OBIEE vs Cognos

OBIEE 11g vs IBM Cognos connection 10.2.2

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I’ve been using OBIEE for a while now. Recently, I switched projects and learned what IBM Cognos connection 10.2.2 is all about. The views expressed here are entirely my own. These are the frustrations that I experienced or the features that made me go ‘wooow!’.

The elements summed here can be seen as a result of my intelligence, or the lack thereof! Happy reading!


The good


  • It’s pixel perfect. No more messing with html tables and spaces. (This is a bit more flexible than OBIEE.)

  • There’s more logic in ‘running’ the report than switching tabs (in OBIEE). You can keep showing different versions of your report and you can keep working on the report while you’re running it. No more waiting until that query is finished! OBIEE wasn’t this flexible.

  • The possibilities with graphs are just amazing. You can show several data items in one comprehensible bar chart.


A simple but clear bar chart

The bad

  • Browser compatibility is bad, as in very bad. We once experienced small layout differences running a report on different machines, but identical browser versions. What gives?

  • The creation of a dashboard is very, very basic compared to OBIEE. In cognos, you can show the reports in a folder. That’s about it. No dashboard prompts, no tickers (I never used this to be honest), no simple text fields… nada. This works, but it can be a challenge to arrange all the reports to the preference of the end users.


OBIEE dashboard

The ugly

  • You really need to know where to click to find the properties you need. It can be a puzzle to find the properties you are looking for.

  • Remember to run and save your report view. It’s hard to know what version you’re looking at sometimes (in my case).

  • Again, you need to know where you can find the link to view the tabular data coming from your query. This can be very useful, but it seems like they want to keep this a secret!


The extras

Cognos uses framework manager to configure the reporting layer. Compared to OBIEE, it provides the ability to use a required amount of layers, but most users seem to stick to 3. In OBIEE, this is fixed to 3. I never experienced any problems with that. Adding tables to a physical or business layer works almost identical. No real surprises there.