I had a chance to watch a Cognos 8.3 demo for evaluvation purposes. The Cognos Team had created a prototype cube for the demo. Having worked with Cognos for nearly 4 years at my previous assignment, this version of Cognos was completely new to me.
The version that I worked before Cognos EP Series 7. The latest version is Cognos 8.3 and there has been fundamanetal changes made to the UI as well as the architecture.
Here are some of the key improvements that I think are striking
- Metadata management has improved significantly. Instead of metadata being stored as a file, like the previous version(catalogs), they are now stored in the database, just like how Informatica stores them.
I wish Business Objects would also make metadata management as seamless as Cognos. File based metadata management will hit the file size limitations and then they cannot grow anymore.
- The client application’s UI has become simple and helps in faster authoring of reports.
- Their web interface is very intutive. With drill down/up capabilities, enterprises can now have business analysts do adhoc queries on the fly.
- Good integration of all the different tools into one big tool. Cognos used to have Impromptu, Powerplay and host of other tools. Now they all work as one Cognos tool. This could potentially make their prices high but it could help the enterprises with one BI tool solution and could also reduce licensing costs from various tools.
- Though I didn’t dig too much into their scorecarding tools, scorecard portlets is a cool concept.
Looks like Cognos 8.4 is at Beta and is expected to hit the markets soon.