Monday, June 27, 2011

Cognos Proven Practices on Youtube

Check out the Cognos Proven Practices on Youtube, including some good BI report studio tips:

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Active Form Calculation mode

I would recommend reading this article on IBM if you work with active forms on a regular basis:

Controlling the calculation mode will improve performance and prevent some screen flickering.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some Active Form quirks in Cognos Express (9.0) TM1 (941)

-          In data validations, if you want to display a message make sure you have a title otherwise it will display null at the front of the message
-          If you have action buttons that navigate between sheets and leave the workbook name blank then the navigation will work but the workbook name will be lost from the tab bar. You can set the workbook name to be a named range if this is an issue
-          In the action button process options, don’t delete the messages, only untick them to not display anything

Active Form Top Ten Tips

In no particular order but hopefully a useful list for people to check through to ensure good performance:

  1. Delete any Named references with #Ref in them, do an Excel find to see if there are any #Ref in cell formula, check for external links and change/delete
  2. Delete any unused columns or rows. Use the slider as an indicator as to how many rows/columns are saved with the sheet
  3. Keep SUBNM, ELCOMP formula to a minimum
  4. Before publishing the Active Form delete all rows below the tm1rptrow formula
  5. Any lookups to cube that are used in other formula’s need to be a DBR rather than DBRW
  6. Workbooks perform best when uploaded to TM1 Server (copied to TM1 server through Add File route), subsequent navigation options via action buttons should then have “Look In: TM1 Applications” selected
  7. Try to minimise the number of worksheets in a workbook. Definitely less than 8
  8. Try not to use Action buttons formatted as hyperlinks
  9. Don’t use dynamic named ranges e.g. ranges that are not visible to objects within the workbook
  10. Use named ranges in action button properties rather than cell references e.g. =rngTM1Server not =’Sheet1’$A$1

Friday, May 06, 2011

EV Sizing

Proven Practice document for sizing executive viewer deployments:

TM1 and virus scan software

Link to official recommendations:

Virus scan software can negatively impact the performance of TM1 and can cause corruption if it is checks TM1 files while TM1 is running. For that reason, virus scan software should be set to skip checking the following:

Integrating Cognos Express into Sharepoint 2007

Step by step instructions found on proven practices:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TM1 Active Reports - Alternative Row shading

Alternative row shading is a good techniques for visual reporting.
With Active forms you can easily achieve it by using a formula in column A such as:


This formula will then return a result of C, 1 or 0 and your format range just needs to cater for these with 1 and 0 being different shading.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Cognos Express 95 Online Mnauals

Useful to keep in your bookmarks:

Sunday, April 03, 2011

TM1 952 Parallel Interaction

TM1 952 introduces and exciting new feature called Parallel Interaction which massively improves the locking around multiple writers to cubes.

There is a good IBM tech note here to read:

TM1 Cube Dependency

Cube dependency has become an important aspect admins should be aware of within their models.
There is a good overview describing what it is and how to cater for it here:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Does TM1 support clustering /load balancing?

Interesting link here about whether TM1 supports clustering/load balancing:


None of the shipped versions of the TM1 software support load balancing or clustering. The TM1 software does not possess any integrated load balancing or cluster functionality. Nor does it support and use load balancing or cluster standards and interfaces used by some external load balancing or clustering software.
For instance:
Cluster-aware software run by WCS (Windows Cluster Services) can execute a hot failover. If the master node of the WCS cluster fails, its slave node becomes the new master node. Cluster-aware software can directly switch from the failed old master node to the new master node. Due to the hot failover, from a user point of view nothing has happened, the user sessions survive the hot failover, the users are not forced to log on again after the switch of the cluster-aware application from the old failed master node to the new running master node.

But the TM1 Server software is not cluster-aware, thus it cannot perform a hot failover. In contrast to a cluster-aware application a non cluster-aware application must be started on the new master node. And because the user sessions have been terminated by the failure of the old master node, after the non cluster-aware application is up and running on the new master node, the users do have to log on again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TM1 952 - New Rule and TI functions

The following link outlines the new rule and TI functions available in TM1 952.
The ability to do Averages in rules is something very exciting

Monday, March 07, 2011

TM1 Active Forms - hidden sheets

If you do an Active Form from the cube viewer and the row dimension does not contain a subset then it will create a hidden sheet in the workbook that contains a list of the elements you had in the rows.

Your TM1RptRow formula will then reference this hidden sheet with a formula similar to ({AR}01'!$B$17:$B$22)

These references to hidden objects perform slower on tm1web then references to subsets or mdx. For performance I would recommend replacing these hard coded references by changing the TM1RptRow formula to use the subset or mdx parameters and deleting the hidden sheet within the workbook

TM1 Active Forms

TM1 Active Forms are very powerful but sometimes a few simple tips can improve performance dramatically.
The next few post will outline a few of these simple techniques.

The first tip is that first row of the ‘active’ section is the basis of the entire report … all formulas are copied down from there. Find the row with the TM1RptRow formula and this is the row that will be copied.

You can actually delete all rows below row with the TM1RptRow formula. All rows beneath are calculated at run time.

For example I took a client's active form report, that was a simple active form straight from the cube viewer but contained nearly 1000 rows and took almost 5 minutes to appear on tm1web, deleted all the rows beneath the TM1RptRow then saved and uploaded. The result was the form then appeared in tm1web in seconds

Excel export not working in TM1 Contributor on Windows 2008

If exports are not working on your TM1 contributor deployment and you have installed on windows 2008 then its probably an issue outlined in the online manual about a chnage in dll locations in Win2008:

Due to a change in location of a Windows 2008 .dll file, when running TM1® Contributor on Microsoft® Windows 2008, you must either copy the .dll to the c:\windows\system32 location or add the following symbolic link to permit Export to Excel or Export to PDF to work.


