3 December 2014

IBM Cognos Mobile & RAVE visualizations

IBM Cognos mobile

IBM Cognos Mobile is a BI solution aimed at executives and users, that are constantly moving, don’t have a fixed work place and need to access important information. Users can interact with reports and dashboard on their own devices (smartphone, tablets) both online or offline.
The application supports standard reports, active reports, and Cognos workspace content. The Cognos Mobile application, is another way to consume information. Until now, Reports could be accessed through the browser or exporting to other formats( excel, pdf) and consuming or sending it by email. With the Cognos Mobile application, there’s the following advantages:

  • Always connected to the Cognos server and access to the latest information on your mobile device;

  • Save reports locally for later viewing;

  • Full-screen visualizations;

  • Note taking capabilities and send as email attachment;

  • BlackBerry service support.

The Cognos Mobile application can also leverage from several security implementations which can be changed by the Cognos administrator:

  • Cognos security and credentials (AD, LDAP);

  • Server security web/app (TLS/SSL, NTLM, Kerberos, etc);

  • Lease key security, limits the access to the reports in offline mode;

  • Force access code on the device (PIN, password, etc);

  • Comunication between server and aplication using HTTPS;

  • Access code for the application;

  • Aplication sandboxing.

RAVE Visualizations

RAVE stands for Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine and it’s a visualization tool developed by IBM. It uses JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) a programming language based in Javascript. It’s simpler than XML and better for data exchange. These visualizations are available with Cognos 10.2, and they bring:

  • New graphics;

  • Updates to existing graphics;

  • Better animations;

  • Better graphics personalization;

  • Possibility to manually add new graphics, instead of waiting for a new Cognos release.

From a user perspective these visualizations are fully integrated in the report.

From a developer perspective there’s a new ‘Visualizations’ tool in the toolbox and all the functions are similar to the old graphics functions. To customize the visualizations IBM has a tool called Visualization Customizer that gives the developer capabilities to alter a RAVE based visualization.
The only requirements are some knowledge of CSS and JSON. Several changes can be made ranging from customizing visualizations color palettes, to fonts and labels to adding or changing chart icons. You just need to open the zip file containing the visualization with the Visualization Customizer, and alter the visualizations code.
Then just upload the altered visualization using the Cognos Administration area. For more information, please visit link.

   Manuel Martins