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IDERA ER/Studio OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IDERA ER/Studio is the #6 ranked solution in our list of top Database Development and Management tools. It is most often compared to erwin Evolve: IDERA ER/Studio vs erwin Evolve

What is IDERA ER/Studio?

IDERA ER/Studio is a powerful suite for business-driven data modeling that enables companies to create an enterprise architecture foundation for data governance. With round-trip support for multiple database platforms, data architects have the power to reverse-engineer, analyze, and optimize existing databases easily from diverse platforms. Data professionals can easily capture and share models, metadata, data sources, and glossaries across the organization for improved alignment between the organization and Information Technology. Organizational stakeholders can take part in the metadata definition workflow and access information on models and metadata at the right level for their needs.

Unlike its competition, it provides the broadest range of data platform support, industry-leading enterprise-level capabilities, visual data lineage and flow modeling, full dimensional modeling for data warehousing and business intelligence, and business data objects to bridge the gap between developers and data architects. It also provides a complete solution for enterprise architecture and data governance, extensive model change management, unique incorporation of true enterprise data dictionaries, unique linking of constructs across models, integrated visual data lineage import, and integrated data and business process modeling.

IDERA ER/Studio is also known as IDERA ER Studio, ER/Studio, ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Architecture Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

IDERA ER/Studio Customers

Newmont Mining, Entrust, Accolade, TalkTalk, Catalina, Protective Life, NTT Data, dir systèmes, Microsoft; American Express, Astellas Pharma, AstraZeneca, Coriant, Fedex, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, Prudential, Wells Fargo

IDERA ER/Studio Video

Archived IDERA ER/Studio Reviews (more than two years old)

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SM
VP Product Strategy, Analytics at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Good resource for designing a database

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is to design our database.

What needs improvement?

This solution needs more precise documentation.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are still testing the stability of the product.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward but we lacked receipt of support from the solution. 

What other advice do I have?

It is a good product but it needs improvement of the documentation process.

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this solution is to design our database.

What needs improvement?

This solution needs more precise documentation.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are still testing the stability of the product.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward but we lacked receipt of support from the solution. 

What other advice do I have?

It is a good product but it needs improvement of the documentation process.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
DK
Database Developer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The data modeling module is very fast, reliable, up-to-date, and easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "The data modeling module is important to me because I am a database developer and designer... It's very fast, reliable, up-to-date, so easy to use, smooth."
  • "IDERA keeps up with the versions of Oracle and SQL Server that I'm using. I mostly use SQL Server and when there are new features, a new type of index, for example, IDERA also includes them in upgrades of the data modeling tool."
  • "The only thing I had an issue with was licensing, and the support was very good."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for data modeling.

How has it helped my organization?

I always work in big corporations, and what I do is relatively small, it's enhancements. The company that I work for has many products and this is just one of them. 

The main benefit is that you can do things fast with it and that's very important. It helps reduce the overall time and meet the deadlines.

Also, IDERA keeps up with the versions of Oracle and SQL Server that I'm using. I mostly use SQL Server and when there are new features, a new type of index, for example, IDERA also includes them in upgrades of the data modeling tool.

What is most valuable?

The data modeling module is important to me because I am a database developer and designer. I also take part in designing applications and that always starts with data modeling. It's very fast, reliable, up-to-date, so easy to use, smooth.

The solution is also easy to explain to others and the graphics are good. Finally, the menu choices are also important. There are a lot of them and they are good.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've not encountered any issues with its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't tested the scalability. I have hundreds of tables, but if you have thousands of tables I don't know how it would work.

How are customer service and technical support?

The only thing I had an issue with was licensing, and the support was very good. They replied very quickly and it was very smooth.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

A long time ago I use erwin. I switched at that time because it became too complicated to use. But that was a long time ago.

How was the initial setup?

No issues with the initial setup.

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

It is priced fairly. It's around the same as erwin and other competitors' costs.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated Microsoft Visio.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend IDERA ER/Studio, but people in my profession are divided by their loyalties. I am loyal to this product, but if you talk to another developer who has been using erwin all his life, that person might say, "Hey, erwin is better." I say ER/Studio is good but in the world of developers, people still have to evaluate things for themselves.

I have no complaints. That's why I've been using it for so long. I rate it a nine out of ten. It's easy and fast to use.

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.
Find out what your peers are saying about IDERA, erwin, Inc., SAP and others in Architecture Management. Updated: September 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Mariya Salamatova
Senior Business Intelligence Developer at a construction company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Database schemas help us understand the logic, the business processes, behind the scenes

Pros and Cons

  • "It's much easier to develop the database structure and change it on the fly, rather than doing it manually in SQL Server itself. That saves time."
  • "The most important features are logical and physical models that we can compare and develop. Also, the Data Dictionary can be created out of your studio. Finally, database schemas help understand the logic that's behind the scene, behind the SQL tables. Especially when there are a lot of them, the schemas help everyone understand the business processes."
  • "when there are some links to the external databases, if this database is not structured it is not uploaded. It gives me errors and I cannot see the view that was created on this structure and I cannot change those views, even manually. It skips the views. I have to ignore those views. I cannot re-upload them because it gives me an error."
  • "I would like to upload, a database with about 3,000 tables. It takes so much time and, finally, it freezes the whole solution so that I actually cannot work with that environment. For the data warehouse, it's fine because I have 20 or 30 tables. It works fine. But, when I reverse-engineer the database with 3,000 tables, it freezes and it's hard to upload and reverse-engineer such environments in ER/Studio."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to develop our data warehouse, it's the core server.

How has it helped my organization?

It's much easier to develop the database structure and change it on the fly, rather than doing it manually in SQL Server itself. That saves time.

What is most valuable?

The most important features are logical and physical models that we can compare and develop. Also, the Data Dictionary can be created out of your studio. Finally, database schemas help understand the logic that's behind the scene, behind the SQL tables. Especially when there are a lot of them, the schemas help everyone understand the business processes.

What needs improvement?

They is a lot of room of improvement. I have emailed and have asked for things but nothing has been done. For example, when there are some links to the external databases, if this database is not structured it is not uploaded. It gives me errors and I cannot see the view that was created on this structure and I cannot change those views, even manually. It skips the views. I have to ignore those views. I cannot re-upload them because it gives me an error.

