Ascend Software Inc.s ReportSafe 3.0 output manager supports a wider range of operating systems and report formats than did previous versions and now sports a completely Web-based user interface. However, the software still lacks features such as comprehensive data analysis tools found in competing products.
ReportSafe 3.0 has a new flexible price scheme (ranging from $32,000 for 100 users to $56,000 for 800 or more users) that will fit smaller businesses budgets, but the product is best suited for enterprises that generate a range of output from disparate networks. Enterprise licenses are also available.
The software works on Windows 2000 and Windows NT servers and accepts output from most popular operating systems, effectively creating a centralized repository and archive.
Competitors such as Computer Associates International Inc.s Output Management Solution and Mobius Management Systems Inc.s View- Direct software application offer comparable flexibility but provide better data analysis tools and can also check server compliance. However, both rivals are more expensive.
eWeek Labs tested ReportSafe 3.0 using a Windows 2000 server with NT, Unix and Windows 98 clients. The installation included the ReportSafe Server application, Administrator Facility and ReportSafeWeb; the latter program enabled us to access reports via the Web browser.
Administration was easy and a handy help utility answered most of our questions.
The archive disk space monitor, which showed the amount of space taken after multiple reports were archived in the ReportSafe server, proved very useful in tests. The audit logs displayed an event log of all processing and errors encountered for each report.