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Monday, April 7, 2008

Interview Questions

How to create a dynamic column name in Cognos?

These are the steps -

i. Create a calculated column which contains the information that the header is to contain, such as "Report for year 1999" (concatenated text and date to string sub string extraction).

ii. Highlight the report, and then right-click.

iii. Select Properties, and then click the Headers/Footers tab.

iv. Clear the Column Title Header check box. This will remove the headers from your columns.

v. Reinsert the rest of the column headers; insert text will work.

vi. For the dynamic column, from the Insert menu, click Data and select the calculated column you created and insert it into the report.

In cognos 8.0, First create a Calculated Data Item, select the list, associate it with the Query in Which Calculated Data Item is created, then click on Structure and then List Header and Footers. Check List Header and make the Box Type of the Column header as None.

Unlock and then drag the Calculated Data Item into the required header which will look like a Column Header in the report.

For making a column name dynamic the only thing that you have to do is insert a layout calculations from the toolbox tab in report studio.

I came across this answer because I wanted each column in across tabulation to have a text description different from the variable (column's) name. Cognos's gloriously useless documentation says nothing on how to do this and adding text isn't an allowed action in page design mode (the error message you get goes beyond unhelpful). To have the column titles, row footers, etc., you want:

1) Switch to page structure view in report studio

2) Expand the crosstab by clicking the plus signs untilcrosstab row levels, crosstab level(variable_name), etc. are visible.

3) From the insertable objects, drag a 'Block' at the level you’d like to add the text. This takes some experimenting.

4) after the block's been added, add into the block a Text Item from the insertable objects.

5) a window will open and you can type in whatever text you want.It's no wonder Jim Goodnight has such harshness towards Cognos.