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Post: Distribute Parameters to Multiple Cognos Report Views

Have you ever needed to update the parameters for a large number of report views? This can be very time consuming in Cognos Connection. For example, imagine a report which expects 15 parameters (normally populated via its prompt screen). Since filling out 15 parameters each time they execute this report is a bit taxing, its pretty common place for users to save report views of this report (to capture all of their parameter selections, and make launching the report much easier in the future).

Suppose we have 50 of these report views.

Now imagine a new requirement comes along and we add a 16th parameter to the report.

With the new parameter added, all 50 of the aforementioned report views are now insufficient. We need to update each of these 50 report views to account for the new parameter value.

Attempting to do this manually in Cognos Connection can be a very time consuming process.

Today’s blog entry will walk through the above example – updating the parameter values on multiple report views using the Property Distributor feature in MotioPI Professional.

First, we’ll go into Cognos Connection and manually add the new parameter to ONE of the report views (this report view becomes the “template” object in MotioPI). This step is done in the “normal” Cognos way, using Cognos Connection and the report’s associated prompt screen.

Now that we have a viable template, we’ll jump into MotioPI Professional to replicate selected parameter values from our template object onto many other report views.

Open MotioPI Pro’s Property Distributor Panel. Select the template object, which will be the report view you manually adjusted in the previous step. Click on the “Select Template Object” button to bring up the Cognos Object Selector window.

In the Cognos Selector window, use the tree to navigate and select the template object (in the screenshot below, we’re using a report, but you could just as easily use a report view). Click the “Select” button.

The “Template Properties” section on the left will show three drop downs, General, Report, and Permissions. These correspond to the three tabs you would see in Cognos Connection under the “Properties” of the report.

Select “Parameters” beneath the “Report” drop down and a list of parameters associated with the report will appear. Select your new parameter and move it to the “Selected Properties” section to the right using the move arrows button.

Now, under the “Select Target Object(s)” section, select the “Report View” check box.

Use the “Narrow” button to search only the report views that need to be updated with the new parameter. Select the report views from the “Cognos Content” section on the left and move them to the “Selected Items” area using the move arrows. Click “Apply.”

Next click the “Submit” button to grab the target objects (report views) you just selected from the “Cognos Object Selector” window.

Select each of the report views to update with the new parameter. Click “Preview” to evaluate the effects of adding the new parameter. This will validate each of the report views, both before and after adding the new parameter. This step also provides a detailed look at each target object’s old and new properties.

In the detailed window, you can see the additions made to this report view in blue: Parameters -> Product Type = Irons

To complete the task of updating all of these report views with the new parameter, click “Run” button.

Without the Property Distributor feature from MotioPI Pro this use case would have required an end user to manually find and adjust all associated report views within Cognos Connection. In the case of updating 50 report views, you can imagine how tedious this process would’ve been.

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