Passing parameters without refreshing the page

Recently a reader had an interesting problem. Her client needed a prompt page from which they could open different reports. As it stands now, the client needed to select their prompts, hit the finish button, and then click on the links. She wanted a way to skip the second step – select the prompts, and have those values pass in the drill through.

With the prompt API, and a bit of JS, this is incredibly easy.

The first step is to identify the target report. You can get the report search path through the properties. Click on the “View the search path, ID and URL Location” link, and a window will pop up with the path and other details.
1. Get search path

Notice the double quotes? That can potentially cause trouble with the JavaScript, so I recommend using a URL Encoder: /content/folder[@name=’JavaScript Examples’]/folder[@name=’Drill Target’]/report[@name=’Target’] becomes %2Fcontent%2Ffolder%5B%40name%3D%27JavaScript%20Examples%27%5D%2Ffolder%5B%40name%3D%27Drill%20Target%27%5D%2Freport%5B%40name%3D%27Target%27%5D

The example I’m posting will be using the URL Encoded version.

The next step will be the JavaScript:


  var paulScripts = {}
    , oCR = cognos.Report.getReport("_THIS_")
    , gateway = window['oCV_THIS_'].getRV().getCV().sGateway
    , report1 = decodeURIComponent("%2Fcontent%2Ffolder%5B%40name%3D%27JavaScript%20Examples%27%5D%2Ffolder%5B%40name%3D%27Drill%20Target%27%5D%2Freport%5B%40name%3D%27Target%27%5D%0A%0A");

  /* function paulScripts.URLEncode - Paul Mendelson = 2013-10-21
   * Based on the JSONEncode function, this will return the use/display values of
   * a prompt in a format that can be based via POST or GET.
   * usage: 'p_Parameter1='+paulScripts.URLEncode(paulScripts.getControl('MyPrompt'))
  paulScripts.URLEncode = function(promptControl){
    var urlData = '<selectChoices>'
      , aPromptValues = promptControl.getValues()
      , nonRange = []
      , range =[];

    if (aPromptValues.length == 0) {return false}
    for (var j=0; j< aPromptValues.length; j++) {
      var promptValue =  aPromptValues[j];
      if (promptValue.use) {// Non Range value
        nonRange.push("<selectOption useValue='"+promptValue.use + "' displayValue='"+ promptValue.display + "'/>");
      else { // Range value   
        var rangeStart = promptValue.start
          , rangeEnd = promptValue.end
          , start, end, startDisp, endDisp;
        if (rangeStart && rangeEnd) { //has both Start and End (bounded)
          rangeStart.display?startDisp = " displayValue='"+ rangeStart.display+"'":"";
          rangeEnd.display?endDisp = " displayValue='"+ rangeEnd.display+"'":"";
          range.push("<selectBoundRange><start useValue='"+rangeStart.use +"'" + startDisp +"/><end useValue='"+rangeEnd.use +"'" + endDisp +"/></selectBoundRange>")
        else if (rangeStart && !rangeEnd) {//unboundedEndRange
          rangeStart.display?startDisp = " displayValue='"+ rangeStart.display+"'":"";
          range.push("<selectUnboundedEndRange><start useValue='"+rangeStart.use +"'" + startDisp +"/></selectUnboundedEndRange>");
        else if (!rangeStart && rangeEnd) {
          rangeEnd.display?endDisp = " displayValue='"+ rangeEnd.display+"'":"";
          range.push("<selectUnboundedStartRange><end useValue='"+rangeEnd.use +"'" + endDisp +"/></selectUnboundedStartRange>");
        else {
          alert ("Range not set.");
        } // end if
      } // end if
    } // end for
    if(nonRange.length>0) urlData += nonRange.join();
    if(range.length>0) urlData += range.join();
    return urlData.replace(/&/g,'&amp;');

  /* function paulScripts.getPrompts
   * Paul Mendelson - 2013-10-21
   * Retrieves all the prompts on the page and returns the parameter values
  paulScripts.getPrompts = function(){
  //find all of the controls and stick them in aPromptControls.
    var aPromptControls = oCR.prompt.getControls( ),
    prompts = [];

  //loop through the controls - finding the name and values and sticking them into the names array
      if(aPromptControls[i].getValues().length == 0) continue;
      prompts.push(paulScripts.URLEncode (aPromptControls[i]));
  return  prompts;

paulScripts.runReport = function(reportName,reportPath,gateway, prompts){
  var basicInfo = [
          reportName, "toolbar=no,height=200,width=400"
        , 'ui.gateway' , gateway
        , 'ui.tool' , 'CognosViewer'
        , 'ui.action' , 'run'
        , 'ui.object' , reportPath
        , "run.prompt" ,"false"
        , "cv.toolbar" ,"false"
        , "cv.header" ,"false"
        , "run.prompt", "false"

  return cognosLaunchInWindow.apply(this,basicInfo);


