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Q: What is the Metrics application?
: The new IBM Connections Metrics application provides a comprehensive set of quantitative and qualitative metrics that help measure the business value of IBM Connections to your organization. IBM Connections uses IBM Cognos Business Intelligence to generate reports that users can view directly in IBM Connections. Metrics reports can provide your organization with the information and insight to make the right, fact-based business decisions.
For example, you can generate the following Metrics reports at the global level:
Number of unique authenticated (and anonymous) visitors for the entire system and for individual individual components
Number of users who created or updated content
Most popular content, based on number of visits, follows, or recommendations
At the community level, you can generate Metrics reports such as the following:
Number of unique authenticated (and anonymous) visitors for the community, including its widgets
Number of contributors for each widget in a community
Most active contributors
Most popular content, based on number of visits, follows, or recommendations
For more information about Metrics, refer to: What are Metrics
Q: Is there a video that introduces Metrics?
: Yes, refer to Using Global Metrics and Community metrics in IBM Connections 4.0
Q: What are the differences between the Metrics reporting functionality for IBM Connections 3.0 and IBM Connections 4.0?
: • IBM Connections 3.0.1Metrics provides separate reports for each application. Metrics in IBM Connections 4.0 provides one central user interface to display global metrics reports and community metrics reports.
• Metrics reports in IBM Connections 3.0.1 are presented using simple Metrics reports in IBM Connections 4.0 are presented in various formats including tables, charts, and other kinds of graphs.
• Metrics in IBM Connections 4.0 employs the powerful capabilities of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence to provide customers with more features, including reports, dimensions, customization, and drill up/down.
Q: Can I still access IBM Connections 3.0 metrics in IBM Connections 4.0?
: Yes, any Connections user who is assigned the metrics-reader
role can access metrics. To access metrics in IBM Connections 3.0.1, the user must have the correct URL. If the user can access global metrics, selecting View all Metrics
provides a link to the IBM Connections 3.0.1 application.
Q: What is IBM Cognos Business Intelligence (BI)?
: IBM Cognos Business Intelligence is an application that provides reports, analysis, dashboards, and scoreboards to help support the way people think and work when they are trying to understand business performance. You can freely explore information, analyze key facts, and quickly collaborate to align decisions with key stakeholders. For more information about Cognos Business Intelligence, refer to the IBM Cogos Business Intelligence 10.1.1 information center
Q: What are "dimensions"?
: In Cognos Business Intelligence, a dimension is a broad grouping of descriptive data about a major aspect of a business, such as products, dates, or locations. Each dimension includes different levels of members in one or more hierarchies, and an optional set of calculated members or special categories. Refer to the Powercube dimensions
topic to learn the dimensions used in Metrics.
Q: How many components in IBM Connections 4.0 are supported by Metrics?
: The IBM Connections 4.0 applications that Metrics supports include: Activities, Blogs, Bookmarks, Communities, Files, Forums, Homepage, Moderation, Profiles, Wikis, Media Gallery, Ideation Blog, and Micro-Blogging.
Q: What out-of-box reports are available in IBM Connections 4.0 Metrics?
: The Metrics application in IBM Connections 4.0 provides more than 110 reports for global metrics and community metrics. You can view each report using different filters, including time ranges and user attributes such as geography, department, and role. For more information, refer to the : IBM Connections 4.0 Metrics Reports Introduction
Q: Is there a list of all Metrics reports in the Metrics UI?
: You can get a list of all metrics reports from the View all Metrics
link in the navigation panel of the Metrics UI.
Q: Can I create custom reports in Metrics?
: Yes, you can create custom reports to suit your needs based on the events tracked by Metrics.
Q: In what formats are reports available?
: Metrics reports can be presented as tables or charts, which can be refined by selecting options such as the time period, a particular application, or how to group users in the results.
Q: What time range for reports can Metric provide?
: Metrics provides reports for several predefined intervals: Last 7 days
, Last 4 weeks
, Last quarter
, Last 12 months
and All years
. Last 4 weeks
is the default selected time range for Metrics reports.
Q: Can I view reports for a custom time range?
: Yes, you can select Custom
in the time range filter and then set the start date
and end date
to view the reports for this custom time period. This only applies to global metrics and does not apply to community metrics.
