We recently purchased Stockamp's Clinic Ontrac system. The system has a built in crystal reports viewer module with capability to add our own reports... The backend of the product is SQL Server. To create a report you have to potentially create a stored procedure - if parameter is needed - and a crystal report. Stockamp is requesting that we have written approval of these reports as well as any ad-hoc reports and queries that we run before we run them in the production environment.
I'm used to large vendors (those that understand a database is only as good as the data you get out of it) and I've never seen a license agreement like this before. Is this common?
What they are trying to do is to ensure that by creating a report you're not going to impact the production environment in such a way that they may be blamed for poor performance while your report is being generated. Also, since they introduced a "report writer," this means that there are not many "canned" reports in the system that they sold you, and they are trying to piggy-bag on your reports and incorporate them in the next release as "canned" reports.
Unfortunately the data changes constantly, and I suspect if they won't let me add reports, they won't let me replicate. It took me over 2 months to convince them we needed a seperate test server as making a modification to their system (using their own forms and an approved process) required a 4 hour import that completely paralized the system.
The database tables have grown from 2000 rows 9 months ago to over 21 million, so reporting out of the system will soon become too cpu intensive anyway.
I'd love to work with the vendor and introduce them to datawarehouseing, but they're product is so fragile and Stockamp & Associates employees are so unwilling to listen, that I given up on a friendly working relationship.
So the moral is to avoid software with a canned report viewer, regardless of its backend system.