Another situation is that I need, and I would like to upload, a database with about 3,000 tables. It takes so much time and, finally, it freezes the whole solution so that I actually cannot work with that environment. For the data warehouse, it's fine, because I have 20 or 30 tables. But, when I reverse-engineer the database with 3,000 tables, it freezes and it's hard to upload and reverse-engineer such environments in ER/Studio. 

Those are the two main problems that I encounter today.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any issues with the stability of the product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As I mentioned, I cannot upload the 3,000-table database. It cannot work with that.

How is customer service and technical support?

Overall, technical support is okay. It's fast and usually, within four or five hours, I get a reply.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very easy. Everything was fine during the installation process.

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

I think the pricing matches what we get from the product. It is good value.

Licensing is a bit of a complicated process because there are three different types of licenses and sometimes it's a bit confusing. For example, when we had to reinstall Windows, and they had to contact support so that they reissue the license for me, that was not easy. It would be easier if I had the number and I could use that number for the computer, somehow. It should connect to the hardware, not to Windows. Because each time I need to update Windows, they need to contact support to reissue licenses or switch to another type of license. They mention that there are additional charges for this. It's not an easy process for users. It should be way easier.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I considered erwin software and I compared different functionalities and installed a trial version before choosing this software. I analyzed and found out that this software would match our needs more, in terms of flexibility and the features that it allows us to do. Also, I like that we have logical and physical modeling. We can have two separate environments for different purposes to develop the structures.

What other advice do I have?

Any advice would depend on the infrastructure, but just start using it more and more. It's mainly for developing databases. If you have a smaller number of tables and all of them are relational, you may not need this software. But, if you have a data warehouse that needs to be developed and you need to frequently implement changes to the databases, it will help.

I rate the solution a rating of eight out of ten. I would consider it one of the best solutions on the market.

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.
JM
Database Administrator at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We use the solution to create data models which describe our company's data architecture

Pros and Cons

  • "We use the solution to create data models which describe our company's data architecture"
  • "The solution could be sped up, as it is a little slow (e.g., when it's doing its database compare)."
  • "The screens are a bit outdated. They could use a new look and feel."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for data modeling. 

How has it helped my organization?

We have gone from having no diagrams to 50 submodels that we have been able to share with team members and even with our clients.

What is most valuable?

The modeling part of the tool. We use the solution to create data models which describe our company's data architecture. It is a mix of design upfront when we get changes. We also use the data models after we've implemented changes.

It does help in regards to redundancy with standardization across models.

What needs improvement?

The solution could be sped up, as it is a little slow (e.g., when it's doing its database compare). 

The screens are a bit outdated. They could use a new look and feel. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems scalable. I have had no issues. The solution doesn't differ much whether we are dealing with a small database or a large one.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been fine. I have only used them for licensing issues.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I switched from erwin to ER/Studio. I've also used Oracle Designer, K Studio and Quest Toad.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. I have used data modeling tools for the past 20 years, so it was easy to move from other tools to this one. It is an easy data modeling tool to use.

We have two users at my office who are DBAs, myself included. This solution takes up 10 percent of our roles for deployment and maintenance.

Our deployment time depends on the size of the project.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves.

Our implementation strategy was to generate SQL out of the tools, so I could have scripts, which we could then deploy to other environments.

What was our ROI?

At my previous company using ER/Studio, a database compare took four hours before using the product and 15 minutes after using the product.

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

Pricing is expensive and on the higher-end.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at K Studio, Quest Designer, and SAP PowerDesigner. Until we switched over to ER/Studio, we were still working with erwin.

What other advice do I have?

You will save time, switching from whatever product you're using.

It's the best data modeling tool out there. It's fast. It can do what I need it to do.

We connected to Oracle, MySQL, and SQL Server (as data sources) to this solution.

I have plans to expand the use of the built-in tool functionality. However, I haven't had the time.

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.
MP
DBA at a consultancy with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Enables us to audit production, to make sure it matches what we have designed

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are... those that enable me to represent the database to the development community and the business users."
  • "It would be helpful if they could create a generic JSON database type, as a target database, rather than a specific one like Mongo."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for data modeling. It is the way we communicate requirements, both for gathering and presenting them. We also use it for putting together our metadata and publishing it.

How has it helped my organization?

There are a lot of different ways we use the tool. One of the ways is that we do auditing of what's been billed to production to make sure it matches what we have designed. And it has also improved things in that we have design requirements for the DBA.

Because of all the various things we use it for, it has a high value within the organization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the various features for different databases, but mainly those that enable me to represent the database to the development community and the business users.

What needs improvement?

It would be helpful if they could create a generic JSON database type, as a target database, rather than a specific one like Mongo.

Also, Business Objects doesn't seem to be very stable at the moment, so we've stopped using that.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter stability issues in the past but lately, since they're undergoing the rewrite of their internal system, there is some stuff creeping in. We've had some stability issues in the last six months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support hasn't been as good lately as it was in the past. It is down to "average."

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to using ER/Studio, there was ERwin in-house, but their tech support was horrible, their product was not very good. This was back in the early 2000s, so we switched over because ER/Studio was more flexible. It was able to reverse-engineer a database in under a minute, versus ERwin, which was taking over an hour. That performance was a big issue. Also, early on, and other than in the last six months, Idera's tech support was excellent.

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

I don't know enough about what the pricing is for other choices out there. I've only really worked on this one tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at PowerDesigner, Oracle's native designer, and ERwin. We only did those three, four including ER/Studio. And this tool was, by far, at the time, the better one. Since that time, and now that we have more people in-house, ERwin, evidently, now has more features. I can't confirm or deny that, I don't know because I have never used ERwin. But, at the time, back in 2004, there was a big difference.

What other advice do I have?

I really like ER/Studio personally, so for me, it's a nine out of 10. I like it because it doesn't let you make stupid mistakes - and it's easy to make a stupid mistake. The tool can save you a lot of trouble. The only other tool I used before this was Oracle Designer, back in the 90s. This is way better than that. I haven't used anything else, so I'm a loyal customer.

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.
RK
Asst. Director, Data Management & Analytics at a university with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Given the data we're hosting, the dimensional modeling is very useful

Pros and Cons

  • "Developing new dimensional models; for the data we're hosting, dimensional modeling is more useful."
  • "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."

