Establishing Connectivity

We will assume a basic understanding of Cognos PowerPlay throughout the article, as well as a proper installation of the software in general, as we noted in the introductory article, Cognos Applications Overview. This article assumes a “default” installation of Cognos PowerPlay (PPES and PPWIN components), as well as the correct installation of Cognos Connect. I am assuming, furthermore, that you are configured as a Cognos user in Access Manager and have the appropriate rights / privileges to complete the steps in this article, or that you have been allowed temporary privileges. (I’ll be acting as the Administrator on my server, with my user set up in Access Manager, but little else configured in the way of sophisticated security.) Finally, the article assumes you have access to the MSSQL Server / the Analysis Services sample cubes, be it via Windows Authentication Mode or Mixed Mode (for purposes of this article, I’m using SQL Server authentication). Keep in mind that the multiple potential security configurations in our individual environments may result in some differences in the steps (log in requests, etc.) as we proceed.

Enable Connections to MSSQL Server OLAP Cubes in Configuration Manager

If you’ve ever tried to establish connectivity to an Analysis Services cube in PowerPlay Connect, and have seen PPDSRemote as the only option for Database Type (versus seeing the MS SSOS ODBO option that you need to go further), you have come across a somewhat common condition, particularly if the need to access AS cubes has not previously arisen. Although this may not be the case at present, keep in mind the following steps, “against the day” when you will come across the “missing MS SSOS ODBO option” scenario. These steps are critical in establishing connectivity to cubes that reside on a server; we also must have connectivity established to view cube data from the web (we touch on that in the upcoming Cognos for Microsoft Analysis Services Reporting: Using PowerPlay Web with an Analysis Services Cube).

We begin by taking the following steps to configure PPES to access the appropriate driver:

1. Click the Start button.

2. Select Programs > Cognos EP Series 7.

3. Select Tools from the Submenu that appears.

4. Select Configuration Manager.

The Configuration Manager Welcome dialog, Introduction tab appears, unless the feature has been disabled prior to this use.

5. Click the Start tab.

The Configuration Manager Welcome dialog, Start tab appears.

6. Click the Open the Current Configuration buttonon the Start tab (shown circled in the illustration above).

The Configuration Manager dialog (my Current Configuration appears as “Untitled”) appears.

Note: If the Configuration Manager dialog did not appear as shown above, simply select File à Open Current Configuration to reach the same point.

7. Expand the server (in the left pane), as shown (mine appears in the illustration as MOTHER), by clicking the “+” sign to its left, if necessary.

8. Expand Services within the hierarchy of the tree.

9. Expand OLAP Data Access under Services.

10. Select 3rd Party OLAP Server.

11. Change “0” (the default) to “1” in the right pane, just to the right of Microsoft OLAP Service.

12. Right-click OLAP Data Access in the left pane.

The context menu shown here appears.

13. Click Apply Selection to apply the change made in Step 11 above.

A warning message box appears.

14. Click Yes.

A status meter indicates update progress, and then a message box appears confirming successful application of all properties.

15. Click File > Save to save our change within Configuration Manager. If prompted to assign a name / location for the .ccs file, do so.

16. Select File > Exit to close Configuration Manager.

We have enabled the creation of connections with MSSQL Server OLAP cubes. Now, let’s take the steps to connect to our Analysis Services cube. First, we’ll introduce PowerPlay Connect.