IBM Cognos 8 and SAP BW
One of the advantages that IBM Cognos 8 brings to the table in any implementation is the ability to handle varying data sources. One particularly complex data source that is often encountered is SAP BW. IBM Cognos has invested heavily in this integration, giving SAP customers the potential to significantly enhance the value they get from information stored in their BW instances.
Prior to IBM, Cognos had long touted it’s strategic relationship with SAP. Practically speaking,the alignment that existed could have been improved upon, as optimizing two very strong yet complex tools is challenging. IBM’s recent involvement and influence in the Cognos/BW product direction, armed with their long standing relationship with SAP has been positive. As consultants and implementors, we have seen significant transparency and progress toward a much better, more integrated solution, allowing Cognos/BW customers to leverage more of the Cognos 8 BI capability.
IBM has released a white paper, IBM SAP BW Cookbook for IBM Cognos 8.4 . We feel strongly that having a guide like this will be helpful in getting your internal resources up to speed as well as evaluating existing applications. This is a very detailed resource for those who use, or plan to use Cognos 8 with SAP BW. However, nothing is a substitute for experience, Ironside has consultants who can help guide you down the path to successful implementation of these two complex technologies.
Historically, it may appear that technical integration was the biggest challenge in Cognos / BW projects. We believe that the issues have been typically caused by, incorrect expectations, inefficient data structures, and inexperienced resources. All of which can be corrected by applying some basic best practice to one of these implementations.
In my opinion, the depth and transparancy this whitepaper provides should help your confidence level that IBM is serious about supporting BW as a data source.
We have long stressed to our customers the fact that consulting assistance in planning and executing projects using SAP BW sourced data is critical to success. And that Cognos 8 on BW is very different than Cognos 8 on relational. This paper gives a very polished and detailed explanation of some of this rationale, and is reccomended to anyone involved from a technical level, whether you are approaching it from a Cognos or an SAP BW background.