TIBCO Spotfire Review

This product has enabled staff to easily create reports/dashboards without having to involve a developer in most cases.


What is most valuable?

  • Good data transformation tools.
  • Excellent connectivity to different data sources.
  • Good forecasting and statistical capabilities.
  • Can be hosted or cloud based.

How has it helped my organization?

  • It has enabled staff to easily create reports/dashboards without having to involve a developer in most cases.
  • It has made it easier for users to create their own reusable visualizations/widgets.
  • For more advanced users it facilitates better integration of the languages used (Python, Javascript, etc.) and the tools.

What needs improvement?

  • Spotfire is poor at pixel perfect embedding in a website.
  • It can be difficult to remove the Spotfire branding for embedded pages as well.
  • It is a very expensive license model.
  • DBA is still required for optimization of some report queries and their underlying SQL.

For how long have I used the solution?

We used this solution for four years up to the beginning of 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Ours was a hosted solution with two servers. The main Spotfire server required very few restarts and it was normally down to a user creating a crazy report for millions of rows of data.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not encountered any scalability issues. However, the cost is prohibitive.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is above average. Our Spotfire support was handled by a Spotfire partner who was quick to respond. TIBCO's website does also provide a wealth of information through a knowledge base, community forums, technical block articles etc. They provided a few licenses for a development system so we could test patches etc out before deploying to our production system.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We used Oracle Portal. We switched as the technology was becoming dated and our analysts wanted something they could use themselves with minimal development involvement and to be easy to deploy their dashboards/reports to their users.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't involved with the setup as our IT team did this. They didn't complain about it afterwards.

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

Tibco is an expensive product and although we purchased it initially for a small user group, as usage grew licencing costs meant we had to be very proactive with users who had licences but were not using them. There didn't appear to be any options to reduce the per user licencing costs by changing to a per processor model unless you were spending £1m+.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Tableau, Qlikview, Jaspersoft, Oracle.

What other advice do I have?

  • Tibco brought Jaspersoft recently which offers far better options for embedding/pixel perfect, however they are still in the process of integrating the two.
  • Write your needs down as well as any specific requirements.
  • Get the Tibco Partner to show you a demo against your data.
  • If it's only for a small number of users look at their cloud solution rather than hosted.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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