Senturus

Analytics Connector

CONNECTS TABLEAU TO COGNOS AND MICROSTRATEGY 

Organizations have made significant investments in BI platforms like Cognos and MicroStrategy, augmenting them with governed and prepared data, business rules and security measures. But because Tableau does not connect directly to these bastions of BI fortitude – and all their clean data – users bypass them altogether. Instead, they spend 80% or more of their time remodeling the data and, in the process, potentially compromise data integrity and security.

Senturus has bridged this gap with a software connector that easily ties Cognos and MicroStrategy as data sources for – and exposes them to – Tableau. With the power of Tableau working in concert with Cognos and  MicroStrategy, organizations experience significant benefits that both IT and business users can appreciate.

 

 

CHALLENGES OF EXTRACTING AND REMODELING DATA IN TABLEAU

THE SENTURUS SOLUTION

The Senturus Analytics Connector serves as a bridge that allows Tableau to tap directly into Cognos and MicroStrategy. Tying in through the ODBC layer, the Analytics Connector authenticates and restricts access to data by user login .The straightforward UI allows users to then simply drag and drop data from Cognos and MicroStrategy into Tableau.

With the Connector, organizations are able to leverage their existing BI platform investments, while providing users the agility they crave.

  • Connects securely to Cognos and MicroStrategy via ODBC
  • Retrieves Cognos and MicroStrategy packagemetadata
  • Lets users drag and drop query subjects into Tableau
  • Requires no joining or remodeling
  • Pushes queries back to Cognos or MicroStrategy for optimal execution

The Senturus Analytics Connector saves time and reduces risk:


"The Senturus Connector easily and instantaneously gets us better time utilization for our analysts…it’s a MASSIVE savings.

— Steve Kiser, Sr. Mgr Financial Systems, Ixia

 


“It is clear that the combination of Tableau, Cognos and the Senturus Connector will greatly improve all our departments.”
—Dean  Clausen, Business Intelligence Architect, Aero Precision Industries


PRICING

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Supported environments:

  • IBM Cognos 10.2.x/11
  • MicroStrategy 10.x
  • Microsoft Windows 7 and 10, Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012
  • Tableau 9.x/10 (64-bit Windows)

Cognos Server:

  • Must have  access to Cognos dispatcher
  • Must have access to Cognos packages
  • Must have capability of "Specification Execution" and "Generate CSV Output"

MicroStrategy (end users):

  • Must have access to project
  • Must have reporter role

MicroStrategy (data source preparer):

  • Must have developer role

Core components (minimum requirements):

  • Modern Dual-Core i5/i7/Xeon or better processor
  • 8GB of memory

Supported Cognos data sources:

  • Relational, dimensionally modeled relational (DMR), Power Cubes and Dynamic Cubes

Supported MicroStrategy data sources:

  • Not applicable

Requirements for the Tableau Windows box:

  • 20GB of disk space
  • 64-bit Java 1.8 x64 or later (will be automatically installed if not present)
  • MS .Net Framework 4.5.1 (will be automatically installed if not present)
  • 64-bit MS Visual C++ Redistributable 2012 x64 (will be automatically installed if not present)
  • Tableau 9.x/10.x (Desktop and/or Server)

Other requirements:

  • User must have administrator rights to the Tableau box for installation purposes.
  • ODBC compliant

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Where is the Senturus Analytics Connector installed?
A: The Connector needs to be installed wherever the Tableau query is being executed. This is typically a Tableau Desktop or Tableau Server. Nothing needs to be installed on Cognos or MicroStrategy servers.

Q: What type of skills and time are required to install the Senturus Analytics Connector?
A: Standard installation takes about two hours and requires standard Windows administration (i.e., installation, environment variable setting, some minor registry edits).

Q: Which BI platforms are supported?
A: The Senturus Analytics Connector is designed to connect Tableau to MicroStrategy 10.6 and higher as well as to  IBM Cognos BI 10.2.x and Cognos Analytics 11.0.6 and higher. We have specifically designed the Connector so that it can be configured for other enterprise BI systems such as Tableau 9.x/10.x and Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows 7, 8, 10, Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012).

Q: Which types of Cognos and MicroStrategy data sources are supported?
A: Currently supported data sources include relational, dimensionally modeled relational (DMR), PowerCubes, Dynamic Cubes and TM1 for Cognos and relational for MicroStrategy.

Q: Is support included with the Senturus Analytics Connector and, if so, who provides it?
A: Support is provided by Senturus and included in the price of the Connector.

Q: What is the difference between live and extract query support?
A; We support both live and extract query functionality; however, certain live query functionality is limited. We are continuously enhancing this functionality based on needs and feedback.

Q: When was the Senturus Analytics Connector released?
A: The Connector was released for general availability on November 7, 2016.

Q: What are the licensing implications for Cognos?
A: Cognos: For extracts, a Cognos BI analytics user license or equivalent is required to allow extraction creation. A Cognos license is not required to connect to extracts; only a Senturus Analytics Connector license is needed. For a live connect, a Cognos BI analytics user license or equivalent is required.

MicroStrategy: For extracts, project access and reporter role are needed to allow creation of extracts. A MicroStrategy license not required to connect to extracts; only a Senturus Connector license is needed. For live connect, project access and reporter role are required.

Q: What are the Framework Manager model requirements for use with the Senturus Analytics Connector?
A: There are no special modeling requirements for the Connector, except those necessary to work around current live query limitations. However, Tableau requires that joins are created between query subjects, even if they don’t have a relationship specified at that level of abstraction. The Connector will automatically create dummy joins, but will ignore them, letting Cognos handle them in the background.

Q: How is security handled by the Senturus Analytics Connector?
A: Username and password credentials are passed through to Cognos/MicroStrategy during query execution, thereby enforcing relevant security applied within both environments.

Q: How often would updates be released during the year and how much time would it take to apply them?
A: Updates will be released as functionality is added or bug fixes dictate. We do not have a formal release timeline established yet. Updates should be fairly easy and only take a few minutes.

Q: What is the method for accessing Cognos and MicroStrategy via Tableau?
A: The Senturus Analytics Connector uses an ODBC connection to connect to Cognos and MicroStrategy.

MOST RECENT SOFTWARE UPDATE

Released in 2017, Senturus Analytics Connector v2 adds support for MicroStrategy as a data source for Tableau along with enhanced functionality to improve accessibility and admin functions.

Highlights of the version 2 release include:

    • Support for MicroStrategy as an ODBC source to Tableau
    • Support for Cognos Single Sign On via Siteminder and IIS/Windows authentication
    • Easier configuration through the familiar Microsoft ODBC Administration interface
    • Streamlined and simplified installation
      • Automated distribution in managed organizations without requiring user input
      • Automatic handling of versions 
    • User friendly error messages and better logging for technical support
    • Streamlined troubleshooting for connection and query issues with a new diagnostic utility
    • More comprehensive support for both relational and OLAP/cube sources

OPEN