There was a buzz of excitement in the air when IBM released its latest version of Cognos Analytics 11.0.4 which promises to allow organisations to quickly customise the CA user interface with their own corporate branding. So I thought I’ll give it a go to see how easy it can be done.
First step was to watch the YouTube demonstration (where else?) from IBM to get an idea of the steps involved (here’s the URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWZfh3XrJWo). The important take away from this is that customisation is done via ‘themes’ and ‘perspectives’, packaged as zip files that are imported as deployment files (for perspectives these are called extensions). Themes allow you to modify the colours, logos, and brand text. Perspectives (or views) allows you to create customised user interface views such as the home page view or authoring view. You can add/remove menu options, add favourite links and change background image – these are just some examples of customisations that can be done on the views.
So far so good, I went to my CA 11.0.4 installation and located the sample files to start customising. I used the sample Theme and Extension zip files as a starting point to start creating my own corporate themes and home page for Tridant. Luckily (and as promised) the files are easy to use as tags are labelled with meaningful names. An example of a Theme json file that was modified in is shown below with the highlights being the customised values.
Within a relatively short period I had fully customised the theme and extension files to create a ‘Tridant welcome’ view, and was ready (with a twinge of excitement) to see how it looks. To upload the files, I went into CA using the Customizations option from the Manage menu.
Then go through the Customisations tabs to import the Theme and Extension files. On the Views tab change the Home view to the customised ‘Tridant welcome’ perspective.
The before and after results are shown below.
So there you go, customising CA was as straight forward as promised. And if the customisation doesn’t work and causes the CA view to be not useable (oh dear!), don’t worry there is a quick way to restore the portal to the original IBM view.
If you want to learn more and require assistance on how to brand your own CA portal, please contact us at Tridant.
Tridant also offers classroom training on Cognos Aanlytics Reporter – the web-based professional report authoring tool that allows you to develop your own branded corporate dashboards and reports. Not only does it cover the ‘how to’ for interactive reporting, but also techniques for creating effective looking content that is visually appealing. For more information, click here https://www.tridant.com/training-ibm/.