Vivid Reports was designed from the beginning to address several limitations of existing CPM software solutions. Vivid Reports was designed to handle large databases, large reports, complex scenarios (both Accounting and IT) and support a large number of users without requiring coffee break wait times, massive computing power or “dimming the lights” in the server room when someone requests a report. Vivid Reports is truly an extremely flexible, easily deployed, and affordable CPM solution.
Vivid Reports has two components which are the Vivid Reports Database that installs on SQL Server and an Excel Add-In that installs on an Excel client. Vivid Reports uses the same system requirements provided by Microsoft for SQL Server and Excel. In other words if SQL server and your ERP run fine on the server Vivid Reports should also run fine on the server and if Excel runs fine on the client so will Vivid Reports. Therefore you rarely need to purchase new hardware to support Vivid Reports. However if the Server is already working hard just to support the ERP or the server begins to slow then there is always the option to install Vivid Reports on another physical server with SQL Server and then create a linked server back to the ERP database. This allows you to have a dedicated “reporting server” for Vivid Reports. (Note: approximately 10% of our customers use this method and usually because they either already had a dedicated reporting server or their IT policy required this and not because of performance related issues). Every time a report is refreshed in Vivid Reports the Excel status bar will display the report retrieval time along with the ratio of Server / Excel Client processing time.
Microsoft SQL Server:
Vivid Reports supports SQL Server 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2008 R2. For SQL 2000 you need to be on SP4. All sub-versions of each SQL Server generation are also supported (Express, Standard, Enterprise, etc.) Vivid Reports requires Microsoft SQL Server to run and no other database systems are supported. SQL Server 2008 R2 – Express has a free license and allows up to 1 GB of RAM and 10 GB of database size. This is often adequate for more simple installs.
Server Operating System:
As long as SQL Server is installed Vivid Reports will be compatible with the Server O/S including 64 bit versions.
Vivid Reports is often deployed through either Citrix Server or Microsoft Terminal Services. An advantage of using terminal software to deploy Excel and Vivid Reports is that you do not have to install or upgrade Vivid Reports on multiple machines. Please contact us for more information.
Server Disk Space Requirements:
The bulk of the data in Vivid Reports relates to the G/L Transactions. As a general rule if you allow for 3GB of hard drive space for every 1,000,000 transactions you should be more than fine. Also performing a backup of Vivid Reports on a nightly basis will keep the log file reduced to minimum size as the Vivid Reports database is set to “simple recovery mode” by default. Also note that in Vivid Reports you can purge transactions for historical years but retain the balances for comparison on your reports. Often one to two years of transactions are adequate for detailed analysis.
Vivid Reports supports Excel 2003 SP2, 2007 and 2010 (including 64 bit versions). There is a different client install for each version of Excel. Only one version of Vivid Reports can be installed per computer at a time therefore you cannot have Vivid Reports running in Excel 2003 and Excel 2010 from the same computer. Vivid Reports is currently not compatible with any other spread sheet programs such as Star Office, Open Office, or Google spreadsheets.
As long as Excel is installed Vivid Reports will be compatible with the Client O/S
e-mail option of Report Automation:
The e-mail automation feature is only compatible with Microsoft Outlook at this time.
ERP (aka Accounting System)
Vivid Reports is compatible with many different ERP’s and versions including non-SQL based systems. For a list of some of the more common ERP we regularly install against please click here. Before you upgrade or change your ERP system please contact us. We can also assist you with the backup and restore of the Vivid Reports database whenever SQL Server or Server Hardware is upgraded.
Active Directory can be used by Vivid Reports to make the login more convenient for your users. However, Vivid Reports has separate security from the ERP and will not utilize the security settings that have already been defined. This is because Vivid Reports has more granular security settings than the ERP and you can also deploy Vivid Reports to users without requiring them to have an ERP license.
Vivid Reports UNITY is a version that provides an open interface to easily integrate the Vivid Reports platform with virtually any ERP or General Ledger (G/L) data source. UNITY is great for:
- organizations running older or obscure ERP systems
- organizations running multiple systems and add new systems as a result of acquisitions
- organizations running systems that are difficult to integrate with or extract data from
- organizations that need to restructure their G/L or add other elements for reporting without changing their systems
- Partners (ISV or VARs) who want to extend the Vivid Reports integration or provide Vivid Reports to their user base