Cognos Enterprise Reporting
Author: Guenter

August 23, 2007

Posted in all about...,Cognos

It’s already two years ago from now that we first had the chance to gather first experiences with Cognos Report.net.

We love that reporting engine because of its

  • Cutting edge HTML interface for report development and production
  • Simple integration into the web software that we are developing
  • Reporting is on top of a meta data layer. While defining this layer you are able to reassemble all your data even from different databases or cubes into a consistent view on all that data. During this process you can translate different data with the same meaning into an uniform appearance for easy joining and reporting. This is typically true for things like ‘item numbers’ or ‘customer numbers’ if they came from different applications and data sources
  • Multilingual capabilities throughout the product from development to production
  • Availability of two different report development tools. One for power user to compile their own ad hoc reports. And the other one for the IT professionals to get the more complex report work done. Frequently very helpful for the development process is the ability to upgrade the work from the power user tool to the IT professionals tool for further development steps that are too complex for the former tool
  • Easy export of report output into different formats like HTML, PDF, XLS, CSV and XML
  • Ample use of XML. If you are configuring the software or exchanging report definitions you will always deal with human readable XML files.

Meanwhile the product is integrated into the Cognos Business Intelligence Suite and renamed to Cognos BI Reporting. Today the product is fairly mature and some of our team have visited the necessary Cognos training lessons. Now we are working on a project for more than 100 international report consumer. In this project reporting is done from different data sources: A production DB2 data base as well as some other databases and a data warehouse on MS SQL Server.

All of this makes us some kind of enthusiastic about this Cognos reporting tool. Unfortunately the pricing model limits its use to bigger enterprise projects and prevents us from integrating it with public access into our internet playgrounds and sample applications.

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