IBM Cognos 10.2 Architecture Overview

IBM Cognos Business Intelligence is designed to address the challenges of enterprise level reporting, analysis, scorecard and event notification.

IBM Cognos Business Intelligence has a multitiered architecture and was designed for scalability, availability, openness and platform independent. Cognos servers are uses industry proven technology, such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and Web Services Definition Language (WSDL). For this reason, IBM Cognos BI can integrate with and leverage your existing technology infrastructure on multiple platforms.

IBM Cognos BI architecture has a common dispatcher and supports leading relational databases as well as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) and dimensionally modeled relational cubes. Cognos BI architectures ensure dynamic load balancing and provide failover recovery for continuous operation. It provides single point of web based delegated administration and it is fully open to third party products custom development.

IBM Cognos Data Manager

IBM Cognos BI also includes Data Manager and it is an ETL tool to extract data from source systems and data files, transform the data, and load it into a data warehouse.

Multitiered Cognos BI Architecture:

User Interface Applications:

Cognos has several Web / Windows based user interface applications and below has the all the user interface applications.

The interfaces that are available to users depend on user permissions and on the IBM Cognos BI packages that your organization purchased.

Tier-1: Web Server – IBM Cognos BI Gateways

IBM Cognos BI Web server tier contains one or more IBM Cognos BI gateways. Web communication in IBM Cognos Business Intelligence is typically through gateways, which reside on one or more Web servers. A gateway is an extension of a Web server program that transfers information from the Web server to another server.

IBM Cognos BI supports several types of Web gateways, including
• ISAPI – ISAPI can be used for the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Web server. It delivers faster performance for IIS.
• Apache_mod – You can use an apache_mod gateway with the Apache Web server.
• Servlet – If Web server infrastructure supports servlets or you are using an application server, you can use a servlet gateway.
• CGI – The default gateway, CGI can be used for all supported Web servers but should not be used in a production environment.

Tier-2: Applications – IBM Cognos BI Servers

Applications tier contains one or more IBM Cognos BI servers. Cognos BI server also renders the IBM
Cognos Connection and Metric Studio interfaces.
• Application Tier Components, which include a dispatcher, that operates services and routes requests
• Content Manager, which manages IBM Cognos BI information

Tier-3: Data Tier – Content Providers

IBM Cognos BI data tier contains Content Store, Data Sources and Metric Store.
Content Store – The content store is a relational database that contains data that your IBM Cognos BI product needs to operate (such as report specifications, published models), the packages that contain the connection information for data sources; information about the external namespace, and the Cognos namespace itself and information about scheduling and bursting reports.
IBM Cognos Content Database is an instance of an Apache Derby database that can be optionally installed and used as the default content store.

Data Sources – The data sources that can be accessed through IBM Cognos BI include relational databases, dimensional or OLAP cubes, flat files, and other physical data stores. Application Tier Components use data source connections to access data sources.

IBM Cognos BI can be used with Enterprise Information Integration (EII) products such as IBM Cognos BI Virtual View Manager.

Metric Store – A metric store is a relational database that contains content for metric packages. A metric store also contains Metric Studio settings, such as user preferences.

This post describes high level Cognos Architecture and I will explain each & every part in separate post in detail.

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