Cognos Access Manager to Active Directory
Several long-time Cognos customers in Western Canada are still using Access Manager to manage security for their IBM Cognos BI environment. (You’re not alone!) It was a great tool that has some handy advantages for administrators, however it is outdated and there are many reasons to move over to Active Directory to manage security going forward. This includes compliance with other server upgrades.
We’ve been able to successfully help our customers in Calgary and Victoria make the transition to Active Directory smoothly and easily. Here are the steps we followed and some rough timeframes in case this is on your to-do list in the near future.
Steps to Migrate
- Purchase and install Avnet BSP Lifecycle SMSS software (we can help)
- Recreate Access Manager security structure in Active Directory
- Validate accounts and mapping between AD and Access Manager
- Migrate each environment (typically Dev, Test, and Production)
Keys to Success
- Basic functionality and user access needs to be tested. However the most important part of testing is to ensure all My Folder objects are available under the new security model.
- Who should test depends on the environment but it is recommended that each user logs in and checks that their My Folders objects exist in the migrated environment
- Minimize changes to accounts
- Freeze changes to Access Manager so account validation only occurs once
- Key user involvement for testing and sign-off
- There are several factors in the timeframe of this type of project, including how many other changes are being made at the same time, however if this is the only project and the basic security structure will stay the same then we can say moving one environment with an average number of objects will take 2-5 days, increasing the number of objects means an increase in the overall duration project. Testing can also increase the overall duration as it may take several days and even weeks before all users have approved the change and confirmed their My Folders objects exist and nothing is missing.
- It can be so much easier than you think to move over to Active Directory and shut down the old server that’s supporting Access Manager. Ask us how we can help. We can even do this remotely – we can help you wherever you are, not just Calgary, Alberta Canada. (That means US too, and with the Canadian dollar exchange rate we can make this very easy price wise too.)
We would be misleading you to suggest that this method is the only option for moving over to Active Directory – there are other software options and there is a manual approach, however this is the one that we recommend and can back up with happy customers.
Manually moving over accounts introduces greater risks of missing objects, missing scheduled tasks, etc., in addition the time it takes would quickly add up to the equivalent cost of the software purchase unless there are so few users and My folders objects that it wouldn’t be a significant amount of work or lost objects anyway
Other software options are available and should be considered however we like the Avnet BSP Lifecycle SMSS tool for the simplicity of moving all account objects directly over to the new Active Directory accounts. Other options provide an extra layer of mapping between the old and new accounts – this works well but again, we like the simplicity of running this once and being completely transitioned over to Active Directory.
Are you ready to move your Cognos security over to Active Directory? Give us a call and we can set up a meeting to review your environment and come up with some guidelines for making this move. We can meet locally in our Calgary downtown office, in your office or via a conference call.
You’re not a Data Scientist – You Don’t Need to Be!
So you’re not a data scientist but you need more information to do your job. We can help. We have helped many customers just like you in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Saskatoon and Regina. Customers that have needed access to information and fast, needed to write a report without going to IT, or needed to make critical business decisions with up to date and accurate information. Even customers that had an idea to improve company performance but needed to show the numbers to prove it. This is what we live and breath…. bringing data together to show real answers, timely, and accurately.
IBM Cognos Analytics
We use IBM Cognos BI to set up systems for user self service. You no longer need to be a data scientist or an IT guru to get the answers you need. With IBM Cognos you can create your own report and have the answers at your fingertips.
You can also start with a dashboard to see your department and then drill into more detail. This helps you answer the questions you didn’t know to ask. Why is this area outperforming the other areas? Why is this manager underperforming? Then you can get to how you can help all areas increase their performance.
If you know the data is available and you want access at your fingertips we can help. The original Business Intelligence offerings were great options that allowed for clicking and drilling down to discover more detailed information. These quickly hit limits with data volumes, performance, and availability. Years of waiting to provide easier access to business users and true self-service capabilities has paid off. There are options now that we can set up systems and have business users accessing self service reporting options within weeks of starting the project. This enables users to get answers without needing an IT background and without being a data scientist. You can now do so much more than VLookups in Excel. You can drag and drop and create your own report within minutes and re-run it in seconds or schedule it to be delivered to your inbox on a schedule that works for you. These options are so easy now we hardly think to celebrate them. But, if you’re still having to call over to the local expert to run a report for you, or you’re re-creating the same report each month, or worse you can’t get the answers you need… this can change and it doesn’t take a University degree to change it.
IBM Watson Analytics
Even better than this self service report writing capability is the cognitive analysis available now through IBM Watson Analytics. This takes natural language questions and automatically responds with data displayed suited to the question asked. This is not just a step ahead of easy self-service acces – this is a leap and bound ahead. Simply entering “tell me what my department looks like” results in several graphical displays with different ways of looking at departments. If you like what you see you can see more of the same or click to filter the display in more detail. All of this without extensive setup times or expensive software costs. This really is Advanced Analytics made Easy.
Visit: IBM Watson Analytics – Take a look and then call us today.
Find out how to use IBM Watson Analytics and see how easy it is to do your job and use Advanced Analytics without being a data scientist. Call us for a demo (587)-885-1090 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It really can be that easy to make better decisions, quickly, and more accurately… today.