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Cognos Tips & Tricks

Using an “If Then Else” Statement In a Filter

Another great Cognos Tech Tip from one of our expert consultants. Thanks Trevor for providing this one! You can use if then else statements in a filter as long as you have a static answer (or set of answers) to complete the filter logic, rather than using column names like you would in a calculation. The filter in the screenshot is for a report that will show students with less …Read More


When doing a union query, is it better to use UNION ALL versus UNION? The UNION will try and eliminate duplicate rows between the two queries and essentially does a select distinct on the entire query. Most of the time when doing a union, users build the queries so that each query returns unique results and therefore they don’t need UNION. So, if you have a slow union query, try …Read More

Prompt Basics in Cognos Report Studio – What type of prompt do I use?

Need to know what type of prompt to use?  In this 2-part tutorial video we describe the various prompt objects available for use within Cognos Report Studio.  We will introduce prompt basics as well as how to identify different types of prompts, each prompts function, the benefits and when and where to use each one.  In addition, the basic definitions of parameters, parametrized filters, and the  purpose of prompts are …Read More

Cognos Video Tech Tip

  Dynamic Columns in Cognos Check out our Youtube channel for Cognos tech tips put together by our Cognos rock stars! Today’s Tech Topic: How to create reports where you can select, based on a prompt, which columns you want to display in a list.  Great tip – check it out!        

Cognos Video Tech Tip: Alternate Row Formatting in Crosstab Reports

Cognos Video Tech Tip: Alternate Row Formatting in Crosstab Reports: An issue that comes up with multilevel crosstab reports is being able to tell where the data from one object ends and another begins in the crosstab intersection portion. It would be very beneficial if you can easily tell where one section of data ends and the other begins. This can be accomplished by using conditional styles in Cognos. In …Read More

Cognos Tech Tip: SQL Functions in Cognos

SQL Functions in Cognos If you have tried using certain SQL functions that you know should work but you get errors…you may have to modify your syntax slightly for Cognos. Example: dateadd(mm, 1, getdate()) Result in SQL Server Management Studio: Mar 16, 2015 12:19:27 PM Result in Cognos: Parsing error before or near position: 12 of: “dateadd(mm,” Solution: You must wrap the “mm” in curly brackets “{}” Working Query Calculation: …Read More

Cognos Tech Tip: Case of the Corrupted PDF File

Case of the corrupted pdf file in Cognos Recently one of our clients experienced an issue with a Cognos report that was not correctly saving as a PDF. When they tried to reopen the report from their computer it kept giving them the error “the PDF file is corrupted”.  We spring into action helping our client anyway possible, tirelessly testing Cognos prompts, running multiple reports with different prompt scenarios, clearing …Read More