I spend a week coming to grips with SSAS , being accustomed to Cognos DMR (Dimensionally Modelled Relational).
The first 3 days I was impressed, then things slowly started to fall apart:
1. Translations seem only to work properly in the Enterprise version
2. Semi-additive measures are only supported in the Enterprise version.
This makes me wonder what is going to be next?
Are multiple cube partitions feasible with the standard version?
Does anyone have an inventory on differences between standard and enterprise?
To raise some more doubts:
In DMR I can as many descriptive attributes to a level as I want, so a 2 level hierarchy can have a bottem-level with 10 descriptive attributes related to the level. These attributes can be displayed along side the level attribuut. For instance I can display - say - the owner,status and age of a project without storing them as hierarchy levels.
Look here for a comparison of editions: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc645993.aspx
You can have multiple partitions in a standard edition cube, but they cannot be processed in parallel.
I've come of the opinion that you want to use either the BI Edition or Enterprise editions of SSAS. (Of course the BI edition is new to SQL Server 2012). Since Developer is basically the same as Enterprise (but with licensing restrictions), it's not a big deal to develop, but you have to pay the higher licensing fee (for Enterprise) once you move to production.
The only other OLAP/DW product I've used is SAS -- of which I was extremely unimpressed with SAS. Having not used Cognos, I can't speak to comparisons between SQL Server and Cognos.