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IBM Cognos 10 Framework Manager

By Terence Phillip Curran
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  1. Free Chapter
    Getting Started
About this book
"IBM Cognos 10 Framework Manager" is a complete practical guide to using and getting the best out of this essential tool for modeling your data for use with IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Reporting. With its step-by-step approach, this book is suitable for anyone from a beginner to an expert, complete with tips and tricks for better data modeling."IBM Cognos 10 Framework Manager" is a step by step tutorial-based guide; from importing your data to designing and improving your model, and creating your packages while working with other modelers, every step is presented in a logical process.Learn how to use the best design strategy to design your model, create an import layer, a modeling layer, and a presentation layer to make your model easy to maintain. Do you need to design a DMR model? No problem, this book shows you every step. This book can even make working with other users easier - we will show you the methods and techniques for allowing others to work on the same model at the same time. Need to create dynamic data structures to change the way the data is presented to your users so your French users can see the data in French, your German users in German, and your English users in English? You can do all this with parameter maps."IBM Cognos 10 Framework Manager" continues where the product manuals end, showing you how to build and refine your project through practical, step by step instructions.
Publication date:
May 2013
Publisher
Packt
Pages
186
ISBN
9781849685764

 

Chapter 1. Getting Started

IBM Cognos Framework Manager is the metadata modeling development environment for IBM Cognos BI. It is available only as a Microsoft Windows client tool, which must first be installed and then configured.

This chapter does not cover the installation of Framework Manager as it is assumed that you would have already done this. This chapter covers only the settings to ensure that Framework Manager works successfully.

The topics covered in this chapter include:

  • Basic configuration of Framework Manager

  • Starting Framework Manager

  • Framework Manager user interface

By the end of this chapter, you will have configured and have a working Framework Manager, and know what the basic features of the user interface are.

For this chapter, it may be useful to have the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence sample project installed or a Framework Manager project available.

 

Configuring Framework Manager


To configure Framework Manager or to confirm that your Framework Manager is correctly configured, go to Start | All Programs | IBM Cognos 10 | IBM Cognos Configuration.

This will display the configuration screen:

Now perform the following steps:

  1. Select Environment.

  2. Confirm the following values:

    • Gateway URI: This should be the same as the one used by the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Server.

    • Dispatcher URI for external applications: This should be the same as the one used by the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Server.

    Your Cognos administrator should be able to confirm the correct values to be used for your server.

  3. If you make any changes, save your settings by clicking on the save icon on the toolbar or by selecting File | Save and Exit Cognos Configuration.

 

Starting Framework Manager


To start Framework Manager, go to Start | All Programs | IBM Cognos 10 | IBM Cognos Framework Manager.

This will display the initial screen:

This screen shows the last four Framework Manager projects that you had opened, including information on the project location and the date when the project was last modified.

From this screen you can manage your projects in several ways.

From File | Manage Projects, you have the ability to:

  • Copy a project

  • Move a project

  • Rename a project

  • Delete a project

You have three options in the middle of the screen:

  • Create a new project

  • Open a project

  • Create a new project using Design Accelerator

Alternatively, if you have already opened the project in a previous session, you can simply click on the project name to open the project.

A Framework Manager project appears as a folder that contains a project file (.cpf) and the specific .xml files that define the project. The project files usually consist of the following files:

  • Archive-log.xml: Archive log messages file

  • Custom-data.xml: Custom settings file

  • IDlog.xml: Contains details for the diagram's display settings

  • Log.xml: Project log file

  • Model.xml: Project model file

  • Preferences.xml: User preferences file

  • Session-log.xml: Current session log file

  • Session-log-backup.xml: Previous session log file

  • <project_name>.cpf: Project control file

The files in the project folder are unique to each project.

Note

All the project files are text files, and can be viewed and modified using any suitable text editor.

For now we will choose the option to open an existing project.

Click on Open a project, and then use the file explorer window to browse to the location of your project or the samples directory.

If you have installed the IBM Cognos Samples, the samples projects will be located at C:\Program Files\ibm\cognos\c10\webcontent\samples\models.

Or you can click on the title of the project that you have already been working on.