Q: Is there a quarterly report in Metrics?
: No, Metrics does not provide reports by quarter. It provides a Last quarter
report that includes data for the last three months.
Q: Are reports refreshed in real-time?
: Global metrics reports run in real-time. For community metrics reports, the community owner must submit an update request for the report generation to be completed.
Q: What is the difference between community metrics and global metrics?
: IBM Connections provides metrics on two levels: global and community. Global metrics report on overall usage; for example, the total number of people who logged into IBM Connections last week. Community metrics report on a particular community; for example, the number of people who logged into the Sales community last week.
Q: What do the People, Participation, and Content themes mean?
: The People theme tracks the users who visit IBM Connections. The Participation theme tracks actions in IBM Connections, such as downloading files or updating profiles. The Content theme tracks information shared in IBM Connections, such as files and comments.
Q: What is the architecture of the Metrics application?
A: The following picture illustrates the architecture of Metrics 4.0:
Creating and customizing reports with Metrics data
Q: How does Metrics track events?
: The Metrics application uses the Event Tracker to track events in IBM Connections applications. The event tracker records user actions in Connections. For example, an event is recorded every time a Connections user reads a blog entry, creates a "To do" item in an activity, updates a wiki page, or follows a community. These events are then used to calculate various metrics based on their timing and frequency.
Q: What events are tracked by Metrics?
: In IBM Connections 4.0, Create, Read, Update, Delete (CRUD) events are tracked by Metrics.
Q: Does Metrics track events from Mobile, portlet, plugin, feed reader, and so on?
: Yes, Create, Update, Delete (CUD) events are tracked by Metrics. For Read events, if they originate from IBM Connections on devices, such as the browsers of mobiles, they are tracked by Metrics. If the Read events originate from 3rd-party programmatic extensions, such as a mobile app, portlet, plugin, or feed reader, they are not tracked by Metrics.
Q: What filters do Metrics reports provide to categorize data in the displays?
: Metrics reports provide three standard filters that categorize data in the displays:
• Applications filter: groups data for a specific application scope
• Time range filter: groups data for a particular period of time by including only data for one predefined interval
• User attribute filter: groups data about people based on predefined user profile attributes (geography, department, and role).
Q: Can Metrics filters be customized?
: Only the user attribute filter (geography, department, and role) can be customized for your reports.
Q: What happens if Metrics filters are customized after deployment?
: Customize your Metrics filters right after installation to make sure all data built in the powercube is correctly categorized. If the Metrics are customized after deployment, a powercube rebuild is necessary. Follow the steps to restore all data in the database and rebuild the whole powercube in the Backing up and restoring Metrics data
topic in the product documentation.
Q: How long are metrics retained ?
: By default, all metrics events are retained for 12 months andare then removed from database. You can customize this time period by changing the value eventLifetimeInMonths
in the metrics-config.xml
file based on your database capacity. Note that Metrics events are retained for at least 2 months, even you set a time period of less than 2 months. Backup your data before the event data is removed from database. To backup Metrics data, refer to : Backing up and restoring Metrics data.
Q:How does Metrics deal with non-public data? Is there a danger of exposing private information ?
: The name and title of private data, for example, private file name, private blog title, and so on, are not shown in Metrics reports. This is replaced by "Privacy". Personal information, such as a person's name, is displayed by default in reports, but you can configure Metrics to hide all reports that show person names by changing the value of displayReportWithUserName
to false in the metrics-config.xml file.
Q: Can users view Metrics reports from Cognos BI directly?
: To access reports on the Cognos Business Intelligence server directly, a user must log in to the Cognos Business Intelligence server and provide the correct parameter values for the report. Administrators have access to all reports, a community owner only has access to the reports that were generated for that community. It is suggested to avoid viewing reports directly on the Cognos Business Intelligence server because the parameters needed for the reports are hard to understand.
Q: Can the Cognos Software Development Kit (SDK) be used to create solutions that query Metric data from IBM Connections?
: Yes, Cognos SDK is a powerful programming tool that can do everything available in the Cognos UI . To query Metrics data, you can create a new report and run it in the background, then save the output of the report into a local file. For more information, refer to the Cognos SDK documentation.
Q: Can Metrics reports be exported from Metrics?
