About Cosmos technology

There are currently two versions of the Cosmos design system:

  • Cosmos React (early adopter version available in Pega 8.6, recommended to evaluate use cases for new Pega applications in 8.7). This is the latest implementation of the Cosmos design system, built on Pega’s new UI architecture.
  • Theme Cosmos (available in Pega 8.6 and prior). This is the previous implementation of the Cosmos design system on Pega’s traditional section-based UI architecture.

While both are implementations of the Cosmos design system, each is different in how it is authored and in level of prescriptiveness.

Cosmos React is built on Pega’s new, view-based architecture:

  • Emphasizes configuration over customization of the UI— enables you to configure business logic instead of building UI from scratch
  • Provides prescribed workflows for users and guided authoring for low-code developers— allows you to build applications fast with pre-made UI designed for productive user experiences
  • Allows you to configure views, instead of sections— enables you to configure business logic and then add a presentation layer to the data, instead of adding logic to pieces of UI

Theme Cosmos is built on Pega’s traditional section-based UI architecture:

  • Allows you to customize skins, sections, and harnesses
  • Available for Pega 8.6 and prior
  • Provides prescribed workflows for users
  • Authored in a mix of App Studio and Dev Studio
  • Emphasizes customization over configuration— allows you to customize UI, but can lead to inconsistent UX and challenges with upgrades

Cosmos React represents a shift in how designers and low-code developers build applications with Pega. Instead of customizing sections, or pieces of the UI, Cosmos React lets you configure views, or entire combinations of data and templates.

With Cosmos React, you no longer start with a piece of UI and add business logic to it after—you do the opposite. You start with the business logic and then apply a predeveloped presentation layer. This lets you build cohesive, efficient applications, fast.

Cosmos React also offers prescribed workflows for users and guided authoring to designers and low-code developers. As a designer of Pega applications, you no longer need to worry about small UI details, like where a button should go on a form. Instead, you can focus on tackling bigger, more important UX issues that your users face, such as the outcomes they need to achieve in their workflows.

We recommend that you evaluate Cosmos React for your use case for new applications in Pega 8.7. Any applications currently not on Cosmos React should stay on their current version. Theme Cosmos, and its predecessor Theme UI-Kit, will continue to be supported for years to come.

Migrating existing apps to Cosmos React will be a managed effort. We will continue to develop guidance and tooling for existing applications to migrate in the future.