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Cognos Framework Manager, Transformer & Metric Designer

During a recent project of mine, I jumped “head first” into IBM Cognos Framework Manager.

Yes, it is an awesome tool, but where exactly does it “fit” into the Cognos environment? Are there similar or alternate tools that can be used?

I just had to have a quick look!

The Cognos Components






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Okay, so the components of the Cognos 10 BI environment include:

  • Business Insight & Insight Advanced
  • Cognos Connection
  • Cognos Viewer
  • Query Studio
  • Report Studio
  • Analysis Studio
  • Event Studio
  • Metric Studio
  • Admin
  • Framework Manager
  • Transformer
  • Metric Designer

Of all these components, our “modeling tool options” are Framework Manager, Transformer and Metric Designer. Here is some background on each:

Framework Manager

This is a tool for creating business related metadata for use in IBM Cognos BI analysis and reporting. This metadata is then published for use by reporting tools as “packages”, which provide an integrated view of your data sources.

Framework Manager can be used to:

  1. model for predictable results (star schema)
  2. model for OLAP-style queries (model dimensionally)
  3. create one or more business views
  4. add calculations
  5. create and apply filters
  6. add prompts
  7. set row level security


This is a tool for modeling dimensional hierarchies and levels for PowerCubes. You can use Transformer to create a “business organization” of the information in your data sources.

You add dimensional metadata, specify measures, apply custom views, and then create PowerCubes (based on this model). You can than deploy these cubes to support OLAP reporting and analysis.

Metric Studio

This is a modelling tool used to create extracts for use in IBM Cognos scorecarding applications. You can use these extracts to map and transfer information from existing metadata sources (like Framework Manager!) Metric studio can be used to create scorecard content such as:

  1. Watch lists
  2. Scorecards
  3. Strategies
  4. Metric types
  5. Individual metrics


My conclusion is that it is imperative for every Cognos developer to understand what modeling tools are available for use and where they “fit” in the overall environment. Of course, this is a general “rule of thumb” that is true in any profession – “know your tools”.


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Jim Miller

Mr. Miller is an IBM certified and accomplished Senior Project Leader and Application/System Architect-Developer with over 30 years of extensive applications and system design and development experience. His current role is National FPM Practice Leader. His experience includes BI, Web architecture & design, systems analysis, GUI design and testing, Database modeling and systems analysis, design, and development of Client/Server, Web and Mainframe applications and systems utilizing: Applix TM1 (including TM1 rules, TI, TM1Web and Planning Manager), dynaSight - ArcPlan, ASP, DHTML, XML, IIS, MS Visual Basic and VBA, Visual Studio, PERL, Websuite, MS SQL Server, ORACLE, SYBASE SQL Server, etc. His Responsibilities have included all aspects of Windows and SQL solution development and design including: analysis; GUI (and Web site) design; data modeling; table, screen/form and script development; SQL (and remote stored procedures and triggers) development and testing; test preparation and management and training of programming staff. Other experience includes development of ETL infrastructure such as data transfer automation between mainframe (DB2, Lawson, Great Plains, etc.) systems and client/server SQL server and Web based applications and integration of enterprise applications and data sources. In addition, Mr. Miller has acted as Internet Applications Development Manager responsible for the design, development, QA and delivery of multiple Web Sites including online trading applications, warehouse process control and scheduling systems and administrative and control applications. Mr. Miller also was responsible for the design, development and administration of a Web based financial reporting system for a 450 million dollar organization, reporting directly to the CFO and his executive team. Mr. Miller has also been responsible for managing and directing multiple resources in various management roles including project and team leader, lead developer and applications development director. Specialties Include: Cognos/TM1 Design and Development, Cognos Planning, IBM SPSS and Modeler, OLAP, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Forecasting and Planning; International Application Development, Business Intelligence, Project Development. IBM Certified Developer - Cognos TM1 (perfect score 100% on exam) IBM Certified Business Analyst - Cognos TM1

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