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 are 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 solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

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.
MG
DBA at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Enables us to generate a physical model from the logical, making it easier to review with stakeholders during model validation

Pros and Cons

  • "One of the valuable features is inheritance when joining tables. When setting up RI and domains and rules, ER/Studio does a lot of the grunt, boilerplate code that would otherwise have to be hand-coded."
  • "When validating the model, the ability to provide sub-models to developers, and generate a physical model from the logical, makes it easier to review a logical model with stakeholders."
  • "The number of options can be overwhelming at times. That is not necessarily a bad thing but for a newbie, it can be daunting."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for building out data models. As the DBA, I am also responsible for modeling the OLTP databases as well as our warehouse. Our databases can have well over 200 tables. Add in the views and we can hit 500 objects pretty quickly. We currently have over 30 databases. Without solid models, it would be impossible to manage all the interdependencies.

How has it helped my organization?

When validating the model, the ability to provide sub-models to developers, and generate a physical model from the logical, makes it easier to review a logical model with stakeholders.

What is most valuable?

One of the valuable features is inheritance when joining tables. When setting up RI and domains and rules, ER/Studio does a lot of the grunt, boilerplate code that would otherwise have to be hand-coded.

What needs improvement?

The number of options can be overwhelming at times. That is not necessarily a bad thing but for a newbie, it can be daunting.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There was one version upgrade, I don't remember which one, that required intervention by the support team, but it was resolved quickly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is very helpful. I have only had to engage with them once, as far as I can remember, during an upgrade. They stuck with me until it was resolved. The initial request was responded to the same day and I believe we had it all wrapped up in less than two working days, from the time I submitted the ticket. Part of that was scheduling a time for them to remote into my desktop. Once they were in, it was resolved within 30 minutes.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used ERwin but the support became very lacking.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very simple and easy.

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

Pricing is on point, but do your due diligence - not every developer needs the tool.

What other advice do I have?

There are a lot of options, so take the time to play with it a bit before you start doing things the hard way.

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.
JC
Database Administrator at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Our developers can now see the relationships

What is our primary use case?

Data modeling.

How has it helped my organization?

The developers can see the relationships now.

What is most valuable?

The reverse engineering is the most important feature. The relationships are also important.

What needs improvement?

When building the relationships there should be a little more flexibility.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is pretty good. They resolve issues right away, I usually don't have to wait too long.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used a…

What is our primary use case?

Data modeling.

How has it helped my organization?

The developers can see the relationships now.

What is most valuable?

The reverse engineering is the most important feature. The relationships are also important.

What needs improvement?

When building the relationships there should be a little more flexibility.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is pretty good. They resolve issues right away, I usually don't have to wait too long.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used a little bit of SQL Server. It has a data modeling tool. I also used some ERwin before that, a couple years ago.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty easy.

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

I feel the product's pricing is a good value.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at ERwin.

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.
JV
IT Specialist at a government with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Helps us identify duplication and non-conformity in our databases and create a more standardized solution

Pros and Cons

  • "We found a lot of duplication, a lot of non-conformity in the way our databases were designed. By identifying these situations, we're able to go back in and try to create a more standardized solution."
  • "We did have a big issue when we upgraded to the 2016 version. The Team Server portion never did quite install correctly, and/or the database was corrupted, and we never figured it out."
  • "Tech support is a sticking point with me. I am really disappointed in the tech support. We pay for the Platinum level. It takes hours to get a response."

What is our primary use case?

We're supposed to be using it for designing new data models, appending and editing data models. We're doing a lot of reverse engineering on our existing databases.

But we have a plan in the works to begin using it as part of our data governance process, something we don't have currently.

How has it helped my organization?

We found a lot of duplication, a lot of non-conformity in the way our databases were designed. By identifying these situations, we're able to go back in and try to create a more standardized solution.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is data modeling, primarily, because it's something that has been lacking in our systems development for 20 years. There was no accountability for data structure.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did have a big issue when we upgraded to the 2016 version. The Team Server portion never did quite install correctly, and/or the database was corrupted, and we never figured it out.

We're in the process of trying to upgrade to the most current version now, and we're starting over with a fresh database. Then we'll move models from the old version to the new version instead of trying to upgrade.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support is a sticking point with me. I am really disappointed in the tech support. We pay for the Platinum level. It takes hours to get a response. We're on East Coast time. I know that most of their support people are West Coast, but it's very common for me to put in a call in the morning, prior to lunch, and get a response from someone after I've gone home for the day. I then come in the next morning and try to connect with that person and, of course, they're not in yet. I've had some really disappointing experiences with support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a hodgepodge of tools. The only one that had previously been used as our "official" tool for a while was Sybase PowerDesigner. It did well, but when we tried to come up with a standard of what we were going to move to, we had some federal employees and some of our contract employees all saying, "Well, I want to use this," and, "I want to use that." We couldn't standardize on anything. We did some market research and decided ER/Studio was the thing to use, and standardized from there.

How was the initial setup?

The first few years, we only had the standalone ER/Studio, without the Team Server, without the Repository. Of course, that was a straightforward Windows install.

When we first got the Repository and Team Server, they were different products. The Repository installed fine, the Team server installed fine. We didn't really have an issue until the upgrade to 2016, where the Team Server was combined with the Repository. Apparently, there was a step in the instructions that was easily overlooked, and sure enough, I overlooked it.

We've got some training coming up. We want to learn more of the features of the tool, things like the Data Lineage and how to use the ETL tools. We bought this great product and we're not taking advantage of it. That's my only complaint.

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

I'm a firm believer that all software is overpriced these days but, comparatively speaking, I think ER/Studio is worth the money.

We have to use the Enterprise License Center, what used to be AppWave, and I hate it. We've got concurrent user licenses for ER/Studio, but we also use it for the Embarcadero RAD Studio. We're in a multi-user environment where we have federal users who work here in headquarters, we have contract users who work in their offices, we have contract users who work from home. In order to get the Enterprise License Center to work, they have to be on our network, at least temporarily, to get the License Center to recognize the software and set up. It's a battle every time, trying to get somebody's license renewed or upgraded. There needs to be a better way.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Sybase PowerDesigner again. I recall at the time they said it wasn't going to be supported anymore, but apparently, it still is. Of course, we looked at ERwin but a lot of people thought the ERwin interface was clunky back then. And at that time, there weren't any freeware or shareware tools that were comparable. So those were the main three options we looked at.

What other advice do I have?

Especially with the Repository/Team Server installation, get Idera to install it for you. Just watch over their shoulder while they do it.

