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Telelogic Gives Away Software Modeling Tool

Telelogic, one of the few surviving high-end suppliers of commercial software development tools, is offering its new modeling tool, Telelogic Modeler, for free.

It's the first time the company has given away a piece of its product line. Doing so will boost the adoption of an industry standard, the recently released Unified Modeling Language 2.1, which Telelogic Modeler supports, says Scott McKorkle, director of product marketing. UML allows engineers and system designers to build a model of a software application using a set of standard symbols and syntax.

The software giveaway will also boost the potential market for follow-on tools from Telelogic priced at $1,200 to $1,500 per seat, including Telelogic Rhapsody, which automatically generate codes from models and manages the development and test process, and Telelogic Tau, which provides analysis of complex systems and is used for code development. These tools tend to be used in large telecommunications, defense, and aerospace companies, says McKorkle.

"Five-man shops often don't have exposure to a UML modeling tool," he says. By making Modeler available for free download, some small development staffs may start using UML 2.1 and perhaps other Telelogic tools.

Modeler is available for download from Telelogic's Web site. Telelogic will also make an upgraded version available for $100 per user, minimum quantity 100 users.

Working with Modeler results in a software system specification. In traditional shops, C or Java developers produce lines of code based on the dictates of the specification.

But UML modeling allows models to be aligned with the lines of source code. If the model changes, the parts of the code that need to be changed are highlighted and changed; if the code moves from the model in the process of development, the model can be changed to reflect what the developers have done, with project manager approval.

The model and source code can be kept consistent, provided they're being developed with tools that support UML 2.0 or 2.1, says McKorkle.

IBM's Rational Software unit, Compuware, and Borland Software's subsidiary Codegear also supply tools that produce UML models.

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