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TM1 10.2 – Introducing CAFE

In this article we are going to introduce to you the new Excel Client for TM1 called Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel (CAFÉ). For those of you that have been using IBM Cognos BI you might think that this is not new and that you might have been using it for years. But it is new for TM1 users because IBM Cognos Analysis for Microsoft Excel is now integrated with IBM Cognos TM1 data sources! And I might add that it looks good too!!

CAFÉ can be used as a perspectives replacement for end-users and possibly in the future it will replace perspectives! It is an excel add in, as perspectives but it looks and feels more modern and updated while perspectives has been static for a couple of years without any significant improvements. One big advantage that CAFÉ has over perspectives is performance. WAN performance has been significantly improved in CAFÉ. All the basic functionality that you expect from a TM1 excel client is there. Like sandboxes, write back and data spreading.

CAFÉ has to modes that you can work. Explorations and Flex Views

Explorations mode

The explorations mode is very intuitive and BI users will feel right at home because it feels like your are working with Business workspace advanced (former business insight advanced).

With the explorations mode you can:

  • Explore data or to create views
  • Drill down, drill up, drag and drop items from the analysis pane
  • Edit the sets that you include in the crosstab or list
  • Filter your data using the context pane
  • Use existing subsets to populate your crosstabs or create new subsets.
  • Create calculated fields
  • Create sets using mdx
  • Convert the exploration into a flex view
  • Contribute to a plan by directly writing back values or use excel formulas or spread values across the crosstab
  • Use Excel charts

Flex Views mode

The Flex Views feels closer to perspectives. You cannot use it to explore data but to create highly customisable reports. In the Flex Views mode you can:

  • Drag and drop multiple pre-made views from the analysis pane or use a flex view created from the explorations mode. You can also use views from different cubes in the same sheet.
  • Use the dimension tree in the analysis pane to drag and drop items into the columns or rows
  • If you know the member names you can directly type them in the rows or columns and café will get the values
  • In this mode you can use excel formulas to create calculations
  • Use excel charts
  • Have multiple views in one excel sheet and you can use excel references to connect them
  • Contribute to a plan by directly writing back values or use excel formulas or spread values across the crosstab


Finally, for experienced users, it comes with its own API that you can use to automate the refreshing or publishing of workbook, document, and presentation content. You can also create VBA macros or use a scheduling tool to automate things.

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