Do you need to build a custom driver for IBM Cognos? - "yep, we got that"

Do you need to build a custom driver for IBM Cognos? - "yep, we got that"

April 27, 2011 0 Comments

During my Cognos Certification with IBM, I met several consultants that integrate Cognos with customer environments.  They often get requests to support data sources without an out-of-box ODBC driver such as application data, proprietary databases, flat files, services, data in a cloud, VSAM, etc.  My answer was always, “yep, we got that”.  They were really excited about this for obvious reasons and it helps that Cognos engineering certifies the same technology on Unix/Linux platforms for SQL Server connectivity.  And if you're looking to boost performance to existing data sources, you can evaluate the industry leading suite of ODBC drivers to data sources such as DB2, Sybase, Oracle, Postgres, MySQL, Informix, Teradata, and Salesforce Cloud.  And just around the corner, you can expect to see support expanded for Cognos data sources in Sybase IQ and Microsoft Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW).

Progress DataDirect OpenAccess SDK opens up Cognos to report in real-time against anything you can think of via ODBC.  Or if you are building a data warehouse, you can access the data through any ETL application by building ODBCJDBCADO.NET or OLEDB drivers. Each client driver works with the same set of 12 functions you write in the interface provider (IP), and we take care of the rest.

This tutorial will show you how to start building your metadata model using Framework Manager against the out-of-box memory sample driver built using the DataDirect OpenAccess SDK.

The preliminary steps are: 1.  Assume Cognos BI Environment (v8.4.1) with Framework Manager is installed.

2 . Install Progress DataDirect OpenAccess SDK using the instructions in the Progress DataDirect OpenAccess SDK Installation Guide.  You can download a free, 15-day trial:

3. Setup ODBC data source named “oalocal603” to Memory Sample driver installed with SDK.  The memory sample driver models various tables and fetches data from memory to demonstrate core functionality of the Data Access SDK.

Launch Cognos Framework Manager and Create a New Project.  Then run the metadata wizard.

Select “New” data source

Enter name of Data Source stored in content manager.  This can be anything you want.

Select data source type as “ODBC”

Enter name of ODBC DSN configured for memory sample and test-connect.  The default password for the memory data source is pooh/bear.

Select the new data source created in Cognos above.

Click next, finish, and select the metadata objects you wish to import.

Viola, you have connected Cognos to a custom data source.

Now you can start building your metadata models and presentation layers for your BI report developers!!

Once you have established that the custom memory ODBC driver works and meets your project requirements, you can start writing your 12 functions in any language to access whatever data source you want to include in your reporting.  And once you've built the driver, you can then access ANY standards based application such as Oracle Database Gateway for ODBC (Dg4ODBC), Ab Initio, SSIS, Informatica, Crystal Reports, SAS, Teradata Parallel Transporter (TPT), Business Objects Universe, etc.

Sumit Sakar

Sumit Sarkar

Sumit Sarkar is a Chief Data Evangelist at Progress, with over 10 years experience working in the data connectivity field. The world's leading consultant on open data standards connectivity with cloud data, Sumit's interests include performance tuning of the data access layer for which he has developed a patent pending technology for its analysis; business intelligence and data warehousing for SaaS platforms; and data connectivity for aPaaS environments, with a focus on standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET and ODATA. He is an IBM Certified Consultant for IBM Cognos Business Intelligence and TDWI member. He has presented sessions on data connectivity at various conferences including Dreamforce, Oracle OpenWorld, Strata Hadoop, MongoDB World and SAP Analytics and Business Objects Conference, among many others. 

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