Cognos BI filler members for TM1 cubes
Date: 06/01/2014

BY NIKITA ATKINS, PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT

If you are using IBM Cognos TM1 server at version 10.2 FP1 (10.2.0.1) or higher and IBM Cognos Business Intelligence version 10.2.1.1 Interim Fix 3 or higher, now you can allow ""filler members"" to be generated to fill gaps due to restricted access from the root of the hierarchy down to those members whose data should be visible to the user.

With default behaviour (filler members turned off), applying element-level security can make the TM1 cube appear as ragged and unbalanced to users who do not have access to all members leading up to the root of a hierarchy. The following behaviours ensue:

  • In a level-based hierarchy, if a root member is inaccessible, the entire hierarchy becomes inaccessible in the metadata tree of the authoring interfaces of Cognos BI.
  • In a parent-child hierarchy, if a root member is inaccessible, the highest level accessible descendants effectively become root members, with level ordinal 0, and the level ordinatls of their descendants are adjusted accordingly. This may result in the hierarchy becoming unbalanced.
  • If a member is not accessible, but is parent is accessible, then all of the descendants will effectively become inaccessible.

By enabling the filler member functionality through the above configuration change, TM1 cubes with element-level security defined will appear anywhere in a hierarchy where user access has been restricted. This enables a TM1 cube with element-level security to be more accessible for self-service analysis in Cognos BI since previously hierarchies would be completely unavailable to any user without sufficient privileges to traverse all the way up to the root of the hierarchy.

Filler members appear in lieu of members in which access has been denied. No values will appear for filler members. The caption of a filler member is the caption of the parent member with a ^ character appended to the end, or just a ^ as the caption in the case of a root member whose access has not been granted to the user.

This very important functionality will allow TM1 cubes and Framework Manager DMRs to more closely replicate each other and thus have similar Member Unique Names (MUNs).

This is more information available on the IBM website, or you can contact me via email.