IBM Cognos Active Reports Known Issues

​IBM Cognos Active Reports Known Issues

I grew up on Long Island in New York, so I have had my share of dreary winter months. Moving to the Gulf coast of Florida seemed to be the answer to my utter aversion to cold weather. I still remember my first Florida winter twenty years ago. I enjoyed swimming in the Gulf through most of that December. Then, right before the holidays, the temperatures dipped down to nearly the freezing point. Even our sunny Florida weather has its limitations. IBM Active Reports is an excellent solution for delivering off line reports to end users on the go. However, it too has its limitations. Following are issues that end users have run up against while using Active Reports.

active reports

1. Very slow performance with large data sets

Reason: Active Reports renders the data decks at runtime, encapsulates them into an MHT file, and then sends that file out.

Suggestions: use Active Reports only for a small amount of data. The queries assigned to the data deck should contain only the required data items. Apply query filters to return only values of interest from the data items in the data deck.

2. Creating an interactive dashboard with Active Reports performance is very slow

Reason: Active Reports can be run interactively from within Cognos Connection, but performance is very slow, as the report is run to produce the MHT file and then the MHT file is opened in the web browser.

Suggestion: For Interactive Dashboards, use Business Insight Advanced instead of Active Reports.

3. Report never appears when opening from Cognos Connection

Reason: A dialog box opens every time a report is run from Cognos Connection giving the option to open or save the report. Note, some users find this box annoying. Users choosing open instead of save have reported the problem of the report never appearing.

Suggestions: Choose save from the dialog box and then open the saved output in Cognos Connection. Instead of running Active Reports from Cognos Connection to create the effect of an Interactive Dashboard, use Business Insight Advanced. IBM addressed issues with running Active Reports in Cognos Connection with version 10.2.

4. Cannot export to Excel format

Reason: Active Reports can only export to MHT, which means it is an archive with design & layout information and the data itself saved into one file.

Suggestion: Active Reports are not designed to be exported into Excel. Instead, use Event Studio to attach the Excel output from the original, unconverted report in the same email as the Active Report.

5. Cannot use drill through functionality; does not work when Active Reports are viewed off line

Reason: Drill through for Active Reports cannot work, unless the report is viewed through a Cognos server. The drill through feature requires a connection back to the Cognos server to run the child report. Expecting drill through to work while disconnected would require a lot more data
to be downloaded. Every child report would have to also be run for all data and then downloaded.

Suggestion: Drill up and down is available while disconnected because all that data has already been
downloaded.

6. Unable to reopen Active Report saved in web browser

Reason: Saving an active report in a browser creates a new MHT file. It is a different file from the original MHT file so reopening will open a different file.

Suggestion: When receiving a report in email, first save the report onto your computer and then open the saved MHT file.

7. Active Reports does not open in web browser

Suggestions: Check Internet option security settings. Click Trusted sites and then click Sites. In the Add this website to the zone box, type the IBM Cognos BI server's domain. Click Custom level. In the Scripting section, disable XSS filter. Check what the computer’s local system/browser settings are set to do for MHT files.

Contact Sales@LodestarSolutions.com for more information.

We hope you found this blog useful!  To learn what is new in Cognos 11 including active reports check out this blog by clicking here.