Changing Report Studio defaults

June 18, 2012

Report Studio has a number of annoying default settings, using legacy charts instead of the new and improved ones. While RS should save your settings in a cookie, in my experience it doesn’t always remember them. So instead of constantly changing the settings, I find it easier to change the XML sheet controlling the defaults.

Open ..webcontent\pat\profiles\profile_professional.xml

The file is unfortunately sparse. Most of the settings I change don’t appear. Fortunately, we can guess at them.

Unsetting the legacy charts is easy:

<setting name="UseLegacyCharting" defaultValue="false"/>

When working with dimensional data, Cognos has a nasty habit of aliasing MUNs. You drag a MUN into an exxpression and instead of showing you the full value ([Cube].[Dim].[Hier].[Level]->[all].[whatever]) it aliases it to [whatever] and creates a new data item on the report. To turn that off add the following line:

<setting name="AliasMUNs" defaultValue="false"/>

Also when working with dimensional data, if you drag in a member, or level or a set, it will create what’s called an “extended data item”. Once it’s created, you can’t modify it. To disable that behaviour on an existing report go to File->Report Properties-> uncheck Always create extended data items. Add the following line to disable it by default.

<setting name="CreateExtendedDataItemsForNewReports" defaultValue="false"/>

Animated windows annoy me as I’m often connecting remotely to help developers:

<setting name="EnableAnimation" defaultValue="false"/>

While I like the new charts, the preview is annoying:

<setting name="DisableDesignViewChartPreview" defaultValue="false"/>

The following settings are normally hidden. They may be hidden for a reason, but I use them constantly and have never had a problem. Maybe they’re features in development?

Another annoyance is the calculated member classes. When a query expression item is dragged into a crosstab, the node uses the class Crosstab member cell (calculated).

<setting name="UseCalculatedMemberClasses" defaultValue="false"/>

When building reports I occasionally need to switch between Page Design and Page Structure. Having to click on View then “Page Structure” takes too long; wouldn’t it be easier if there were buttons on the toolbar like the following:

<setting name="ShowViewButtons" defaultValue="true"/>

Do you use table styles? Do you ever wish you could apply the styles to crosstabs?

<setting name="ShowCrosstabTableStyleOptions" defaultValue="true"/>

The next one isn’t incredibly useful, but nice if you like seeing icons in the property sheet:

<setting name="showLabelSmallIcons" defaultValue="true"/>

Forget the tiny icons, do you ever wish you could have the Business Insight style propertysheet in Report Studio?

<setting name="UsePropertySheet2" defaultValue="true"/>

As always, whenever modifying any Cognos internal file, make sure to back up the original file. You will need to delete your temporary files (remember to uncheck “Preserve Favorites website data”) before these take effect.

18 Responses to “Changing Report Studio defaults”

  1. Robert

    Great stuff!
    Have you found a way to add the Tabular view to the menu bar which was removed in 8.4?

    • CognosPaul

      That is actually what prompted me to go poking through the files in the first place. As far as I can tell the layout of the menu bars is set by JavaScript embedded in rsapp.htm. The file is obfuscated – everything is difficult to read. The file also changes with every version and fix pack meaning any changes would have to be repeated on upgrade.

      That being said, various third party tools do add menu items to RS, so I’m convinced there has to be another way besides modifying the file itself. I just haven’t found it yet.

  2. Kevin

    Paul, great post!

    From time to time I will add an element to a report to aid in filtering and then hide it. If I want to modify that element in the future I have to select View > Visual Aids > Show hidden objects.

    It would be nice if the default for “Show hidden objects” was enabled by default. Any thought where that might be?

    • CognosPaul

      Show hidden is:
      <setting name="ShowHidden" defaultValue="true"/>
      Just paste that under the AdornmentsContainerSelectors row.

      Full list for that menu is:

      Boundary Lines BoundaryLinesOverride
      Repeating PreventRepeating
      Page Header & Footer AdornmentsPageHeaderFooter
      Drag & Drop Padding AdornmentsPadding
      Hidden Objects ShowHidden
      Sorting AdornmentsSorting
      Grouping AdornmentsGrouping
      Source Type AdornmentsSource
      Data Item Type AdornmentsDataItemType
      Drill-Through Definitions AdornmentsDrill
      Table of Contents Entries AdornmentsTOCEntries
      Bookmarks AdornmentsBookmarks
      Master Detail Relationships AdornmentsMasterDetail
      No Data Contents Tab Control AdornmentsNoData
      Repeater and Singleton Containers AdornmentsSingletonRepeater
      Interactive Object Controls AdornmentsAuthoringHelpers
      Container Selectors AdornmentsContainerSelectors
  3. Jay

    Hi Paul – this is a very interesting post and we could definitely benefit from some of these settings.

    The issue I am having is the setting “showLabelSmallIcons” does not work – is there something extra I have to do? Thanks!

  4. nwickeNate

    Great post. This information is hard to find anywhere else. What about the Automatically populate Values List Option in Report Studio in 10.1? Does anyone know the XML to change that to default to No?

      • rcharles

        I am running an instance of Cognos 10.1.1 and modified the file in question and that is not working for me, is there another step that I am missing?

        • cognospaul

          I think that profile_bua_standalone covers advanced, but I haven’t had a chance to check.

          First thing to check. Are you putting the values under RSCustomizations/defaultSettings? In my setup, I have

          between AdornmentsContainerSelectors and ChartTypeConfigList.

          Have you flushed your cache? The browser may have cached the old version. Do ctrl-shift-delete, and remember to uncheck “Preserve favorites”. Hopefully the next time you open RS you’ll see the changes.

          • rcharles

            Thanks Paul, clearing the cache was the missing step.

  5. rcharles

    Hi Paul, does the same file apply for changing the defaults for Business Insight/Workspace Advanced?

  6. BI

    Dear Champ,
    I have created a column chart with 2 data items (id in category axis , measure in y axis). Requirement is to format the measure in HH:MM, i am able to do that and graph is plotted in required format. but Y axis labels are still showing 100,200,300 rather than showin in HH:MM. I have tried data format option but nothing working out. I am able to complete this with legacy chart(bar chart) but not with default chart.I am using Cognos 10.1.1


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