Manager packages can be used in IBM Cognos Analytics Event Studio to create agents that monitor your organization's data to detect occurrences of business events. Data modules cannot be used with Event Studio.
Reporting limitations when using data modules
The following limitations apply when data modules are used as sources in Cognos Analytics Reporting:
  • Data modules and Framework Manager packages cannot be combined in the same report.
  • In IBM Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 and earlier versions, only one data module can be used as a source for a report. Starting with Cognos Analytics 11.1.7 FP1, multiple data modules can be used as sources for one report.
  • Data modules that are based on dimensional data sources, such as PowerCubes, dynamic cubes, TM1 data sources, and dimensionally modeled relational (DMR) data sources, are not supported.
  • The Build prompt page tool, and the Select & search prompt and Tree prompt prompt types are not available in reports.
  • Concurrent query execution is not available for reports that are based on data modules in Cognos Analytics 11.1.6 and earlier versions. This feature is available for data module-based reports starting with version 11.1.7. For more information, see Concurrent Query Execution.