Jedox Review (developer)
Karolis Aušra profile photo
Updated August 08, 2019

Jedox Review (developer)

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Jedox

Implementing BI and EPM applications based on Jedox for other clients.
  • Integration with Excel (Import from Excel, Export to Excel, Excel Add-in etc.)
  • Rapid Time-To-Market because of flexible and effective excel-like development environment (surpassing other vendors by far) -> one can develop a fully functioning application in weeks if a good concept is ready.
  • You can install and run Jedox on your server in literally less than 1 hour (hands down, no competition!)
  • Powerful ETL (extract, transform, load data) incl. UI for developer
  • Auditing out-of-the-box (see who changed what & when)
  • Supervision Server (create own custom silent processes behind the scenes)
  • Use PHP to develop own custom functions, if required (comparable to VBA in excel)
  • Embed any custom HTML & javascript widgets
  • Write your own custom ETL routines with groovy or javascript
  • Automated routines (e.g. "Backup database daily" or "Send a PDF of this report to a group of persons" etc.)
  • No CCU ratio licencing anymore (big step backwards IMO)
  • No integrated out-of-the-box debugging capabilities when developing applications (especially when developing own functions with php macros)
  • Complex and not straightforward setup when working with two-tier architecture (separate backend and frontend servers) -> as this setup is very common in web development, this should be standardised and made more straightforward in Jedox
  • Security is not a strength of Jedox and should be improved to the current standards (XSS, HTML injections etc.) (tested in 2018)
  • Weak scaling capabilities when an application gets bigger (>100 CCU) - Jedox is not suitable for big Enterprise applications / BI!
  • It's not an actual disadvantage of Jedox, but just something to be aware of - Jedox is not a solution - it's a set of tools which empower you (or a developer) to build a desired EPM solution; so do not compare Jedox with solution providers like unit4 prevero (which is already an actual solution for planning and budgeting)
  • Still pretty bug-prone / sensitive (although over the last 5 years it got better). Sometimes you get backend-errors from a clear sky which you cannot explain (after re-login the error suddenly disappears). Another example: if one database is broken, the whole OLAP service may stop (impeding all other databases / applications)
  • No version control
Pros:
- Rapid Time-To-Market
- Maximum flexibility due to cell-based approach inherited from Excel (vs. WYSIWYG and drag & drop UI (like BOARD) which is not as flexible)
- It is a compact EPM / BI system, which you can get installed and run on your server in less than 1 hour (try this with TM1 or Sharepoint -> good luck!)
- Great oob tools included and ready for use in your case (ETL, Auditing, Supervision Server, PHP Editor, HTML widgets etc.)
Most of the conventional data sources are covered oob in Jedox Integrator (ETL). Some of the connectors (like SAP) are licenced separately (2019).
I would not say that sharing & collaboration is a strength of Jedox, allthough there are basic functionalities for this (e.g. sharing new reports to other groups, sending PDF updates to certain groups automatically via task scheduler, commenting on web-sheets etc.). But if this is a feature, that you require the most, there are better options in the EPM / BI market.
Best suited as a highly customized and compact EPM / BI solution (<100 CCU) with individual workflows, planning and reporting functionalities, with moderate number of users (no restrictions for any industry, all industries are covered well). It also has advanced reporting & data analysis requirements and provides an integration and reporting layer of imported data from different external systems (via ETL). It can help with migrating your legacy Excel-based business models to the Web. It is not well suited for Enterprise BI applications with expecting >500 CCU (users at the same time working with the system). This may cause serious performance issues, even if Jedox will tell you different things because all of the data is kept in RAM (MOLAP technology). Applications with heavy document management requirements (document management is not an out of the box functionality in Jedox and rather requires custom development through custom widgets etc.).

Jedox Feature Ratings

Long-term financial planning
10
Financial budgeting
10
Forecasting
10
Scenario modeling
10
Management reporting
10
Financial data consolidation
Not Rated
Journal entries and reports
Not Rated
Multi-currency management
10
Intercompany Eliminations
10
Local and consolidated reporting
10
Detailed Audit Trails
10
Financial Statement Reporting
10
Management Reporting
10
Excel-based Reporting
10
Automated board and financial reporting
10
Personalized dashboards
2
Color-coded scorecards
10
KPIs
Not Rated
Cost and profitability analysis
10
Key Performance Indicator setting
10
Benchmarking with external data
10
Flat file integration
10
Excel data integration
10
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources
8

Using Jedox

5 - Application Development
5 - Required skills:
- OLAP understanding
- ETL unterstanding
- PHP skills
- Groovy skills
- Advanced Excel skills
  • Pure ETL (extracting, transforming and loading of data from / to other systems)
  • Statistical analysis (e.g. using integrated R inside the ETL tool of Jedox)
  • Classics: Planning and Budgeting
  • Jedox is good for any mid-size planning and reporting solution with very individual workflows and business calculations

Evaluating Jedox and Competitors

Jedox Training

To learn Jedox on your own is pretty easy to do, if you have an affinity to IT and have a good Excel knowledge, due to:
- It's analogy to Excel
- Pretty good online knowledge base
- Overall good and professional support

Cons:
- Jedox ecosystem (professional developer forums, libraries etc.) is relatively young / small yet