Otherwise, just learn it and enjoy it.

I rate this product at nine out of 10 because it does so much. It's so powerful. The only reason I don't give it a 10 is because it probably has things in it that I'll never use because I don't know how to use them.

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.
CL
Database Designer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Enables us to visually represent what database tables will look like and their relationships

Pros and Cons

  • "We have a database design group of about 15 people. The Repository enables multiple people to work on the same model at the same time. We have fully integrated models, so we have one model for the enterprise data warehouse, one model for MDM, with a lot of sub-models in these things. People work on different parts of the model at different times. So the repository enables us to share the models, and keep track of what everybody is working on."
  • "Valuable features include the ability to visually represent what the database tables are going to look like and their relationships. Also, the ability to document the definitions of the tables and the columns that are in a table so that we can communicate what the data is and how it should be used."
  • "What I would like to see improved is the reliability of the releases, releases that are a little less buggy."
  • "I'd like the ability to debug the errors ourselves instead of having to call them. There are certain types of errors that, I wouldn't say they come up regularly, but when you have an error it is very often the same type of error. Knowing that it's a Type III or Type I, it would be nice to have some kind of debugging facility for us to use to find out where the problem that threw that error occurs. That would be a really cool feature."
  • "We would always like to see Repository performance improve, checking in and checking out."

What is our primary use case?

Data modeling and database design for PepsiCo.

How has it helped my organization?

We were using ERwin before we used ER/Studio. I've been doing data modeling for well over 20 years. Converting from one to the other at the time, ER/Studio was more sophisticated, gave us better functionality, and was more reliable. 

What is most valuable?

The ability to visually represent what the database tables are going to look like and their relationships. Also, the ability to document the definitions of the tables and the columns that are in a table so that we can communicate what the data is and how it should be used.

The Repository, as well. We have a database design group of about 15 people. The Repository enables multiple people to work on the same model at the same time. We have fully integrated models, so we have one model for the enterprise data warehouse, one model for MDM, with a lot of sub-models in these things. People work on different parts of the model at different times. So the Repository enables us to share the models, and keep track of what everybody is working on.

What needs improvement?

What I would like to see improved is the reliability of the releases, releases that are a little less buggy.

Also, I'd like the ability to debug the errors ourselves instead of having to call them. There are certain types of errors that, I wouldn't say they come up regularly, but when you have an error it is very often the same type of error. Knowing that it's a Type III or Type I, it would be nice to have some kind of debugging facility for us to use, to find out where the problem that threw that error occurs. That would be a really cool feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is mostly stable. We do throw errors every once in a while. We don't have a tremendous problem with stability, but we would always like to see Repository performance improve, checking in and checking out.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had any issues with scalability because the product works on individual workstations. We have shared licenses but everybody works on their own workstation. It's only when it goes back into the Repository that everything comes together. So, working individually is never a problem. You just need enough memory on your machine.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support has been good. I have no complaints about it.

We haven't needed to use tech support in quite a while. But when we do, we have to go through whatever their process is, and if we haven't been able to resolve it through the regular process, then we get an individual person that we talk with directly to work with us to solve the problem. They have gotten onto our machines with us. They've been very responsive. They have their standard routine of what they have to do, but if that doesn't solve something, then they will get on with us individually or they ask us to send them the model and they figure it out.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using ERwin back in the early 2000s. Whenever we got a release, it was buggy. I didn't love ERwin at the time and we were looking for another solution. We had ER/Studio and Embarcadero come and talk to us. We got really excited about the tool, ER/Studio. It was going in a direction that sounded like it would be better for us at the time. It had more features that impressed us at the time and it was easy to convert.

How was the initial setup?

It was 15 years ago. I think they came in and helped us when we did the setup. The setup of the tool itself is easy. The issues that we had were related to our environment. The tool is easy to set up but it depends on what your enterprise's architecture is. It's really about the Repository. The standalone workstations are easy. But if you're dealing with the Repository and enterprise architecture that makes it a little bit more complex. Then you have issues and you need their support.

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

I am not involved in the pricing. We have one person who does that. so I have no knowledge of what it is.

We have some individual licenses and then we have a concurrent license. And it's been working fine.

What other advice do I have?

Try to take advantage of as many of the features as you can. It has a wealth of time-savers and features that are extremely useful. We haven't been able to use all of them because we already had so much done. To try and use some of them by going back over thousands and thousands of tables and columns would have been impossible. If you are is just starting with it, if you can take advantage of the Data Lineage and some of the other interesting features that it has, it is definitely worthwhile.

My rating comes from a purely selfish perspective, in the way I use it. For what I do, I give it an eight out of 10. The reason is - and this is partly our fault because we haven't finished, we haven't upgraded to newest release yet - that there are some buggy things in it that we still have to get resolved. For us, upgrading is very difficult because we have so many people, and we have to coordinate with our database people. Our services are now outsourced, so to coordinate things and get everybody on and get an upgrade done is not easy. Obviously, we try to avoid it as long as we can.

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.
PS
Data Architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
The portal enables our entire team to see the model, but licensing and upgrades could be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "It's easy to model and has a user-friendly interface. I like the team portal because, once we upload, the entire team can see the model."
  • "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... 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 way 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."

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.
Larry Wilson
Data Architect at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
We have been able to quickly create models for our enterprise-wide databases

Pros and Cons

  • "We are able to document the data lineage and data flows of our data from one system to another."
  • "We have been able to quickly create models for our enterprise-wide databases, even when some of them are third-party databases."
  • "Modeling with Data Architect: We can quickly reverse-engineer a database from an existing database or create a model from scratch."
  • "Data lineage tracking: It allows us to identify upstream and downstream systems using data."
  • "I would like to see better documentation/help for the Data Architect tool. Creation of tutorials would be nice, as there are some features which are not as clearly defined as they should be."

What is our primary use case?

To develop an underlying platform upon which to base our data governance program by creating a central repository for maintaining and disseminating logical, physical models for our enterprise-wide databases.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to quickly create models for our enterprise-wide databases, even when some of them are third-party databases. We have been able to then modify those models, breaking them down to make them more understandable. Loading these models into the ER/Studio Team Server repository, it allows us to disseminate this information to the entire enterprise. 

Team Server allows us to further define those models through the use of glossaries and gives us the ability to collaborate as a data governance team to ensure that terms defined provide us a common understanding of our data. We are also able to document the data lineage and data flows of our data from one system to another.

