What is Report Bursting?

Bursting reports is the technique used to run a report once and divide the results for distribution to unique recipients.


There can be significant performance improvements by using report bursting. For example, if you need to distribute a sales report 50 sales persons with the results separated by the salesman you have two options. You could run the report 50 times filtering the report differently (by salesperson) for each run or you could run the report once and burst the results to each salesperson. By running the report once and bursting the results, the database is only hit once instead of 50 times. If you have a large database with a complex report, only running the query one time can be a huge performance benefit.


Setting up a report with bursting capabilities requires upfront planning and requires more development effort. If you are bursting using email, you need to have a quality list of email addresses in your database and the email addresses need to be able to relate to the data you want to burst on. Additionally, bursting reports can only be implemented with list reports, and is not available for crosstab or chart based reports.

How to Set Up Bursting

There are 4 steps to set up report bursting

1. Define the burst recipients

You will first need to add a query to your report that contains a list of recipients and the data items you want to burst on. For example, if you want to distribute to each person by business unit you may have email addresses and associated business units in your query.

2. Specify the burst groups

Within your report you will need to have a burst group. This is the grouped item that you will break your report on. For example, if you group by Business Unit and used it as your burst key, each user would receive a report with the data for only one Business Unit

3. Set the burst options
Set burst options for the report to indicate what data item to burst on and who the recipients are.
Burst options are set in Report Studio under File -> Burst Options
4. Enable bursting in Cognos Connection
Bursting needs to be set in Cognos Connection prior to running the report
To set the burst options first locate the report in Cognos Connection.
Under Actions, click Run with options.
Click the Advanced options link.
Select the "Burst the report" check box.
If you are distributing reports by email, select the Send the report by email check box.
Report output can be found in the version history for the report.