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IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson Upgrade mit Motio

  • Upgrade IBM Cognos Analytics Quickly and Easily!
Triad of Motio's website header consisting of a woman, a laptop and a pinboard with postits | Automated IBM Cognos Analytics Upgrade with Motio

IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson: Upgrade IBM Cognos Analytics Quickly and Easily!

Upgrades are a good thing. Each new version offers concrete added value. But when big upgrades are due, it’s important to implement them quickly and well. An upgrade can be complex and especially costs time, and thus money! Downtimes due to a migration and incorrect reports can be company-critical. In this case, the goal is not the journey. The goal is to complete the upgrade as quickly as possible, transparently, in accordance with company guidelines, and as well as possible.
For migrations and regular updates, valantic recommends automated support from Motio’s software solutions.

An upgrade with Motio solutions is done in four easy steps:

  • Clean-up and cleansing of the IBM Cognos Analytics content stores
  • Automated testing and validation of reports
  • Versioning of report changes
  • One-click deployment of all changes

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Table of contents

Key Facts

More than 1,000 customers around the world use Motio solutions for smooth upgrades. The software publisher IBM – valantic’s strategic partner – has also been a customer of Motio since 2011 and has offered Motio’s solutions in its own portfolio since the beginning of 2021 based on its outstanding experiences.

The furthest-reaching automation of an IBM Cognos Analytics upgrade results in time savings of up to 70%. This is understandable if you can have Motio clean out your content store before the upgrade, eliminating half the unused or incorrect reports, and then test the reports automatically.

The result is a completely cleaned-up content store, which guarantees the performance and validity of IBM Cognos Analytics and slims down future upgrades massively.

Companies can do this thanks to valantic’s years of experience with the combined use of Motio solutions.

>1000

Enthusiastic customers use Motio’s solutions

~70%

Time savings when using Motio solutions

100%

Cleaned-up, cleansed, and validated reports

Checklist: is Motio right for my company?

Before we provide practical insight into the functioning and added value of Motio solutions, first, you must ask yourself the following question: Is Motio right for me and my requirements?

If you answered more than three of these questions with “yes,” then you’ve found the right partner in valantic’s consulting experts and you should take a closer look at the possibilities offered by the Motio solutions.

Learn in our concrete use cases how Motio can help you with your next IBM Cognos Analytics upgrade and effectively automate your processes.

Motio in practice

Here’s how companies are automating the next upgrade of IBM Cognos Analytics

valantic uses Motio’s solutions for all migrations to new new IBM Cognos Analytics versions. In the process, we have developed a best-practice approach taking into account the following Motio solutions, which we will describe in detail below.

Process description of a migration project with Motio solutions

Process description of a migration project with Motio solutions

If in the course of reducing the initial migration scope reports are excluded by mistake, it is possible to make them available again through versioning. And if enhancements to the current productive system are made during the IBM Cognos Analytics upgrade, the changes can be captured and integrated into the migration cycle later thanks to versioning.

Deployment is used to significantly reduce the time required for transferring Cognos reports between two environments.

The person in charge of deploying MotioCI Inventory and Reduction has to answer the following questions:

  • How many reports in total are there in the Cognos content store?
  • How many reports are still valid and will run?
  • Which reports can be deleted and thus removed from the scope of the migration?
  • How many reports were used when for the last time?
  • How complex are the reports (JavaScripts, HTML, SQL)?
  • Which reports are really just copies (1:1 or very similar) of other reports?

The first benefit of Motio CI Inventory and Reduction is to be able to develop an optimal migration strategy. By analyzing the content store to be migrated, first the overall scope can be sized up and then it is possible to estimate how long the upgrade will probably take. After that comes the qualitative evaluation of the migration scope. Here, reports that should be migrated – or not migrated can be identified quickly. The departments responsible for the migration have the
opportunity to define evaluation criteria (for example, the complexity of the reports) by themselves. Reports that should not be migrated disappear “in bulk” from the Cognos system with MotioCI Inventory and Reduction, regardless of the report folder in which they are located. The underlying versioning enables you to reactivate the reports at any time, even at a later point.

The focus with regard to tests and redesigns of reports is then only on the reports that migrate to the new Cognos environment. By cleaning up the content store, you achieve two things: companies reduce the scope of the IBM Cognos Analytics content store, they can create an optimized migration plan, and save a lot of time during the upgrade. Furthermore, their content store is tidied, which stabilizes the performance of their IBM Cognos Analytics environment for the long term.

The benefits of testing are:

  • Significant reduction of the work and thus the costs in the development time of a report. The earlier the report is tested, the less work there is for the entire development process. Motio sets up the tests so that they are conducted continuously and thus errors are identified and eliminated early on, which eliminates additional work.
  • Fully automated testing
  • Increased report quality and user satisfaction
  • Test of system components
  • Many different test cases (depending on focus)

What are the benefits of this?
By creating test scenarios and saving them for later tests, you reduce the work required as much as possible. Test scenarios created once can be used for frequent upgrades or report inspection. This is something manual tests can’t do.

