Layout Component References

September 6, 2011

Zephyr, author of the blog Cognos and Me, wrote an excellent (but brief) article on what Layout Components are, and why you’d want to use them. I’m going to expand briefly on what he wrote, and give an example of my own.

In his example, he created a generic header that authors would use in their reports. This allows the author of the components report to control the header in all of the reports referencing it. Very useful for maintaining a corporate look and feel.

There is another use. While the Cognos authors that I work with excel in SQL and MDX, many of them are lacking knowledge in JavaScript. One of the most common requests for help that I receive is to code a simple container that allows users to switch between viewing a table or a graph.

In order to accomplish this, you would need to use JavaScript. So, instead of having to help each author individually, I find it easier to create a single component library report. To create the component library, simply create a new report. Since this is post is about components, and not about JavaScript I’ll give you the XML of an example components library.

<report xmlns="http://developer.cognos.com/schemas/report/3.0/" expressionLocale="en-us"><!--RS:8.2-->
	<modelPath>/content/package[@name='GO Sales']/model[@name='model']</modelPath>
	<layouts>
		<layout>
			<reportPages>
				<page class="pg" name="Page1">
					<pageBody class="pb">
						<contents><table class="tb" name="Switch Container"><tableRows><tableRow><tableCells><tableCell><contents><textItem name="SW - Object Name"><dataSource><staticValue>Object Name</staticValue></dataSource></textItem></contents><style><CSS value="padding-left:3px;padding-top:2px;padding-bottom:2px;font-weight:bold;background-color:#FAFAFA;border-top:1pt solid silver;border-bottom:1pt solid silver;border-left:1pt solid silver"/></style></tableCell><tableCell><contents><HTMLItem description="span">
														<dataSource>
															<staticValue>&lt;span onclick="
table = this.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode;
divArr = table.getElementsByTagName('Div');
for (var i = 0; i &lt; divArr.length; i++) {
  if (divArr[i].getAttribute('id') != null &amp;&amp; divArr[i].getAttribute('id') == 'First' ) {divArr[i].style.display = 'block';}
  if (divArr[i].getAttribute('id') != null &amp;&amp; divArr[i].getAttribute('id') == 'Second' ) {divArr[i].style.display = 'none';}
}
this.style.fontWeight='bold';
this.nextSibling.nextSibling.style.fontWeight='normal';"
style="font-weight:bold"
&gt;</staticValue>
														</dataSource>
													</HTMLItem>
													<textItem name="SW - First Label"><dataSource><staticValue>Graph</staticValue></dataSource></textItem><HTMLItem description="span">
														<dataSource>
															<staticValue>&lt;/span&gt; | &lt;span onClick="
table = this.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode;
divArr = table.getElementsByTagName('Div');
for (var i = 0; i &lt; divArr.length; i++) {
  if (divArr[i].getAttribute('id') != null &amp;&amp; divArr[i].getAttribute('id') == 'First' ) {divArr[i].style.display = 'none';}
  if (divArr[i].getAttribute('id') != null &amp;&amp; divArr[i].getAttribute('id') == 'Second' ) {divArr[i].style.display = 'block';}
}
this.style.fontWeight='bold';
this.previousSibling.previousSibling.style.fontWeight='normal';"
style="font-weight:normal"
&gt;</staticValue>
														</dataSource>
													</HTMLItem>
													<textItem name="SW - Second Label"><dataSource><staticValue>Table</staticValue></dataSource></textItem><HTMLItem description="/span">
														<dataSource>
															<staticValue>&lt;/span&gt;</staticValue>
														</dataSource>
													</HTMLItem>
												</contents><style><CSS value="text-align:right;padding-right:3px;padding-top:2px;padding-bottom:2px;background-color:#FAFAFA;border-top:1pt solid silver;border-bottom:1pt solid silver;border-right:1pt solid silver"/></style></tableCell></tableCells></tableRow><tableRow><tableCells><tableCell colSpan="2"><contents><block>
														<contents><HTMLItem description="div First">
														<dataSource>
															<staticValue>&lt;div id="First" &gt;</staticValue>
														</dataSource>
													</HTMLItem><textItem name="SW - First"><dataSource><staticValue>First</staticValue></dataSource></textItem><HTMLItem description="div Second">
														<dataSource>
															<staticValue>&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div id="Second" style="display:none"&gt;</staticValue>
														</dataSource>
													</HTMLItem><textItem name="SW - Second"><dataSource><staticValue>Second</staticValue></dataSource></textItem><HTMLItem description="/div">
														<dataSource>
															<staticValue>&lt;/div&gt;
</staticValue>
														</dataSource>
													</HTMLItem></contents>
														<style><CSS value="width:350px;height:350px;overflow:auto;text-align:center"/></style></block>

