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
- 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?