Cognos Analytics and JQuery

Yesterday we took a peek at the new implementation of Javascript in Cognos Analytics. Let’s recap:

First off: why would we want to use JQuery? A very readable article arguing about it can be found here – also read the comments there. Since Cognos 11 is forcing its users to use modern web browsers a few advantages are gone, but I still like to work with JQuery anyways.

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Javascript in Cognos Analytics >R4: Hello world!

In R4 the possibility to add your own javascript code has returned. Welcome back! In this entry (and the following ones) I will try to dig into what’s new and where you have to pay attention.

At first – if you watched the introduction video for R4 – it sounded like the HTML-item just got replaced with the new custom control. So, what’s the fuzz about?

Basically it’s not that simple. There are actually 3 types now:

  • HTML- item: for your basic HTML and CSS needs
  • Custom control object (new): Provide your own user interface
  • Page module (new): Basically javascript code, which affected the whole page

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More details on Rave 2

Rick Blackwell has given some information regardings the RAVE situation. As it turns out, it is not integrated in the last release but will probably be in the R5 due at the end of the year (fingers crossed).

Rick gave a few statements on the IBM Visualization board:

So, as we looked at RAVE 2 we chose a new set of goals:
1. In the box visualizations
2. More properties to allow more flexibility from a single visualization thereby minimizing the times a custom visualization is required
3. Well known technology base allowing customers to find developers with skills more easily

The open source D3 library seemed a good start but there are some limitations we had to overcome. D3 is JavaScript only and we require more platforms. D3 does not provide APIs we require for specific interactivities, data, globalization and so on. D3 does not have the text and label handling we require. As D3 is the best known, and very capable open source visualization library, there are many skilled developers and lots of D3 content available so these limitations did not appear as show stoppers.

To address the limitations of D3, we implemented a D3 compatible library in Java with additional APIs for the missing items. We then generate JavaScript and iOS SWIFT to provide complete platform support. The JavaScript version is 100% D3 compatible, being routinely tested with D3 code we source from various web sites. The RAVE 2 visualizations are also coded in JAVA with the JavaScript SWIFT versions being generated the same way.

RAVE 2 has been is use by Watson Analytics since 2015; RAVE 1 will be eliminated from Watson Analytics very soon.

We are bringing RAVE 2 into the Cognos Analytics now. I expect to see it first in Dashboards in combinations with RAVE 1 and then in reports by the end of the year. Unlike RAVE 1, RAVE 2 visualizations will ship with the product and have many properties such that one does not need to create a new bundle for each minor variation. The exact set of RAVE 2 visualizations and properties is not yet fixed; I expect we will have a somewhat basic set of properties this year and add more over time.

We will leave RAVE 1 in Cognos Analytics to ensure that existing reports still operate. Of course, Cognos Analytics already supports RAVE 1 so there are no issues moving from Cognos BI 10.x.

Next year, we will look at providing an SDK to allow customers to integrate D3 content into Cognos Analytics. Details are yet to be worked out but the basic idea would be to keep the D3 code the same but add new code for the data and interactivity APIs and so on.