Login to the system as an administrator. It is not sufficient to be a user who is part of the administrator group.

In a command prompt cd to


Enter the following command:

mklink iprop.dll c:\windows\syswow64\iprop.dll

This command creates a pointer to the original file required by TM1 Contributor.

If this link file is ever deleted, you must re-create the link to allow exports to work again

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Single Sign On for Cognos Express on Windows 2008

With the release of Cognos Express 95, windows 2008 64 bit is now a supported OS.

The following url contains notes to setup single sign on:

Monday, February 28, 2011

TM1web export to pdf not working

Sometimes you may receive an error when installing TM1 that the pdfcamp did not install correctly or on an existing TM1web or contributor application you may find the "Export to PDF" button is not working.

You should then test this by going into the TM1\Bin\PDFCamp directory and running the appropriate setup.exe (32 bit or 64 bit depending on your OS).

If you receive a message such as:

"enummonitors_failed error (1722)"

then it's likely the your print spooler service has not been started and you need to manually start it as per the instructions here:

I think this same issue can happen when installing Cognos Express too

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cognos Express and VMware

Some useful tips on Cognos Express within a vmware environment here:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rename TM1 Elements

One of the biggest time savers I have used recently is the SwapAliasWithPrincipalName Turbo Integrator command.

It isn't well documented but allows you to swap an alias with the element name, thus allowing you to rename TM1 elements. has an excellent tutorial here:

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Automaticalling Deleting Log Files

2 great posts here on olapforums for how to automatically delete old log files in TM1 or Cognos Express:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Cognos Express 95

With the launch of Cognos Express 95 last month there are a number of new features such as the new Planner module, new backup and restore capability etc.

The one I look forward to most though is the support for Windows 2008 64 bit

Cognos 10 Redbook

A good resource for anyone considering Cognos 10 is the redbook available here:

Friday, February 04, 2011

Scrolling through dimensions in TM1 Web / Contributor

Useful tip here on the IBM website about changing the default number of rows and columns that appear before paging takes affect:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Test COG-385: IBM Cognos TM1 Master Exam

There is a new TM1 exam available called COG-385: IBM Cognos TM1 Master Exam:

TM1Web Timeouts

The defaults timeouts on tm1web normally need extending for deployments.
The best guide I have seen is here:

and extract below:

Resolving the problem
To prevent a TM1Web session from timing out configure your Timeout Parameter according to business requirements and “precedence of timeout settings” (best practice is not to change the default parameters).
Check web.config and tm1s.cfg file timeout parameter information. Check if you have a setting in your tm1s.cfg as it could be impacting your timeout if you do (note that no entry = never timeout). IdleConnectionTimeOut Seconds specifies a timeout limit for idle client connections, in seconds.For example, if you include the line IdleConnectionTimeOutSeconds=900 in tm1s.cfg, the server disconnects idle client connections after 900 seconds.

Timeout Parameter in TM1 & Microsoft IIS & TM1Web
0. Increase timeout IdleConnectionTimeOutSeconds (tm1s.cfg) from 900 sec to 7200 sec (= 120 min)
1. Increase timeout of IIS worker process from sec (=20 min) to 7200 sec (= 120 min)
cscript %SystemDrive%\Inetpub\AdminScripts\adsutil.vbs set W3SVC/AppPools/ApplicationPoolName n
2. Increase timeout DefaultAppPool from default 20 min to 120 min
3. Increase timeout TM1 Web Session (web.config) from default 20 min to 120 min
4. httpRuntime executionTimeout="7200" (web.config)
6. restart IIS after changing timeout settings

Another category of Session Timeouts, the ones where immediately after logon (or a short time later) the Session Timeout hits the user, is due to the default setting in IIS Version 6 webserver of MS Windows Server 2003:
Go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools ->IIS Manager -> Application Pool -> Default Application Pool (DefaultAppPool) -> right mouse click to open context menu, selectProperties -> tab Performance -> Web Garden: Maximum number of worker processes -> Change from default value of 4 to 1.

Friday, January 14, 2011

IBM Cognos Solution Implementation Methodology

If you are about to implement a new cognos product or a new project within an existing install then its worth checking out the CSIM roadmaps available:

There are roadmaps for Cognos BI and TM1 available 

Sunday, January 09, 2011

TM1 Contributor not liking an alias named Description

I quite commonly create a default alias on my dimensions with the name Description.

It would seem though that TM1 Contributor does not like this as a name for the alias on a nominated workflow hierarchy.

I could not understand why my alias was not displaying in Contributor but upon using a different name for my alias on the workflow dimension, suddenly everything came right again.

My suspicion is that there is some MDX call within Contributor that becomes invalid for some reason.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

TM1 TI process SQL preview killing

If your TI process datasource consists of a sql statement that takes a long time to run then it will become annoying when you want to make changes to that TI and the sql executes every time you open the TI process.

There is though a simple workaround.

At the end of your sql add the to your WHERE condition “1” =’?pCondition?’

 Then in your Prolog tab at the very start add a line  pCondition = '1';

 By having the sql where clause not being populated until run time (execution of the TI) it means your TI will now open without running the SQL statement