Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cognos report development life cycle:

Phases involved in the report development :
1. Getting the requirements for report creation. (could be any functional document)
2. Tables creation.
3. Working on the framework manager for data modelling
4. Starting report development according to the specifications. (can refer to any technical document)
5. Testing of report (Writing test cases etc)
6. Delivering the report
7. Working on change requests (if any) for the same.

Create a Test Case Archive

If you have an application that is invalid or cannot be executed due to an upgrade related error in the target application, you can create a test case archive that contains diagnostic information to help the IBM Cognos Resource Center investigate the issue.
By default, PDF output of the application is included in the archive. You can configure Upgrade Manager to exclude PDF output when creating test case archives .
If you have a model that is invalid, you can save the source and target model specifications and provide them to the IBM Cognos Resource Center .
Before you can create a test case, you must enable the test case archive function in the source and target environments .


Navigate to the application for which you want to create a test case archive.
Click the application's view properties button .
In the Test Case Archive Info section, click Create Test Case Archive.
If the Sensitive Data Warning dialog box  appears, click Yes to continue.
Click Download Test Case Archive and save the zip file that is generated.
If the test case archive was fully completed, the message Test Case Archive is Complete appears. The message Test Case Archive is Incomplete appears if the test case was only partially completed. You can click the Details button to see what was not completed, and you may be able to troubleshoot the problem .
Send the test case archive to the IBM Cognos Resource Center for analysis. In addition, you can use the archive to extract additional information from target reports.

More information

Test Case Archive Contents
1.Able to login to the Source System
2.Are we able to access the Reports which saved in Folders
3.Are We able to execute the reports
4.Test the SQL
5.Test the Functionality of the Reports
6.Test the Correctness of Reports
7.Test the Permissions for Users and Groups who are eligible to access the Reports
8.Check the Execution Time for Reports
9.Are we able to export and save the Reports into diffrent format's
10.Are we able to print the Reports
11.Test the Look and feel of the Reports

Please let me know if i can include more test cases to test both SSRS and Cognos Reports?

Keeping in mind the requirement document, Design document the checklist may be evolved. For the project I was involved in there were 4 prompt pages with a minimum of 3 prompts. Only after passing this, depending on what was selected the IMR report would be generated.
So I had checks for
# Each and every permutation and combination of the selection in the prompt -- verify the suitable values from the database -- run the report -- check if the expected values only return.
# Look and Feel of the Report -- There has to me a consistency that is maintained -- whether it be in terms of color/ font/ size/ logo rations/ word wrap/ Caps or small front.....
# If buttons are used in the prompt pages they need to be positioned similarly for all the prompt pages and must be present in all the prompt pages -- check for link functionality.
# Incase text boxes are present -- check by typing invalid characters and run the report -- java scripts may be included to avoid these sort of possibilities
# Incase Power Play is used -- select impossible combinations -- ideally no data is to be generated in the report -- incase data generated it would be a bug.
# Incase Power Play is used -- Make sure all the required functionality is present for all of the report sets.
It all boils down to 3 main checks viz,. - Functionality, Correctness of Data, Look and Feel

Does anyone have any recomendations/experience with using an automated testing tool for functional testing of Cognos Reports. We would like a tool that would allow us to set up test cases that can be run when any changes occur in Framework Manager or at the database layer. I have heard of FocusCI, but are there any others (preferably opensource)? We would really like a tool that would alow us to test against expected results.
  Automated testing of Cognos Reports

hello, you would need to be a little bit more precise with your objective. you can create a sdk utility that will execute your reports and then log any failures to a .txt or .xml file. you could also schedule your reports to execute and then review the cogserver.log file for any errors during your execution time.
i have used rationale in the past with some success.

Cognos Upgrade Manager - it permits you to compare reports between two versions of Cognos, running them in both environments, and producing a list of issues in the new environment. There may be something there you can use in the same environment (save a run, repeat it later for comparison after the change?)

exactly, Upgrade Manager is an excellent regression testing tool.It will be interesting to see what additional tools benefits will come with IBM (ClearCase would also be good)

It's possible that MetaManager would do this. It has a Validator module that checks (and even updates and saves) report changes after model changes. In your case it sounds like it would at least tell you what breaks upon a model change. We have MetaManager but I'm just starting to learn it.

If you're looking to do automated testing for Cognos I would suggest reading the following whitepaper on "Continuous Integration for Business Intelligence" : http://www.inmotio.com/products/ci/whitePaper.do
One of the projects I am working for has decided to use Cognos for its reporting purposes off a data mart. I need to define a solid functional document structure that will be part of a bigger document and will encompass all the required data, inputs, outputs, dependencies etc.
I have made a start with the below
1.1.1 Scope
1.1.2 Functional definition
1.2.1 Called by Use case
1.2.2 Called Use case
1.3.1 Triggers
1.3.2 Preconditions
1.3.3 Post conditions
1.3.4 Dependencies
1.4.1 Data model diagram
1.5.1 Data flow diagram
1.5.2 Data flow details
1.6.1 Data retention
1.6.2 Supporting data
1.7.1 Report 1
1.7.2 Report 2
1.8.1 Report 1
1.8.2 Report 2
1.9.1 Audit trail
To use this guide, you should be familiar with
reporting concepts
scorecarding concepts
database and data warehouse concepts
security issues
basic Windows and/or UNIX administration skills
the existing server environment and security infrastructure in your organization
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