Enterprise architects are the primary users of Sybase PowerDesigner, but the modeling and design tool is also aimed at service architects, data architects, data analysts, data base administrators, business analysts and developers.
This week's release of PowerDesigner 15, part of the venerable PowerBuilder technology family acquired by Sybase from PowerSoft in the mid-'90s, is designed for the many role players in application development, said David Dichmann, senior product manager, design tools at Sybase.
Dichmann said the target users for PowerDesigner have evolved over its 15 versions.
"Primarily the users we are seeing acquiring PowerDesigner are enterprise architects because of our capability of taking the highest level of abstraction across all the different disciplines and departments," he said.
"But we've grown up as a data modeling tool. Data architects, data analysts and data base administrators will also be using PowerDesigner for the whole information architecture stack. We have developers using our UML and business analysts using our process modeling techniques in the analysis and design phase. We also see service-oriented architects using PowerDesigner to architect process orchestration, services and interfaces, and documenting all that in PowerDesigner."
Architects working on migration to SOA use PowerDesigner to model and document how different services, components and elements will fit together in applications, Dichmann said.
New features in version 15 include:
- "Link and Synch" technology to automatically capture "the intersections between all architectural layers and perspectives of the enterprise, allowing users from all groups to clearly visualize and effectively implement fast, reliable and predictable change
- Enterprise Architecture Model captures metadata relevant to traditional enterprise architecture analysis
- Impact Analysis Diagram for visualization of the cascading impact of change and management of time and costs associated with such a change
- Repository Web Viewer allows businesses to "share Enterprise Architecture metadata with all stakeholders independent of technical abilities."
- Import Visio captures business level metadata from the popular Microsoft graphical tool so it can be used in Enterprise Architecture modeling and design
The trend for wider usage of modeling and design tools was also identified by Greta James, research vice president of Gartner, who writes: "Business strategists, planners and analysts can derive considerable benefit from an [Enterprise Architect] tool, because it helps them to better understand the complex system of IT resources and its support of the business."