												</contents><style><CSS value="text-align:center;background-color:#FAFAFA;vertical-align:middle;border-bottom-style:none;border-top:1pt solid silver;border-left:1pt solid silver;border-right:1pt solid silver"/></style></tableCell></tableCells></tableRow><tableRow><tableCells><tableCell><contents><textItem name="SW - More Data Left"><dataSource><staticValue>More Data Left</staticValue></dataSource></textItem></contents><style><CSS value="padding-left:3px;background-color:#FAFAFA;border-bottom:1pt solid silver;border-left:1pt solid silver"/></style></tableCell><tableCell><contents><textItem name="SW - More Data Right"><dataSource><staticValue>More Data Right</staticValue></dataSource></textItem></contents><style><CSS value="text-align:right;padding-right:3px;background-color:#FAFAFA;border-bottom:1pt solid silver;border-right:1pt solid silver"/></style></tableCell></tableCells></tableRow></tableRows><style><CSS value="border-collapse:collapse"/></style></table></contents>
					</pageBody>
				</page>
			</reportPages>
		</layout>
	</layouts>
</report>

It was written in 8.2, but it upgrades perfectly. As the report has no queries, you can simply point it to any package you have. When the report loads, you should see the following:

It’s important to note the names. The table is named Switch Container. This is what the report author will select when he uses it from the Layout Component. Each text item is also named. The author will be able to use the component override to replace those items as needed. If the author doesn’t need links for more data below the graph/table, he simply overrides the two bottom items without replacing them. The author can also use the same component multiple times in the same report. When writing JavaScript functions, you should take this possibility into account.

The library needs to be saved in a location that both the author and users can traverse and execute. Any report will fail if the user cannot access the original components library. The components library also needs to exist in the same location in the production environment.

There are many other possible uses for layout component. Any time you need complex functionality in multiple reports components should be considered.

9 Responses to “Layout Component References”

  1. Satya

    Hi Paul,

    I really liked the article showing the report in multiple tabs. Appreciate if you could share the JavaScript mentioned on the article. Please send it sonubbsr@gmail.com

    Thanks
    Satya

    Reply
    • cognospaul

      Hi Satya,

      The JavaScript is embedded in the report XML. If you can’t open the XML in RS for some reason, it’s copied below:

      <span
      onclick="
      table = this.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode;
      divArr = table.getElementsByTagName(‘Div’);
      for (var i = 0; i < divArr.length; i++)
      {
      if (divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) != null && divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) == ‘First’ ) {divArr[i].style.display = ‘block';}
      if (divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) != null && divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) == ‘Second’ ) {divArr[i].style.display = ‘none';}
      }
      this.style.fontWeight=’bold';
      this.nextSibling.nextSibling.style.fontWeight=’normal';"
      style="font-weight:bold"
      >
      First Label
      </span>
      |
      <span
      onClick="
      table = this.parentNode.parentNode.parentNode;
      divArr = table.getElementsByTagName(‘Div’);
      for (var i = 0; i < divArr.length; i++)
      {
      if (divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) != null && divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) == ‘First’ ) {divArr[i].style.display = ‘none';}
      if (divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) != null && divArr[i].getAttribute(‘id’) == ‘Second’ ) {divArr[i].style.display = ‘block';}
      }
      this.style.fontWeight=’bold';
      this.previousSibling.previousSibling.style.fontWeight=’normal';"
      style="font-weight:normal"
      >
      Second Label
      </span>

      Reply
  2. mike charon

    You, Sir, are a Cognos God!
    Ty very much for your advises and help…i just susbscriped and also got into Cognoise thx to you.

    Have a nice evening and all the best from Germany
    charon

    Reply
  3. Stanislav

    Hi, Paul. Unfortunately I’m looking internet sites for explanation how can access to properties of charts in Cognos. The goal: to change min,max limits, background image parameters of chart by Javascript code “on the fly”. If you know something about that?

    Reply
    • cognospaul

      Hi Stanislav,

      The charts are rendered on the server and sent to the user as an image. There’s nothing we can do to the actual appearance of the chart after it’s been processed. That being a lot more is possible with the new RAVE engine. Which version are you running?

      Reply
        • cognospaul

          In 10.2.1.1 you can start using the RAVE charts in live reports. I’m pretty sure that everything in the charts can be data driven, including the min/max limits and background images.

          Reply
  4. Stanislav

    Hi, Paul ! From tomorrow I’ll start process of install 10.2.1 fix1,2 (Thanx to ZaCo). Mean while I studied write Java script for use Openlayers in Cognos vs Geoserver. The pilot project was successful. Now I’m looking for method call to database (oracle) from Java script. If you can help me?

    Reply

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