IBM® Cognos® is a solution designed to address the challenges of enterprise-scale reporting, analysis, scorecarding, and event notification.

The web-based IBM Cognos architecture was designed for scalability, availability, and openness. It uses platform independent, industry proven technology, such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and Web Services Definition Language (WSDL).

As shown in the following diagram, the IBM Cognos architecture is based on a typical three-tiered web architecture that consists of the following components:

a web server

The IBM Cognos web server tier contains one or more IBM Cognos gateways.


The IBM Cognos applications tier contains one or more IBM Cognos servers. An IBM Cognos server runs requests, such as reports, analyses, and queries, that are forwarded by a gateway.


The IBM Cognos data tier consists of the content store, data sources, and the metric store.

IBM Cognos components communicate with each other, and with any additional applications integrated with IBM Cognos, using the BI Bus API. The BI Bus API is an open, documented, SOAP API that supports WSDL, providing platform-independent access to all IBM Cognos functionality.

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