QueryVision Web Parts – the solution to broken Cognos Report links

The reality of Cognos Application lifecycles is that reports and other Cognos objects (including folders containing the reports/objects) can change in the Cognos Content Store (in Cognos Connection):

  • Moved – to a different folder
  • Renamed
  • Replaced – a new report is created (new ID), but with the same name as an existing Report.

For BI Application developers and administrators where Cognos Reports and other Cognos content are embedded in the application, this presents a problem as both folders and report (or report equivalent) links can break as a result of this type of change.

Part of the problem is that Cognos identifies objects via either a search path or an ID, both of which can be broken in different ways by the changes outlined above.

  • Search Path – is a path based ID using folder and object names – which will break if the object or any of the folders in the path are renamed or moved.
  • SID – a unique id – which will break if a new object of the same name is created (as it will get a new unique ID. And ids can’t be re-used with Cognos).

An additional issue is that administrators are typically going to want to identify reports, folders and dashboards with search paths, as they are human readable, SIDs are not.

QueryVision has developed a “Resilient ID” which resolves this problem when using QueryVision’s Web Parts by storing both the SID and the Object Search Path and using a proprietary algorithm to resolve the report/object. In testing 95% of any maintenance related changes were resolved without Cognos Web Part App Administrator intervention.

Minimizing Cognos content links breaking during the BI application lifecycle is just one way of helping lower the “cost of ownership” of Cognos.