Compared to other tools like Oracle UPK and SAP Tutor, Captivate is cheap. And Captivate 9 has so many features that there is probably little that you can conceive of that can't be achieved using this tool. That's the good news. The bad news is that many of the functions are either challenging to deploy or don't work at all.
Where do I begin?
Captivate doesn't play nice with network drives, so the notion of team development goes out the window right off the bat. If you try to use Captivate on a network drive, your development will slow way down. I instruct all of my developers to create a directory on their local drive and upload finished content to a server.
The program will consume as much memory as you have and will cache so much garbage that it eats up disk space, as well. After a day of development, I cleared 10Gb from the cache. Very sloppy.
When recording simulations on ERP systems like SAP and Oracle, Captivate tends to miss quite a bit. This results in considerable rework. I am in the habit now of capturing extra screenshots, knowing that I will have to manually add in the steps that Captivate ignores.
There are many hidden limitations that you will only find out about when your project fails. For example, there is an upper limit to the size of video files you can deploy within a project. It isn't documented, but if you exceed that limit your project will either crash or your learners will sit while the project takes 15 minutes to load. Not good.
There is also an undocumented scripting language for creating outputs using Print (rather than Publish). Adobe doesn't publicize or promote this, but it is the only way to control what is actually output. There is a Captivate "underground" where you can find details about this language but there shouldn't have to be.
Finally, the program is very unstable. It frequently hangs or crashes. This can be particularly annoying when recording large, complex simulations.
Others have recommended starting with the 30-day free trial. This is good advice. You should know what you're getting into before taking the plunge.
I use Captivate to create demos, simulations, and documentation for ERP systems. When a client forgoes tools provided by their ERP vendor because of cost, Captivate is cheap alternative. Sometimes, however, you get what you pay for (or don't).