How to configure Cognos for Microsoft Office

This is a Cognos plugin tool that is used to integrate your IBM Cognos BI, IBM Rational Insight or RRDI environment with Microsoft Office so that you can view Cognos reports through Office software. The tool has also been called “Cognos Office” or “Cognos Go-Office” in the past. As of this post, it is called “Cognos for Microsoft Office”.

I have found the best use for this tool is using it with a Powerpoint presentation. Here is an example. Say an employee has a weekly meeting where they present a specific set of slides. The structure of their slides are the same but the data in the reports being shown (which come from Cognos) vary from week to week. So each week, this employee must manually generate the reports via copying and pasting screen shots into the Powerpoint presentation. Its not the most enjoyable task.

However, if this employee installs the “Cognos for Microsoft Office” plugin, then every week, they would simply launch their existing Powerpoint slide deck and click on a “Refresh” button and this will automatically update their existing reports to show the most current data. That is all, in one simple click.

This plugin is a local install, so each user that wants to use it must install it on their local machine, where their Microsoft Office software resides. It is a pretty straight-forward installation and configuration process. Once you have installed the software, here is how to configure it on your local machine. (Please note that I am using IBM Cognos 8 in this example).

1) After installation of the Cognos for Microsoft Office plugin, launch Microsoft Powerpoint and you will find a new tab named “IBM Cognos 8”. Click on this tab.

2) Now, in the “Application” section, click on the IBM Cognos 8 button, then select “Options”

3) Here, specify your Report Server that Office will communicate with. Enter the “System Gateway URI” and give it a “Friendly name”.

4) Click “Test Connection” to verify that your Office software can communicate with your Report Server. If your connection is successful, you should see this message:

5) Now, click “Add” then “Ok”

6) From the toolbar, click “Logon” and select the Report server you just added (in my case, its “My Insight Server”)


7) Login with your Report Server credentials (if applicable)

8) Now, on the right hand side of your screen, click on “IBM Cognos 8 Go! Office” (Depending on your version, you may not see this identical text)


9) You should now see your Report server directory structure in your Microsoft Office Powerpoint application


10) You can now drag and drop your Cognos reports into your Powerpoint presentation

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