A known issue has arisen in the latest versions of IBM Cognos Planning when installing on 64bit servers as detailed here: https://www-304.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21472649. On developing a new production environment in our own infrastructure I was hit by the issue myself, but rather than scrap the 64bit VM I had configured and build a 32bit server in its place, I decided to take things into my own hands and formulated a bespoke fix.

The issue I’m referring to particularly affects terminal services servers (e.g. Citrix environments) and is rooted in Windows user profiles. Analyst and Planning Manager (components of the Planning Admin package) will not be accessible for anyone who logs on to the server, apart from the user who installed the Planning environment. Instead, this will happen:

 

So how did I resolve this issue?

First, a source of inspiration from some Google searching (thanks to Microsoft’s support pages and of course to Google): https://support.microsoft.com/kb/284193

Initially the thought was to (either through local or group policy) create a logon script for new users, in order to amend the registry accordingly so that these applications would work. However, thanks to the above article detailing the method of loading the ‘default user’ profile as a ‘hive’ in the registry (by opening the NTUSER.DAT in the default user profile folder), I realised that a script/policy amendment shouldn’t be necessary. Instead, all I should have to do, in theory, is amend the registry keys in the default user’s NTUSER.DAT file (or hive) so that these will automatically appear in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry tree for new users.

First task: export the appropriate keys from the user’s profile under which the environment install had taken place.

 

 

The Cognos key can be added manually as there are hardly any sub-keys / values involved, but the IBM key (at least) should be exported to a .reg file. In this example I have added the Cognos key export to the .reg files manually (the first two lines), so that both keys will be imported from one file.

Next, select ‘HKEY_USERS’ and go to File -> Load hive… then browse to (in this case, using Windows Server 2008) C:UsersDefault and open NTUSER.DAT (NB: you will need to have ‘View all hidden files’ and ‘View protected system files’ enabled in Windows Explorer in order to browse to and select this .dat file). You should then be prompted for a Key Name which can be anything, in my case ‘default‘:

 

(NB: you can see Cognos and IBM keys under Software in this hive as I have already imported the keys – initially these will not be present)

 

The Key Name is important as you will amend the exported .reg file accordingly, so that when importing this file it will update keys in the correct location (the loaded hive). Below shows the export with the Cognos key lines added (planning.reg) and the amended version to update keys in the default user hive (planning-imp.reg), demonstrating the required change:

 

 

This is the only bit of grunt work in the process and it doesn’t take long to change the paths accordingly as there aren’t many sub-keys in the IBM tree.

Once this is completed, simply import the amended .reg file (planning-imp.reg in my case) and you should see the Cognos and IBM keys under HKEY_USERSdefaultSoftware.

Then, with ‘default‘ selected, go to File -> Unload Hive… and answer ‘Yes‘ to the prompt.

Job done! All users will now be able to use Analyst and Planning Manager on the server (unless they have already logged on and had their Windows profile created of course!). So just make sure these steps are taken as a matter of course while installing Cognos Planning 10.1 on a 64bit server (before it goes live) and you shouldn’t have any problems.

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