- Ease of use
- Reliability of product
- Ability to build models with Framework Manager
- Cube build utility
- Ability to build prompt pages for on-demand reporting
- Report distribution facilities: ease of providing multiple report outputs and to write those report outputs to the file system
Improvements to My Organization:
We use it mainly to augment / replace the reporting deficiencies in the reporting tools that ship with the vendor products.
Room for Improvement:
This is an easy one: visualizations. While being able to use them to provide client-side filtering in Active reports is great, they are so far behind the functionality offered in the basic Cognos charts, it is almost laughable that they even offer them in the product. As the legacy charting has all the functionality I need, I know they can see how far behind the visualizations are, but still have done nothing to improve that part of the product. Filtering client side allows me to offer much more data to the client, but without decent charting it is not very useful.
Use of Solution:
I have used it for 10+ years.
I have not encountered any stability issues. It pretty much just runs every day. I reboot the report server maybe once every two months, but it is rarely ever necessary. This is one of the big selling points for me.
I have not encountered any scalability issues. I put a lot of thought and effort into report run times. The biggest problems with scalability are usually with concurrency, so I endeavor to limit this.
I rarely use technical support.
The organization switched from Crystal Reports to Cognos. Crystal Reports is just a poor version of Cognos in my opinion.
Initial setup was pretty straightforward. Initially, we had the Content Manager and the report server on the same box, but moving the Content Manager to a SQL server box and having the report server on its own box really helped performance.
Cost and Licensing Advice:
I do not like the PVU licensing model. It is nice to not have to worry about handing out individual licenses, but I feel it is terrible to then be limited to the hardware you licensed at the time. I think it is easier to charge business units for adding new users rather than trying to get a big chunk of money all at once to upgrade the hardware.
Spend a lot of time on your data model and then the Framework Manager model before starting any reporting. Also, before starting any reporting, set up report templates both for the prompt page and for the report page. Adding in a table, hidden with a conditional style, to track report changes is a good idea.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.