- Case Studies
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:
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.
Enthusiastic customers use Motio’s solutions
Time savings when using Motio solutions
Cleaned-up, cleansed, and validated reports
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?
To answer this question, take a look at our checklist:
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.
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
What are the four steps of a successful and efficient migration?
First, it’s important to clean up thoroughly and remove unneeded and incorrect reports before the upgrade in order to concentrate on the relevant content. Motio helps the people in charge significantly reduce the scope of the initial migration.
The testing and validation of the reports to be migrated is the second fixed component of each migration. Done manually, these processes require a lot of time and can produce dubious results. By automating testing and validation, Motio eliminates stressful, error-prone, and expensive processes and prevents a possible production shutdown.
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.
Inventory and cleansing of the IBM Cognos Analytics content stores
With MotioCI Inventory and Reduction, Cognos content stores can be read out so that you get an extensive overview of the reports stored.
The person in charge of deploying MotioCI Inventory and Reduction has to answer the following questions:
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.
Testing of the report validity between old and new IBM Cognos Analytics environment
The testing functionality is the central building block of MotioCI. It helps you conduct necessary tests of reports not manually, but with wide-ranging automation, which saves a lot of time. And this regardless of working hours (Motio can also run on the weekend).
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:
These two procedures are described in detail in our white paper.
Versioning of reports and report outputs in order to activate deleted reports at any time
Cognos Analytics has no system-internal version control. If a report has been deleted or a change made to a report, then only the last version is available. So what happens if the people in charge need the previous or even older report versions?
With MotioCI Versioning, companies can document each change to reports in the Cognos content store, back them up, trace them, and if necessary return to previous versions of the report.
Control and security
Deployment of reports
With the deployment feature of MotioCI, the people in charge reduce time, effort, and risks for the provision of reports.
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.
IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson Administration
Motio also offers a solution for the administration of IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson. The lean client application MotioPI Pro offers useful functions for the administration of IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson. With the help of MotioPI Pro, the administrator can, for example, search for reports that belong to a defined package or clearly manage an administration of users for sending e-mails. MotioPI Pro can control, change or delete objects, such as reports, in bulk within the IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson Content Store. These changes are logged and can also be undone if required. The feature of mass modification cannot be adopted natively via IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson and thus saves the administrator considerable time.
There are a lot of challenges for upgrades and for the administration of IBM Cognos Analytics. Some of these are:
a) Managing schedules and safety plans
b) Performing mass processings within report definitions
c) Changing the storage location of the content safely
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.
If data sources (SAP HANA for a Netezza, for example) behind IBM Cognos Analytics are exchanged, the following problems can crop up:
MotioPI Pro and MotioCI Testing
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.
Excellence in know-how transfer
Our training and education courses optimally prepare you and your employees for the use of Motio, so that you and your team can fully exploit the potential of the Business Intelligence solution in the future.
On our valantic Academy page, we also offer further training courses on IBM Cognos-Analytics with Watson solutions.
In this workshop, participants learn how to use the Inventory and Reduction functions as well as Testing. Ideal for migrations and upgrades!
Motio PI Pro complements IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson with many practical administration functions. In this workshop, the participants work out sensible procedure models and working methods using practical examples.