Telelogic, the enterprise architecture and systems modeling firm that is in the process of being acquired by IBM, is to announce new versions of its flagship products that bring EA and application development that bit closer.
Due to hit general availability in mid-December, the key announcements are of Telelogic’s EA and business analysis offering System Architect 11.0, and Tau 4.0, its model-driven application development environment.
But as Jan Popkin, Telelogic chief strategist told Computer Business Review, the big advance is not so much individual features of each but the integration between the two. We can now go from requirements, to enterprise architecture, to systems implementation and design, with tightly-coupled, bi-directional integration between DOORS [the firm’s requirements management tool], Systems Architect, and Tau, he said.
We’re getting pretty close to the holy grail of traceability and transformation from requirements, to architecture, to design, said Popkin, formerly founder and CEO of leading EA firm Popkin Software prior to its acquisition by Telelogic. Understanding what you are building and why, and taking that from concept to implementation. That is the holy grail in my view.
System Architect and Tau now share a common metadata repository, helping to forge a bi-directional link between business and IT models through application implementation. That means enterprise architects can create their EA diagrams in System Architect, and transfer them in the standard UML 2.1 format straight into Tau where applications developers or business analysts can begin to turn them into working applications.
Models in Tau can also be sent the other way back into System architect for further analysis and what-if? scenario planning, and the requirements set out in DOORS can be traced throughout the lifecycle. Popkin said there are big benefits in team collaboration and workflow, business process analysis, and time-to-market. Also helping with the last of these are predefined mappings said to automate the conversion of models, frameworks and formats between different users.
As for specific features new to the products, System Architect now features time-based analysis, improved visualization, and enterprise data management for improved enterprise and project planning. Collaboration is improved thanks to integration with Microsoft Visio and improved web modeling to better target the information needs of specific user groups. As well as support for UML 2.1, there is also now enhanced support for DoDAF v1.5 and CADM; and support for the supply chain (SCOR) and telecom (SID, eTOM) standards.
As for Tau 4.0, there is the ability to do web-based SOA simulation, web service interface optimization, and improved Java code generation, according to the firm.
Popkin said it is now possible for designers building applications in Tau not only to import web service models from System Architect, but also to pull in web services from the intranet or even internet and compare and contrast these with home-grown web services. Once pulled into Tau they can also be sent back into System Architect via UML 2.1 for further modeling.
Popkin said it is too early to comment on likely integration between Telelogic’s products and those of IBM because the deal is yet to close. It is possible there could be synergies to be found between Telelogic, IBM Rational, and even some IBM WebSphere products.
However, he did say he believes the acquisition of Telelogic by IBM can only help to further raise the profile of enterprise architecture tools. We are seeing the commercialization of EA, he said. Most of the time, the discussion with customers is moving from ‘what is it [EA]?’, to ‘how do I do it better?’.