Helping Us Help You - Identifying Your Content Store in TCR

By Shaun Rodger

So sometimes we get a PMR from a customer where they're having problems with their Content Store.  The first question we're going to ask you in this instance is "What database are you using for your Content Store?" 

Now this is an important thing for a number of reasons, the primary one being that if you're running Derby then IBM support won't help you with your issue until you move to a supported enterprise dbase such as Oracle or DB2 (And if you ARE still running Derby, please stop!  You can find more details here - ).

Sometimes, though, we get a customer who isn't entirely sure what database they're using and they need our help identifying it.  This isn't immediately apparent from within TCR so today I'm going to walk you through three ways you can get this information for us.  The first is to use a script that's been supplied by the Cognos team here at IBM.  The "IBM Cognos BI Content Store Diagnostic" can be downloaded from this link here:

Now this collects a lot of information for us.  Specifically it collects the following:

  • Content Store information
  • If Database Connection is established
  • Database Connection URL
  • Driver Name
  • Driver Version
  • Database Name
  • Database Version

So if you can download and run this for us, that would be great!  However, not everyone can do this.  There may be security constraints, problems running the script, issues with the end machine, all of which could mean this script fails or can't be run at all.  In that case there's a couple of other ways to get the information we need.

The second way is to go into your Cognos Configuration GUI and then navigate to the following location -

Data Access > Content Manager > Content Store 

And right there you will see the Type of the database.  Here's a quick screenshot showing you what it will look like -



But let's say that  you don't have access to Cognos Configuration, or you don't have an X-Server available to launch the GUI or it's simply not working for some other reason!  Then there is one last way for us to get the information and that's for you to look at your "cogstartup.xml" file.  You can open this up with any regular text editor and then you need to look through it until you find the field that discusses your Content Store settings.  It will have text like this:

      <!-- database: Specifies the database type for the content store.  -->
      <!-- You cannot change the value of this property. It is automatically set when you choose
           the database type for the content store in the Explorer window.  -->


And just beneath that should be an entry like this:

 <crn:instance name="IBM Cognos Content Store" class="Derby"> 


<crn:instance name="IBM DB2 Content Store" class="DB2"> 


<crn:instance name="TDW" class="OracleAdvanced">


And that's the information you need to send to us, any one of these three methods will allow us to move the PMR forward.  Once we know what database you're using then we know if you're supported or not and we can send you the correct troubleshooting steps for your specific environment.   

Hopefully this information will help you if/when it comes time to log a PMR for help with your TCR installation!  Thanks for your time today and, as always, if there's any particular topics you'd like to see more information on, please let me know in the comments below.

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