IBM Cognos Review

I can build prompt pages for on-demand reporting.

Valuable Features

  • Ease of use
  • Reliability of product
  • Ability to build models with Framework Manager
  • Cube build utility
  • Ability to build prompt pages for on-demand reporting
  • Report distribution facilities: ease of providing multiple report outputs and to write those report outputs to the file system

Improvements to My Organization

We use it mainly to augment / replace the reporting deficiencies in the reporting tools that ship with the vendor products.

Room for Improvement

This is an easy one: visualizations. While being able to use them to provide client-side filtering in Active reports is great, they are so far behind the functionality offered in the basic Cognos charts, it is almost laughable that they even offer them in the product. As the legacy charting has all the functionality I need, I know they can see how far behind the visualizations are, but still have done nothing to improve that part of the product. Filtering client side allows me to offer much more data to the client, but without decent charting it is not very useful.

Use of Solution

I have used it for 10+ years.

Stability Issues

I have not encountered any stability issues. It pretty much just runs every day. I reboot the report server maybe once every two months, but it is rarely ever necessary. This is one of the big selling points for me.

Scalability Issues

I have not encountered any scalability issues. I put a lot of thought and effort into report run times. The biggest problems with scalability are usually with concurrency, so I endeavor to limit this.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I rarely use technical support.

Previous Solutions

The organization switched from Crystal Reports to Cognos. Crystal Reports is just a poor version of Cognos in my opinion.

Initial Setup

Initial setup was pretty straightforward. Initially, we had the Content Manager and the report server on the same box, but moving the Content Manager to a SQL server box and having the report server on its own box really helped performance.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I do not like the PVU licensing model. It is nice to not have to worry about handing out individual licenses, but I feel it is terrible to then be limited to the hardware you licensed at the time. I think it is easier to charge business units for adding new users rather than trying to get a big chunk of money all at once to upgrade the hardware.

Other Advice

Spend a lot of time on your data model and then the Framework Manager model before starting any reporting. Also, before starting any reporting, set up report templates both for the prompt page and for the report page. Adding in a table, hidden with a conditional style, to track report changes is a good idea.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 visitor found this review helpful
Advisory Sales Asset & Facilities Management, Smarter Cities and Internet Of Things at a tech company with 10,001+ employeesConsultant

Thanks for sharing.. do you have suggestions or can you share resources to learn about framework manager and template report ?

What version are you using now ? I Saw version 11, and its really a big improvement in term of visualization.

19 September 16
Orlee GillisConsultant

Irsan, please see our product page for IBM Cognos, which has all of our resources that discuss the solution, including product comparison reviews, Q&As, general reviews, etc.

28 September 16
Cognos Consultant at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employeesConsultant

Report templates can now be created by simply creating a new report in report studio and choosing Report Template as the report type.
I would advise not using images in your report headers. The security setup for the web server can be annoying , they make the PDF versions of reports larger. I just use BOLD text in my report headers for application name and company name.
Adding a report page to the template that is hidden via a conditional style with a test of 1=1 ( which you can always change to 1=2 to see the object ) with a table for report changes works well. You can see the table in design mode but when user runs report they never see it.
I would also recommend putting a table in your report header with two rows of cells for report parameters. If you include them via a layout component reference you can turn on and off the ones you need.

Framework manager documentation comes with the product. The IBM support website also has best practice documents for framework manager.

28 September 16
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