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An Introduction to Cognos BI’s Framework Manager … Introduction to Cognos BI’s Framework...

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An Introduction to Cognos BI’s Framework Manager Rocket City Cognos Users’ Group March 14, 2013
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  • An Introduction to Cognos BIs Framework Manager

    Rocket City Cognos Users Group

    March 14, 2013

  • Who am I? Application Analyst at Dynetics, Inc. since 2007

    Over ten years of experience with Cognos Business Intelligence products

    Cognos BI System Administrator

    Author advanced reports

    Maintain system security

    Manage development and production environments

    [email protected]

    mailto:[email protected]

  • What is Framework Manager? IBM Cognos Framework Manager is a metadata

    modeling tool that drives query generation for IBM Cognos software. A model is a collection of metadata that includes physical information and business information for one or more data sources. from the FM User guide

    Used to create packages which are used in report authoring Connects to numerous kinds of data sources

    Relational data (SQL, Excel sheets, csv files, etc.) OLAP data sources (multidimensional data)

    Organizes data into grouped, understandable areas for reporting

    32-bit application

  • Framework Manager Terminology A project contains a model, namespaces, packages, data sources, and

    related information for maintaining and sharing model information. A single project can span many data sources or tables.

    A model is the set of related dimensions, query subjects, and other objects required for one or more related reporting applications.

    A namespace uniquely identifies query items, dimensions, query subjects, and other objects. You import different databases into separate namespaces to avoid duplicate names.

    A package is a subset of the dimensions, query subjects, and other objects defined in the project. A package is what is actually published to the IBM Cognos BI server, and it is used to create reports, analyses, and ad hoc queries.

    A dimension is a broad grouping of data about a major aspect of a business, such as products, dates, or markets.

  • More Terminology A query subject is a set of query items that have an inherent

    relationship. They typically behave like tables. Data source query subjects directly reference data in a single data

    source. Model query subjects are not generated directly from a data source

    but are based on query items in other query subjects or dimensions, including other model query subjects. By using model query subjects, you can create a more abstract, business-oriented view of a data source.

    Stored procedure query subjects are generated when you import a procedure from a relational data source.

    A query item is the smallest piece of the model that can be placed in a report. It represents a single characteristic of something, such as the date that a product was introduced. Query items are contained in query subjects or dimensions, and they are used to create reports.

  • What does all this mean? For metadata modelers (administrators), Framework

    Manager is a powerful tool that allows you to build packages for report authors to use.

    You can combine data from different data sources

    You can use it to secure packages, tables, and even individual fields

    You can add calculated fields

    For authors, it means you shouldnt have to worry about joining tables and making sure data comes into the report correctly. It simplifies your work!

  • Three best practices

    Follow the 3 (or 4) layer model design approach

    Think carefully about any security you assign

    Document your model

  • The 3 Layer Model Design Database Layer

    Contains the query subjects brought in from your data source(s)

    Use the Run Metadata Wizard to simply the process

    Do not place joins at this layer

  • The 3 Layer Model Design Logical (Transformation) Layer

    Query subjects should reference back to the database layer

    Create joins

    Always try to create joins in a star schema

  • Examples of a star schema

  • The 3 Layer Model Design Logical (Transformation) Layer

    Query subjects should reference back to the database layer

    Create joins

    Always try to create joins in a star schema

    Apply model filters

    Merge query subjects

    Translate query subjects and items to business names

    FY_CD becomes Fiscal Year

    PD_NO become Period

  • The 3 Layer Model Design Presentation Layer

    Contains shortcuts to the Logical (Transformation) layer

    Organizes data into groupings for creating packages

    Use namespaces to create your groupings

    Only one shortcut is allowed per namespace

    Dimensional Layer

    Required only for models with dimensionally modeled data (data cubes)

    Also built on the Logical (Transformation) Layer

  • The 3 Layer Model Design Database Layer

    Query subjects based off of the data source

    Logical (Transformation) Layer

    Query subjects created from the Database Layer

    Presentation Layer

    Shortcuts from the Logical Layer

  • Consider Security Carefully Security can be added to almost any element in FM.

    Security can be controlled through Active Directory.

    If a person tries to run a report and the framework security will not allow a person to view one or more elements in the report, the user gets an unfriendly message.

    Add security at the highest level first, then work down to lower levels.

    Model, Packages, Namespace, Query Subject, Query Item

  • Document Your Model! Documentation is the key to understanding your

    model.

    It is also vital if you ever hand off responsibilities of Framework Manager to someone else.

    It makes tracking down issues with your model much easier and faster.

    It does take more time up front, but it will save you time in the long run.

    It makes the 3 layer model design approach easier to understand.

  • Document Your Model! It is a good idea to use some kind of version control

    system to keep a history of old models

    If you add to a model you did not create (such as Delteks model), you will probably need to recreate those changes if you upgrade the third-party model. Documentation is invaluable in these situations.

    Document additions to the model, joins, calculations, and especially security.

  • Lessons Learned the Hard Way Always run Framework Manager as administrator!

    Bad joins = bad queries = bad reports

    Document your changes, especially your security!

    As a framework administrator, you should strive to make things as easy as possible for your report authors.

  • Reference Material IBM: Framework Manager User Guide 10.1.0

    http://pic.dhe.ibm.com/infocenter/cbi/v10r1m0/topic/com.ibm.swg.im.cognos.ug_fm.10.1.0.doc/ug_fm.html

    Ben Harden: Blogging about Business Intelligence http://www.thehardens.net/2011/07/cognos-framework-manager-best-

    practices.html

    Ironside Group http://www.ironsidegroup.com/2010/07/08/best-practices-in-cognos-8-

    framework-manager-model-design/ http://www.ironsidegroup.com/2010/08/01/best-practices-in-cognos-8-

    framework-manager-model-design-part-2-%E2%80%93-advanced-modeling-issues/

    http://www.ironsidegroup.com/2011/02/17/what%E2%80%99s-new-in-ibm-cognos-10-framework-manager/

    CognosPractice.com http://www.cognospractice.com/Documents/Framework%20Modeling%20Gui

    delines.pdf

    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