Cognos Analytics 11.1.1 Stability, Bugs, and a Useful Workaround

Cognos 11.1 Bugs.jpg

Make an Assessment

When deciding whether or not you should upgrade your IBM Cognos stack, one major factor should involve assessing whether or not the release is stable.  There are many avenues used when assessing the stability of a given release.  Unfortunately, there isn't a single location where a user can review all bugs or issues ever filed against a current version of Cognos Analytics in order to gauge stability.  Instead, when a particular issue is raised against the product, IBM Support ensures that it is raised with the IBM Dev team internally.  Once the Dev team acknowledges the issue as being a possible defect, they will publish it, so that it may be tracked by public users.  Once a specific issue is published, users can subscribe to the work items for release updates.  Published APARs / PMRs (issues, defects, or product maintenance requests) for Cognos Analytics can be found here.  RFEs (requests for enhancement) for Cognos Analytics can be reviewed here.  Reviewing the APARs and RFEs can help you get a sense of meaningful defects or apparent shortcomings identified by other Cognos Analytics users and administrators, which may affect your decision to upgrade. 

Cognos 11.1 Fix List

Fix lists are also a great way to understand what Cognos 11.1 bugs have been identified and addressed in the release…. known issues that may be affecting your existing IBM Cognos stack and potentially your decision whether or not to upgrade.  Unfortunately, IBM has decided to stop publishing fix lists.  Please vote for this RFE to ask IBM to resume publishing a fix list with each new release.  Fortunately, our colleague, Cognos Paul (yes, that’s his legal name) has published a comprehensive 11.1.1 fix list in the meantime.  Check it out on his blog. 

A few other possible resources to use when deciding if now is the time to upgrade might include:

Our Take

So, is Cognos Analytics 11.1.1 stable?  PMsquare has generally found 11.1.1 to be very stable.  Very early adopters (week one installers) were hit with a request from IBM to reinstall 11.1.1 with a refreshed version that addressed significant enough issues with the smart visualizations recommender and dashboard data refreshes.  Other than that, relatively little has come up in the way of errors, defects, or lack of functionality.  Below are a few of the issues we’ve encountered in-house…and one important work around for the biggest issue we encountered. 

Let’s Talk About Our Issues

Cognos 11.1 Bugs

  • ISSUE:  Probably the biggest issue we’ve run into so far is the inability to modify the properties of a package from the ‘…’ button for the package.  This means that for a package, you can’t easily set a description, define package based routing rules, disable/hide a package, set default member limit in a data tree, set permissions, or set capabilities.  Recent Update: IBM has been responsive in resolving this issue. A fix is now available for download at Fix Central. If you are not ready to install the fix right away, the workaround described below might allow you to sidestep the problem behavior.

Cognos 11.1 Bug - Modifying package properties screenshot

 

The Workaround

Temporary workaround for missing package properties that works for most implementations

  1. Enable the legacy portal (available through a different URL, for admin use…so won’t affect the users accessing the portal through normal means)

  2. Go to the Administration Console

  3. In Administration, click on System from the left menu and select the 'Set properties' option from the drop-down menu next to System

  4. In the Settings tab, click on 'Edit' next to the advanced settings

  5. Insert a parameter called 'portal.disablecc' with a value of 'false', ensuring they are both lowercase with no quotes

  6. Once you click OK, restart Cognos services

  7. Once services have started, access the legacy portal via the following URL:

    http://<servername>:9300/bi/v1/disp?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/cc.xts&gohome=
  8. May have to be on server, depending on firewall restrictions

  9. May have to use localhost istead of server name to avoid DNS translation and keep request on the machine

    ( http://localhost:9300/bi/v1/disp?b_action=xts.run&m=portal/cc.xts&gohome= )

Other Cognos 11.1 Bugs

  • ISSUE:  When trying to create a dataset, cannot expand SSAS cube to see dimensions (inside a data module).

Cognos 11.1 Bugs - Expand and view SSAS cube dimensions in data modules

Cognos 11.1 Bugs - Expand and view SSAS cube dimensions in data modules

 
  • ISSUE:  Keep losing button that shows insertable objects from within report authoring interface.

Cognos 11.1 Bugs - Vanishing button

Cognos 11.1 Bugs - Vanishing button

 
  • ISSUE:  In dashboarding on a Line Chart, Item Axis labels show up even when set to hidden if the viz is made a certain size (small).

  • ISSUE:  "Undo" in dashboards is puzzling. It seems some actions can be undone, and some can't. Clicking "undo" a few times rarely produces the expected results.

  • ISSUE:  In Chrome, many of the 'hit boxes' don't take up an entire icon, forcing you hunt around for precisely where on the 'cascading source' drop down in the prompt properties will actually open the drop-down menu.

Conclusion

Above were just a few of the issues we’ve encountered in Cognos Analytics 11.1.1.  Other issues likely exist.  It is important to take a disciplined approach when assessing new versions or upgrading your existing IBM Cognos stack to uncover issues that may impact your environment early on, before finding them in production.  PMsquare has helped many customers successfully upgrade their analytics environments.  For help upgrading your stack to Cognos Analytics, contact one of our solutions architects today.

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If you have any questions or would like PMsquare to provide guidance and support for your analytics solution, please reach out to us at your regional office:

United States: PMsquare LLC | P: 708-575-2092 | E: Chris Loechel

Australia: Cornerstone | P: +61 1300 840 048 | E: Piers Wilson

Singapore, Philippines, Thailand: PMsquare | A Cornerstone Company | P:+65 6635 1700 | E: Carsten Brandt