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ERO (Optimise2) does not work when Excel spreadsheet's sheet names are named similar and contain space characters or &.

Technote (troubleshooting)


Customer has a very large and complex spreadsheet (for example XLS file) report. When running an F9 refresh (to 'run' the report) they find that the report takes a long time to run. They may also experience an out-of-memory exception.

To solve these problems, the customer implements Optimise2 (also known as "Enhanced Reporting Optimisation" / ERO). For more details, see separate IBM Technote #1347048.

However, when they run the report, Optimise2 does not appear to have done anything (there is no change to the behaviour of the report).


After implementing/enabling Optimise2, the report runs just as slowly as before (no performance increase), and any error messages (such as 'out of memory') remain.

For example, this error may be seen when a larger, more complex Excel report is refreshed:

Standard Error Number: 5

Source: FrangoDirect.ExcelLinkD.FetchValues#ControllerProxyClient
Description: System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapException: Server was Unable to process request. -' System.OutOfMemoryException:
Exception of type 'System.OutOfMemoryException' was thrown


The Controller Excel link uses Microsoft Excel's 4.0 API. There is a limitation in Microsoft API, where it cannot resolve 'named areas' and worksheets if the worksheet name(s) are both:

  • similarly named
  • contain a 'space' character in them.
  • contain a '&' character in them

For example, imagine a scenario where the spreadsheet has two sheets. Their names are:
  • Sheet 1:
  • Sheet 2:

Resolving the problem

Ensure that any spreadsheets used with Optimise2/ERO do not contain 'spaces' in their worksheet names/

TIP: Instead you can use the underscore ('_') character.

In the above example scenario, the solution could have been to rename the sheets to:


Related information

1347048 - What is Optimise2 (ERO / Enhanced Reporting O

Historical Number


Document information

More support for: Cognos Controller

Software version: 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.5.1, 10.1, 10.1.1, 10.2.0, 10.2.1

Operating system(s): Windows

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1365263

Modified date: 08 June 2011

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