Some EA tools in the Magic Quadrant and EA tools that are not

28 March 2010

Recently I’ve tried the latest versions of the following EA tools:

  • BiZZdesign Architect
  • Avolution Abacus
  • Salamander MOOD
  • Mega
  • MetaStorm ProVision

The first two are definitely modern tools that fully support IEEE 1471 concepts and separation of concerns. Easy to use and good for Enterprise Architecture modelling without fuss.

Both are excellent.  MOOD is fine and attractive, but I’ve used it less in anger.

The last two suffer from an odd design quirk that means that a view (i.e. a diagram) must belong to an object.

The result of this quirk is that to create context free diagrams they must belong to a dummy object. Why are these tools built this way ?

Another common feature is a proprietary way of drawing business process flow (Workflow / Event value chain) diagrams in a truly BPMN style.

The data object that is input or output from a Business Process or an Activity is not the same data object that is modelled elsewhere in the tool. Mega is particularly bad at this.

Neither Mega or ProVision seem to know how Services (Business Services, Application Services etc.) should be modelled either.

A colleague also pointed out to me that many EA tools are pretty limited when it comes to modelling the Infrastructure Architecture at an Enterprise Architecture level. Both Mega and ProVision are the most limited in this domain.

Both Mega and ProVision can be customised to improve them for EA use, but I for one would expect support for modelling SOA and the infrastructure to be there by default. I’d also expect to see support for the de facto EA modelling language ArchiMate to be there by default.

In comparison both Avolution Abacus and BiZZdesign Architect are sweet and painless to use and do everything you want them to do.

So why are they not in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for EA tools then?

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9 Responses to “Some EA tools in the Magic Quadrant and EA tools that are not”

  1. Bryan Mjaanes Says:

    Wondering exactly the same thing about ABACUS. It’s been around for some time but not reviewed in the Gartner magic quadrant from Nov 2009. Interesting though that they did do a write-up on it in Q1 of last year and identified it as a “Cool tool.”


    • The reason Gartner don’t review some EA tools is because they view the company as too small to be reviewed these days. This is a misguided policy in my opinion as some of the newer EA tools are more innovative and effective that some of the older tools with huge marketing budgets behind them…


      • The exclusion from the Magic Quadrant is based on profit/turnover and global support.
        But the next edition of the report, will include more tools, e.g. also the first OpenSource EA tool iteraplan will be participating. The tools will be part of the report but not of the magic quadrant. That’s at least what I heard from the analysts at Gartner’s EA Summit in London 3 weeks ago.


  2. Have you looked at iteraplan already? Its the first OpenSource EA Tool, being a repository based solution and not a drawing tool. Diagrams are generated out of the repository in Visio, SVG, PDF, JPG, … and as a web-app it is easy to collaborate. If the metamodell suites your needs, it is definitely worth a try!


    • I have now looked at Iteraplan. It strongly reminds me of Alfabet’s PlanningIT.

      It would be good if Iteraplan’s minimalist meta model included Business Capabilities and Services (i.e. Business Services, Application Services and Infrastructure Services as defined by ArchiMate).

      It would be even better if it implemented the whole ArchiMate meta model as it’s fairly similar and a de-facto EA meta model standard. See http://www.opengroup.org/archimate/doc/ts_archimate/

      I wondered why there was no relationship between Business Process and Business Object, even though there was a relationship between [Business] Function and Business Object.


      • Hi Adrian,
        thx for the feedback. iteraplan was started in 2003/2004 as an internal tool for our consulting. back than archimate was not out yet. We will have a closer look this year on archimate.
        A lot of extra “models” can be modelled with our attribute system, e.g. having list of services attached to either applications or infrastructure or …
        We value feedback and are maybe changing the meta-model a bit in the business architecture. Watch out for our upcoming release in October.

  3. Anil Kuppa Says:

    BiZZdesign Architect is coming in the upcoming Gartner’s Magic Quadrant enjoying challenger position.


  4. I don’t know which version of MEGA you have been trying, both we have been using the MEGA product for some years know, and your comments on the MEGA product is NOT correct. MEGA has all the features youre saying it has not – and even more than that.


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