Book Image

IBM Cognos TM1 Developer's Certification guide

By : James D. Miller
Book Image

IBM Cognos TM1 Developer's Certification guide

By: James D. Miller

Overview of this book

IBM Cognos TM1 is enterprise planning software that provides a complete, dynamic environment for developing timely, reliable and personalized forecasts and budgets. It is a real time, in memory tool that helps any sized business perform planning, budgeting and forecasting as well as other financial exercises. This book prepares you to master COG-310 certification using an example-driven method that is easy to understand. The IBM Cognos TM1 Developer's Certification guide provides key technical details and background to clear the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (test COG-310) certification exam. This certification book covers all the modules of the certification clearly and in depth. The initial chapters cover in detail the components that make up Cognos TM1 and designing and creating dimensions and cubes. The book then dives deep into basic and advanced scripting using TurboIntegrator and then we learn to understand and write basic Rules. We then learn about the drill-through functionality of TM1, virtual and lookup cubes and lastly Time, and presenting and reporting data
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
IBM Cognos TM1 Developer's Certification Guide
Credits
About the Author
About the Reviewer
www.PacktPub.com
Preface
Free Chapter
1
The Components of TM1

Preface

This book attempts to provide some general information about certification, specifics of the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam, as well as gives a focused review of key material on the topics that you will need to master to successfully pass the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam and earn your certification.

The chapters in this book are based upon the current certification exam topics and each will:

  • Indicate the chapter topic (that it will focus on)

  • Provide detail on the most important information of the chapter topic

  • Show working examples (where appropriate) to reinforce concepts covered in the chapter topic

  • Provide a chapter topic summary

  • Give a two minute drill outlining the key points in the chapter topic

  • Include a self test to help the reader determine his or her mastery of the chapter topic

Certification

Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization—Wikipedia.

As stated on www.technicalcertifications.net:

A technical certification is like a diploma, it's proof that you have the technical expertise in a particular subject area. Much like how you'd get a diploma from a college after you've demonstrated competency in the subject matter, you get a technical certification when you've passed the certification's exam.

Professional certification formally verifies and validates that an individual has met (at least) the minimal requirements for using the tool or technology he or she becomes certified in.

Typically, obtaining a certification will require both an in-depth knowledge of a tool or technology as well as practical working experience with that tool or technology.

Benefits of certification

There can be many benefits of obtaining a professional certification. Some of them are specified in this section.

Self assessment of skills

Studying for and taking a certification exam is an experience that will provide in-depth self assessment and allow you to verify your areas of excellence and skill levels using the various features of IBM Cognos TM1.

An honest self assessment will play a key role in building your confidence to participate in or even lead complicated TM1 projects throughout your career.

Know what you know

Certification testing will allow you to clearly indentify the areas of knowledge that you are (possibly) already an expert in. Again, verifying what you already know is another great confidence builder!

Identify your areas of weakness

Certification preparation and testing will help you identify the area (or areas) where you have the least amount of expertise. These will be areas where you know it is best to acquire additional information and proficiency, before taking on that high-visibility TM1 project that might be coming up.

Resume builder

In today's job market, it has become increasingly advantageous for you to earn and maintain as many credible technical certifications as possible. Passing the Cognos TM1 certification exam lets everyone in the industry know that you are a member of a select group of professionals that have mastered the tool and technology and are ready to perform.

Acceptance and credibility in the Industry

Adding the IBM Cognos TM1 certification to your list of achievements and accomplishments proves to your current employer as well as prospective employers that you take your trade seriously and can be counted on to know how to use the tool or technology effectively, efficiently, and expertly.

Additionally, certification establishes credibility with your industry peers.

Increase overall proficiency with tool

The certification journey (preparing for and taking the exam) can increase your overall level of expertise with the tool and technology— moving you from beginner to journeyman, journeyman to expert, or expert to master.

Improvement of the tool

Your participation in the certification process is a way to take part in the promotion of standards and excellence within the industry.

Prestige

IBM holds the certification of professionals in the highest regard. According to a recent release on www-03.ibm.com/certify/policy:

IBM Professional Certification is a valuable credential. To achieve the status of an IBM Certified Professional requires an investment of both time and money. It is our goal to maintain the integrity and security of IBM certification, as well as the respect associated with IBM Professional Certification. Therefore, IBM is committed to established policies aimed at protecting your investment and the integrity of the program.

The certification exam

As stated on www-03.ibm.com/certify:

The IBM Cognos TM1 Developer exam covers key concepts, technologies, and functionality of the Cognos products. In preparation for an exam, we recommend a combination of training and hands-on experience, and a detailed review of product documentation.

(Note: The previous exam code for this certification was FPM-310).

Exam specifics

The IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam (as of this writing) follows the same format as most IBM certification exams. The following information describes the test itself in more detail.

Length

As of this writing, the certification exam contains a total of 63 questions.

Format

As of this writing, the certification exam is multiple choice and is given electronically.

(Note: it is not currently accessible via the internet. The candidates appearing for the test must schedule an appointment to take the exam at a certified test facility).

Maximum time allowed

As of this writing, the allowed time for the certification exam allows for a total of 90 (consecutive) minutes.

Once the exam is started, time expends and does not stop until you indicate that you are done with the exam (or the total time allowed is exhausted). Once you begin the exam, if you must take a break, keep in mind that the break does not stop or pause the clock, so be prepared to complete all questions on the exam at a single sitting.

As in a written exam, you have the ability to skip or page forward and back during the time allowed.

