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Frequently Asked Questions

Remote Access

All Cognos reports can now only be run by users connected to the Warwick network. If you are off-site or working from home, you will first need to connect to the Warwick Virtual Private Network (VPN) before you try and run a report - if not then you will simply get a timeout error (eventually). Details of how to connect to the VPN are available here.

Version 11 issue


Note that the upgrade to version 11 has introduced a minor issue with running reports from embedded urls in specific browsers (Chrome, Firefox and Safari). Rather than simply clicking on the link, right-click and choose to open in either a new tab or a new window, and the report will open correctly.

2017-16-11: Some users have reported problems running the latest version of Firefox (v57) - please try using Internet Explorer or Chrome if possible!

Supported Web Browsers

The following table notes the "official" IBM position on Cognos browser support for version 11.0.5 (note that Microsoft Edge - the default browser for Windows 10 - is unsupported and does not not work):

Browser Support Version Notes
Internet Explorer Partial 10, 11 or above
Note: Version 10 and 11 is only supported with Compatibility View. Enabling Compatibility View for Cognos should already be set on your browser via group policy. Not Supported on Windows Mobile. Not supported with Touch Enable devices (i.e. Microsoft Surface and Touch Enabled Laptops)Internet Explorer 11.0.38 or higher required.
Firefox Partial

ESR 45 or above To be able to use Drill Through report functionality into PDF format: PC Users - Configure Firefox to use the Adobe PDF plug in. Mac Users - The Adobe PDF plugin doesn't work with Firefox on a Mac, which is a known Firefox issue. Instead, use the Firefox built-in PDF reader to view PDF output. However, if you use drill through reports (which are only compatible with Adobe Reader when run as PDF output), run them to HTML as a work around.

ESR 82.0.3 or above This Firefox version was the first where certain JavaScript incompatibility issues that affected Cognos and other web applications were identified. Vendors like IBM Cognos have had to derive their own patches to fix the issue. At the moment the version of Cognos Analytics that the University is using isn't patched to address this bug, so users might experience some unexpected errors when a small number of affected Cognos report types are run using Firefox.

Chrome Supported Latest version (59) or above Drill through reports are supported.
Safari Supported  9 or above Drill through reports are not supported.
Edge Unsupported Does not work


Anecdotally (and in the experience of a number of users in ITS and MI&P) later versions are to be preferred given the increasing stability and functionality that they offer. The currently preferred browser for viewing the Research Dashboards is IE11.

We have had a few reports recently of an IE10 upgrade causing display issues - please ensure the browser is running in compatibility mode by clicking the broken sheet icon in the menu bar and ensuring it is a blue colour (as shown below):


Other browsers, such as Chrome and Safari, may well render the html versions of reports correctly (albeit with minor differences in formatting), but drillthroughs and downloads to other formats such as pdf and excel (see below) don't appear to work.

Printing Reports

You can print reports directly from the browser, but be careful of multi-page reports as only the first page prints by default - you can tell if a report is multi-page by the presence of hyperlinks for "top", "page up", "page down" and "bottom" at the bottom of the page. The safest method to ensure that you print all the data is to extract to PDF or Excel (see below) and print from there...

Downloading Files to Excel

When running reports into an Excel format if the window does not appear or you are not prompted to save a file then the following points should be checked:

  • Turn off any pop-up blockers (or allow as a trusted site
  • Add as a trusted site
  • Modify the custom settings for the trusted sites zone to "Enable automatic prompting for file downloads" and "Enable file download"

Occasionally these settings may get reset (by a security policy update), so you may need to reset them to re-enable downloads into Excel(!)

Where reports contain charts, the underlying data is also downloaded into Excel but is stored in hidden sheets which need to be unhidden to allow access to the data.


IE8 and cross-site scripting

Although Cognos does not officially support IE8 (although see above), it can be used successfully for accessing and running reports. However, there is a potential problem with cross-site scripting when running reports from links embedded in emails. It can cause the search path to be scrambled generating an error similar to:

CM-REQ-4158 The search path "/content/folder[@na#e='folder']/report[@name='report'] is invalid

This is fully detailed on the Cognos website under product reference 1428246. The problem can be resolved by adding "" to the trusted sites list and disabling the XSS Filter under custom properties - note that it should be disabled under the default managed desktop installation(!).



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