What is most valuable?

  • Modeling with Data Architect: We can quickly reverse-engineer a database from an existing database or create a model from scratch.
  • Data lineage tracking: It allows us to identify upstream and downstream systems using data. This allows us to identify downstream impacts of making changes to data in a particular system, before the downstream systems break.
  • Collaboration features in Team Server: With discussion threads, email notifications, and streams, we can collaborate with team members to make sure that models and glossaries are sufficiently defined to accurately and concisely reflect the meaning, purpose, etc. of our enterprise data.
  • Change management: We can track changes to our data models and tie those changes back to specific tasks or efforts that we identify.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better documentation/help for the Data Architect tool. 

Creation of tutorials would be nice. There are some features which are not as clearly defined as they should be.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user738693
Administrador de Dados at a non-tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Enables creation of multiple automations, improving security and centralization

What is most valuable?

This application does a lot of things, as do competitor products, but the main reason to go with this product was the ability to create many automations, where we can improve our work and our process.

How has it helped my organization?

Organization, security, centralization.

What needs improvement?

The product is pricey.

For how long have I used the solution?

About four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes our version is a little unstable. But I think this problem occurs because our version is old. We are in the migration process to the current version.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Very good. When we need, they respond to us…

What is most valuable?

This application does a lot of things, as do competitor products, but the main reason to go with this product was the ability to create many automations, where we can improve our work and our process.

How has it helped my organization?

Organization, security, centralization.

What needs improvement?

The product is pricey.

For how long have I used the solution?

About four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes our version is a little unstable. But I think this problem occurs because our version is old. We are in the migration process to the current version.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

Very good. When we need, they respond to us quickly.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I didn’t use other solutions in my work, only in tests.

How was the initial setup?

A support member in my company helped with the initial installation.

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

The product can have a high price.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes. erwin and ePower.

What other advice do I have?

Talk with other people before purchasing to learn about their experience with the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Database Architect at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Although it allows for many different options for what can be displayed on the model, it would be nice if they allowed entity objects (attributes, indexes, keys...) as well as the textual definition.

What is most valuable?

The ability to define a set of domain definitions and group them in folders is a valuable feature. There is also a Macro (VB script) feature that allows you to automate many features that can save a lot of time.

What needs improvement?

Although the tool allows for many different options as far as the what can be displayed on the model, it would be nice if they allowed for entity objects (attributes, indexes, keys, etc.) as well as the textual definition of the object. The current design only allows one or the other. I like to have a little verbiage on each entity included in the model that describes it purpose, this is allowed in the tool but you can't show both the entity structure and the text at the same time without creating a separate text object and placing the text in it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been personally using this product for 9 Years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment can be complicated with their licensing model. I typically have to call tech support to get the correct files and licensing all straightened out.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The repository which is used to store the models can slow down when multiple models are added. This has improved with later releases but it is still slow at times.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good but they're a west coast company and we're on the east coast and I have to wait until later in the morning before I can talk to a support person.

Technical Support:

Technical support is typically very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I had prior experience with Sybase's Power Designer tool at a former employer. When I came to this company they had other Embarcadero tools and were interested in using a single vendor for SQL Server development.

How was the initial setup?

Installation of the product itself is straight forward although the licensing process is awkward and confusing at best. If you have a workstation license that's not to bad, but we have a WS and 2 different concurrent licenses, which requires a license server set up and getting all the proper installations products requires (me anyway) to contact the support to get the correct files and the correct licensing information.

If you have a repository setup that increases the process even more.

What about the implementation team?

I'm the administrator for our ER/Studio setup for our IT department, we have 5 or so actual users of the tool.

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

Fairly expensive tool and licensing setup is cumbersome.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Sybase Power Designer

What other advice do I have?

It's a great tool for modeling and I'm generally very happy with its features.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Data Analyst at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It is recommended for those with the resources to maintain it.
This review comes from the point of view of a technical tools administrator who is only an occasional data modeller at this stage. We're using Embarcadero Repository Server with ER/Studio, Team Server and the Data Lineage Tool, on in-house servers. Trialled on workstations from 2013 (XE3), first installed in Development server environment in August 2014 (XE5), went to Production in December 2014. Currently up to XE7 in Dev, XE6 in Prod. We installed with onsite assistance, and had a quick and effective response from the development team when the onsite Embarcadero resource requested a workaround for our non-standard MS SQL server port. Licensing for Repository Server is a bizarre chain of: Install Embarcadero License Center on hosting server (only…

This review comes from the point of view of a technical tools administrator who is only an occasional data modeller at this stage.

We're using Embarcadero Repository Server with ER/Studio, Team Server and the Data Lineage Tool, on in-house servers. Trialled on workstations from 2013 (XE3), first installed in Development server environment in August 2014 (XE5), went to Production in December 2014. Currently up to XE7 in Dev, XE6 in Prod.

We installed with onsite assistance, and had a quick and effective response from the development team when the onsite Embarcadero resource requested a workaround for our non-standard MS SQL server port.

Licensing for Repository Server is a bizarre chain of:

  • Install Embarcadero License Center on hosting server (only needed once, at first installation)
  • From purchase order, get login details for Maintenance Delivery Portal website
  • From Maintenance Delivery Portal, get login details for License Hosting website
  • In License Hosting site, give hosting server details, get licence config files
  • Log into Embarcadero License Center, apply server licence file
  • Create user accounts in ER/Studio, give users user licence files

It's fiddly but manageable with a tech to guide you through it, or when referring to your own documentation for subsequent installations/upgrades.

Team Server involves an odd hybrid method in which serial numbers are extracted from Delivery Portal and applied directly to Team Server, user accounts are sync'd from ER/Studio and then granted the right to use a licence seat. We still haven't got team server working. Took several months just to understand the licensing (limited to Repo users, not the read-only free-for-all we'd been given to expect), several more to get models properly sync'd from the repo, and still can't get anything to actually load for those who do have viewing rights. They say an upgrade should fix it, but that's been delayed by repository upgrade problems.

The Data Lineage Tool likewise was a nightmare to get licensed and a nuisance to try to use.

After installation and licensing, the product itself is fairly stable. Larger models make Repo Server a bit slow and Team Server struggle to sync properly. Administration mostly involves adding/removing licences and occasionally re-starting the services, unless something goes properly wrong.

