Bug: In Cognos 10 new packages don’t inherit permissions

For the past week I’ve been researching a fix to an issue where new packages don’t inherit permissions.

Take the following scenario:

My client has a policy where all packages are saved in specific folders according to the associated project.

All projects are saved in the “Projects” folder with their own specific permissions.

Admins are granted full permission, the project admins are responsible for creating and maintaining the reports, and for granting rights to other users besides the default users for the project. Users are granted only read, execute, and traverse rights. Meaning that they can run any report, but not save anything to the folder. Admins can override this, of course, but that’s their own problem.

In theory, every new item should inherit these settings. Admins can override, but the general practice is to always allow the inheritance. Unfortunately there is a bug in Cognos in which newly created packages overwrite the inherited permissions.

Admins have their execute permissions removed, meaning they can’t run any of their reports, while users have been granted write rights. If the admins don’t notice and fix it immediately, this leaves a big hole in the security.

Fortunately IBM support is hot on the case. There response is that it’s a known issue, but the work-around is to modify the FM.ini file in the configuration directory.

To fix it, backup and open ..cognosc10configurationfm.ini in your text editor of choice.

Find the line

<Preference Name="SetPolicyPackage">FALSE</Preference>

and replace it with

<Preference Name="SetPolicyPackage">TRUE</Preference>

and save the file.

As this is not an XML file, no restart of Cognos is necessary. You probably need to restart FM if it’s open. All new packages will now inherit correctly.

My thanks to the IBM rep who helped me solve it, and to Noam at Libi who opened the ticket for me.