Integration Software

Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher

CoRePublisher v2.2.5 comes with a new SharePoint Online target plugin. This connector allows you to publish your IBM Cognos reports to your Microsoft SharePoint Online collaboration platform in the cloud.

As part of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite, SharePoint Online offers its powerful collaboration functionalities in the cloud, allowing your own company or external partners to work on one single secured and shared platform. SharePoint Online also includes a public website, fully customizable and providing SharePoint’s publishing capabilities, web parts (social media add-ins, blogging and all kinds of SharePoint apps) and advanced design options.

The CoRePublisher SharePoint Online connector supports Microsoft SharePoint Online version 2013 or higher. This blogpost describes the basic functionality and how to setup your SharePoint Online report publications.

SharePoint Online Publication Wizard Interface

In the first step of the wizard you can provide a name for the publication and some additional overall publication parameters:

Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo publication wizard step 1
In the second step of the publication wizard you can define the conditions based on which you want to publish a saved Cognos report or not. In our example we will use the reportname:

Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo publication wizard step 2
In the third step of the wizard we will configure the SharePoint Online parameters:

Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo publication wizard step 3a
On the left part of the screen a tree lists all available Cognos metadata variables. On the right, next parameters need to be provided:

  • the username and password credentials: these parameters are used to logon to the MS SharePoint online system; these are typically your Microsoft 365 logon credentials (these might also be you corporate network credentials, depending on you MS 365 setup for authentication); the logon credentials are obligatory parameters
  • the SharePoint Site: this is the URL of your SharePoint Online site; contact your SharePoint Online administrator in order to obtain the correct URL; in case the name of the Site contains spaces the URL as you would type it in your browser would look like this:
    https://xploreplus.sharepoint.com/sites/cognos%20demo
    in CoRePublisher you will need to provide the Document Library URL with the actual spaces, not by using its ASCII hexadecimal equivalent code:
    https://xploreplus.sharepoint.com/sites/cognos demo
  • the Document Library Name: this is the name of the Document Library as displayed in the browser:
    Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo screen1

    in the example above, the name is “doclib”; in case the Document Library Name contains spaces, you will need to provide the actual Document Library Name with spaces
  • [optionally] the Folder Path can be provided; this can be one or more subfolders; they need to be separated with a slash delimiter “/”; if one or more of the provided subfolders (hardcoded or via a variable) do not yet exist, the folders will be automatically created by CoRePublisher 2.2.5. For example, the above Document Library List could have next subfolders: Sales Reports > Q4 2013
    Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo screen2

The same as for the regular SharePoint connector, all of these parameters can be hardcoded or can also hold Cognos metadata variables as selected from the list on the left in order to create a dynamic publication.

SharePoint Online lists also allow users to add additional metadata columns. In the example below there are 2 extra metadata columns added to the doclib Document Library:

Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo screen3
CoRePublisher 2.2.5 allows you to map Cognos metadata variables to these SharePoint Online metadata columns. Therefore you need to provide the Sample Site and Sample Doc Lib Name parameters. When clicking the load button the SharePoint Online metadata columns are loaded in the list:

Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo screen4
Required fields are suffixed with an asterix *.

When we take a look at the properties (in View or Edit mode) of a file in the DemoList Document Library, we also find these columns:

Publish IBM Cognos Reports To SharePoint Online with CoRePublisher spo screen5
For the mapping we can use Cognos metadata variables from the list, we can use hardcoded text or a combination of both.

The Value column is parsed as VBScript, allowing you to create VBScript expressions to add more functionality to the mapping. This means that also here you will need to double quote strings, as they will parsed.

At this point the SharePoint Online publication is ready. The CoRePublisher Monitor service (which is polling the Cognos Output folders where IBM Cognos reports are being saved to) will now pick up reports with the name “Sales Overview” and will publish them to the SharePoint Online Document Library as configured. Also the Cognos report’s metadata will be mapped in SharePoint.

Once the IBM Cognos report is published to the SharePoint document library, there is no link anymore with the Cognos system and the file can be treated within SharePoint as any other file (e.g. for creating views, or in case of an Excel report to serve as a source for a SharePoint web part, etc.)

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