IBM Rational Software ModelerREVIEWER: Aniello Bove, director for UBS.

BACKGROUND: UBS is the world's largest wealth manager, a top-tier investment bank, a leading global asset manager and the market leader in Swiss retail and commercial banking. An initiative is currently being undertaken to provide a highly integrated and automated solution life cycle. The goal is to make software development more efficient and to improve overall quality. A major strategic target is to use a small set of integrated, standardized, state-of-the-art tools and repositories across the entire solution life cycle, with a transformative and generative programming methodology.

PLATFORMS: The standard developer workplace within IT is based on Windows XP. The Eclipse platform was chosen as the universal client integration platform for software life cycle tools.

PROBLEM SOLVED: IBM Rational Software Modeler is used to cover enterprise component modeling using various UML models. Rational Software Modeler contributes to the UBS solution life cycle and is integrated in the tool landscape. Rational Software Modeler provides controlled model transformation during analysis and design. These models are linked to each other in order to control changes throughout the overall process. Rational Software Modeler is customized and profiled in order to provide traceability. The modeling of software components including their dependencies on various levels requires a central asset repository, which can be referenced and used in any Rational Software Modeler model.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Rational Software Modeler is a full-featured UML2 modeling tool based on the Eclipse 3 workbench. The user interface is intuitive and neat. Rational Software Modeler provides a powerful diagram editor which allows the creation of expressive and interactive diagrams. Customized UML profiles are supported and model constraints can be defined (e.g., OCL). HTML and XML-based data exportation and reporting are provided out of the box.

STRENGTHS: The architecture of Rational Software Modeler allows us to integrate it seamlessly into our strategic developer platform. Rational Software Modeler customization follows the standard technique of Eclipse plug-in development and thus allows easy integration with other Eclipse plug-ins. The product supports the standard Eclipse team functionality - making it possible to transparently plug in the bank's strategic source code management system and apply this for the model files. The user interface follows the Eclipse workbench philosophy, which enables our users to be very fast and productive. The use of reusable model elements (by reference) is very well supported within Rational Software Modeler, which assists in the handling of dependencies between large development teams - an important requirement. Rational Software Modeler model management is based on the two open source Eclipse components - EMF and UML2 APIs. Models are stored as XMI-compliant files with model information stored according to the Eclipse EMF-based implementation of the OMG UML 2.0 specification. This opens up Rational Software Modeler for inter-tool traceability and portability.

WEAKNESSES: Selecting the range of diagrams to be printed is somewhat cumbersome. Documentation for advanced topics is sometimes not available or is minimal. Physical data modeling support is not available. Customization of tool features is only supported on a coarse-grained level and no dynamic role-based enabling/disabling of such features is possible. Version control is supported only on a model file level.

SELECTION CRITERIA: External circumstances required a change from our current modeling tool. Having Rational Application Developer (RAD) already selected as our strategic IDE for Java and Web development made Rational Software Modeler an obvious candidate for assessment. The assessment showed that Rational Software Modeler fits and integrates very well into our strategic toolset.

DELIVERABLES: Rational Software Modeler covers the major parts of the component model design and allows us to generate specification documents and perform transformations to platform-specific models.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We have extensive support and consulting from IBM Rational for customization, integration and deployment.

DOCUMENTATION: Detailed online documentation is available. In the area of customization, the documentation is sometimes minimal.

IBM Rational Software Modeler 6.0
Route 100
Sommers, NY 10589

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