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Top 8 Architecture Management Tools

Sparx Systems Enterprise ArchitectPlanview Enterprise Oneerwin Data Modeler (DM)SAP PowerDesignererwin EvolveMEGA HOPEXLeanIXBiZZdesign HoriZZon
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    It is an EA tool that is approved by Open Group. It is in the tool register of Open Group. We have found the stability to be very reliable.
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    The sheer amount of information available in one single interface is valuable. Everything is there. It is also a lot of work to maintain all the information, but generally, you can find everything you need within this one tool.
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    Being able to point it to a database and then pull the metadata is a valuable feature. Another valuable feature is being able to rearrange the model so that we can display it to users. We are able to divide the information into subject areas, and we can divide the data landscape into smaller chunks, which makes it easier to understand. If you had 14 subject areas, 1,000 entities, and 6,000 columns, you can't quite understand it all at once. So, being able to have the same underlying model but only display portions of it at a time is extremely useful.
  5. SAP PowerDesigner is fairly stable.The initial setup was very easy.
  6. I really liked that it mapped out processes and was able to attach the data model to the appropriate process. You could map out the process, then when you got down to a specific couple of data elements, you could attach the table in the database that supported that process. You could connect it with erwin Data Modeler for that.
  7. Its availability is very good. This is a complete package with all of the functionality that we need.
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  9. Among the most valuable features are the easy-to-use interface and the ability to get quick results... Many tools that I have seen are great for technical people and for giving technical and business information as well, but they're not as friendly and easy as LeanIX... It works well for both technical and business users. It provides a good combination, enabling you to quickly put valuable information in for both technical and non-technical people and derive results.
  10. Among the valuable features is the ability to document standards. For example, we have mandatory operating standards that need to be followed by every application and every architecture. We use things like table charts and pie charts for documenting the costs incurred across the systems. All of these are good features.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top Architecture Management questions. 542,721 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Hi,  How does enterprise architecture add value to businesses?  Do you have some examples to support this?
author avatarAllanKowalski
Real User

Some of the other answers have already provided all the usual bullet points, better business IT alignment, better PMO, compliance, standards and so on.

Those points are all true but it's very much like going on a fitness plan. I'm going to start eating properly, exercising regularly, etc.  But after a few weeks, you realize, hey this is hard work, I have to stop eating my favorite deserts, get up early, etc.. and you start cheating and before you know you are only going through the motions( eating a chocolate-coated caramel marshmallow power bar instead of a mars bar).

EA is like that, there is nothing magic about it, the benefits come from changing the way you do things as a company. Logical, smart, rational things. EA methodologies, tools and so on are the only tools to help you apply those changes.

These are things like, viewing architecture as a live constantly changing thing ( just like code) instead of a set of diagrams that are printed out, out in a binder and forgotten.

Make your documentation an implicit and integral part of your design instead of a static dreary drudgery artifact that is out of date before it's even printed allowing everyone to view what you are building and providing relevant input without having to become tech-savvy, vetting your designs in-depth to find and fix flaws early and easily.

How you do all these things is beyond what I can write in a paragraph but suffice to say you need to think like a designer and at an enterprise level ( i.e. which approach will be best "long-term" and will best fit in with the other apps in my organization ( e.g. don't create your own database for each project - share data and databases efficiently).

I'd strongly suggest you focus more on practical proper design principles and then use EA tools to apply them.


author avatarMark McGregor
Real User

Enterprise Architecture only adds value to the business when it is applied to the actual problems the business faces. All too often people seek to use other people's benefits when trying to justify it in their own organization.

It is easy to roll off benefits such as reduced IT costs, effective impact analysis, better connecting business problems with IT solutions, providing better governance and management of IT projects, etc. However, if these are not seen as issues in your business then the benefits will not be understood.

So instead, consider what problems your business leaders face, what challenges the IT folks have, and ask yourself how could EA deliver better results and in a timely fashion. The size and scope of these issues will provide insight into the monetary or resource costs of the problems, and thus enable EA initiatives to be sized in a way that ensures cost-benefit makes sense.