Documentation tends to range from pointless to incomprehensible. It does have specific instructions for various straightforward situations (where's the button that does X?). Information about anything more complicated is mostly absent, vague or contradictory. This goes for both the wiki and the PDF manuals. Careful and thorough reading can make things worse, as some paragraphs appear to contradict each other (and advice from Support). To further complicate matters, the names of products/features/actions are inconsistent - some have changed over time with upgrades and some are internally inconsistent - e.g. the toolbar button and menu item for the same function may have completely different text labels.

Dealing with Support has been frustrating. Recurring problems have included:

  • Responding to very specific questions with vague references to irrelevant documentation
  • Providing internally inconsistent, conflicting or even counter-productive advice
  • Requesting screenshots/troubleshooting tests that have already been provides
  • Not responding at all for a week or two (and only then because we prodded)

However, they've recently been making a good-faith effort to improve this service. They set up a meeting to discuss our specific needs, and what we as a major customer would like to see in upcoming releases. And they set up a conference call to discuss our open support requests and the support issues in general. The only communication lag since then has coincided with the USA's Thanksgiving holiday, which is understandable.

Overall, the product is very powerful and versatile for the task it's designed to do. They seem sincere about taking feedback and improving both product and service. For all the pain of licensing and maintenance, ultimately it's probably worth it.

I can't recommend Team Server as we still haven't got what we paid for. But I would definitely recommend ER/Studio as long as you can afford it, have someone available for ad-hoc systems administration, and are prepared to actively chase up Support requests if necessary.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user341061
Business Intelligence Analyst DBA at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I think ER/Studio Data Architect is priced high, but it comes with user-friendly features.

What is most valuable?

Being able to to perform reverse engineering is valuable to us.

How has it helped my organization?

I used the tool for data modeling, so I cannot say much.

What needs improvement?

It did everything that I needed, and I didn't think about enhancements while using the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for six months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

9/10.

Technical Support:

9/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I did use different solutions that were available with the companies I worked for. I evaluated a couple of modeling tools, as I personally wanted to purchase a product.

How was the initial setup?

Initial set-up is straightforward.

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

I think ER/Studio Data Architect is priced high, but it comes with user-friendly features.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I personally compared it with SAP PowerDesigner when I started using ER/Studio Data Architect, and I think they both are equally good tools.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user324030
Sr. Data Engineer at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
If it natively supports your RDBMS, and you have someone to support the licensed server, it’s a great solution.

What is most valuable?

There are only a handful of ERD features that I’ve needed over the years that ER/Studio DA didn’t support. It’s flexible, intuitive for the newbie and yet supports the complexity required of a seasoned database designer, and offers a clean sophisticated presentation.

How has it helped my organization?

The work of the database architect is complex. ER/Studio DA supports in a single application everything from taxonomy and data dictionary definitions to conceptual, logical, and physical data models, relational and dimensional models, reverse engineering from legacy database structures, merging and comparison between database versions, exporting of ERD images and data dictionaries and DDL from physical data models, and it does so at a reasonable price point for such a polished and feature-rich offering.

What needs improvement?

Things that come to mind that I’ve not been able to do in prior projects include:

  • Support for SQL Server filtered indexes, both a means to effectively represent this in a data model and have it produce the filtered index in the rendered DDL
  • Support for some of the open source RDBMS for reverse engineering and migration

For how long have I used the solution?

I’ve used ER/Studio at various clients since 2008.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

While they weren’t always able to solve my issue (feature limitations not bugs/education issues), when I did reach out to Embarcadero they were always extremely responsive and professional.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I’ve also used ErWin, Powerdesigner, Toad Data Modeler, MS Visio, and Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler. ER/Studio has the features and the price point that is easy to realize ROI quickly.

How was the initial setup?

There were issues with the licensed server, but after that is was smooth sailing.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

What was our ROI?

Within a week of installation I had reverse engineered several existing databases into physical data models with basic data dictionaries and published them on the company wiki. The perception of value was extremely high.

What other advice do I have?

As long as the tool natively supports the RDBMS databases you use, and you have someone that can support the licensed server, it’s a great solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user323538
Associate Director, Enterprise Data Management, Practice Lead for Life Sciences UK&I at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
It provides us with offline availability using TeamServer, but reusability of objects across multiple workspaces is a feature that would help.

What is most valuable?

  • Centralised Repository where all the models are stored
  • TeamServer (Portal) which gives access to the models (read only) through a web browser
  • Entity Llinking Ability across data models
  • Reuse of objects within workspace on multiple diagrams

How has it helped my organization?

The organisation is a huge enterprise spread across various countries, and use ER Studio as a centralised documentation of systems/application architecture repository. This has helped the new application development team in cross-verifying, and understanding, the current setup, proposing and architecting new solutions for the organisation. Since the models are stored in a centralised repository, the process of review/refinement are handled by teams all over the world, who can now collaborate and build a common solution.

What needs improvement?

  • Reusability of objects across multiple workspaces is a feature that would help in building a single enterprise model using linked up workspaces
  • Copy/Paste of diagrams to create copies between workspaces would be a handy feature to have

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We are fully satisfied.

Technical Support:

We are fully satisfied.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use other tools, and we switched because this solution offered us the following -

  1. Stability
  2. A centralised repository
  3. Provision for offline availbility using TeamServer
  4. Entity linking accross modules

How was the initial setup?

As a fresh implementation the setup was straightforward, and clear documentations helped when we were setting up the environment.

What about the implementation team?

We take care off all maintenance/upgrades of the toolset in-house.

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

.Purchase licenses only for the functionalities which the organisation will use.

What other advice do I have?

Make effective use of Entity Reusability for an enterprise level usage.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
ProQuest Development and Quality Assurance Support at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It helped us to make extracts and split databases when we were selling parts of our company.

What is most valuable?

Reverse engineering existing databases. I use the reverse engineering features to map existing databases to understand their structure and make improvements.

How has it helped my organization?

One example is the use of the product to make extracts and split databases, and we were selling parts of the company to other regions of other companies. It made the process more efficient and faster and less costly.

What needs improvement?

I don't have any specific ideas about how to improve the product. I always have the upgrades and every upgrade comes with some improvements and it's good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used both products for over 10 years probably between 10 and 14 years, I don't remember the exact number.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10.