Configuring Jedox

Pros:
- Highly configurable on application level due to cell-based-approach in the web-frontend (create your own CI, customized frontends, individual workflows, own variables, buttons, controls etc.)
- Some of the global parameters (cache size, dropdown paging settings, smtp settings etc., file storage path) can be set via so called keys directly in web by poweruser (no need to search for physical config files on server)
- Very flexible user rights approach, user rights can be configured on cell-level

Cons:
- Even with the possibility to adjust global parameters via keys in web, not all of the important parameters can be easily configured (like how the standard toolbar should be shown to the end-user (as not all of the functions from the toolbar may be needed by end-users and you would like to
disable them), how the context menus should be shown to the users etc.)
- Attaching Jedox to corporate Idam systems (if required) is not straightforward and may be pretty hard to set up








- Configure all you can (IP, Port, setup path etc.) via Jedox setup wizzard, as any change of the environment parameters later (after the installation) basically means searching for the right config file and changing parameters in the config file physically
- Use Jedox knowledge base to configure specific areas (openSAML, https, sso etc.)
Yes - we have customized the interface extensively - As a reminder -> Jedox is not a ready to use solution, but rather a set of tools / toolbox for building applications (analogy to Excel). That means, that the user interface is mainly a part of the application that you will implement. So it is completely up to you how you want the user interface to look like -> if you have the required skills and are experienced in application development, you can build great individual user interfaces with Jedox.
Yes - we have added extensive custom code - It is possible to develop own functions from scratch with php (e.g. as a macro for a button inside the application) and groovy / java / javascript (inside ETL processes). You can also add any custom html widget inside your application.
As already mentioned before, we have done pretty complex configurations / customizations for Jedox in the past. For example attaching Jedox to corporate idAM system via OpenSAML (to use it as authentication source) is not an easy / straightforward task, which requires lots of configuration and adjustment of various config files (however, since it is not a default everyday task that you have to do, I don't consider this complexity as crucial in this review).

Jedox Support

Jedox support in general is a professional and fast responding team. An easy-to-use ticketing system is in place. Bug-related questions are solved fast (responses come usually in a few hours after the question), but some questions / tickets, that are not Jedox-related bugs (for example some advanced questions about Jedox functionality), may be forwarded to Application Management team for further processing and then it may take several days or even weeks to get a response here -> there is room for improvement here.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None
Yes - Support fee is included in the licence (so from that perspective you do pay for the support).
Yes - In general bug-related tickets are solved fast and efficient.

Using Jedox

See the pro's and con's in the steps before
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
None
  • ETL / data transformation is easy to understand and use
  • Building new reports / planning sheets or even an entire system is easy as the front-end works pretty exactly like Excel (cells, formulas, conditional formatting, custom functions / macros etc.)
  • Database modelling (add / edit dimensions, elements, cubes, rules etc.) is fast and easy thanks to a pretty good OLAP modeller
  • Bug handling is pretty hard in Jedox. E.g. if a database suddenly won't load - there is little chance to get it work again without the help of Jedox support (especially for non-developers).
  • There is no out-of-the-box functionality for document management (upload / download a document inside a Jedox application by end-users). If you want to have this kind of functionality in your Jedox application, you will need to kind of develop it yourself (building custom html / js widgets).

Jedox Reliability

Scalability is one of the disadvantages of Jedox. Applications with >100 CCU (of course this number is very rough, as it also depends on the complexity of the application) scale poorly in comparison to other EPM vendors. With Jedox it is difficult to scale big applications as there are no standardized / easy-to-implement ways to do it. As a matter of fact, even a classic two-tier architecture (separate olap and web servers) is pretty complicated to implement with Jedox (when we keep in mind, that we are in the 21st century and you would expect to set it up in a few clicks during the Jedox installation, but you actually have to go through a bunch of Jedox config files on each server and edit the IP's and other parameters by hand in several redundant places / files to set it up properly and working; here I dont even start to speak about setting-up load balancing, adding more servers etc. ).

Integrating Jedox

- Easy to use
- ETL flowgraph (graphical interactable flowchart showing your etl process)
- Lots of standard transforms (table union, views, filters, field transforms, normalization, denormalization etc.)
- Advanced transforms & coding with Groovy, Java, Javascript
- Informative logs / ETL monitor

Cons:
- Data preview is limited to certain number of rows, which may be a problem in some cases
- Copy pasting rows / entries is not possible or not effective (in some cases it is more convenient to edit the .xml file of the ETL project in notepad rather than editing the ETL project in web)
- No version control for ETL projects (check-in / check-out changes) -> this is rather a global disadvantage of all Jedox components (frontend, backend, ETL)
- Some of the connectors are not free of charge -> that means for some of the connectors special / additional licence must be acquired
  • SAP ERP (FI & HR)
  • Active Directory
  • Corporate idAM
  • MySQL
  • Excel
  • Flatfiles
The ETL tool of Jedox ("Integrator") is pretty good and easy to use and offers lots of (standard) connectors (you can see the list of all possible connectors online at jedox.com). Jedox Integrator also offers lots of flexible transform possibilities like writing your own processes with Groovy, Java, Javascript etc.
  • File import/export
  • Single Signon
  • API (e.g. SOAP or REST)
  • Javascript widgets
  • ETL tools
  • AppExchange or similar marketplace
Make sure the connector you need is included in your licence.