Let’s go through the functions.

var paulScripts = {}
, oCR = cognos.Report.getReport(“_THIS_”)
, gateway = window[‘oCV_THIS_’].getRV().getCV().sGateway
, report1 = decodeURIComponent(“%2Fcontent%2Ffolder%5B%40name%3D%27JavaScript%20Examples%27%5D%2Ffolder%5B%40name%3D%27Drill%20Target%27%5D%2Freport%5B%40name%3D%27Target%27%5D%0A%0A”);

We’re defining the variables on the page. Notice that I’m hardcoding the report search path into a variable here. There’s actually no reason to do that, we could put it directly into the function, or put it into another prompt, or even insert it into a table and build a list with each row calling another report.

The gateway variable is pulling the gateway from the report you’re running. Another gateway could be entered here, if needed.

The paulScripts.URLEncode will take a prompt control, process the selected values, and spit out a string that Cognos can use to populate parameters.

paulScripts.getPrompts will look for every prompt on the page, and create an array of the parameter names and the selected strings. This makes updating the report simple – you won’t need to modify and JavaScript when adding or removing prompts.

paulScripts.runReport is the last function. It uses the cognosLaunchInWindow function to run a report in the specified window, using the specified search path, on the specified gateway, with the results of the paulScripts.getPrompts function.

To use it, all you need to do is creating an onclick event like this:

<input type="button" onclick="paulScripts.runReport('_blank',report1,gateway, paulScripts.getPrompts())" value="Run Report 1"/>

And finally, we can test it:

This report was built on 10.2.1, but should work on all versions 10.2 and up.
Passing Parameters Without Refresh (4326 downloads)

Tab Solution That’s Easy to Maintain Without Code – Guest Post

“How corrupting boredom is, everyone recognizes also with regard to children. As long as children are having a good time, they are always good. This can be said in the strictest sense, for if they at times become unmanageable even while playing, it is really because they are beginning to be bored[…]Adam was bored alone; then Adam and Eve were bored en famille. After that, the population of the world increased and the nations were bored en masse. To amuse themselves, they hit upon the notion of building a tower so high that it would reach the sky. This notion is just as boring as the tower was high and is a terrible demonstration of how boredom had gained the upper hand. Then they were dispersed around the world, just as people now travel abroad, but they continued to be bored” (S. Keirkegaard, the Rotation of Crops).

I like writing nifty solutions for Cognos, which look good, work well, and add a necessary functionality. Tabs for Cognos reports (Not Active Reports, where tabs exist out of box) are a great demonstration for such functionality: It’s a necessary functionality, and when done properly, they make a report look wonderful.

However, I get bored doing the same thing over and over. When writing a tabbing solution, the principal is always the same: There are the tabs themselves, which are essentially links to be clicked on, and when clicked, there are the contents which need to be either hidden or shown based on the tab that was clicked.

Every now and again a developer who may not be very well versed in HTML, JavaScript and/or CSS would ask me to add, remove or change a tab, or change the style of a tabbed menu, or any such thing. To me, this is boring, and as Kierkegaard noted, boredom is corrupting – indeed, it is the root of all evil.

What needed to be done, then, was to come up with a tabbing solution that allows developers to add, remove and edit tab contents and tab styles without needing to write a single letter of code. The scripted solution needed to be generalized so that developers would be able to use Cognos built-in features to control all aspects of tabs. In other words, I needed to write a tabbing solution that would be a piece of cake to maintain, leaving me with more free time to get bored productively in Cognoise forums.

POCT (=Piece of Cake Tabs) is just that solution. It requires no coding to add, remove, or edit the content a tab. It allows the user to style the tabs using nothing but Cognos built in features. Basically, once you set the solution up, you never have to open an HTML item again.

Let’s look at the page structure:


Under “Tab Headers” HTML Item, one would simply drop in text items one after the other, each containing the name of the tab (The text that would be written in the tab).

Under “Tab Content” HTML Item, one would create a block for each tab, and drop in the necessary objects for each tab. The uppermost block is the content for the leftmost tab header, and so on – tab headers from left to right, content blocks from top to bottom.

Under “Style” HTML Item there are 3 table cells. One can style them as one wish. The leftmost cell represents how a selected tab would look. The middle one represents the styling of a tab which isn’t currently selected. The rightmost cell controls how a tab looks on mouse over. You can also control the look of the entire tab row, by highlighting the blue table cell where the tab headers are and changing its design to modify the design of the tab row.

And that’s it.