There is no advantage for taking less time to complete the exam. Therefore, it is advised that you take the time to go back and check over the questions and answers which you finish early. This will also allow you to make sure that you answered all of the exam questions.

Questions that you do not provide an answer for are marked incorrect and will affect your total score. So, do not leave any unanswered questions! Make an educated guess if you have to!

Topics

As of this writing, the certification exam contains total nine topics. Each topic has an assigned weightage — meaning how much that particular topic is worth in the overall certification exam.

The following topics are currently covered on the exam. The weightage for each topic is provided in the brackets:

  • The Components of TM1 (3 percent)

    • Identify components of the TM1 Server

  • Dimensions and Cubes (16 percent)

    • Describe data points and dimensions and how they relate to cubes in TM1

    • Identify a manual process to create each type

    • Describe the use of element attributes

  • TurboIntegrator (TI) (25 percent)

    • Identify uses for TurboIntegrator

    • Identify sources of input for a TI process

    • Identify variables, their types, and how they are used

    • Identify when to enable cube logging in a TI process

    • Describe when to store values versus accumulate values when loading data

    • Identify how to maintain objects created through TurboIntegrator

    • Describe how to troubleshoot TI processes

    • Aside from TI, describe various ways to load data into TM1 cubes

  • Rules (25 percent)

    • Describe the advantages of using Rules versus using TurboIntegrator

    • Determine the target area of a rule

    • Identify the significance of order in rules

    • Describe the use of the DB function in rules

    • Identify ways to optimize rules

    • Identify how to trace a rule

  • Advanced techniques for TI scripting (10 percent)

    • Identify the Advanced tabs in TurboIntegrator and how they are used

    • Describe the differences between the four TI scripts

    • Identify where to apply custom scripts

  • Drill-through (5 percent)

    • Identify different types of data that can be drilled-to

    • Identify the steps in creating a drill-through process and rule

  • Virtual and lookup cubes (10 percent)

    • Identify a lookup cube and how it might be used

    • Describe common uses of lookup cubes

  • Time considerations (3 percent)

    • Identify ways to structure time dimensions

  • Data presentation and reporting (3 percent)

    • Identify techniques for presenting data in a TM1 application

Minimal score required to pass

As of this writing, the certification exam has a minimum passing score of 73 percent. Since, the exam has 64 total questions, to obtain a passing score you need to answer at least 45 answers correctly.

Test languages

As of this writing, the certification exam is currently only offered in English.

Location of exam

As of this writing, the certification exam can be taken at any of the many certified testing facilities throughout the world.

A current list of certified faculties can be found online at www.prometric.com.

Note: Prometric is an organization that offers the most extensive, professional, and secure testing network (our channel) in the world where tests are delivered in over 160 countries in over 7,500 locations.

Sample tests

As of this writing, sample exam questions are available online at www-03.ibm.com/certify/tests/samCOG-310.shtml.

These questions and responses are limited in nature but do give you a very general idea of what the certification exam will be like.

Maximum attempts allowed

Although there is currently no maximum number of attempts for taking the IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam, keep in mind that you will be charged in full for each attempt and no refunds are given.

Training

The IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam requires both competency in TM1 as well as a thorough working knowledge of each of the major TM1 components.

This book should be used as a resource to obtain the core knowledge required to successfully pass the certification exam.

Additional research is left as an exercise for the reader.

Working experience

In addition to core knowledge, it is advised that at least some practical working experience with IBM Cognos TM1 should be acquired. Completing at least some basic development tasks in a real world environment goes a long way in preparing you for the certification testing.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, The Components of TM1, will identify and discuss each of the components of IBM Cognos TM1 that are covered in the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam.

Chapter 2, Dimensions and Cubes, will discuss the most basic Cognos TM1 objects—Cubes and Dimensions.

Chapter 3, TurboIntegrator (TI), will explain the purpose and use of Cognos TM1 TurboIntegrator.

Chapter 4, Rules, will review the information pertaining to TM1 Rules that is important to understand when taking the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam, including the advantages of using Rules versus TurboIntegrator as well as basic rule construction fundamentals.

Chapter 5, Advanced Techniques for TI Scripting, will discuss advanced techniques for TurboIntegrator scripting in regards to the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam.

Chapter 6, Drill-through, will discuss the Cognos TM1 drill-through functionality in regards to the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam. We will go over what it is, how it works, and how to construct an application with drill-through capabilities.

Chapter 7, Virtual and Lookup Cubes, will explain the definition and purpose of both virtual and lookup cubes in Cognos TM1 in regards to the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam.

Chapter 8, Time Considerations, will discuss the importance and use of the time dimension in Cognos TM1 in regards to the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam.

Chapter 9, Data Presentation and Reporting, will identify techniques for presenting and reporting on data in a TM1 application in regards to the current IBM Cognos TM1 Developer (Test COG-310) certification exam.

What you need for this book

Access to TM1 Server and Client software is recommended but not required. It is important to have access to the internet to be able to access TM1 documentation before taking the certification exam.

Who this book is for

This book is intended for someone who has a basic working knowledge of Cognos TM1 and is interested in obtaining a developers level certification.

Conventions

In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "Upon loading of the TM1 Add-In in Microsoft Excel, if no valid TM1 Perspectives license file (.lic) is found, you can only start and run TM1 Client even though you have installed TM1 Perspectives."

A block of code is set as follows:

['Mar 2011'] = 120;
['Mar 2011','Northeast'] = 0;

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "Click on Tools | Add-Ins from the Excel menu bar."

Note

Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.

Note

Tips and tricks appear like this.

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