Upgrading to Cognos Analytics
Every process can be broken down to a methodology. After having help many customers upgrade to Cognos Analytics, I have established a repeatable process. As anecdotal as it may sound, I will include some specific facts that may help you in your journey. The steps include
- Planning the Upgrade
- Environment Setup
- Establishing a Baseline
- Content Migration
- Validation and Remediation
- Go Live
This session will cover the Migration phase.
With confirmation of which reports to migrate and having executed the baseline we need to get that content into the target environment. Two options exist including Content Store database copy or using Export/Import capability from the administration panel. Notice I did not mention an over the top install, although that is a supported approach from an application perspective it is not recommended for a migration strategy. Obvious reasons include there would be no way to compare the before and after reports to confirm the upgrade was successful and losing the original source environment should anything go wrong. For large environments with many reports it might be easier to use a database copy process. Once the new environment is configured and pointing to this copy the table structures that support the content store would be automatically upgraded to conform to the new schemas. Using an export/import process could be accomplished either using the entire Content Store or selected subsets, possibly organized by subject area. When using the Export/Import process and you have a large Content Store you may run into issues during the export that might benefit from some tuning including the memory allocated to the process and there are some advanced parameters that can also help. Here is a tech doc that explains some of these Link to tech doc. When using the export/import process a consideration is to make sure all the dependencies are also included. Items like packages, security roles and groups and data source configurations.
Upgrading the Report Specifications
With each release of Cognos it is possible that the Report Specification schema changes. It is recommended to use the Content Maintenance Task to upgrade the Report Specification. This applies to both methods of migrating the Contents as discussed above. The logging provided from the execution of the Maintenance Task can then be leveraged to identify any errors that may need resolution. This process will not modify the “interactive flag” which would change the report from rendering with the classic viewer to the new interactive viewer. More on that in a future blog on Modernization. Note that if the specification is using an old scheme (created in a previous version of Cognos) and the upgrade is not done then each report specification may need to be upgraded each time when it is executed.
It is beneficial to disable all scheduled tasks such that they do not execute until you have confirmed the migration. If you disable them in the source environment before the migration, then you won’t need to rush in the target environment to avoid unnecessary executions and high database utilization.
Some assets may be broken in your environment particularly if the environment has been in use for a long time. Things to look for are reports that do not have a valid package connection, report views that are not linked to a report and objects (especially schedules) that do not have valid members. Some of these can be cleaned with a Content Administration task or utilities that the Lab Services teams have access to. Some of these may also be identified during the import process.
After the target environment is setup make sure all the required data sources work properly before testing reports. Part of this is confirming the correct drivers have been installed and also that all the versions of the databases are supported which can be confirmed on the supported environments website.
More on what to expect during a migration in a future blog, stay tuned.