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Patrick Mauro

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Adding Single Sign-On to IBM Planning Analytics Local

Posted by Patrick Mauro on Sat, Jun, 01, 2019 @ 09:07 AM

Adding single sign-on capabilities is a great way to get the most out of IBM Planning Analytics Local, whether it’s part of an upgrade, or simply to enhance an existing install – in fact, it is often a business requirement for many clients. Unfortunately, however, the full procedure is not well documented by IBM – while bits and pieces are available, crucial information is often omitted. As a result, many companies struggle to implement the feature properly, if at all.

To help alleviate this problem, we have created a detailed guide on how to properly implement SSO based on our experience, which can be accessed here. This 13-page document includes detailed screenshots, links to any external docs or software needed, code block examples, etc.

What follows is a brief summary of this process – essentially, the configuration consists of three main steps:

  • Install and configure IIS
  • Install and configure Gateway
  • Edit Configurations and Finalize

 Step 1: Install and Configure IIS

Internet Information Services (IIS) is Microsoft’s native web server software for Windows Server, which can be configured to serve a variety of different roles. In this context, it is required in order for the Planning Analytics server software to authenticate users based on Windows account information – so this must be set up first.

Available documentation often neglects to mention that this is a pre-requisite, and does not provide adequate information on what specific role services will be required – our documentation provides all details needed for setup. For additional information about IIS setup, Microsoft’s own IIS documentation may also be of use: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/iis/application-frameworks/scenario-build-an-aspnet-website-on-iis/configuring-step-1-install-iis-and-asp-net-modules

 2: Install and Configure Cognos Gateway

Cognos Gateway is an optional feature provided with Cognos Analytics (also known as BI), and is required in order to communicate with the IIS services and facilitate user log-in. However, as of this writing, a “full” install of CA will not include this Gateway by default, and it is not possible to retroactively add this cleanly to an existing CA install. As a result, this will require a very careful separate install of only the Gateway component, but correctly configured to link to the existing CA instance.

However, even after Gateway is installed, the work is not done. Additional files must also be added to Gateway after it is installed: a group of deprecated files included in the web server install in a ZIP file, BI_INTEROP.ZIP. Documentation for CA will mention this is a requirement for Active Directory – this is also required for Gateway, but needs additional modifications that are not detailed in existing docs. All needed information on these modifications is provided in our guide.

3: Modify Configurations and Finalize

As part of the process above, we have essentially replaced the existing access point for CA with a new one. As such, the final step here is the easiest: going into all the existing configuration files, and making sure all the references are accurate and includes the new URIs, to ensure the system is properly communicating between each of the components.

 Once each of the configurations has been adjusted properly, we should be all set: there should no longer be any user login prompt for PAX, Architect, CA, TM1Web or PAW. That said, we include some additional features you might consider adding to enhance this even further in our guide.

You can access the full 13-page document at this link – but if you have any additional questions, feel free to contact ACG at info@acgi.com, or give our offices a call at (973) 898-0012. We’d be happy to help clarify anything we can!

Topics: IBM Cognos TM1, IBM Planning Analytics

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