Change the IBM Cognos log on screen (Performance Tip)

Ok, I admit, I am bored. So bored that I started to wonder if it would be difficult to change the background of the Cognos log-on screen. I imagine a team of IBM psychologists have spent many useful hours on defining the perfect background that is both addictive, animal friendly, safe and contains the right amount of big blue subliminal messaging. So I am either realy really bored or going a little crazy.  Well in fact it is really easy to do.

change the IBM Cognos logon screen

And this is what you need to do:

If you log on to your (web)server, the background picture in question is located in the following folder: “\installationlocation\IBM Cognos Express\webapps\manager\images” and is called “swoosh.png”. All you need to do is replace that image with another image with the same dimensions and format. That’s it. 

In the process I discovered that this thingy is a good 157kb. So that means if your users are as paranoid as I am (automatically deleting the browser cache and cookies on browser close) that we are talking in the gigabytes per year of useless traffic between the (web)server and the user clients. So I replaced mine with a 80kb comic style black and white background. I changed the original file with GIMP and then ran it with Yahoo Smush.it to reduce it further. 

Above you have seen the result and below you can find the original background that I reduced without it becoming too obvious. I got it from 157kb to 59kb. Click it for the full size file.

change the IBM Cognos logon screen

It is advisable to only do this on your own test or dev environment as there is no security awareness, everyone will see the new background. If you really want to go for lightness you can just delete “swoosh.png”. 

Other great ideas for fiddling with the Cognos background on startup? Share in the comments.

Cognos Service