Types of Cognos TM1 Components

Introduction

The Cognos TM1 Components are divided into two basic types as follows:

  • Client components
  • Server components

Most of these components are installed by default with a standard installation of the product, but some are not.

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Client Components

Client components allow access to TM1 Servers. During a default installation, the following Client components will be installed:

  • TM1 Client
  • TM1 Perspectives
  • TM1 Architect
  • TM1 API
  • OLE DB Provider

TM1 Client

The TM1 Client (basic) is accessed through Microsoft Excel as an add-in and will allow limited access to available TM1 Servers. TM1 Client does not allow administrative access to any TM1 Servers. It does not also offer the ability to set up and run a local TM1 Server. During the installation, a local version of TM1 Server is installed and can be accessed by TM1 Client, TM1 Perspectives, or TM1 Architect.

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TM1 Perspectives

With TM1 Perspectives, you can access data within TM1 Servers, and you can also create and maintain TM1 objects and data on both local and remote TM1 Servers.

  1. Open Microsoft Excel on your desktop
  2. Click on Tools | Add-Ins from the Excel menu bar
  3. Select xla
  4. Click on OK

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The TM1P add-in file is usually installed during installation to the directory folder CognosTM1 bin.

Features of TM1P

The Tm1p.ini file is important because that is where you can set the parameters that change the user’s TM1 Perspectives experience.

    • ConnectLocalAtStartup: This parameter is set to True or False and indicates whether the client automatically attempts to connect to the local server at startup
    • AdvancedRulesEditor: This parameter is set to True or False, and it indicates the type of TM1 Rules Editor that is used.
    • Display applications, DisplayChores, DisplayControlCubes, DisplayCubes, DisplayDimensions, and DisplayProcesses: These parameters (set to True or False) indicate whether TM1 Perspectives will display application folders, chores, cubes, dimensions, or processes to the user.
    • DisplayExplorerPropertiesWindow: This is again a True or False parameter that indicates whether the Properties pane is visible in Server Explorer on startup.
    • DisplayReplications: This True/False parameter should be set to False for most users.

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TM1 Architect

TM1 Architect is a standalone TM1 Client application (meaning that it does not plug into Microsoft Excel) and is used to create and maintain data and metadata on both local and remote TM1 Servers.

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You can have both TM1 Perspectives and TM1 Architect open and running at the same time on your machine while accessing the same or different TM1 Servers.

TM1 API

This interface may be used by more experienced developers to create C++ and VB applications that interact with TM1.

TM1 OLE DB Provider

OLE DB Provider is a software component used to access the data from different sources such as SQL Servers, Excel spreadsheets, Q data feed, and CSV files in a uniform manner. In OLE DB Provider, OLE stands for ‘Object Linking and Embedding,’ and DB stands for ‘Database.’ It can also be written as OLEDB or OLE-DB.

Compared to its successor Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), OLE DB Provider can access information from more complex databases, such as Oracle, Sybase ASE, Microsoft SQL Server, and Email systems, and convert them into simple data sources such as Excel spreadsheets or text files.

With varied data sources, issues like varied data storage techniques also arise, which restricts OLE DB Provider from implementing every interface available in the OLE DB Standards. For implementing the capabilities of the interfaces, COM objects can be used to map the data storage technique to a particular COM interface.

Cognos TM1 use the following sequence for requesting and accessing data:

  • Initialize OLE
  • Connect to data sources
  • Issue the necessary commands
  • Process the results obtained from the commands
  • Release data source objects and initialize OLE

Although older versions of SQL Server Client libraries are no longer supported, Cognos Native Client connections can be used for the applications that only access SQL Server database through OLE DB Providers, which includes SQLNCLI11. You can also use Microsoft ODBC driver parallel to the current SQL Server Native client versions supported by SQL Server 2012, 2014, and 2016.

IBM Cognos Insight

Cognos Insight is a standalone solution for analyzing different types of data with a dynamic and highly personalized interface. Cognos Insight makes it easier to answer business questions with the help of ‘What if’ dashboards and scorecards and access and visualize the corporate data for better analysis.

It provides an easy-to-use interface and can integrate with IBM Cognos TM1, IBM Cognos Express, and IBM Cognos Business Intelligence.

Cognos Performance Modeler

It allows a user to build models that consist of cubes, links, dimensions, and rules, create applications by assigning a workflow, set up security measures, and then deploy, administer, and maintain them.

In Cognos Performance Modeler, the user can map the sources with the target data and add new objects to the model for creating model designs and dimensions.

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Server components

TM1 server components are the ‘heart’ of TM1. These IBM Cognos components run on a machine, receiving and replying to all requests from TM1 Clients.

