Telelogic Popkin System ArchitectREVIEWER: Art Caston, president and founder of Proact Business Transformation Inc.
BACKGROUND: Proact is an enterprise architecture (EA) consulting company specializing in helping large Global 2000 enterprises to establish effective in-house enterprise architecture practices. Proact has developed a holistic enterprise architecture framework and methodology that is focused on aligning IT investments with strategic business transformation programs. Our work with leading enterprises has developed a rich library of reusable business function, information, systems and technology models which we package into industry reference models. In 1996, we began packaging our framework, methodology and reference models on a modeling tool and repository. In April of 2004, we launched a search for a replacement platform that would meet our developmental needs and the operational needs of our growing client base. That search resulted in the selection of Popkin System Architect and related products as the platform of choice for offering the Proact Business Transformation Toolkit.
PLATFORMS: Our operating environment is a network of laptops using Microsoft XP operating system. The shared user repository uses Microsoft SQL Server which is provided by Popkin. The tool can be ported to other database environments if required for large-scale client deployment.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Proact required a leading enterprise architecture tool that provided all of the basic functionality for model development and model repository management, but that was totally open to adding and modifying frameworks, diagram types and basic business objects and their attributes and relationships. Proact adds an additional 27 diagram types and 50 definitions beyond the conventional set provided "out of the box" by System Architect that satisfy other, less business-oriented frameworks. We also required strong publishing capabilities for document and Web distribution. Given our existing library of industry reference models, we also required strong import and export capabilities, especially XML-based transfers with other tools.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We used the metamodel extension capability of System Architect to build the unique Proact diagrams and definitions into the tool. We also developed custom matrices, reports and macros to provide additional method support. We utilized the XML import capability to convert our critical industry reference models to the new platform. We are now offering our product on the System Architect platform gaining the advantage of co-existing with all of the models and objects supported by System Architect, especially including the new BPMN process modeling capability and TOGAF, DoDAF and Zachman frameworks. Now our clients can utilize Proact while retaining their familiar modeling and framework environments.
STRENGTHS: As the leading provider of enterprise architecture tools, Popkin has constantly upgraded their product to support the latest approved standard modeling techniques. We simply build on their base product to add all of the business and service oriented modeling. From a business development perspective, we are benefiting in a major way from their presence in the market place.
WEAKNESSES: The primary weakness is in the user interface. The breadth of modeling and frameworks supported results in a lot of unused capabilities that clutter user selections. This has been addressed in recent product enhancements.
SELECTION CRITERIA: System Architect matched the full range of functional requirements, and Popkin offered the strongest sales and technical support organization.
DELIVERABLES: The full range of enterprise planning models required by the Proact Framework and Methodology.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Popkin provided excellent support at all levels, from executive involvement to tech support. We received expedited education and access to development and consulting resources to tackle our complex tool requirements.
DOCUMENTATION: Product documentation is provided primarily through online help and is easy to use. Also, their Web site provides additional support.
* NOTE: Popkin Software was acquired in April 2005 by Telelogic.
Popkin System Architect Version 10
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