Create a drill through definition

Create a drill through definition to link two reports containing related information (the source report and the target report).

Drill through definitions that have been authored inside an IBM® Cognos® Analytics - Reporting report appear in the source report as blue underlined links. Users click the hyperlink to select the value they want passed to the target and to drill through to the target report. If a user selects multiple items within a single column then when the drill through target report is run, the values from each selected row are passed to the target parameters. This occurs as an and condition.

Before you begin

Before you begin, ensure that you have a report that will serve as the source report and another report that will serve as the target report.


  1. Check the drill through target:
    • Confirm that the drill through users have access to the target.
    • If necessary, check what parameters exist in the target.
  2. Open the source report.
  3. Click the element in the report that will serve as the starting point for the drill through link.

    You can select a data item that your report users are likely to choose to drill on for more detailed information, such as an Employee Name data item.

    Click the individual parts of the visualization or the legend to drill through on. You can also select a combination of visualization parts and the legend.

    Click the Data panel in the visualizaton to create a drill through definition.

    Tip: If you are passing only parameter values to the target report, you do not have to drill on a data item. Instead, you can drill on any object in the report, such as the report title. Therefore, you can drill from outside the context of a query.
  4. Click the Show properties icon the show properties icon, in the DATA section, double-click the drill through definitions property.
  5. Click the Add icon the add icon.

    A drill through definition is created.

    Tip: To change the drill through name, click the rename button, type the new name, and click OK.
  6. On the Target report tab, click the ellipsis button next to the Report box and select the drill through target report.
  7. In the Action box, decide how users will view the target report when they click the drill through link in the parent report:
    • To view the latest data in IBM Cognos Viewer, select Run the report.
    • To edit the target, select Edit the report.
    • To have IBM Cognos Analytics match values from the selection context with data in the target (dynamic filtering), select Run the report using dynamic filtering.

      Note: If you chose this option, any parameters in the target report are still used for the drill through access.

    • To view the most recently saved output version of the target report from the IBM Cognos Analytics portal, select View the most recent report.
    • To use the default action specified for the report in the IBM Cognos Analytics portal, select (Default).
  8. If the target report contains parameters, then, under the Parameters box, click the edit button.

    Each required and optional parameter defined in the target report appears in the Parameters dialog box.

  9. For each parameter, specify the Method of treatment:
    • To specify not to pass any value, click (Default).
    • To specify not to use this parameter, click Do not use parameter.

      The target report will not be filtered by this parameter.

    • To pass values from a data item, click Pass data item value, click Value, and then click the data item.

      Values for the selected data item are passed to the target report.

    • To pass values from a source report parameter, click Pass parameter value, click Value, and then click the parameter.

      Values for the selected parameter are passed to the target report.

    • If you choose to pass parameters, and the source report is based on a dimensional package, then click an item from the drop-down list in the Source metadata item properties column. You can pass the default property of the source metadata item (business key) or another property, such as the member caption.
  10. Click OK.
  11. If you chose to run the target report, in the Format box, click the output format for your report.
    Tip: Click (Default) to run the report using the default format specified for the report in the IBM Cognos Analytics portal.
  12. To open the target report in a new window, select the Open in new window check box.
  13. In the Display prompt pages box, choose how to display prompt pages:
    • To always display prompt pages when the drill through action occurs regardless of whether values were specified for the required parameter values, click Always.
    • To use the prompt settings of the target report (specified by the Prompt for Values check box in the IBM Cognos Analytics portal, Report Properties, Report tab) to determine whether to show the prompt pages, click Based on the default prompt settings of the target report.
      Tip: If you leave the Prompt for values check box selected (the default) and run a report that contains the same parameter name that appears in your My parameters panel, you are not prompted to provide a value for the parameter. The system automatically uses the default values that were set for the user’s role. Even if the parameter on the report is optional, the default value for the global parameter is passed.
    • To not display prompt pages when the required parameter values are provided by the drill through definition, click Only when required parameter values are missing. This is the default setting.


The drill through text appears as a blue hyperlink in text items in the non-chart areas of the report. Report consumers can also start the drill through action by clicking the Go To button or by right-clicking the item and clicking Go To, Related links. If you have the necessary permissions, you can view which parameters were passed from the source and how they are mapped in the target object from the Go To page using the drill through assistant.
Note: The right-click method is not available for visualizations. Use the Related links option.

For more information, see the Administration and Security Guide.

Example of how to set up a target report.