Versatile reporting tool from a company who listens
Matthew Baker | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 23, 2014

Versatile reporting tool from a company who listens

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

4.4.1

Overall Satisfaction with Entrinsik Informer

Informer is used all over campus by numerous departments on a daily basis. It's used mostly to retrieve reports from Colleague, but we also use it on other databases such as our calendar database, to send out weekly and daily reminders to security and campus life employees about what's going on, and Slate, our admissions database. Informer has been a terrific reporting tool, easily retrieving data from different sources.
  • It's extremely easy to quickly put together a report to retrieve data you need. Filters and columns can be easily created, and code can be written in JavaScript to create additional columns. Custom JavaScript functions can be created and then easily used in the code.
  • Links between tables/files are easy to create, and can even be made to link together separate databases. The more advanced users can set up these links, and more basic users can then utilize them easily without understanding any background.
  • Reports can now be exported to share between institutions very easily. When importing a report, it will automatically add any mappings and links you don't have that are needed. Using this feature, you can even copy your entire database mapping to your test database, so all your mappings and links don't have to be manually created in your test database.
  • Filtering could be greatly improved. You cannot filter on columns linked from a secondary datasource, the calculated fields written in JavaScript, and computed columns from Colleague can also be tricky to filter on.
  • Loading of the report lists can be slow and glitchy (though I have been told this will be fixed soon)
  • When reporting on SQL databases, you cannot link a table with an outer join unless you write the entire report yourself in SQL code - a severe limitation that I hope will be fixed soon.
  • Defaults for report prompts would be great
  • When adding mappings and properties, it would be great if you could retrieve a sample of data from the DB to quickly see what the data looks like - helpful for knowing what you want to add.
  • Linking on composite keys in Unidata still seems to be impossible. And the ability to link to a non @ID field in Unidata would be great.
  • Informer has certainly increased employee efficiency, as well improved organization by having reports easily found and launched. Reports that had to be manually ran and emailed can now be scheduled to run automatically.
  • Business Objects SRC,Tableau Desktop
Informer is not as advanced as Business Objects or Tableau, and we have had to use Tableau at times with reports that used a lot of aggregation, but the simplicity is often a strong suit of Informer, allowing users without programming experience the ability to create simple reports, where the other tools would be much harder. And as long as you can write the SQL to create a report you need, Informer can store the report for you to use along side all the others. I'd like it to add some features, certainly, but I've been very happy with it.
Informer has been handily meeting most of our reporting needs, and we've created a library of hundreds of reports that are used every day. They have a terrific support service to help when you have questions, and I've found them to be great at listening to what customers would like and adding new features. They are a small company that really listens and really cares, and I've been very pleased over the past few years getting to know them.
I have found Informer works far better reporting on transactional data than for things like trying to do lots of aggregation. I do find the need to just write native SQL reports, or create views within the DB and use them in Informer, because getting too advanced is just beyond the realm of a tool that tries to make report creation as easy as possible. It's not a miracle worker, and you still have to know what you're doing if things get even a little complex. But with the skills of our report writers, we've been able to create a terrific library of useful report for others who don't need to be able to create them.