October 16, 2012 – CA Technologies has followed through an overhaul of the data repository underlining its signature modeling solution, the culmination of a series of new versions of the release over the last couple of years.

CA ERwin r9 features a reconfigured model repository that centers on collaborations between business and IT over data assets and definitions. The new release also features more support for corporate security and industry standards, as well as an enhanced Web portal to access the model and metadata.

Donna Burbank, vice president of product marketing for the Data Management business at CA Technologies, says that updates over the 20 months to expand visualization and open up cloud connections were the front-facing moves as the vendor trudged through repository recoding on the back. Those repository changes have expanded the volume and sources of data that the model is dealing with, and allows business to make recommendations to data architects and DBAs, a two-way street with governance controlled by IT priority lists, Burbank says.

“Now, customers really want this as the hub for all these different types of data, so you really have to change how the architecture works,” she says.

Even with the enhanced Web-based portal, Microsoft Azure remains the cloud database platform that ERwin supports, though Burbank noted that there may be more options with that in the year ahead.

David Norfolk, practice leader for development and governance with Bloor Research, says the back-and-forth involvement of business with governance is a crucial step toward longer-term success with data analysis across the enterprise. While the enhanced Web portal shows promise to open use of the model to new customers, the updated release “can only be an enabler” on better use of business data.

“Actively involving business stakeholders in improving the quality of data models and in using them to support governance, compliance and decision-making involves an internal marketing effort and significant cultural change, which will need managing,” Norfolk says. “An IT-focused analyst talking entities, relationships and primary keys to end users could blow it – even if the data analysis/modeling tool does support IT-oriented and business-oriented views into the one model, as it should.”

CA plans to demonstrate the upgraded release October 22 on the opening day of its third-annual data management conference, ERworld.