Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Technical Troubleshooting Guide for Cognos Reporting Tool

Cognos is a new web-based reporting tool for Franklin & Marshall College’s professional staff. It is part of Project BOOST, F&M’s Enterprise Resource Planning Project that launched in 2012 to upgrade software systems managing student and academic information, human resources, finances and admission.

Cognos Reporting Tool provides a single reporting solution everyone can use to answer critical business questions as well as providing the ability to generate reports from a list of self-serve report types. All reports can be exported to multiple formats such as Excel, PDF, CSV and HTML.

Technical Support

  • For problems with logging into Cognos, the Cognos site is not available etc., please call the ITS Help Desk at 717-358-4483.
  • For errors that say contact the Administrator, submit a ITS Help Desk ticket for Cognos and it will be routed to the Cognos Administrator.
  • If the data on your report does not look correct or you have other issues with the formatting of your reports, prompts etc., please call your Data Steward.  The Data Stewards are: Melanie Griffin for Human Resources, Bob Szczecinski for Finance, and Christine Alexander for Enrollment Services

Browsers

Cognos is supported on Internet Explorer (IE) for PCs and Mozilla Firefox for Macs.

Therefore, PC users should use IE and Mac users should use Firefox when running Cognos Reports.

  • Google Chrome and Safari will both cause errors when running reports for end users. Report writers will find many options unavailable to them if they are not using IE.
  • Google Chrome will suppress excel downloading options and block drill through capability.
  • Safari should not be used by the end user as many problems occur within Safari.  
  • If the user has a PC, drill throughs will work in Adobe with IE but will not work on other browser or on Mac.

Troubleshooting IE

Running a report to excel and the downloads do not show up.
  • In order to see this report in Excel, you need to enable prompting for downloads.
    • Cognos uses popup windows and you must disable your pop up blocker to allow Cognos to function correctly.
      • Under the Tools menu in IE Allow pop up windows.
    • If pop ups are enabled an older version of IE is being used try these setting changes:
      • Open Internet Explorer.
      • Click on Tools and then on Internet Options.
      • Switch to Security tab.
      • Select Intranet Zone.
      • Click on Custom Level.
      • Under Downloads, select the radio button “Enable” under Automatic prompting for file downloads.
      • Under Downloads, select the radio button “Enable” under File download.
      • Save the changes by clicking on OK.
  • If you have an error where you are able to download to excel but when you click enable editing on the document  security will not let you display in Microsoft excel.  Also if drill throughs will not work you need to make Cognos a Trusted site.
    • To fix this issue change the following settings
      • Go to Tools
      • Internet Options
      • Security
      • Select Local Intranet
      • Click on Sites button
      • Click on Advanced button
      • Add https://cognos.fandm.edu to the zone.
  • When you start Cognos, you get “IE has modified this page to prevent cross site scripting” (IE8)
    • This error occurs if “Cross-site Scripting (XSS) Filter” is enabled in Internet Explorer.
      • To disable this feature, do the following:
        • Open Internet Explorer.
        • Click on Tools and then on Internet Options.
        • Switch to Security tab.
        • Select Internet Zone.
        • Click on Custom Level.
        • Under Scripting, select the radio button “Disable” under Enable XSS filter.
        • Save the changes by clicking on OK.
  • If you have installed an extra toolbar, such as Google (from the latest Adobe Update) or Ask from the latest Java update you will need to either uninstall it or at the least disable the popup blocker in it. If you are running reports to Excel and do not see the pop up window asking if you would like to Save or Open the report, it is most likely because you have a pop up blocker on somewhere.

Troubleshooting Macs

Cognos Display issues and possible solutions
  • PDF does not open.  This is usually caused because the default is set to Preview instead of Adobe. If Adobe Reader is not on the computer it must be installed and then follow the instructions below. If Adobe is installed see the instructions below.
    • Select the “Applications” tab
    • Scroll down to "PDF file" in list of apps that is presented.
    • Next to “PDF files” select the "Use Preview" pop-down button and choose "Use other..."
    • Browse through Applications and select the Adobe Reader application (usually inside of a folder named “Adobe Reader”)
    • The pop-down button next to “PDF file” should now read “Adobe Reader”
    • Close the Firefox preferences window
    • Quit Firefox
  • If you have installed an extra toolbar, such as Google (from the latest Adobe Update) or Ask from the latest Java update you will need to either uninstall it or at the least disable the popup blocker in it. If you are running reports to Excel and do not see the pop up window asking if you would like to Save or Open the report, it is most likely because you have a pop up blocker on somewhere.