: Metrics does not provide the functionality to export reports in the Metrics UI, but you can get metrics data from Cognos. On Metrics reports, a data table is provided for every chart, so you can copy this table and paste it into a spread sheet editor. You can also create a customized report to provide the Metrics data you want, and then run this report in CSV or XML format in Cognos.
Q: Why is it so slow to run community Metrics reports? Is there way to improve performance?
: In IBM Connections 4.0 Metrics, the community owner must submit an “update metrics” request and wait for the reports to be generated. This can take a long time, depending on the Cognos hardware configuration, the different time ranges for the reports, and the different applications inside the community. You can reduce the time ranges of the reports, such as Last 7 days, Last 4 weeks, Last quarter, Last year, and All years, that are available for community metrics. You can also reduce the people group by the filters Geography, Department, and Role, that are available. For more information, go to the Reduce the community metrics request waiting time in IBM Connections 4.0 Metrics
In addition, verify that you have sufficient hardware. Refer to the System Requirements
page. If you need further assistance, contact your IBM Service representative to help with hardware upgrades.
Q: What customization does Metrics support?
: Metrics data displays as reports which you can customize for your organization. When you install Cognos to support the Metrics application, a set of standard reports is immediately available. You can customize the name, link, and categories that are displayed on the Metrics UI for standard reports by editing configuration files. In addition, you can use IBM Cognos Report Studio to create new reports.
Q: How do I create customized Metrics reports?
A: You must create a customized report using Cognos Report Studio and then add the customized report to the report list. Refer to Customizing Metrics reports
and the step -by-step guide in the Community articles in the product documentation wiki: Community report customization for Connections 4.0 Metrics.
Q: Is there a video that introduces Metrics report customization?
: Yes, you can get a general idea of Metrics report customization from the following video: Customizing Metrics reports - IBM Connections 4.0.
Q: How do I customize the Metrics UI?
: IBM Connections provides several ways to customize the report information that is displayed in the Metrics user interface. You can modify the text labels and links used in existing reports, as well as nest reports or group them under a custom title. Refer to the product documentation wiki: Modifying reports.
Q: How do I customize Metrics report dimensions?
: By default, the group filter dimensions are Geography
, and Role
. You can customize these by following the steps in the Mapping user profile attributes to report dimensions
Q: Can I add more report dimensions in Metrics?
:No, Metrics reports support a maximum of three dimensions: Geography
, and Role
. Role is the default dimension.
Q:How do I customize report calculations based on the events captured in Metrics 4.0?
A: Refer to the following article for detailed information: Customizing reports based on the events captured in Metrics4.0.
The list of basic events that Metrics tracks from Connections 4.0 can be found in the article.
Q: Are there any restrictions for Metrics support with report customization?
A: Yes, Metrics reports customization supported is based on the data available from the out-of-box PowerCube model definition in IBM Connections 4.0. We don't provide any support to the customization based on user created PowerCube models or data query directly to Metrics raw data.
Q: Can I add my own enterprise data to be used in conjunction with the reports provided?
A:No. Metrics provides customization functionality, but the customization is based on the powercube that was built from events captured from Connections components. Data that is captured from outside Connections is not supported.
Deploying IBM Connections 4.0 Metrics
Q: What Operating Systems, databases, and browsers are supported by Metrics?
: Metrics supports the operating systems, databases, and browsers that are supported by both Cognos BI 10.1.1 and IBM Connections 4.0. For more information, go to the following links: Cognos Business Intelligence 10.1.1 software Environments
and System Requirements for IBM Connections
Q: How should I plan my hardware requirements?
: Refer to the System Requirements for IBM Connections
. You can contact your IBM Service representative to get further assistance on the planning about hardware needed for Metrics deployment to meet the needs of your enterprise.
Q: Do I have to purchase a Cognos license to enable Metrics?
: No, you do not need to purchase a Cognos license as long as you have a license for IBM Connections 4.0.
Q: Can I integrate an existing Cognos BI server with IBM Connections to enable Metrics?
: Yes, you can configure an existing Cognos BI system to integrate with IBM Connections 4.0. The existing Cognos BI system must be Version 10.1.1 with Fixpack 1 installed and must be installed on WAS 7.0. For system requirements of IBM Connections 4.0, refer to System Requirements
page. For more information about integration of Cognos and IBM Connections, refer to the Integrate IBM Connections 4.0 Metrics with an existing Cognos BI System
Q: What version of Cognos BI does Metrics support?
