The bright spot. Support is friendly, timely, and knowledgeable. And since it's based in the U.S., language is not a problem as with so many providers. My only reservation is that sometimes they can't fix a problem because of platform limitations, and refer your ticket to development. All in all, a good experience here.
Ease of Use:
Day One of my introduction to NetForum Enterprise felt like a step back in time. The graphics were dated. Even on a Mac using Safari the text was hard to read. The interface had no dashboard or jumpoff page like cloud platforms I like. Navigation was like a foreign country until a person showed me. I'm no stranger to technology, so this was a rough welcome.
Subsequent experience with the interface has been similar, with occasional exceptions. For example, mouseover tooltips almost invariably echo the fixed text on the page. How is that help?!
Relationships in this product favor individual memberships over organizational ones, but we've been able to overcome most of those setbacks without too much hardship. But it does come into play at times.
At least you can learn the interface. And once you're used to it, it's not terrible, which is why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1.
The service rarely goes down, but there are what I would call "brownouts", especially for those who work on the back end doing customizations. Many days I have to try more than once before getting a stable connection. Occasionally the lag is abysmal or the VPN won't connect, so I decide to give up and work on something else.
This is a slog uphill through mud under barbed wire. Whether or not you experience a hail of bullets depends on your boss.
Even if you know MS SQL and HTML, customizing forms is difficult and unintuitive. The GUI for designing pages is riddled with bugs and glitches, and requires MS Internet Explorer. (I hear 2017 doesn't require it.) There is much more to the iceberg just like this, such as the confusing relationship between forms, wizards, and objects.
The challenges here probably stem from the underlying architecture. Unless you have someone with the time and ability to perform/learn complex scripting, you will be paying developers to do the work. And the costs rack up quickly, because this platform eats hours like a hungry alligator in a bunny enclosure.
If you need features that don't exist, there are third-party services available for a fee. It may in fact be cost-effective to pursue them in place of customization.
This product could be a decent fit for larger associations, especially those which rely on individual memberships. I recommend a competent developer on staff with a training fund, or else a budget for customization and/or third-party add-ons.
I cannot recommend this for small or medium associations without them knowing the challenges they face. There are almost certainly better AMS products for their needs.
(Not incentivized, just an opinionated and partially-frustrated customer.)