Comments within Cognos Report Studio

You can add comments In expressions by using the following

;#/*your comments here*/#;

As with any programming the better documented your report and code is, the easier it is to maintain.

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Automatically Reporting on Previous Calendar Month

This little snippet is used in a filter and automatically looks at the previous calendar month.

cast([Sales Team].[Client Contacts].[Start Date],date)
between
_first_of_Month(_add_months(CURRENT_DATE,-1))
and
_last_of_month(_add_months(CURRENT_DATE,-1))

If the date is left as a timestamp then the last of the month is 2013-04-30 00:00 which means that a client contact that occurs at 9am would not be picked up. Casting it as a date ensures that it gets picked up as expected.

Another option is to add 1 day onto the _last_of_month, but that’s a hack.

The _add_months function can accept a negative number, which turns _add_months into _substract_months.

Formatting an ID Number

This snippet takes an ID number and displays it in the format of 3-3-4 (e.g. 123 456 7890)

substring(cast([Customers].[Account Detail].[Account Number],varchar(10)),1,3)+' '+
substring(cast([Customers].[Account Detail].[Account Number],varchar(10)),4,3)+' '+
substring(cast([Customers].[Account Detail].[Account Number],varchar(10)),7,4)+' '

Its a simple substring operation, withthe account number being cast as a 10 character string