February 2, 2012 – CA Technologies made a trio of releases Wednesday that puts its flagship data modeling solution in the hands of more business users and behind a Microsoft cloud-based database.

CA ERwin Data Modeler for SQL Azure enables integration and management in Microsoft’s cloud environment. There, the data modeler provides visualizations, data structure management and business definitions for on-premise and cloud databases in a single area. A second new release is CA ERwin Web Portal, an interface for data architects to build and analyze data model so that other business and IT users also have access. CA has also updated its ERwin Data Modeler r8.2, featuring more granular use of model objects like tables and domains, support re-use and object sharing, and availability of concurrent licensing agreements.

Donna Burbank, senior director of product marketing for CA’s Data Management division, says the look of the new releases builds on visualizations for centralized database management in a revamp of ERwin last year. Making more metadata accessible across the enterprise and customization of search in some interfaces are in place to satisfy the regular data architect or database manager as well as the growing number of “power user business analysts,” she says.

Burbank admits that some data architects in early testing have expressed reservations over data definitions and security from the move to a cloud database, though she said the core architecture remains in their hands even if it’s off-premise.

“I think some of that messaging can be scary to our data architect core audience, but they’re still in control of [the data], it just happens to be hosted in the cloud infrastructure,” Burbank says.

John L. Myers, senior analyst for BI at Enterprise Management Associates, says that the moves in conjunction with Microsoft’s Azure platform reflect the top cloud implementation selection reported by enterprises in a recent survey by his firm. By adding visualization and access capabilities to this database management process through the Web Portal and Data Modeler, CA ERwin has made moves to break down enterprise barriers toward true governance and data collaboration, says Myers.

“Unfortunately, data management teams have found themselves forced to make choices between managing operational imperatives over promoting strategic initiatives. This creates a situation where data stewards need to master both connecting data governance culture with the broadening base of business users and linking top-down data governance programs to the rate of change in the current business climate,” Myers says. “It makes data stewards reliant upon the ‘democratization’ of data governance rather than the imposition of data governance.”