If your IBM Cognos Server requires authentication, you may be requested to log in. Enter your usual login credentials and Framework Manager will connect to the IBM Cognos Environment that you have previously configured.

 

User interface


Once you open the project, the main user interface screen is displayed:

This is the project's work area, which shows an overview of the whole project. This page contains several additional panes that you can use to view and modify the objects in a project.

The main Project pane cannot be hidden or moved. The Project Viewer, Tools, and Properties panes can be hidden or detached and moved around the work area. If you hide a tool panel, it can be restored by using the View menu.

The Project Viewer pane

The Project Viewer pane shows the project in a hierarchical view. You can use the Project Viewer pane to view, modify, and create objects.

The Project Viewer pane uses various icons to represent different types of objects; these icons are described in more detail in the IBM Cognos documentation.

Within this pane, the main objects are grouped in the project model. The Project Viewer pane starts with the project at the top level; additional levels within the project may be expanded by clicking on the + sign beside each level.

Within the Project Viewer panel, you can find the following areas:

  • Data Sources: These define the connection to external databases; a project can have one or more data sources defined

  • Parameter Maps: These are similar to lookup tables and are discussed in more detail in Chapter 10, Parameter Maps

  • Packages: These are the metadata definitions used by your report authors; they are discussed further in Chapter 7, Creating and Publishing Packages

The Explorer tab

The Explorer tab shows the contents of a project, similar to any filesystem. If you have a large number of objects in a project, it may be easier to locate them in the Explorer tab.

To go to the Explorer tab, click on the Explorer label in the central project work area.

You can use the Explorer tab to view, create, and modify objects and relationships. You can also create folders and namespaces to group objects.

The Diagram tab

The Diagram tab shows the relationships between objects in a project.

To go to the Diagram tab, click on the Diagram label in the central project work area.

'

Relationships between the objects are shown with lines with cardinality notation. You can expand objects and namespaces to show the object hierarchy and the relationship between objects. In the Diagram tab, you can perform any of the following tasks:

  • View, create, and modify objects and relationships.

  • Create folders and namespaces to group objects.

  • Change the settings for the diagrams.

  • Change the layout of objects to either star layout or standard layout by navigating to Diagram | Auto Layout.

  • Focus on an object by navigating to Diagram | Set Focal Point.

  • Find an object by right-clicking on the object in Project Viewer, and clicking on Locate in Diagram.

  • Zoom in or out by clicking on Zoom in Diagram.

  • Expand or collapse all objects from the Diagram menu.

  • Save the diagram for printing by navigating to Diagram | Screen capture, and specifying the name of the picture.

  • Launch the Context Explorer by right-clicking on an object in the Diagram tab, and clicking on Launch Context Explorer.

    Note

    The Context Explorer is useful for quickly finding the relationships from a selected object.

  • Print the diagram in the Context Explorer by right-clicking on the Context Explorer background, and then clicking on Print. A Print button is also available from the Context Explorer toolbar. This menu also includes commands for previewing the diagram using Print Preview and changing page layout options using Page Setup.

The Dimension Map tab

The Dimension Map tab can be used to view, create, and modify hierarchies and levels for any dimension you have selected in Project Viewer. You can also view and modify the scope relationships.

To open the Dimension Map tab, click on the Dimension label in the central project work area:

The Measures and Attributes tabs will be displayed after you click on the Dimension Map tab. The Measures tab can be used to view or modify all the measures and scope relationships that are available in the model. The Attributes tab can be used to view or modify the role of the selected query item.

The Properties pane

The Properties pane shows the properties of the object, or objects that you last selected in the other panes of the tabs within the panes.

Default properties are set during import of your metadata, and some property values can later be modified during modeling. You can use the Properties pane to add, modify, or delete the properties of selected objects.

You can modify the properties for a single object or multiple objects at the same time.

Note

Select multiple objects by pressing Ctrl and clicking on the items.

Framework Manager shows only the properties that are common to all the selected objects. You can apply a property value to multiple objects by clicking on the arrow to the right of the property and dragging the highlighted area over the properties to which you want to apply that value.

