What is most valuable?
It's been an extremely reliable solution for me for a very long time. It's quite mature.
If you are a knowledgeable individual, the initial setup isn't too difficult.
There are plenty of very good third-party tools.
The stability is fairly good.
The solution can scale to meet the needs of any project.
What needs improvement?
The issue I have with this solution is the same issue I have with all the products by Microsoft. They depend on many solutions by third parties for too many things, from my point of view. Maybe there should be more basic, fundamental resources incorporated into their products in general - not just this product.
A basic user may have issues trying to install the solution.
There are a lot of patches that sometimes change how one version will interact compared to another.
It would be great if, in the future, we would be able to use numerics and graphics cards. If there already this functionality, they need to make it more publicly known, as I don't see it right now.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been working with Microsoft products for 30 years or so. With this product, I've used it from time to time, when I've needed it. I'm not sure the exact amount of time I've spent with it over the years. It's likely much more than ten years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution, for the most part, is very, very stable. There is one problem in that there are so many upgrades and patches and so on that are critical and must be applied that it makes for a few issues in terms of practical use. I was facing such a very specific problem. The project was functional in an older version, yet the same code was not functional in the newer version. Therefore, to troubleshoot, I used both older and newer versions of the software and had to acquire all the patches for both. There is no clear answer as to why the same code behaves differently within these two APIs. That's a problem. However, it's not really a stability issue.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The solution is quite scalable, and great to use for any project of any size or scope.
How are customer service and technical support?
I only use the solution for my personal use and therefore don't have access to technical support. I can't speak to how helpful they are, or how responsive, as I do not use them. I don't have any practical experience to speak to.
That said, having dealt with Microsoft technical support in the past with other solutions, I can say that, in general, they are very capable and have many experienced people on staff to assist. I've been satisfied with them in the past on other products.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is pretty simple and straightforward for those with knowledge or training. Basic users may have problems, however.
For myself, with so many years of experience with many types of Microsoft solutions, I found everything very straightforward.
It's not that the process isn't intuitive, it's just that, if you don't know what to do or look for, it can become a bit confusing. You must study many new terms and methodologies before you can get around to beginning the process as a completely new untrained user. There may be ways to watch videos online to learn a few tricks and to help you visualize the process.
What about the implementation team?
I have many years of experience with Visio and Microsoft, therefore, I can handle the installation process myself.
What other advice do I have?
I primarily use the solution myself for my own projects. I'm a customer and end-users.
In general, I would rate the solution at a six out of ten.
I would recommend this product, however, at the same time, I suggest to everybody to know and practically use several tools, so as to keep up their overall knowledge and skills. For some purposes, it is easier and more reliable to use one tool, and for other purposes, it is more reliable to use another. I do not recommend to anybody globally to work alone with one tool, separately from all the world.