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Entrinsik Informer Review: "Informer, not just for Unidata"
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Updated August 19, 2015

Entrinsik Informer Review: "Informer, not just for Unidata"

Score 10 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
4.4.1

Overall Satisfaction with Entrinsik Informer

Informer is a great reporting tool that we use across the entire College. We initially purchased it when our Student system, which is on Unidata, moved to a new user interface and created reporting challenges. Reporting tools for Unidata are a rare commodity. Informer addressed those issues and more. It allows us to report on Unidata as well as sql. Using Informer also allowed us to centralize report writing, where before, each workstation had to have separate reports. Furthermore, Informer allowed us to schedule and email reports using several formatting options, thus allowing us to not set up cron jobs to run them. What I really like about it is that I can create a report, notify the user that it exists and then if they wanted to make changes to it, I can troubleshoot it over the phone and have them look at the report and the results as I am working on it. I've set it up so that users can view the metadata so that they can see what files and fields are available.
  • Security is much more robust than what we had with the standard reporting tools we had. We can secure files, restrict users from certain actions.
  • Scheduling reports has been a god-send. Our users have set up more than 100 scheduled reports to reduce the amount of repetitive tasks they have to perform annually.
  • Having a centralized report storage area allows our users to share reports and work collaboratively.
  • Informer, like any other reporting tool, can be a resource hog. We are working to optimize performance. Some of it is us but I think we can do a better job with it.
  • In the newest release, they have sent better security functionality but I still have difficulty with reports not being tied to a specific session that I can kill manually.
  • If you are already an Informer user, I would like to be able to save the Analytics and schedule them. (See, every time they come out with something neat, we want more).
I don't really have much else to go on, there wasn't anything else that can connect to Unidata this easily and can be up and running without running a data warehouse. With Informer, we have the whole database at our fingertips in real time. A data warehouse has its own issues with timing and server load.
I like the conference. I get to learn a lot there. They keep coming out with new cool things. New functionality, better security, better tools. They are not a huge shop but seem to keep it together pretty well. They respond fairly quickly and address issues efficiently. We have been a client for a long time and we will be for the foreseeable future.
  • Informer has saved countless of user hours just by the report scheduler alone.
  • Informer can query and retrieve data from multiple files and has saved writing and combination of multiple reports.
  • Through Informer, we can write calculated columns, which saved a lot of time where we didn't have to create custom fields in our database.
Go to the conferences. They are great. You can learn a lot from other users. If you are a Unidata shop, I don't know of a better reporting tool. Security is a pain to set up but it can't be rushed nor forced. Make sure you do it right for audit's sake. Make sure the policy making body takes their time to set standards and guidelines to ensure security, access and standardization. This will help your systems administrators create the security and will make it easier to maintain. After using Informer for a year, do a comprehensive review to see what standards and processes should be modified to maximize security and efficiency.

Using Entrinsik Informer