Home > Store

Impromptu Startup!

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Impromptu Startup!


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale




  • Copyright 2000
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 528
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-019115-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-019115-1

  • Maximize productivity with Impromptu: Practical tips and tricks!
  • Automate standard reports and create fast, accurate ad hoc reports
  • Master "power user" techniques: drill-through, crosstabs, subreports, and more
  • Covers Impromptu 6.0 — the latest release!

The first complete reference & tutorial for Cognos Impromptu!

If you're one of the 1.5 million professionals who use Cognos Impromptu for enterprise/data warehouse reporting, here's the book you've been searching for! Business intelligence expert, Brian Olah, walks you step-by-step through every technique you need to get the timely business answers you need — in both standard and ad hoc reports! You'll find solutions to your most crucial reporting questions — information you simply won't find in the documentation ! Coverage includes:

  • The Impromptu interface and toolset: a complete, productivity-focused tour
  • Hands-on examples based on the sample Cognos database you already own
  • Tips, techniques, and solutions for today's most common enterprise reporting problems
  • Formatting, filtering, and functions
  • Sorting, grouping, and calculations
  • Step-by-step guidance for automating standard reports

Through hands-on examples, Olah helps you master "power-user" Impromptu techniques — including prompting for results, advanced formatting, drill-through, crosstabs, subreports, and more. If you've invested in Impromptu, get the one book that'll help you make the most of it: Impromptu Startup!

Sample Content

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0130191159.pdf

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with a summary.)


1. So, You Just Bought Impromptu … Now What?

What Is Impromptu? What Kinds of Reports Are Available in Impromptu? Standard or Managed Reporting. Ad-Hoc Reporting. Who Uses Impromptu? Administrator. Report Developer. Report Consumer. Where Can Each Role Find Information? So, Who Should Do What? How Do I Load Impromptu? Loading Impromptu. What Gets Loaded? Create Desktop Shortcut. Differences with Administrator Version. Additional Products and Services.

2. Getting Started.

Opening Your First Report. Start Impromptu. What Just Happened? How This Affects the Report Developer/Consumer. Looking at the Report. Query Data. The Catalog. The Catalog Components. Questions and Answers.

3. Of Desktops, Menus, and Toolbars.

Before We Begin. The Impromptu User Interface. Desktop. Menu. Toolbars. The Status Bar. The Two Parts of a Report. The Query. The Layout.

4. Creating New Reports.

Creating a New Report. A Word about Templates. Let's Create a Report. Before We Run the Report…. Running the Report. Viewing the Report. Saving the Report. What Was Just Saved? Saving Exercises.

5. Formatting a Report.

Before We Begin. Different Ways to Format a Report. Using the Toolbar. Right Click Approach. Format Menu Approach. Formatting Strategies. Basics on Headers. Report Page Header. Column Headers.


6. Filtering.

Before We Begin. Filtering Reports. The Basics of Filtering. Multiple Filters. Dropdown Filtering. Filters in the QDB. Looking Around in the Filter Tab. Creating a Filter in the QDB Filter Tab. Changing Filters.

7. Calculations and Functions.

Before We Begin. Basic Calculations. First: A Basic Calculation. Complex Calculations. A Calculated Column without a Calculation. Finally, Calculations for Strings. Functions. First, A Basic Function. Applying a Function to an Existing Calculated Column. Multiple and Nesting Functions. Other Uses.

8. Sorting and Grouping.

Before We Begin. Sorting. Point and Click Sorting. Sorting in the QDB. Grouping. Point and Click Grouping. Grouping with the QDB. Associations. Be Careful!

9. Totals and Summaries.

Totals and Summaries and Reporting. Before We Begin. Point, Click, and Total. Where is the Total? Totals in the QDB. How It Looks in the QDB…. Let's Do Another One. Smart Summaries. A Final Word on Associations. Other Ways of Adding Totals. Create a Total Using Insert. Calculation. Creating a Total Using the QDB. Summaries: More Than Just Totals. A Complete Totals Report from Scratch.


10. Prompt Reporting.

First, Let's See a Finished One. Under the Hood of the Prompt. Building a Basic Prompt Report. Prompt Manager. Adding Another Prompt and Filter. Debugging a Broken Prompt Report…. Error-Free Prompt Reports. Different Types of Prompts. Type-In Prompts. File Picklist Prompt. Prompts in the Catalog. Prompts in Complex Reports. One More Prompt Tip….

11. Advanced Layouts and Frames.

A General Description of Frames. Frames and Simple List Reports. Selecting a Parent Frame. The Report Body. Select Another Detail Level Cell…. Open an Advanced Layout. Common Frame Properties and Formats. Frame Properties. Frame Format. Specific Frames. Text Frames. Picture Frames. Chart Frames. List Frames. Form Frames. More Objects. Another Example: The Mailing List.

12. Drill Through Reporting.

Drill Through Evolution. How Drill Through Works. What Was My Drill Through Filter? Not Too Bad, Let's Do Another! Filter on a Different Column. Only One Column per Drill Through? How It's Done. View an Existing Drill Through. Create a Drill Through. Test New Drill Through.

13. Crosstab Reports.

Crosstabs: The Basics. When to Use a Crosstab Report? Opening an Existing Crosstab. Open The Report. Overview of Result Layout. Inside The QDB. Creating a Crosstab. Enhance a Basic Crosstab. Summarizing the Crosstab Report. Moving Items around in the Crosstab. Convert a List Report to a Crosstab. Building the List Report. Show the Report to the Boss. Convert to a Crosstab Report. Advanced Calculations. Calculate Button. Advanced Calculations.

14. Sub Reports.

A Sub Report Is…. When to Use a Sub Report? Opening an Existing Sub Report. Building a Sub Report. Get Started: The Requirements. Did You Really Need…. Not Just Linked Together.




Consulting and teaching the Cognos Business Intelligence solution has led me to various companies using Impromptu and many people using its tools over the past few years. Everywhere I went, people were thirsting for more knowledge on the tools. Many have asked if someone has written a book on "this stuff." I would always answer those questions with: "You know, someone should."

The idea for writing this book first came to me while browsing around the Computer section in a local bookstore. I was looking at the latest offerings from the gurus of Data Warehousing. There were numerous books on different databases, spreadsheet applications, and programming languages, but, when I looked for a book on Cognos, I did not see one. A light bulb finally clicked on. "Why would there not be a book about Impromptu?" My search continued to the Internet, to on-line bookstores and still nothing.

Then, in the middle of summer, when most people are playing softball, golf, or working in the yard, I was exploring the option of what it would take to write a book on Impromptu. One thing led to another, and Impromtpu Startup! began.

Brian Olah


Submit Errata

More Information

Unlimited one-month access with your purchase
Free Safari Membership