IDERA ER/Studio Review

Given the data we're hosting, the dimensional modeling is very useful


What is our primary use case?

We use it for data modeling.

How has it helped my organization?

When I need a new model, first I determine the sources that should be used, the source database. With a little effort, I create a target table from the source import. The tool then creates the DDL creating the table, the actual physical database.

What is most valuable?

The engineering portion, developing new models, dimensional models, not relational models. For the data we're hosting, dimensional modeling is more useful.

What needs improvement?

I've been an ERwin user for quite some time, almost 10 years. One limitation I have found in ER/Studio is that when you want to make some changes to the table definitions, you have to go item by item. You cannot do it globally.

Another issue concerns defining the foreign keys between the different tables. It is a little more tedious in the ER/Studio than in ERrwin. With ERwin it is direct. We can directly relate to different keys but here it is a little more complicated than ERwin.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

At this point I haven't had any stability problems. It is consistent. I have never had any trouble with any of the models so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Regarding scalability, it only has two options. They should be enough, the relational and dimensional modeling. But we tried to start creating the dimensional model using the relational data that is the source. There should be some flexibility in copying and making changes in the dimensional model.

In terms of the amount of work it can handle, I have not encountered any limitation so far.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. Whatever inquiries I submit, I get a response. I haven't seen any lack of response from the support team.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I used ERwin but it has little problems, such as it's definitely not user-friendly compared to ER/Studio. ERwin's graphical interface is not that friendly.

I also used to use Visio Enterprise Edition but it is not a real, professional modeling tool. For a down-and-dirty job I used to use it and it would give some quick results. Right now, Visio doesn't have any modeling.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is not complex. It is straightforward. If you know modeling, you can really handle it.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is good. This is the first time we are using the tool at our university and people are liking the results. So far, I haven't seen any complaints. I presented the model to the teams and they appreciated the graphical presentation of it and the output.

In terms of actual ROI numbers, we haven't done that much analysis on this tool. We started it in this team about a year ago. Maybe in future, when we start expanding to more than one license, I would be able to provide numbers, but not at this point.

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

I find the renewal fee is a little higher, but as a single user, at this point, I'm not finding that to be difficult. In the future, if we want to increase the number of users, maybe we will have to pay too much. I would have to see the server version. At this point, I'm using an individual Developer Edition. In the case of the server edition with four or five users, I don't know how the licensing goes. As an individual user, the renewal is a little costly.

What other advice do I have?

ER/Studio is good. It is really user-friendly and you can start without much training. If modeling is a technique you know, you're familiar with all the concepts, you can sit with the tool and start doing the modeling. Not much training is needed.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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