Technical Support:

10/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The previous standard was Your Studio by CA, and I used that until I discovered the alternatives and immediately worked with the standards committee to include it and the standards for the company. I chose this product because it's ease-of-use an excellent support.

How was the initial setup?

Initial set up was pretty straightforward, and it looks for database connections that are already configured on your machine and automatically sets them up once it's installed great feature.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented just my own copy I didn't do it large-scale implementation. Other people within the company use it but it's independent for each user to set their own environment up I didn't have any problems or don't have a particular recommendations for other companies it's pretty straightforward.

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

The initial base price is a little bit high, and my recommendation is that once you've licensed the base, to keep the maintenance renewed because that's a much more reasonable annual cost.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to use the Technical Support they're very good if you've got questions they're always there to help.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user91548
Infrastructure Expert at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
It's our primary means of publishing data models, but it needs to use more modern standard dialogs.

Valuable Features

  • Flexible and complete compare/merge facility
  • Exposure of its automation object model which allows custom programming outside of the product

Improvements to My Organization

It has been our primary means of publishing data models for years. It also houses our product data dictionary, and generates all the DDLs for database modifications.

Room for Improvement

  • Easier licensing
  • It would be nice if we could use more modern standard dialogs, such as file selection

Use of Solution

I've used it for 10 years.

Deployment Issues

It is not easy to deploy in VDI, but that is a VDI problem.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Good, although they don’t always contact you with a solution to problems if they think it’s your problem.

Initial Setup

Setup was not complex for an ordinary desktop installation. Server installation, however, is a good deal more complex. Their portal solution is more complex still.

Implementation Team

It was done in-house.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It is expensive! Licensing requires a subscription to their support site.

Other Solutions Considered

It was selected before I arrived here, but it was evaluated against ErWin. It was the better product at the time.

Other Advice

It is a very robust, industrial strength data modeling product, intended Ideally for very large development projects where a good ROI can be obtained.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user297114
Principal Data Architect at a tech company with 201-500 employees
Vendor
We can run macros on logical and physical model, but registration always seemed difficult and time consuming.

What is most valuable?

Running macros on logical and physical models Compare and Merge

How has it helped my organization?

I am able to create (and publish) logical data models, apply naming standards using macro, generate the physical models and DDL. This makes the development process consistent and clean, improves communication and quality.

What needs improvement?

Product registration always seemed difficult and time consuming.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been a user of ER/Studio for at least ten years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are

What is most valuable?

  • Running macros on logical and physical models
  • Compare and Merge

How has it helped my organization?

I am able to create (and publish) logical data models, apply naming standards using macro, generate the physical models and DDL. This makes the development process consistent and clean, improves communication and quality.

What needs improvement?

Product registration always seemed difficult and time consuming.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been a user of ER/Studio for at least ten years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I've not had to use it in a while.

Technical Support:

I've not had to use it in a while.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used ErWin long time ago but ER/Studio was more likable at the time.

How was the initial setup?

Product registration always seemed difficult and time consuming.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

What other advice do I have?

ER/Studio is a must to have for data modelers.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user285069
Data Management Specialist at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Data Dictionary Bindings is not very intuitive, but there are no stability issues.

What is most valuable?

Repository > Diagrams Security > Security Center Tools > Generate Reports Entity > Notes Attribute > Notes

What needs improvement?

Diagram Versioning is not very intuitive Data Dictionary Bindings is not very intuitive

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not with the current release.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: It's good. Technical Support: It's good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have personally used many modelling tools. My current company standardized on this one.

What about the implementation team?

What is most valuable?

  • Repository > Diagrams
  • Security > Security Center
  • Tools > Generate Reports
  • Entity > Notes
  • Attribute > Notes

What needs improvement?

  • Diagram Versioning is not very intuitive
  • Data Dictionary Bindings is not very intuitive

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Not with the current release.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's good.

Technical Support:

It's good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have personally used many modelling tools. My current company standardized on this one.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team who were good.

What was our ROI?

None the enterprise does not utilize all its capabilities thus, much of the work done is ported to other tools.

What other advice do I have?

If using this tool to support a large team effort, get training for versioning

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user277956
Senior SQL Server Developer at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Vendor
We're able to control check-in's of our onshore and offshore developers while maintaining schema views, but the current version does not properly generate SQL Server-computed columns.

What is most valuable?

  • Reverse engineering physical database
  • Compare and Merge utility

How has it helped my organization?

We have offshore developers/DBA who actively request/implement DDL changes vs. a development database. The changes are reversed-engineered into both logical and physical schemas with generated DDL for source control check-in/check-out and other environment synchronization. With both onshore and offshore development teams working 18x5 days, it is an easy way to control check-in's while also maintaining schema views.

What needs improvement?

This version does not properly generate SQL Server computed columns; future versions do this.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for eight months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It was pretty good once the licensing phase was completed.

Technical Support:

It's good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I am relatively new to this company, but in previous companies I used CA ErWin and SAP PowerDesigner. ErWin is very easy to use, as is PowerDesigner. The latter also provides a free developer viewer tool. At this point, all three products seem pretty equal: I would look at the conceptual model (business process rule) capture/conversion/maintenance with dynamic links to logical/physical ER with data dictionary/MDM capabilities to possibly separate them.

What was our ROI?

Since we are just reverse-engineering existing databases, and not using it for primary design/deployment/communication, relatively low.

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

Review the total number of architects/DBAs who need full access and developers who need to view the model/data dictionary to determine number/types, and whether a stand-alone vs. repository version is needed.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Consultant with 51-200 employees
Vendor
You can compare your models against the database, but the repository can be slow with big data sets.

What is most valuable?

Ease of use It looks good enough Ability to create HTML reports Ability to compare the model against the database

What needs improvement?

Repository causes continuous problems, as it's slow and sometimes crashes. Integration with Active Directory does not function perfectly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you use repository, it can get slow with big data models.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have received answers to issues within a week from a report.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Nope, and I hear that this is the best data modelling tool for data warehouse scenarios.

How was the initial setup?

What is most valuable?

  • Ease of use
  • It looks good enough
  • Ability to create HTML reports
  • Ability to compare the model against the database

What needs improvement?

  • Repository causes continuous problems, as it's slow and sometimes crashes.
  • Integration with Active Directory does not function perfectly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for five years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you use repository, it can get slow with big data models.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have received answers to issues within a week from a report.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Nope, and I hear that this is the best data modelling tool for data warehouse scenarios.

