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Capabilities in Cognos 11.1.5

As a Cognos Administrator, setting up security and capabilities is a critical part of your job.

When IBM moved to Cognos 11, administration was one of the areas that barely changed. The overall Cognos interface changed dramatically but the guts of the product stayed pretty much the same. There is a new Manage area for Administrators but the old Administration section was still there so you didn't really need to focus on it too much.

With recent new releases of the software, one of the things I have noticed is that you may need to start paying a bit more attention to Manage.

In 11.1.5, the Capabilities list in Manage (Manage > People > Capabilities) is slightly different then the list in Administration > Security > Capabilities).

Here is the list from Administration:

When we take a look at Manage > People > Capabilities:

All of the original capabilities are here but you will also notice a few new ones:

  • AI: Controls the ability for a user to use AI functionality

  • (child capability) AI Assistant: Controls the ability for a user to use the Assistant

  • Develop Visualizations: Specifies that the user can develop extensible visualizations

  • Job: Manage jobs

  • Notebook

  • Save to Cloud

  • (child capability) Manage Connections

Going forward, we are probably going to have to check both locations when setting capabilities or maybe it is time that we move to Manage entirely for setting capabilities.

If you set a capability in Manage, you can see it in Administration:

The new Manage setting for access make a lot more sense. In Administration, you had to set Execute and Traverse to give someone access to a capability. In Manage, You say Access.

I don't think either view is particularly user-friendly. When consulting, I usually make up an excel spreadsheet that shows how the capabilities are distributed by group:

I'd love to see something like this that lets me quickly scan to see what capabilities are set for different types of users.

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