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There aren't many companies that focus exclusively on modeling and analysis of business processes and IT systems, so it drew the European Union's attention last June when IBM offered to buy Telelogic of Sweden. U.S. regulators have since given the deal a green light, but the EU is still considering, so the acquisition is on ice through early December. Despite this distraction, it's business as usual at Telelogic, which yesterday announced upgrades of its flagship System Architect and Tau IT modeling and analysis products. The vendor also announced integration of the two products to help bridge the gaps between business and IT.
It's no surprise that IBM wants to add Telelogic's wares to its portfolio. The company's business process analysis, enterprise architecture and modeling tools are increasingly in demand for services-oriented architecture and business process management deployments. System Architect Version 11.0 is an upgrade aimed at improving deployment, visualization and collaboration. For example, new planning capabilities enable users to model current-state and future-state architectures to better manage changes along the way. Improved visualizations support time-based analyses, with layered diagrams that help users better understand impacts, resource requirements and risks at each step of the change process. To broaden participation, a new Telelogic System Architect/Process Integrator lets Microsoft Visio users import their drawings and diagrams directly into System Architect, easing collaboration and model development.
Tau, Telelogic’s model-driven development environment for enterprise IT, has been upgraded in version 4.0 with Web-enabled SOA simulation capabilities and WSDL round tripping. The former lets you simulate SOA applications (without an application server) and run modeled services for testing purposes. Web Services Description Language round tripping lets you visualize and tune Web service interfaces while also simulating and tracing interface behavior and functionality. The feature also lets you reverse-engineer WSDLs to generate code for new services.
Many business process management vendors offer process modeling tools and many SOA-infrastructure players offer development and architecture tools, but few suppliers effectively meet the needs of both constituents. Nevertheless, the talk in both camps is about bridging the gap between business and IT, whereby business requirements and process models can be quickly interpreted and transformed into executable code on the IT side of the shop.
Telelogic's answer is "bidirectional" integration between System Architect and Tau. For starters, both tools now share a single repository that enables Tau users to read and write to System Architect models without redundancy. Both environments also share a new wizard-driven workflow that starts with enterprise architecture and process analysis and move into application modeling and deployment. In addition, predefined mappings automate the conversion of models, frameworks and formats between different levels of users.
"We can take a high-level strategy diagram, take it into business process modeling, move it over through transformation into [Unified Modeling Language], detail the UML within the architecture, push that into the IT development environment through Tau and actually generate code," says Telelogic chief strategist Jan Popkin, summarizing the integrated, end-to-end process.
Among Telelogic's biggest competitors is IDS Scheer, a business-process-oriented independent that has forged a strong partnership with Oracle in recent years. Smaller independents, such as Troux, iGrafx, Mega, Casewise and Proforma (the last recently acquired by Metastorm), tend to fall into either the IT or business process camps, leaving Telelogic as the biggest plum likely to be plucked as IT consolidation continues — regulators permitting.