Cognos 10.1 install on CentOS 6.3 64 bit

  1. yum update (then reboot if kernel has been patched)
  2. yum install glibc.i686
  3. yum install openmotif
  4. yum install libgcc.i686
  5. yum install openmotif22
  6. yum install openmotif22.i686
  7. yum install xauth
  8. yum install libXtst
  9. tar xvzf bisrvr_linuxi8664h_10.1.1_ml.tar.gz
  10. cd linuxi38664h/
  11. ./isetup

Enterprise Social Media Analytics with Atlas for Connections

The key benefits from deploying an enterprise social media software are to improve

  • customer satisfaction by building stronger relationships with customers,
  • staff effectiveness by simplifying access to existing internal expertise,
  • staff retention by allowing employees to build a stronger network and stronger relationships within the enterprise.

Atlas for IBM Lotus Connections is a social networking application, available from IBM Software Services for Lotus (ISSL), that allows users to visualize their current network of contacts and see how they can efficiently extend that network to tap into valuable resources and trusted experts across an entire organization.

Atlas enables these capabilities by accessing information from the different components of Lotus Connections. When users log in to their dashboard, Atlas compiles and displays information that will help them better understand the company’s professional networks and who they can tap into these networks to increase their effectiveness day in and day out.

With the help of these different components, Atlas allows users to:

  • visualize and analyze social networks in an organization,
  • identify the shortest path to reach someone,
  • find expertise across extended networks,
  • visualize and manage their personal networks.

Contact us to leverage this social networking and visualization application to help your company build vibrant and balanced professional networks, increase team effectiveness, and improve individual productivity.

Watch this brief demo from IBM demonstrating how to unlock the value of enterprise social media.


Installing a Secure Certificate on IBM Smart Business Server (VERDE)

At the time of this writing, the IBM Smart Business Server’s control panel doesn’t allow importing a secure certificate (SSL cert). Never-the-less it is possible to install a valid (CA signed) secure certificate from the command line. This article assumes that the reader is familiar with SSL and the basic SSL KEY, CSR, and CRT generation step. We are therefore picking up at the point where you have an SSL KEY as well as an SSL CRT. You will also need a machine that has openssl installed (any Linux or Mac box will do). In fact the smart business server itself has openssl installed, as well as keytools, so all the steps can be performed directly on the smart business server.

Please note that this is a draft document, and work in progress. At this time only the public facing websites have been successfully set up with a CA signed certificate.

  • The Apache configuration file for the setup wizard is:/etc/apache2/httpdWSW.conf
  • The Apache configuration file for the intranet is here:/etc/apache2/httpdInt.conf with the corresponding SSL configuration here: /etc/apache2/extra/httpdInt-ssl.conf
  • First copy the new key and cert (in the same file, key goes on top and then the cert) into /etc/opt/ibm/bbp/smartcontainer/httpdWSW.cert
  • (Optional, this step hasn’t been successfully tested, because a non-RFC compiant method is used.) To create an RFC compliant PKCS8 version of the key pair where the intranet config file is expecting it:
    cd /etc/opt/ibm/bbp/
    openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -inform PEM -nocrypt -in smartcontainer/httpdWSW.cert -out PKCS8.cert
  • Make sure the CA bundle is made available and properly reference in the above mentioned config files (cp path/to/sf_bundle.crt smartcontainer/)
  • Create a PKCS12 version of your certificate:
    openssl pkcs12 -export -chain -CAfile sf_bundle.crt -in '<your>.crt' -inkey '<your>.key' -out PKCS12.cert -name <name> -passout pass:111111
    (at the time of this writing, the default cert store password hard coded in the VERDE install is 111111)
  • Location of the Java SSL Keystore: /etc/opt/ibm/bbp/SSLkeystore
  • Location of the [SAFEv3] encription tool:/opt/ibm/bbp/saf/encryptPassword.sh
  • Password retrieval command:/opt/ibm/bbp/saf/lib/security/manageAdminCreds -f get -a JavaKeyStore2048BitKey -i 1
  • Create a new keystore based on the PKCS#12 cert:
    keytool -importkeystore -destkeystore SSLkeystore.new -srckeystore PKCS12.cert -srcstoretype PKCS12 -alias <common_name_of_SSL_cert>
  • Update the Keystore configuration reference in /opt/ibm/bbp/saf/cfg (use the password retrieved above).
  • Copy the PKCS#12 cert to the VERDE Tomcat cert store:
    cp PKCS12.cert /var/lib/verde/host.p12
    cp /var/lib/verde/host.p12 /usr/lib/verde/etc/host.p12
    (Make sure you save your previous copies of any file you modify.)

