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Linking IBM Cognos Now! Dashboards to External Links Tip or Technique

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Linking IBM Cognos Now! Dashboards to External Links Tip or Technique
Tip or Technique
Linking IBM Cognos Now!
Dashboards to External Links
Product(s): IBM Cognos Now!
Area of Interest: Reporting
Linking IBM Cognos Now! Dashboards to External Links
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Copyright and Trademarks
Licensed Materials - Property of IBM.
© Copyright IBM Corp. 2009
IBM, the IBM logo, and Cognos are trademarks or registered trademarks of
International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide.
Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A
current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at
http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml
While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information in this document
is accurate and complete, some typographical errors or technical inaccuracies may
exist. IBM does not accept responsibility for any kind of loss resulting from the use of
information contained in this document. The information contained in this document
is subject to change without notice.
This document is maintained by the Best Practices, Product and Technology team.
You can send comments, suggestions, and additions to [email protected]
Linking IBM Cognos Now! Dashboards to External Links
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Contents
1
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................ 4
1.1
1.2
1.3
PURPOSE ................................................................................................................ 4
APPLICABILITY ......................................................................................................... 4
EXCLUSIONS AND EXCEPTIONS ..................................................................................... 4
2
OVERVIEW .................................................................................................... 4
3
LINKING DASHBOARDS TO EXTERNAL LINKS .............................................. 5
3.1
3.2
3.3
LINKS IN DATA GRID ................................................................................................. 5
EXTERNAL PORTLETS ................................................................................................. 5
DRILL THRU TARGETS & GO TO FEATURE ........................................................................ 5
4
EXAMPLES ..................................................................................................... 6
4.1
4.1.1
4.2
4.3
LINKS IN DATA GRID ................................................................................................. 6
Masking Links .................................................................................................... 7
EXTERNAL PORTLETS ................................................................................................. 8
DRILL THRU TARGETS & GO TO FEATURE...................................................................... 10
5
CONCLUSION - LEVERAGE THIS CONNECTION .......................................... 11
Linking IBM Cognos Now! Dashboards to External Links
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1 Introduction
1.1
Purpose
This write-up will help IBM Cognos Now! users in understanding how they
can establish a link between Cognos Now! dashboards and any external web
link.
1.2
Applicability
The technique described in this document applies to both appliance and
software offerings of IBM Cognos Now! version 4.5 and onwards.
1.3
Exclusions and Exceptions
This document assumes that IBM Cognos Now! is installed and fully
operational.
2 Overview
By linking Cognos Now! Dashboards to external web links business users will
be able to directly see information/details available on any external web page
without leaving the Cognos Now! dashboard interface. This feature also
allows passing data from a dashboard object to an external web page by
means of dynamic & constant parameters.
As the external links can be added to Cognos Now! Dashboard, users can
monitor the information available on such links along with Cognos Now! KPIs
present on the dashboard.
External web links will be refreshed along with the same refresh interval as
other Cognos Now! KPIs that are added to the dashboard.
An external link could be a web page:
•
•
Available over Internet providing information relevant to the KPIs
monitored in Cognos Now!
e.g. Trade Desk Monitoring Dashboard also showing current state of
market with external link pointing to Google finance.
Available in organization’s existing systems/solutions which can
provide additional details about the KPIs monitored in Cognos Now!
e.g. Call Centre Calls Volume dashboard also showing details of
customer with external link pointing to another system, say Siebel
CRM, Cognos Now! Operational Dashboards showing reports from
external Cognos 8 instance etc.
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3 Linking Dashboards to external links
IBM Cognos Now! offers three ways to link its Dashboards directly to external web
pages or reports which are created out of IBM Cognos Now!. An external link could
be a simple web page available over Internet or a web page in organization’s existing
systems/solutions such as Cognos 8 report.
This can be established with the following 3 ways,
•
•
•
By modeling links in data grid (i.e. table) dashboard object.
By means of creating ‘External Portlet’ and adding it to a dashboard.
By defining drill-thru targets & using ‘Go to’ feature on dashboard objects.
3.1
Links in Data Grid
If data in a view column starts with http:// or https://, Cognos Now!
automatically detects this as a hyperlink. When a basic table dashboard
object is created on such view, clicking on the hyperlink in a table cell will
open that link a new browser window. These links are modifiable and can
easily be marked up with the appropriate text.
