Sparx Systems, an Australian company specialising in developing software based on the Unified Modeling Language, has launched version 7.0 of its Enterprise Architect modelling tool.
Sparx's product is a multi-user, Windows-based graphical tool designed to help build robust and maintainable software.
This latest version combines the Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.1 specification and an intuitive interface to deliver new features focused on creativity, usability, accountability, integration and software-system analysis. Released during a period of sustained interest in UML, this technology can help build traceable and, therefore, more manageable models for software systems.
To extend creativity capabilities in UML environments, Sparx has improved the tool's requirements-management features and brought in a new "mind mapping" profiler to help capture creative-idea development.
Usability has been updated with a reorganised user interface, new context-sensitive toolboxes and task panes to simplify the modelling experience. There are also extended undo and redo commands.
While UML is popular in many circles, some experienced software-engineering managers are still sceptical about its total effectiveness and many are still new to the discipline.
In response to increasing accountability concerns, Enterprise Architect 7.0 has been built with complete auditing capabilities. There is model traceability for accountability throughout the project and this also extends into version control improvements.
There are updates to Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 integration functions and improvements to XML import and export options. Analysis tools have been extended too, with options for reverse engineering when needed.
UML has enjoyed adoption and development by smaller organisations, such as Sparx, at the same time as seeing support from larger blue-chip players, such as IBM.
Authored by chief executive Geoffrey Sparx, Enterprise Architect offers strong UML support, profile-based extensions for requirements modelling, and GUI-based design and testing, along with document and HTML reporting options.
"Using a single model UML-based tool to capture high-level business concepts from the earliest and most abstract stages of a project lays the foundation for complete traceability and accountability," said Geoffrey Sparx. "Implemented properly, this holds true from the very first project sketches, right up to deployment and beyond. This environment brings control to business processes, requirement models, domain models, development models, test cases and change-management information."