At this point, you have to restart the system, to make sure that all public services get the proper certificate loaded on boot. If you prefer, you can restart the services:

  • /etc/init.d/lwi restart
  • /etc/init.d/simpleAgent_d restart
  • restart the VERDE software from the web console

References

  • http://conshell.net/wiki/index.php/Keytool_to_OpenSSL_Conversion_tips
  • http://cunning.sharp.fm/2008/06/importing_private_keys_into_a.html
  • Many thanks to the bISV IBM support team

Business Analytics Software Efficiencies are Key

Business Analytics, Business Intelligence and the Hardware Upgrade Tarpit

A common misconception about business analytics, is that better business analytics usually requires better hardware.

Business Analytics: Software rules over Hardware

A number of blogs have recently reflected on the “REPORT TO THE PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS DESIGNING A DIGITAL FUTURE: FEDERALLY FUNDED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN NETWORKING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY” pointing out how progress on algorithms has contributed 43 times more to advances on processing speed than pure hardware improvements (Moore’s Law). &emdash; The report notes that in a 15 year span ending in 2003, hardware improvements accounted for a 1,000 fold increase in compute speeds, while during the same period, the algorithmic improvements accounted for a 43,000 fold improvement.

Business Analitycs

Business Analytics: Focus on Smarter Data Warehousing

While these numbers may certainly be up for debate, the main point to retain, is that by improving the algorithms, i.e. the software used in your systems, you can attain much higher efficiencies then by replacing the hardware alone. Taking a holistic approach, using an Information Agenda that takes into account all aspects of the data lifecycle paves the way for a better Data Warehouse that enables smarter Business Analytics, avoiding the tar pit of never ending hardware and software upgrades.


Migrating Data Between DB2 Servers

DB2 Support for Data Migration

When it is time to upgrade from DB2 on Intel to DB2 on Power for example, taking a backup/restore approach isn’t possible as DB2’s backups are platform dependent. The solution is to use a DB2 command called db2move.

Basics of db2move

db2move allows to export data from DB2 at different levels of granularity. It also has a very simple syntax to allow exporting all of the data and structure of a database.

Exmaple of db2move


su - db2inst1
mkdir /tmp/db2export
cd /tmp/db2export
db2move sample export

Where db2inst1 is the db2 instance owner, /tmp/db2export is where the DB2 data and structures are being exported, and sample is the database name.

For more DB2 Support hints, please visit our DB2 category.


Cognos and SPSS

Advanced Analytics to Boost Business Intelligence (BI)

It has been almost a year that IBM acquired SPSS. Still many business users ask how to get more out of BI tools such as Cognos. Quoting IBM:

The combination of C8 BI and SPSS predictive analytics gives IBM customers more power and accuracy in answering the question of What should I be doing in the future? The combination of the powerful C8 BI analysis of current and historical data with the predictive analytic capability of the SPSS portfolio provides IBM customers with the predictive ‘brains’ for the next generation of decision making and business optimization.
The addition of the SPSS portfolio allows customers to leverage and extend their C8 BI investment by enhancing their analysis capabilities with predictive analytics. More specifically, the addition of SPSS predictive analytics helps analyze patterns found in historical and current transaction data as well as attitudinal survey data to predict potential future outcomes and proactively act upon that insight to drive better business outcomes.
Together with the market leading reporting and dashboarding capabilities of C8 BI, this predictive intelligence can be broadly distributed ensuring that decision makers across the organization gain those insights to drive business performance.

This may sound abstract, but in practical terms, with the ability to build sophisticated data models, SPSS enables extracting the essence of the heaps of data available today, and as a result dramatically reducing the time to present actionable information to decision makers. Still too abstract? By deploying models built with SPSS, decision makers can get answers to questions that otherwise might have required massive IT investment in more infrastructure, such as storage, memory and processing power. Want to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us at +1-303-423-4500 or 888-642-7874.


How to protect Cognos 10 app server

Problem: Protecting Cognos 10 App Server

The Cognos 10 application runs within an application server. As a result it is vulnerable to attacks over the Internet through the open ports for WWW traffic.

Here are some notes on CAF.

Ant

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/caapps/v8r4m0/topic/com.ibm.swg.im.cognos.inst_apps.8.4.0.doc/inst_apps_i_cnfg_CAF.html

You can track firewall activity by checking the log file, which contains rejected requests only. If firewall validation fails, you can check the log file to find where the failure occurred. By default, log messages are stored in the c8_location/logs/cogserver.log file. In a gateway-only installation, the file is named caf.log. If you configure a destination for log messages, IBM Cognos Application Firewall log messages are sent to the specified destination.

IBM Cognos Application Firewall also has a Secure Error feature, which gives administrators control over which groups or users can view detailed error messages. For more information, see the IBM Cognos 8 Administration and Security Guide.