Cognos Analytics Tips & Tricks: Installing Samples
Cognos Analytics Tips & Tricks: Installing Samples
This is a guest blog post by Revelwood’s Jay Apwah.

Did you know you there are many sample files available for Cognos Analytics? In order to better experience and understand new features in releases of Cognos Analytics, it is recommended that you install the sample databases, models, dashboards and reports.

Installing the samples involves the following four steps:

  1. Installing the samples
  2. Importing the sample content from its archive
  3. Restoring the sample databases from backups
  4. Creating data source connections in Cognos Analytics to the databases

In this blog, we will setup the Go Sales and Go Sales Warehouse samples and restore the databases into Microsoft SQL Server.


  • Cognos Analytics 11.0.x is installed on Microsoft Windows
  • Cognos Analytics 11.0.x samples are downloaded from the IBM Passport Advantage site
  • SQL Server is installed

Installing the samples

  1. Run the installation for the sample content as administrator.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_1Once installed, all the required files for the remaining steps will end up in a “samples” folder at the same level as your Cognos Analytics installation (if you installed Cognos Analytics with the default installation path). In the screenshot below, the “analytics” folder is where Cognos Analytics is installed by default. The samples will be installed in a separate folder called “samples”.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_2
  2. In the samples folder, navigate to “\webcontent\samples\content”. You will find an archive called “”. This archive contains the sample visualizations, reports, dashboards and filesInstalling samples in Cognos Analytics_4
  3. Copy that zip file and paste it into the “<Cognos Analytics install location>\deployment” folder
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_4

Importing the sample content from its archive

  1. Login to Cognos Analytics and click the Manage button on the bottom left.Installing Samples in Cognos Analytics_5
  2. Click the option for Administration Console.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_6
  3. In administration console, click the Configuration tab, then click Content Administration.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_7
  4. On the right-hand side, click the New Import icon.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_8
  5. Select the radio button next to the archive that you placed in the deployment folder. Then click Next > and proceed through the wizard to import the content (dashboards, reports and data files) into Cognos Analytics.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_9
  6. You’ll know you have succeeded when you navigate to the Team Content folder and the samples appear.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_10

Restoring the sample databases from backups

In this step, we will restore the GO Sales Data Warehouse database from a backup file into Microsoft SQL server.

  1. Login to SQL Server Management Studio.
  2. Right-click on Databases and select New Database…
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_11
  3. In the New Database wizard, type “GOSALESDW” in the Database name box and click OK.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_12
  4. An empty database called GOSalesDW will appear in the list of databases.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_13
  5. Right-click on Databases and select Restore Database…Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_14
  6. In the Restore Database wizard, select Device, then click the ellipses to the right (i.e., the three dots).
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_15
  7.  When asked to select backup devices, click Add
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_16
  8. When asked to locate the backup file, navigate to <samples install location>\webcontent\samples\datasources\sqlserver. Then select
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_17
  9. When asked to select backup devices, click on the path that you found in the previous step and click OK, then click OK again to restore the database.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_18
  10. When you expand GOSALESDW > Tables, the list of restored tables will appear.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_19

Creating data source connections in Cognos Analytics to the databases

In this step we will create a data source connection to the GOSALESDW database.

  1. Login to your Cognos Analytics environment.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_20
  2. On the bottom left-hand side of the portal page, click the Manage icon, then click Data server connections.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_21
  3. In the Data server connections pane, click the icon to Add new server.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_22
  4. Since we restored the Microsoft SQL Server database, select Microsoft SQL Server from the Select a Type pane.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_23
  5. We want to create a connection to the GOSALESDW database. Change the name of the new data server connection to “great_outdoors_warehouse”. Note: It is important to name the data source connection “great_outdoors_warehouse” so the sample reports can link back to the underlying database successfully.Note: When you want to create a connection to the GOSALES database, the data source connection should be named “great_outdoors_sales”.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_24
  6. Enter the JDBC URL that the connection will use to connect to the GOSALESDW database. The format of the URL is as follows: Jdbc:sqlserver://<servername or IP>:<port>;DATABASE=GOSALESDW. The default SQL Server port is 1433.

    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_25
  7. Select the radio button next to Use the following signon:, then click the icon to add a new sign-on.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_26
  8. On the right, enter the credentials used to login to SQL Server Management Studio and access the GOSALESDW database.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_27
  9. Save the connection information.Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_28
  10. Test the connection configuration.
    Installing samples in Cognos Analytics_29Note: If you receive driver-related errors when testing the connection, ensure that you have the sqljdbc42.jar file in <Cognos install location>\drivers. Move old versions of that driver to a safe location. You’ll have to restart the Cognos services for the addition of the new driver to take effect.
  11. To test that the data source connection to the GOSALESDW database was successful, run a sample report called “Sales managers” located in Team Content > Samples > Reports > Standard Reports.

Cognos Analytics is full of new features and functionality. Not sure where to start?  Our team here at Revelwood can help.  Contact us for more information at  And stay tuned for more Tips & Tricks in our Knowledge Center and in upcoming newsletters!

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