3.2
External Portlets
External portlets can be created by the dashboard user and can be used to
display web pages, etc. When added to a Dashboard they refresh with all
other dashboard objects placed on dashboard.
3.3
Drill thru targets & Go to feature
This feature allows passing data from a dashboard object to an external web
page by means of dynamic & constant parameters. Multiple Drill thru targets
can be defined for same dashboard object. User can choose the value of the
dynamic parameters defined for Drill through target at run time. The selected
item will open up the corresponding external link.
‘Go To’ feature will be available only for those dashboard objects that are
build on same view/cube the drill-thru target is defined on.
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4 Examples
4.1
Links in Data Grid
This example assumes that the call centre organization has its CRM solution
which holds information about the customers on a server called
“crmsolution”. The URL format to access the customer profile would then be
http://crmsolution/cprofile.html?cust=<customerid>
By creating links in the data grid dashboard users will be able to see the
customer profiles from their CRM solution with just a single click.
1. Assume that the following events are streaming in Cognos Now! Data
stream from the transactional data source.
2. The Cognos Now! View is defined on the above data stream and the view
definition has a field that concatenates the link for the customer profile
with the customer ID from the data source as follows.
Concat ('http://crmsolution/cprofile.html?cust=', "Calls DS".Customer)
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3. This would result in the following View Result:
4. Basic Table - Dashboard Object created on this view will have links under
Customer column
5. Click on the link under Customer column in Dashboard object opens the
corresponding customer profile in another browser window.
4.1.1 Masking Links
The external links in the data grid can be masked with the appropriate text.
To mask the link with text, the link URL should be followed by a space and
then the masking text as shown below:
<External link URL><SPACE><Masking text>
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1. Cognos Now! view definition below has a field that concatenates the link
for the customer profile with the customer ID from the data source.
Customer ID is also used to mask the link.
CONCAT(CONCAT(CONCAT ('http://crmsolution/cprofile.html?cust=', "Calls DS".Customer),' '),"Calls DS".Customer)
2. View Result for text masking
3. Basic Table - Dashboard Object with links masked with text
4.2
External Portlets
This example shows how Google Finance (an external web link) can be shown
on Cognos Now! Dashboard as External Portlet along with other Trade Desk
management KPIs.
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1. Open up Cognos Now! Dashboard and Select the [Dashboard Objects]
option.
2. Click [Create Object] and Select [External Portlet] as shown below.
3. Enter the web link URL for external portlet & save it
4. Add the external portlet to the Dashboard with other Dashboard Objects.
The external portlet will be displayed & refreshed along with all other
Dashboard objects.
Linking IBM Cognos Now! Dashboards to External Links
4.3
10
Drill Thru Targets & Go to feature
This example shows how dashboard user monitoring employee work hours
can open up an employee’s profile (an external report which is not created in
Cognos Now!) by just selecting the parameter value on the fly i.e. Drill to
another piece of information related to the KPI monitored.
Assume that we have a Cognos Now! view which has details of total work
hour for employees in the organization and that employee profiles can be
seen with the following URL format
http://organizationXYZ/empprofile.html?empid=<employeeid>
The feature can then be implemented as follows:
1. Define an External link with the URL as shown below
2. Define a Drill Thru Target referencing the created external link
associated with the view ‘Employee Workhours View’. A Dynamic
parameter is added and mapped to view column ‘Employee ID’
3. Define a Dashboard object on the same view, the Drill Thru target is
defined on.
4. On Dashboard Object, Activities menu, click [Go to] which will allow
the user to select a Drill Thru target and the dynamic parameter
value.
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5. When clicking the [View Report] button, the link/report will be opened
in a separate window in accordance with the dynamic parameter value
selection.
5 Conclusion - leverage this Connection
The three ways discussed in this article can be leveraged by IBM Cognos
Now! users to get more details/information relevant to the Key Performance
Indicators (KPI) & Business metrics monitored by Cognos Now! Dashboards.
These specific techniques would be useful to:
•
•
•
A user who wants additional details of the entities monitored in
Cognos Now! from some external system. He can incorporate links in
data grid.
A user who wants to show some important piece of information (say
News) from Organization’s website alongside KPIs. He has the
possibility to simply add it as an external portlet to the Dashboard.
A scenario with the need of passing dynamic data from Cognos Now!
Dashboard objects (i.e. View or Cube) to some external link or report.
This can be served by means of defining Drill Thru Targets. Cognos8
BI reports would be perfect examples of such a use case.
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