How does it work?
There are basically two options for automated testing:

  1. Testing in the context of two virtual Cognos environments (sandboxes).
    This procedure is particularly suitable for migration projects.
  2. Testing between productive and development environments
    This procedure is suitable for permanent and regular testing of new reports.

These two procedures are described in detail in our white paper.

By creating a history of each change, MotioCI Visioning makes available the following functions and benefits in IBM Cognos Analytics:

Automation

  • Versioning is done automatically for each change of object in the content store. Therefore, no more report copies have to be created and the content store remains lean.

Transparency

  • Changes to reports and objects can be traced in time, and with regard to their type and
    scope.
  • There is a comment function. Thus, the traceability of changes becomes transparent
    and the people in charge can record the “who, what, and when” automatically
  • Since the back-up copies cease to exist, the content store only includes objects for use and a load due to “quick back-ups” is eliminated.

Audit security

  • The versioning of the various adjustments in the release states enables access to the various (automatically saved) versions at any time.

Control and security

  • Roll-back to previous versions or restoration of deleted objects is possible at any time.
  • Two versions of an asset can now be compared in detail at any time (also for troubleshooting).
  • The time required for restoring accidentally deleted content is reduced greatly. EVERY previous version of a BI asset, including deleted content, can be restored.

Teamwork

  • Collaborative work on objects is possible. Checking the objects in and out backs up and coordinates adjustments and changes.
  • Thanks to the integrated comment function, communication among team members improves. Changes to BI assets are thus traceable for anyone with the appropriate authorizations.

With MotioCI Deployment, it is possible to connect several environments (for example, the two sandboxes during the upgrade) with one another and to exchange content between them purposefully. The report developer can thus assign a completed report to a release (label), which an administrator can transfer to another environment with a few clicks.
It is possible to provide several releases simultaneously, which makes continuous delivery possible in the course of a release plan. The report developer then assigns his completed report to the relevant release.

Since each deployment is audited, there is transparency about the state of the report portfolio at time X. This means that a deployment can also be rolled back (partially) if necessary. This can be advisable if reports do not work in production as they did in development.

MotioCI performs all the individual steps required for a deployment. Access to individual server (directories) – as with classic Cognos export/import provision methods – is not required, which reduces the time required for a transfer between two Cognos environments significantly.

The benefits of MotioCI Deployment are:

  • Deployment either ad hoc, on-demand with a click or automatically according to a schedule
  • Deployment – in contrast to classic Cognos tools – is possible per report
  • The simplified deployment process speeds up the release cycle, which means that new developments and enhancement can be made available to end users faster
  • Reduced admin activity and increased transparency: “What happened when”
  • Roll-back function

Use Case: Administration of IBM Cognos Analytics

Challenge

There are a lot of challenges for upgrades and for the administration of IBM Cognos Analytics. Some of these are:

  • Which reports or tasks have no owner?
  • How can I delete my report output, for example as PDF, from the content store most securely and easily?
  • If I would like to delete a package, how do I find the associated reports, for example in the “own folders” and react appropriately?
  • Automatic report sending via e-mail: How can I insert a deputy and copy authorizations?
Soutions

MotioPI Pro offers a series of functions that help the administrator Among others, these include

a) Managing schedules and safety plans

  • Re-assigning content and schedules of deleted users

b) Performing mass processings within report definitions

  • Updating calculations with errors
  • Updating the footer, header or other general format parts
  • Setting query elements
  • Searching for all reports for a package

c) Changing the storage location of the content safely

  • Maintaining runtime
  • Determining reference links
  • Ensuring reference drill
Added

The people in charge are spared work and thus time for IBM Cognos Analytics administration. This way, it is possible to perform goal-oriented administration of the Cognos Analytics environment in order to make changes to a larger number of reports.

With MotioPI Pro, the popular e-mail sending options are also much clearer. A purposeful deletion of output versions reduces the size of the content store considerably.

Use Case: Exchange of the data source (relational database) behind IBM Cognos Analytics

Challenge

If data sources (SAP HANA for a Netezza, for example) behind IBM Cognos Analytics are exchanged, the following problems can crop up:

  • Does the data still have the same structure?
  • Are there deviations in the results due to changed data types?
  • Do aggregations and calculations still produce the same results?
  • How do you handle change/non-existent database functions (vendor-specific functions)?
  • Does the new database provide different performance?
Solution

MotioPI Pro and MotioCI Testing

Added

Generally, MotioCI can test the reports in a new environment or with a new data source to see whether the reports run, whether the performance is right as compared to a reference environment, and whether the results match with the same parameters (insofar as the source data is comparable).

With MotioPI Pro, you can search for errors with respect to database functions in order to get a list of the reports that have to be adjusted. Here, it is not necessary that database-specific functions create problems; implicit conversions can also create problems (such as date conversions). MotioPI Pro can help with “search and replace” and it will find the problem cases right away.

MotioPI Pro quickly exchanges changes to packages or new packages with a changed framework.

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