Using an EA tool and initiative that costs hundreds of thousands to solve problems that are only perceived as being worth tens of thousands is never likely to mke sense.

Lastly, if you focus your efforts on providing answers and actionable insights rather than creating or managing an enterprise architecture you are more likely to succeed.

author avatarJose Camacho
Real User

The foundation of an EA approach, is to establish the link between the main perspectives of an organization, from the strategic objectives, the capabilities necessary to reach those objectives, the projects that aim to implement and / or increase the maturity of the capabilities and the architectural components that the projects aim to transform, such as the business processes and the systems that support them, the skills of the people who will operate these processes, etc.
This connection between the main artifacts allows a common language, which can be understood by all interested parties, facilitating the combination of efforts in order to achieve the corporate objectives, which translates into greater efficiency in the transformation and operation process, and a clear decision-making process on strategic investments.
In this way, it is possible to know with clarity which projects are important, how much they contribute to achieve the corporate objectives and what the return point of this investment is, and the real added value for the business.

author avatarMariann McDonagh (erwin, Inc.)

There are tons of great benefits when you deploy EA. Some of the most important are helping IT and the business to determine how people, processes, data, technologies, and applications interact to ensure alignment in enterprise objectives. It’s used in digital transformation, cloud migration, customer journey mapping, regulatory compliance, so many areas of impact in the business. Check out some of the customer reviews on Erwin Evolve to see the measurable impact a good EA program can have.

author avatarLinda NamayanjaPMP,CBPA,ITIL
Real User

EA benefits include:

1. Promotes integration of processes - you are able to have a blueprint of all your processes and see the points of interlinking, silos and redundancy.

2. Provides a platform for process, data and system management which assists management to have a central place to monitor and an overview of how each is performing

3. It provides an organization with a planning process to better understand its business strategy; which helps the organization to respond faster to competitive pressures and deploy a higher quality faster.

Mark McGregor
I have been doing some research on new free/low-cost EA Modelling Tooling. Examples would include Axellience, Value Blue, Archi etc. Has anyone had any experience or views on these newer/simpler/lower-cost cloud-based tools? What has your experience been?
author avatarPetr Klučka

 + Lucidchart - Accomplish more by collaborating in real time. Accelerate understanding and drive innovation with powerful diagramming (archimate),  whiteboarding, and data visualization.

+ Visual Paradigm on-line - Create a variety of technical and business diagrams faster, better and affordable. 100+ diagram types. Profi tool !

author avatarMichaelSukachev
Real User

Recently we implemented LeanIX. It's an inventory and modelling EA tool with some predefined artifacts and ability to create your own diagrams. With the correct pricing option might be not that expensive, but not comparable with just digraming tool like lucid charts (btw, LeanIX can integrate with Lucidcharts) .

Another one might be Sparx EA Cloud offering.

author avatarMusaab Bader

not sure about low cost, however, i think Erwin Data Modeler, or BiZZdesign can be good app, i may also consider Mega Hopex. 

author avatarMichaelSukachev
Real User

@Mark McGregor, you're right, Sparx offers cloud supplement to the desktop version only - for some reason I thought that they already have a native cloud solution. 
From price/features prospective Lucidcharts looks pretty attractive. Both Lucidchart and Visual Paradigm can create good visual content and pricing is comparable too - Lucidcharts looks to have more available integrations though.  

author avatarKevinO'Rourke

Still looking for a low cost Cloud offering - CloseReach offers fully functional EA/BPM subscription based QualiWare deployment hosted on Azure with web publishing of all content. Don't need to be an EA tool expert - start with the easy to use web modeling tool. The STARTER level is a great if you want to start small or as a proof of concept package.  Check out SaaS Pricing Billed Annually - CloseReach Ltd.

Find out what your peers are saying about Sparx Systems, Planview, erwin, Inc. and others in Architecture Management. Updated: October 2021.
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