What is BlueSPACE?

BlueSPACE is a custom-built solution of BlueNET Technologies that helps our customers proactively monitor their IBM Cognos Business Analytics (BA) platforms in real time and enables them to react to potential issues in their platform in a timely fashion.

The primary purpose of BlueSPACE is to remove the system administration and maintenance burden from the shoulders of our customers by introducing end-to-end automation.

By removing this burden, BlueSPACE enables business users to focus on day-to-day analytical work rather than worrying about the timeliness, availability and accuracy of the underlying data surfaced from the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence (BA) platform.

BlueSPACE provides an on-going X-ray of any given IBM-Cognos Business Analytics (BA) platform via its own purpose-built mini-OLAP container. This container captures different sets of usage and audit data from any given IBM Cognos Business Analytics (BA) platform in real time. The output of this OLAP structure is then made available to our customers via analytical and SLA reports sourced directly from our privately hosted cloud platform in Switzerland.

What do we mean by “proactive monitoring”?

BlueSPACE enables “real-time” monitoring for any of the below Business Analytics (BA) components. Moreover, when an issue arises, the solution instantly notifies the affected parties via email and/or control report distribution to ensure timely corrective action.

  • Daily or hourly Data Processing (ETL) runs
  • Data cube builds
  • Scheduled report distributions
  • Event-based report distribution
  • Ad-hoc user interactivity monitoring
  • User login and logout statuses
  • Package and/or report-related errors

What kind of questions can BlueSPACE provide answers to?

BlueSPACE captures 3 types of data from IBM Cognos Business Analytics (BA) platforms:

  1. IBM Cognos Audit Data
  2. IBM Cognos Content Store Data
  3. IBM Cognos related ETL and Cube Build Automation Data

Here are a few example questions that BlueSPACE can answer for your system administration and support team:

  • Who are my top BA users, and am I properly utilizing my licenses?
  • What are my most-used packages and reports?
  • What are the commonly occurring errors and what report/packages are causing these errors?
  • Where are my most slowly running reports, and what are their average run-times?
  • Where are the reports that are not used by business users and are candidates for content clean-up?
  • Do I have any wasted license seats?
  • What is my success ratio for scheduled report distribution?
  • Did my daily ETL bring accurate data for reporting?
  • Did my cube builds produce accurate aggregated data for reporting?
  • Did all my cubes build successfully?
  • Did all my ETL jobs run successfully?

What are some use cases for BlueSPACE?

The most common and recommended deployment of BlueSPACE is for day-to-day monitoring and maintenance of your IBM Cognos Business Analytics (BA) platform. The built-in automation and monitoring capabilities of BlueSPACE will inherently reduce the system administration and system support burden while empowering business users to focus on their day-to-day analytical work.

BlueSPACE can also be effectively used for:

  • Pre-upgrade metadata, package, user profile and report clean-up activities
  • Overall diagnosis of your IBM Cognos Business Analytics (BA) platform
  • License compliance review
  • Package and Report utilization review

What is the underlying architecture of BlueSPACE?

The underlying relational data structure of BlueSPACE is called an “Audit Forest” and consists of a centralized database blends IBM Cognos Audit and Content Store data captured from our customer sites with an XML-based dataset coming from incoming control emails to BlueNET’s support account. A dimensionally enriched version of a generic IBM Cognos Audit and Content Store database provides platform usage-related statistics. Our ingeniously simple code takes incoming email headers, email bodies, and attachments and transforms them into normalized data records. These are stored in our “Audit Forest” to provide SLA-type statistics, such as whether any ETL job failed or any cube build succeeded.

Once these valuable usage statistics are blended with real-time automation and scheduling-related activity statuses (SLA), it becomes very easy to transform this data into a multi-dimensional metadata format. Using the IBM-Cognos Framework Manager and Transformer, it is published as packages to our own IBM Cognos platform hosted in our private cloud in Switzerland. We then create various visualizations and analytical reporting packages for our subscribed customers that can be directly accessed online and distributed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to each subscribed customer.

In summary, the BlueSPACE architecture sits on a Microsoft SQL Server-based real-time data structure that is fed through custom SSIS packages as well as C+ code-based XML data transformations from various types of control emails. Our metadata layer is constructed using our very own IBM Cognos Business Analytics (BA) capabilities, and our entire solution is privately hosted by Exoscale in Switzerland to ensure that our customers’ Cognos Audit data is as secure as any deposit in a Swiss Bank.

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