Want to add a tab? Add a text item and a block accordingly. Want to change the content of a tab? Just change the content of a block. Want to remove a tab? Remove the header text item and the corresponding block. And styling is truly piece of cake.

Report XML (10.1) – you can either use that as base or copy the main block and anything in it to any report. This was tested on all Cognos 10.x versions, and should work fine on 8.4.x.

POCT-XML-101.txt (5120 downloads)

Nimrod (Rod) Avissar is a BI Front-End Specialist, with a penchant for specialized UX solutions (LinkedIn).

Checking an “All” option in a checkbox prompt

One of my readers sent me an interesting problem. They need a checkbox prompt in which the top option is “All” and checking on any other option would automatically uncheck the “All” choice. Similarly, checking “All” should uncheck the other choices. Taking it to the conclusion, when checking or unchecking all of the options, the “All” should be checked.

Since they are still on 10.1, I have not used the Prompt API, meaning this should work on all versions since 8.4. To begin, the prompt itself.
check this out

In this case, the prompt is based on the Retailers hierarchy in the Sales and Marketing cube. Other times you might want to add a static value.

The JavaScript itself is not that difficult. The JS will loop through the prompt each time an option is clicked. If the first option is clicked, it will check it and uncheck the other options. If any other option is click it will loop through the prompt, counting the number of checked options and act accordingly. If 0 or all of the options are checked, it will check the first option, otherwise it will simply uncheck it.

When working with Checkbox prompts in JavaScript, the thing to remember is that, for whatever reason, the checkboxes that we see are actually images. To show the prompt as checked, the input needs to have the class “dijitCheckBoxChecked”.

Now the JS:

  * Function: addEvent
  * Author: Dan Fruendel
  * Attachs an event or adds an event listener depending on the browser.
var addEvent = function(element, event, func){
      addEvent = function(element, event, func) {
        element.addEventListener(event, func, false);
        return true;
    else if(element.attachEvent) {
      addEvent = function(element, event, func) {
        return element.attachEvent("on" + event, func);
    else {
      addEvent = function(element, event, func) {
        var oldEventHandler = element['on' + event];
        element['on' + event] = function() {
         //using .apply to pass on anything this function gets.
          if(typeof(oldEventHandler) === "function") {
            oldEventHandler.apply(element, arguments);
          func.apply(element, arguments);
        return true;
    addEvent(element, event, func);

// Cognos form and namespace identifier. Don't touch.
var fW = (typeof getFormWarpRequest == "function" ? getFormWarpRequest() : document.forms["formWarpRequest"]); 
if ( !fW || fW == undefined)   {
       fW = ( formWarpRequest_THIS_ ? formWarpRequest_THIS_ : formWarpRequest_NS_ );
 var preFix = "";
 if (fW.elements[""]) {     preFix = fW.elements[""].value;   }
     var nameSpace = "oCV" + preFix;
function attacher(elm,prompt,clicked){
  var func = function() {
    //if all is selected, zero out everything else.
    if(clicked==0) {prompt[0].selected=true;prompt[0].checked=true;prompt[0].parentNode.className="dijitInline dijitCheckBox dijitCheckBoxChecked";for(var i=1;i<prompt.length;++i){prompt[i].selected=false;prompt[i].checked=false;prompt[i].parentNode.className="dijitInline dijitCheckBox"}}

    //if individual, count number of selected
    if(clicked>0) {var c=0;
      for(var i=1;i<prompt.length;++i){
      //if the count of checked is 0, then set the all to checked
      if(c==0) {setter=false;prompt[0].selected=true;prompt[0].checked=true;prompt[0].parentNode.className="dijitInline dijitCheckBox dijitCheckBoxChecked"}
      //if the count of checked is equal to the length of the prompt, then set the all to checked and uncheck everything else
      else if(c==prompt.length-1) {setter=false;prompt[0].selected=true;prompt[0].checked=true;prompt[0].parentNode.className="dijitInline dijitCheckBox dijitCheckBoxChecked";        for(var i=1;i<prompt.length;++i){prompt[i].selected=false;prompt[i].checked=false;prompt[i].parentNode.className="dijitInline dijitCheckBox"}}
      //if the count is one and less than the length of the prompt then just set all to unchecked;
      else if(c>0&&c<prompt.length-1){prompt[0].checked=false;prompt[0].selected=false;prompt[0].parentNode.className="dijitInline dijitCheckBox"}



var prompt=fW._oLstChoicesCountries;
for (var i=0;i<prompt.length;++i){


EDIT: An eagle-eyed reader noticed that the appearance of the checks are actually slightly different than they are when first rendered. The solution was to put a parentNode after prompt[i] when calling the className. Thanks Sue!

Checkbox Prompt - All option (1256 downloads)