The Tools pane contains the Summary tab, the Search tab, and the Dependencies tab.

Note

Hide the Properties pane when you do not need it, to provide more space on the screen.

The Tools pane

The Tools pane contains the Summary tab, the Search tab, and the Dependencies tab. The following screenshot show the Tools pane:

Tip

Hide the Tools pane when not needed, to provide more space on the screen.

The Summary tab

The Summary tab is divided into three sections. At the top, the Project section shows the design language and the active language. The design language is chosen at the start of a new project and cannot be changed; the active language may be changed by selecting a new language from the drop-down list.

The second section is the Statistics section. You can select any object from the Project Viewer to see various statistics about the chosen item. By default, if you do not select an item from the Project Viewer, the statistics are shown for the whole project.

The final section in the Summary tab shows actions that are available for the selected object.

The Search tab

When you have a large project open, it can sometimes be difficult to locate the items that you need. You can use the Search tab to quickly find any objects within your open model.

Enter the text you want to search for into the search box and click on the Search button.

Note

The search is not case sensitive; you can use * and ? as wildcard characters to match multiple and single characters respectively.

Use the double down arrow button to expand the search to include things such as the following:

  • Condition: For example, contains, does not contain, equals, not equal, and so on

  • Scope: Where to start searching from

  • Class: The type of item to search for, such as calculations, folders, and query items

  • Property: The property to search for, such as data type, object name, and usage

By default the search uses the following criteria:

  • Condition: Contains

  • Scope: The currently selected item (if nothing is selected, the whole project is selected)

  • Class: All classes

  • Property: All properties

The Dependencies tab

The Dependencies tab shows all the objects that are dependent on the selected item. To use the Dependencies tab, select any item from the Project Viewer pane, and drag-and-drop it to the upper pane of the Dependencies tab; all the dependent objects will be displayed in the lower pane of the Dependencies tab.

Toolbars

Some limited functionality is available through the toolbar. From the toolbar you can perform the following tasks:

  • Create a new project

  • Save a project that is currently open

  • Open an existing project

  • Copy and paste using the Windows clipboard

  • Hide and show the Project Viewer pane, the Properties pane, and the Tools pane

Note

You will probably find that the main functions used from the toolbar are to open and save projects.

 

Summary


By the end of this chapter, you should have a correctly configured Framework Manager.

You will have understood the main features of the user interface and the functioning of user interface items such as the project work area, the Project View pane, the Properties pane, the Tools pane, and the toolbar.

About the Author
  • Terence Phillip Curran

    Terry Curran gained an interest in computers while studying for his first degree in Biological Chemistry at the University of Kent. He went on to work as a computer operator for a national supermarket company. After working for several years as a computer operator, he went to Brighton Polytechnic, leaving with a Higher National Diploma in Computer Studies. Upon completion of his studies, he worked as a computer advisor at the City of London Polytechnic, assisting staff and students with their computer problems, and providing support for the various database systems in use across the Polytechnic. After taking voluntary redundancy from this post, he proceeded to the University of Stirling where he gained an MSc in Software Engineering. After graduating from the University of Stirling, Terry commenced working for a software consultancy company. While working for this company, Terry assisted with the writing of a software package for the publishing industry using Cognos PowerHouse. While working for this company, Terry gained experience in Business Intelligence Reporting tools, being asked to familiarize himself with Cognos Impromptu and PowerPlay in order to promote the use of these tools to clients. After this company ceased trading, Terry embarked on a career as a freelance computer consultant and contractor, using his experience with Cognos PowerHouse, various computer systems and databases, and Cognos Impromptu and PowerPlay, and later Cognos 8 and Cognos 10. Terry continues to work as a freelance Cognos Business Intelligence consultant and contractor, making use of his extensive knowledge and experience of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Reporting. During the past 15 years, Terry has worked for a range of different industries including aviation, pharmaceuticals, insurance, logistics, and manufacturing to name a few. Terry is currently working for Ultra Electronics Command and Control Systems as a freelance Cognos consultant. Terry Curran was a technical reviewer for the book IBM Cognos 8 Report Studio Cookbook, Packt Publishing.

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