  • TM1 Admin Server
  • TM1 CFG
  • TM1 Server
  • TM1 Web
  • TM1 Top
  • TM1 Contributor
  • TM1 Applications
  • TM1 Operations Console
  • TM1 Performance Management Hub

TM1 Admin Server

This is the process that keeps track of all other TM1 Server components running on the network. An Admin Server runs on a computer and is known as the Admin Host. The TM1 Admin Server is considered the ‘parent process’ or ‘hosting process’ of all other TM1 processes.

During the installation, the TM1 Admin Server is automatically set up as a machine service for you. When TM1 Servers start, each of them registers itself with the Admin Server that is running on a specified Admin Host.

TM1 Clients reference the Admin Server to determine which TM1 Servers are available on the network. TM1 Server processes (described next) reference the AdminHost parameter in their configuration file (Tm1s.cfg) to determine which Admin Host to register with ‘AdminHost=computername.‘

In the following screenshot, three Admin Hosts (host1, host2, and host3) are listed, and therefore, all TM1 Servers currently running on these machines will be visible in these users’ TM1 Server Explorer.

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TM1 CFG

Some of the most interesting (and important) parameters that are contained in the configuration file are as follows:

  • ClientVersionMaximum: This parameter sets the version of the TM1 Client components that can access the TM1 Server.
  • ServerName: This parameter will indicate the TM1 Server’s name
  • DataBaseDirectory: This will be the specific physical path to the TM1 Server’s data folder and must end with ‘a’.
  • LoggingDirectory: This will be the specific physical path to the TM1 Server’s logging folder and must end with ‘a’.
  • AdminHost: This is the name of the physical machine, on which the TM1 Server is installed and running.

TM1 Server

TM1 server is the process that manages all requests from all TM1 Clients. It loads the names of all available permanent objects (cubes, dimensions, and so on) into the machine’s memory and responds to client requests by performing calculations, consolidations, and updates as required.

Multiple TM1 Servers can be viewed and accessed through a single TM1 Server Explorer (via TM1 Client, TM1 Perspectives, TM1 Architect, or TM1 Web) if it is configured properly.

TM1 Web

TM1 Web is commonly used to access TM1-enabled Excel worksheets and reports using a web browser.

Setting up a worksheet reference:

  1. Open the worksheet or report to be published in Microsoft Excel
  2. Click on the TM1 menu
  3. Select Save Workbook on TM1 Server…
  4. Select Upload New Application File to TM1 Server…
  5. Navigate to (and select) the application folder location on the server where you want the file to reside

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TM1 Top

TM1 Top is a TM1 ‘utility’ that enables you to dynamically monitor and manage threads (active user sessions) running on an instance of a Windows or UNIX TM1 Server. When TM1 Top is installed, it sets up a Tm1Top.ini file that you can configure to point to the TM1 Server that you want to monitor. Using a text editor such as Microsoft’s notepad, you can edit the file and provide your server name and the machine (or admin host) that the server is running on. Also, if you provide a log file name, TM1 will write a snapshot of its display to the file in regular intervals.

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TM1 Contributor

TM1 Contributor includes:

  • TM1 Contributor Web Client: This is a web-based client used to browse and contribute data within the TM1 Contributor workflow application.
  • TM1 Contributor Administration: This is a configuration, design, and management tool used by administrators to build planning applications and set security on applications.

TM1 Applications

Cognos TM1 Applications are used as virtual folders to organize the shortcuts of other TM1 files, objects, and URLs and create job-specific groups. For example, you can create a group where you organize all the objects, URLs, and all other files related to the sales in a particular country.

In this way, TM1 Applications provide an easy way to organize and access the target objects whenever needed.

Cognos TM1 Operations Console

TM1 operations track the TM1 Server Activity and store it in a log file. There are three types of logs that a user can set up and view:

  • Transactions log: Transactions log tracks the activity of the clients and the changes made in values, including time, name of the cube, before and after value, time and date, and name of the client who made the changes.
  • Server Message log: Server Message log stores the activity of the TM1 Server, including dimensions, chores, loaded cubes, executed processes, and the client who made the changes.
  • Audit log: Audit log stores the changes to TM1 objects, such as login activity, modifications in the dimensions, subsets, and more.

Other Cognos TM1 Components

Some components in Cognos TM1 are not installed by default. You need to install and integrate them externally.

Cognos TM1 Mobile Contributor

Cognos TM1 application for smartphones and tablets allows a user to connect with the TM1 Server. Now, the mobile user can access the cube views in a chart or grid format. Also, the user can change the values on the app and update the Cognos TM1 Server from the mobile application.

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