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General Forum Issues

Effective Forum Participation by griffindm
Posted: 21 Sep 02 (Edited 28 May 03)

These are some suggestions from members for posting in the Cognos Solutions forum. Many of the suggestions are applicable to all forums while some are specific to Cognos Solutions.

Avoid duplicate postings in multiple forums. Try to determine the best forum for your problem or question and post it there. If in doubt, ask. You'll be directed to another forum if necessary. If you don't get an answer in a reasonable time, then post to a different forum.

Usenet and other newsgroups often allow cross-posting of questions or comments by naming multiple forums or groups. While this is allowed, Netiquete indicates that execessive cross-posting is to be avoided.

Tek-Tips doesn't provide the same cross-post functionality but people will often post in multiple forums. The main problem with this is that other members will not know about the duplicate postings unless they visit all the forums. An answer may be given in one forum, another answer in a second forum and so forth. If the discussion was restricted to one thread, it would be easier to follow up, comment and get closure on a discussion.

Use a descriptive subject. Many of us will skip over reading the post if the subject doesn't indicate the question.

Examples of bad subjects headings:

Does anybody know...
Urgent help needed!
Error message
Basic question
)&*#$^)#&^$ PROGRAM won't ...

Examples of good subject headings:

Impromptu crashes with message DMS-GENERAL.
Managing security in PowerPlay cubes.
How to determine if my filter is passed to the database?

Check other available resources. Make an effort to look at the many Cognos resources provided with their products. These are accessable as PDF files created during the installation and provide many useful guides and examples. If you have access to the Cognos web support site http://support.cognos.com/support, try using the knowledgebase available there first.

Use Keyword searches (found as a tab on the top of the forum page) to look in previous forum issues and solutions to see if someone else has had a problem similar to yours, and what the suggestions were. You may also expand this search to other forums easily there, useful for looking at scripting or database issues as well.

Read the forum FAQs submitted by forum members. They can answer many questions. If you have particularlly strong knowledge in a particular Cognos-related area, consider creating a FAQ for others to use.

If an answer exists in a FAQ or a previous thread, youÆll probably be directed to that FAQ or thread rather than repeating the answer in your thread.

FYI: to direct someone to a FAQ or thread, simply type (or copy and paste) the FAQ or thread number in your post, followed by the number 401 (this forum). Add a '-' (no quotes) and a thread number for threads. Examples include:  FAQ401-2137 or Thread401-71396. You don't need to post the shortcut HTML.

No question is too basic. We do expect that you invest some time trying to find the answer yourself, and then if you can't, post your question. There is a lot of knowledge and help here.

Also, Tek-Tips forum members give a lot of credit to those who post questions for whom English is a foreign language. So don't be embarrassed to try.

Be specific. Include the version of your Cognos product and the operating system you are running under because the solution that works in one version may not work in another. The particular database and version, as well as the method of connection (i.e. ODBC or native) can be useful as well.

If you are asking a question related to data retrieval (i.e. filtering, joins, etc),  please post sufficient information so that the forum can easily understand what you are trying to accomplish. A short section of representative data, relevant table layouts, and relational information can be helpful also.

If you are asking a question about an error you are receiving, please report the exact error message, as well as the product that generated it. Telling us you are getting an error is unlikely to result in a useful response. "Impromptu Crashed!!! Please Help." will not get as quick or accurate reply as "DMS-ERROR-GENERAL error in Impromptu 6.1"

Be focused. When posting a question, do not include numerous issues into a single post. Only combine those that have a simple and direct association. This way each problem will receive attention individually, and the subject line can be focused to attract replies from those with helpful tips or advice. If the subject doesn't reflect all the problem details, you may be missing the audience.

Please read the original post completely when responding to a question and try to formulate a response that takes in as many of the poster's issues as possible. In addition, checking the poster's profile by clicking on their name may give you insight as to their experience and background through the number and nature of forums they subscribe to, which may help you when composing your reply.

Please acknowledge answers that help. Sometimes an answer is given but the questioner never replies in any way. It is hard to know if the problem was solved or if the questioner just hasn't seen the answer yet.

If an answer posted in response to your question solved your problem, post a short reply and let everyone which answer worked for you. This lets the person who posted the answer and everyone else who reads the thread know which answer was correct for you. That way other people can benefit from the knowledge base we are building here.

Stars are the best way to provide positive feedback. The Tek-Tips community takes stars very seriously. Members appreciate receiving stars but only when they are deserved.

FYI: You insert Stars by clicking on the area in a post or reply marked as:

Mark this as a helpful/expert post

Post the solution even if you solve a problem yourself and the solution hasn't been posted. That way, all questions will have the solutions. And all of us can learn from others' experience.

Mention the person you are responding to, expecially when you reply to long threads. That way we'll know to whom the post is directed. For example,

cogposter123,

I don't think the solution you posted will work in PowerPlay 6.6. That feature was introduced in Series 7.


Share useful resources. To have other resources or techniques you have discovered for getting more out of the Cognos Solutions forum at Tek-Tips, click on the 'Send a Comment' link below the area to rate the FAQ at the bottom of the screen and I'll review for inclusion into this FAQ.

Give back to other users! Tek-Tips is a peer reviewed information sharing site, not a personal support site. Participation in answering others questions is expected once you have sufficient grasp on the issues to help others.

Much of this has been based on the MS-SQL Server FAQ prepared by Terry Broadbent. Many thanks to him for his excellent suggestions for getting the most out of Tek-Tips.

Regards,

Dave Griffin

The Decision Support Group
Reporting Consulting with Cognos BI Tools
"Magic with Data"
  
www.decisionsupportgroup.com

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