Telelogic Adds UML 2.1 Modeling to Architect Solutions

Telelogic has improved components of its overall "enterprise lifecycle management" software product suite, which combines model-driven development with application lifecycle management.

The main news is that two of the company's solutions, System Architect and Tau, have been upgraded and now share the same modeling environment using the UML 2.1 standard. This common modeling environment facilitates matters for various members of the IT team, including enterprise architects, business analysts and software engineers.

The company has also enhanced both products. The new versions, System Architect 11.0 and Tau 4.0, are expected to be generally available on December 21.

"The main point is that we've created a common repository," explained Scott McKorkle, Telelogic's director of product marketing. "You're working on models that are accessed and stored in the same location. There is no import, export and handoff. You're just working with a common design model [in both System Architect and Tau]."

The two products didn't have this capability before. An IT team using the two products might typically have communicated using scraps of paper, McKorkle said. Now, it's a lot more sophisticated, and the new capabilities allow IT personnel to view the model based on their role in the development process.

"We've created transformations so that the workflow can be accommodated in a role-based fashion," he said. "A business analyst can do something using Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) and then transform the data from that model into a similar UML use-case model or activity model so that the developers can work with it. You can have two different people using two different modeling notations working on the same model in their language, and the changes that they make will still be viewable by the other person in their notation."

Moreover, the transformations operate bidirectionally, and traceability is maintained through the project.

Telelogic had originally acquired System Architect when it acquired Popkin Software in April of 2005 for $45 million. The idea back then was to integrate System Architect with Telelogic's model-driven development solutions, such as Tau, but that required making the two products' file systems compatible.

System Architect is typically used by enterprise architects for overall planning. Tau is used more by the systems engineers or software developers, or those who are responsible for coming up with the deployable system.

One new feature in System Architect 11.0 is time-based analysis. It lets enterprise architects model how they want the system to appear, using a time-phased progression from the system's current state to its future state.

"You can not only see how you get there and the necessary steps to get there, but you can analyze along the way the impact that's going to have on your organization as you take each step," McKorkle said.

Time-based analysis is accomplished using maps and diagrams within the model, he explained. You can overlay different time-based views, and System Architect uses an interpolation mechanism to come up with the route to get there. You can then modify the route based on what makes best sense for the organization.

System Architect 11.0 also features integration with Microsoft's Visio. It lets Visio users access the System Architect repository, allowing them to do high-level business modeling in Visio, McKorkle said.

As for Tau 4.0, it has been enhanced to enable better simulations in service-oriented architectures. The new version of Tau is able to use SOAP to call and invoke Web services over the Internet as part of the simulation. McKorkle calls that capability a first for such modeling solutions.

"The only way you could do that today is to take WebLogic or WebSphere and deploy a prototype of what you wanted your SOA application to look like and have it spin all of those Web services as part of that prototype," he said. "Now we eliminate all of that, and the model itself becomes the prototype."

Finally, Telelogic added support for various frameworks and models used by the U.S. Department of Defense with the new version of System Architect. The solution now supports the Department of Defense Architecture Framework v1.5, as well as Core Architecture Data Model specifications.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.