Entrinsik's Informer - a valuable reporting tool
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 09, 2016

Entrinsik's Informer - a valuable reporting tool

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Entrinsik Informer

We use Entrinsik's Informer for the majority of our reporting from the Student Information System. Informer is used by virtually every department on campus for ad-hoc reporting and for scheduled reports. The types of reports include nightly audit reports, extracts that are then used to feed other systems, and traditional reports designed to track progress for the different business needs of the various offices across campus.
  • Simple user-interface: Informer is relatively easy to learn and end users can begin running reports and creating new reports quickly.
  • Email "burst" functionality: This feature allows emails to be sent out based on data in the report. So for example, a report could be scheduled that would email all student employment managers listing out the specific employees that report to them that haven't submitted their time sheets. Each manager would only see the rows that correspond to their email address.
  • Analytics and grouping: Users can quickly drag columns to group and sub-total, and can use the analytics tab to get deeper insights into the data.
  • Performance is sometimes an issue. This can usually be overcome by re-designing the report - using fewer fields, using indexed fields etc.
  • The java script calculated fields are overall a good feature, but they can be difficult to work with as some true javascript syntax is not supported due to the architecture used.
  • QueryBuilder and SSRS
Informer is much better than the old QueryBuilder tool that was a part of the Colleague interface. Schools using SQL Server for the back end may want to weigh the pros and cons between Informer and SSRS (Sql Server Reporting Services) since SSRS comes with no extra costs in that database solution. I think the easy learning curve and the ability to report against multiple data sources of different types gives Informer the advantage.
Setting up a data source for Informer to connect to is pretty painless. Different types of data sources can be set up (UniData, SQL Server, Access, Excel, etc) and reports can be built that pull data from disparate sources.
There are a few different options available for report sharing and security in Informer. It's important to have a consistent method and be sure that report creators are following this method. It's possible to use roles from the LDAP server (e.g. Active Directory), or set up Informer specific roles and groups. Reports can be shared with individuals or with groups. Different access can be given at every 'layer' of the product - from specific reports to particular tables in a data source, to data source and administrative access.
Most schools that use Colleague (the Student Information System) have either UniData or SQL Server as the back-end database. If a school is currently a UniData school but has plans to move to SQL Server in the relatively near future then I'd advise against moving forward with Informer until after the conversion to SQL Server. There is a tool that will convert some reports, but there are many instances where the tool won't successfully convert the report and it will need to be re-written.

Entrinsik Informer Feature Ratings

Report Formatting Templates
Drill-down analysis
Formatting capabilities
Report sharing and collaboration
Publish to Web
Publish to PDF
Report Versioning
Report Delivery Scheduling
Multi-User Support (named login)
Role-Based Security Model
Multiple Access Permission Levels (Create, Read, Delete)