: Metrics supports Cognos BI version 10.1.1 with the latest patches. Download the latest fix pack from IBM Fix Central
and apply it to the Cognos server. Fix packs are cumulative; when you install the latest fix pack, it includes updates from all previous fix packs. You must use Cognos 10.1.1 version for Metrics.
Q: Does Metrics support cluster deployment?
: Yes, Metrics supports cluster deployment. You can refer to Cognos Clustering in IBM Connections Metrics
about how to do cluster deployment.
Q: If I have a cluster deployment of IBM Connections 4.0, should I deploy Cognos BI in a cluster as well?
: No, that is not necessary. However, if your Cognos BI server cannot meet the needs of your enterprise, you should consider sdeploying a cluster for Cognos
Q: How do I patch Cognos BI 10.1.1 for Metrics?
: Refer to the product documentation on the wiki about how to update Cognos BI for Metrics: Updating the Cognos server with fix packs
Q: Why do I have to pay a license fee for the Progress DataDirect Connect for ODBC driver when I use Cognos on a Linux system to access a Microsoft SQL Server database?
: If you deploy Cognos Transfomer on a non-Windows system and want to connect to a Microsoft SQL Server database, you must install the Progress DataDirect Connect for ODBC driver. It is the only driver that IBM Cognos supports for this type of configuration. However, the driver is not free.
To avoid using this driver, choose one of the following deployment options:
• Install both Cognos Business Intelligence and Cognos Transfomer on a Windows system.
• Leave Cognos Business Intelligence on the non-Windows system and install Cognos Transfomer on a Windows system. However, because the IBM Connections installation wizard cannot install Cognos BI and Transfomer on separate machines, refer to the How to install IBM Cognos Transformer on separate Windows machine for Metrics 4.0
Technote for more information.
Q: Does Metrics support Cognos BI and Connections on different application servers?
: No, since the Connections 4.0 Metrics application is running on WAS, the Cognos BI must be installed on WAS to be able to achieve SSO between Metrics and Cognos BI.
Q: Does Metrics support any third-party analyzing tools to replace Cognos BI?
: No, Metrics supports only Cognos BI integration in IBM Connections 4.0.
Q: Does Metrics support Lotus Domino LDAP?
: Refer to this Cognos tech note: Configuring CRN to work with Domino 6
. You can also configure Metrics to use Domino LDAP: Configure Metrics of Connections 4.0 to work with Lotus Domino LDAP.
Q: Does Metrics support multiple LDAPs?
: Metrics 4.0 supports multiple LDAPs as long as you apply Ifix LO74579 to it. Please refer to Technote about how to apply the IFIX.
Q: What are the user roles utilized by the IBM Connections 4.0 Metrics application?
: IBM Connections provides the following roles:
• "metrics-report-run" role: these users have the authority to access global Metrics.
• "admin" role: these users can access both global and community metrics.
• "community-metrics-run" role: these users can access community metrics.
You can refer to the article Metrics Roles Configuration in IBM Connection 4.0
Q: What languages does Metrics support?
: The Metrics application supports the languages that are supported by IBM Connections 4.0. Refer to the: Connections supported languages
topic for more information. There are three languages that are not supported by Cognos BI: Arabic, Catalan, and Hebrew. Part of the Cognos UI displays in English when one of these three languages is selected.
Q: What is the backup strategy for Metrics data?
: Metrics provides a backup and restore strategy for both DB level and PowerCube level. Refer to the IBM Connections 4.0 product documentation wiki for more information: Backing up and restoring Metrics data.
Q: Is there any step-by-step deployment documentation with screen shots?
A: Yes, we have step-by-step deployment documents with screen shots for specific OS, DB and LDAP, including Linux/AIX with Oracle, Red Hat with DB2 and AIX with DB2. If you have needs, contact your IBM Service representative to get the documents.
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About the authors
Rong Rong Wang
is a Staff Software Engineer based at IBM's Beijing, China, Lab. She currently works as the Team Lead for the Functional Verification Test team for the Connections Moderation feature and also works on testing Metrics in IBM Connections. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org