Business driven workflow - IBM Cognos

In this version, IBM Cognos Platform introduces the ability to encompass user actions into business intelligence events and processes in a way that can be managed and audited. In previous versions, event authors could configure agents that detected events within a business intelligence data source and that took action based upon reconfigured criteria. However, user interaction with these events was provided only using email and IBM Cognos portal news items. With email and news item posts, you cannot define how users are expected to respond to the event. In addition, you cannot capture what a user does with information that is provided by the event agent. The enhanced event management features of this version permit event authors to configure tasks to be assigned to individual users or groups of users. These tasks can include expectations around when work on a task must be started by and completed by. Tasks can request approval for actions to be taken based upon an event, or they can request that a user decide how the agent should proceed to execute configured tasks based upon the user's analysis of or reaction to the event condition or task contents. In this section, we introduce WS-Human Tasks and features and provide a use case of IBM Cognos Event Studio and My Inbox.

Enhanced event management

The IBM Cognos Platform includes a new service to support enhanced event management functionality called the Human Task Service. This service is based upon an open specification called WS-Human Tasks. IBM is leading the working group to define the WS-Human Task standards along with participation from other web standards community members. IBM Cognos BI includes the following types of human tasks that you can see in the task inbox:

  • Approval requests
  • Ad-hoc tasks
  • Notification requests

You can create tasks from the following components:

  • IBM Cognos Event Studio (notification requests and approval requests)
  • The My Inbox area of IBM Cognos Connection (notification requests and ad-hoc
  • A watch rule set up for a report (notification requests only)

Features of IBM Cognos Event Studio

You can create the following human tasks in IBM Cognos Event Studio:

  • Approval request task

You can create an approval request task to an agent when you want an event to occur only after approval. This task sends an approval request related to an event to the task inbox of specified recipients in IBM Cognos BI.

  • Notification request task

You can create a notification request task to an agent to send a secure notification about an event to the inbox of specified recipients in IBM Cognos BI. You can include content, such as report output, in a notification request.

My Inbox

A task inbox contains the following human tasks:

  • Notification task
  • You can also create a notification request task in My Inbox.

  • Ad-hoc task

You can create an ad-hoc task to send a task to the task inbox of the recipients you specify. You can add deadlines to an ad-hoc task when you create it. Alternatively, potential owners or stakeholders can add deadlines at a later date, by updating the task from their task inbox.

Human task service use case

In this section, we provide two use cases that use the human task service.

Approval Request scenario

In this example, Lynn Cope is a Professional Report Author who wants to take a sales report definition and burst it into reports for the following countries:

  • USA
  • Japan
  • Brazil

Before the bursted report is sent, it must be approved by the Sam Carter, the Administrator, for a quality check. To submit the report for approval, perform the following:

  1. Launch the IBM Cognos Event Studio with Go Data Warehouse (analysis) package and add the Run a report task.
  2. Task list
    Task list

  3. Select the burst report, and change settings
  4. Burst report task
    Burst report task

  5. Add Run an approval request, and set Sam Carter as a potential owner. Enter a subject and body, and attach the bursted reports
  6. Approval request task
    Add Run an approval request

  7. You can select Due Dates, Priority, Options (Send email or not on each phase), Icon, Task Owner Action
  8. Approval request task options
    Approval request task options

  9. Add a Send an email task, and set Lynn Cope as the recipient. Enter a subject and body, and attach the bursted reports
  10. Email task
    Email task

  11. Save the agent and schedule an appropriate time.
  12. Approve the request. Sam Carter receives an email with the approval request
  13. Email for approval
    Email for approval

  14. When Sam Carter logs in to IBM Cognos Connection, he can find a message in “My Inbox” as
  15. Approval request message in My Inbox
    Approval request message in My Inbox

  16. Sam Carter can open the message and approve it, also providing a comment,
  17. Approve operation
    Approve operation

  18. Lynn Cope receives an email that the approval is granted, and the report is complete,
  19. Email after approval
    Email after approval

Notification Request scenario

In this scenario, Lynn Cope wants to create an automatic notification process to be altered to exceptionally high performances by the sales staff. Lynn wants to be notification if a sales person’s sales amount exceed 300,000. To create an automatic notification process:

  1. Launch IBM Cognos Event Studio, and create an event with an expression such as:
  2. Add a Run a notification request task, and set Lynn Cope as the recipient. Enter a subject and body, and attach an Event list
  3. Notification request task
    Approval request message in My Inbox

  4. Save the agent and schedule it execute every day.
  5. You can receive messages in My Inbox if when a sales person reaches 300,000 in sales. In this message, you can find the Event list is attached and open it to see whom the sales person is.
  6. Notification message in My Inbox
    Notification message in My Inbox

  7. You can receive an email In this email, you can also see the Event list and discover the highest performing sales person.
  8. Notification email
    Notification email

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