How was the initial setup?

It's straightforward without the repository.

What about the implementation team?

I did everything, from the installation to using it.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partners with Embarcadero.
it_user277026
Senior Consultant with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We can maintain a data dictionary, enforce naming standards, and have a built-in macro facility, but printing ERDs on a plotter needs improvement.

What is most valuable?

Reverse and Forward Engineering are very important. The former provides a facility to generate the overall design from an existing database. The latter allows the user to 'round-trip' changes from the model to a database so as you make changes these result in actual physical changes to the database structure.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows for maintaining a data dictionary, to enforce naming standards, and has a built-in macro facility to make it easier to do complicated, repetitive tasks quickly and easily.

What needs improvement?

The print facility is a little lacking. It can be trying at times to get that perfect ERD printed on a plotter.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using ER/Studio in 2003 - so about 12 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Very good. They're pretty easy to work with.

Technical Support:

Excellent. Over the years as I've had problems with their products I always get the same employee - a great guy who knows the product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've used them all (I think). CA's ERWin is probably the nearest competitor. ERWin works OK, but at that time was $4,500 a seat vs. $1,800.00. It was no contest.

How was the initial setup?

It's very easy to get started. Anyone who can install a software product to a laptop or PC can install ER/Studio.

What about the implementation team?

It was done in-house.

What was our ROI?

We haven't calculated the ROI.

What other advice do I have?

There are only a few companies providing enterprise grade products in this area and Embarcadero is one of three. I think it's the best due to pricing and good overall support. It has the main features needed for this kind of work and is often seen as a leader.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user92238
Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Great product. Tedious implementation and maintenance. Ultimately worth it considering other options.

What is most valuable?

Strong graphic and formatting capabilities which can be used to stylize/classify tables of different uses/purposes. Reverse engineering function is useful in examining undocumented legacy databases. Object creation scripting tool has plenty of useful option with the ability to save configuration sets for consistent database builds. Intuitive user interface provides for quick learning curve.

How has it helped my organization?

Our company designs and builds databases in ER/Studio before other database builds or other development. This provides for identifying potential issues long before any code has been written. Data models are often the basis for functionality discussions between the business, analysts, and developers.

What needs improvement?

The deployment and licensing facets of this product are beyond maddening, requiring even small organizations such as ours to install and maintain two server apps to handle real-time license enforcement and centralized (Tool Cloud) product launching. The documentation is poor and new installations are tedious, to say nothing of the need for network operations resources to maintain the server apps.

For how long have I used the solution?

Nine years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Countless licensing and app launching issues. Support was friendly enough, but that we needed them as often as we did was the real problem. We are a small company with four data modellers. No need for complicated licensing and deployment schemes.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The app itself is quite stable. On rare occasions, particularly where models grew large and complex over time, a model would go haywire and become corrupt or otherwise exhibit abnormal behavior. Luckily we could revert to the previous version from our source control system.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've used Power Designer and ER Win in the past. PD was a decent app, if quirky. I'm not a fan of ER Win. It strikes me as a forgotten app that has been kicked around to too many owners over the years without proper investment in refactoring and improvement.

How was the initial setup?

Complex in that it requires installation of two server-based apps on the network for licensing and centralized launch/deployment. The server requires download and application of license files generated by Embarcadero and manual definition and maintenance of licensed users. On the deployment side, the app distribution server downloads updated versions of apps and serves them to the Java-based launcher app on client machines. This app (end user Java app) was tedious and often an extremely slow performer. We opted for full local install where possible to avoid interaction with the launcher app. Our company has no need for cloud-based application distribution and launching.

What about the implementation team?

Internal network operations team.

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

Over nine years, we have spent approximately $3K-$4K per year on each user (we have five data modelers currently).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

ER Win and two others, although their names escape me as it was nine years ago.

What other advice do I have?

Great product. Tedious implementation and maintenance. Ultimately worth it considering other options.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user92238
Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Great product however their delivery & licensing mechanisms are abysmal
I have been using it for the last eight years, after previously having used PowerDesigner and ERWin. It is a great product, no doubt. Embarcadero's delivery & licensing mechanisms, however, are abysmal. Licensing servers, app distribution servers, sluggish Java apps to launch the actual tools and poor documentation of how to configure and use these requiring repeated CS calls. This is not to mention that there are no slimline versions (read: cheaper) that could be used by smaller companies to do physical/logical modeling for a single platform. I bet this discourages many companies from adopting a design-first approach in favor of only creating data models as after-the-fact documentation on occasion with lesser tools. Perhaps Embarcadero is not interested in anything…

I have been using it for the last eight years, after previously having used PowerDesigner and ERWin. It is a great product, no doubt.

Embarcadero's delivery & licensing mechanisms, however, are abysmal. Licensing servers, app distribution servers, sluggish Java apps to launch the actual tools and poor documentation of how to configure and use these requiring repeated CS calls.

This is not to mention that there are no slimline versions (read: cheaper) that could be used by smaller companies to do physical/logical modeling for a single platform. I bet this discourages many companies from adopting a design-first approach in favor of only creating data models as after-the-fact documentation on occasion with lesser tools.

Perhaps Embarcadero is not interested in anything smaller than the full enterprise market?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user91548
Infrastructure Expert at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Huge advantage is that it gives you full access to its automation model.
What has proven to be a HUGE advantage of ER/Studio that was not really evaluated at the time we chose it is that it gives you full access to its automation model. This allows it to be controlled through code (VBA) in programs like MS Access. One reason this is helpful is that we work with huge models of around 1500 entities, 1500 tables, and 25,000 attributes and columns. We often find ourselves needing to make mass updates, and this is easily done with code in a tiny fraction of the time needed to do it manually. Another use is we can extract metadata in code and load it directly to an Oracle database (using MS Access) to publish for developers on the other side of the planet.

What has proven to be a HUGE advantage of ER/Studio that was not really evaluated at the time we chose it is that it gives you full access to its automation model. This allows it to be controlled through code (VBA) in programs like MS Access. One reason this is helpful is that we work with huge models of around 1500 entities, 1500 tables, and 25,000 attributes and columns. We often find ourselves needing to make mass updates, and this is easily done with code in a tiny fraction of the time needed to do it manually. Another use is we can extract metadata in code and load it directly to an Oracle database (using MS Access) to publish for developers on the other side of the planet.

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