IDERA ER/Studio Review

The portal enables our entire team to see the model, but licensing and upgrades could be improved

What is our primary use case?

The primary use would be all the data modeling of the enterprise. People can access the data model through the portal: all the modeling and all the data dictionary, column-level documentation, glossaries, etc. We use the portal for maintaining those.

The main tool that we use is IDERA Architect on the team portal.

How has it helped my organization?

Before this tool, just managing the changes and publishing the models to the users became very cumbersome. This tool has simplified our day-to-day tasks a lot.

What is most valuable?

  • Easy to model.
  • Has a user-friendly interface.
  • I like the team portal because, once we upload, the entire team can see the model.

What needs improvement?

Whenever there is a new version, there are a lot of release notes on the technical side of it, but I would like to be told why are we doing the upgrade. For example, we are moving from 16 to 17. What I would like to really see is how this benefits us from the business point of view. What are the real benefits that the user gets? I want some kind of white paper. The release notes describe the technical enhancements but, from the layman's point of view, if someone asks me what are the business benefits of this upgrade, I don't have any documentation to explain it to the business.

I already mentioned this to my account manager. He said they will put me with one of the product development teams to have this kind of discussion.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been some issues with performance, and there are some issues with inconsistencies.

We are also working to upgrade our servers. With more and more model and more and more operators, the check-in and the checkout processes are somewhat slow. Right now it's difficult for us to tell if it is, in fact, a product issue. We are upgrading our servers. We will have to really test it. Right now, if there are more than two or three users using the product, we sometimes face the issue.

How is customer service and technical support?

We bought premium support and so far it is good. The normal technical support is okay; I would not rate it too high. After we got the premium support things were much better. Regarding the last upgrade, they really helped us by walking us through it step by step. That was really good.

We always want to have peace of mind that we can reach them. When we had regular support, sometimes it was very difficult to get hold of them. We upgraded our support to premium, to make sure that we get the proper attention.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. While there is some documentation, we had a live session and the support and product management team really walked us through, so it was straightforward. There are some areas that we do by looking at the documentation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing could be a little bit more flexible. The issue we face is that it is kind of complex the way the keys are set up. I'm not sure if it's by design, but let's say you have to install a product on a test system. You have to get a trial license key, even though you have been a loyal customer for two years. It's just very difficult to again request an additional key and then go through all the setup. It could be much simpler. 

The way we update the licenses is also a complex. I have to register the keys every time. And when we do it online there can be errors so we have to go to the workaround to be able to work on the data. 

The process of licensing could be much simpler, from our experience.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated ERwin and some other products.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good tool but we have not had much training, so we are really exploring it on our own. There are some features we are still working on with our stakeholders to implement. So my advice to other customers who are implementing this product is to really understand the full features of the product and try to implement all the features at the beginning. Get training in all areas of expertise before launching the product. I wish we could have done that from the beginning.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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