Design Tools and Modeling
Lattix LDM 2.0
Lattix's Frank Waldman & Neeraj Sanqal
Every now and then, a development tool comes along that provides new insight into how we can build better software. Lattix LDM is such a tool. Too often we simply depend upon experience to evaluate a system's design for organization, structure, layering, and other attributes that indicate the architectural quality. Lattix LDM 2.0 is an easy-to-use tool that provides empirical information, giving us new ways to evaluate software systems.
Lattix LDM uses a dependency-matrix approach to obtain information about an application. It displays the matrix and lets users conceptually reorganize the layers and packaging structure. Such information lets designers pose "what if" queries. Continual monitoring of an application for structural deterioration is also enabled; thereby allowing remedial action to be taken before the problem escalates to a major maintenance problem. Lattix LDM supports Java and C++ and integrates nicely with the Eclipse platform.
Productivity Award Winners
Borland Together 2006 for Eclipse
Any Eclipse-enabled software architect that aspires to world-class software design quality should have Together as a default feature in the IDE. Some of the more notable features in the 2006 release include UML 2 and Business Process Execution Language with Web Services definitions (BPEL4WS) support, Model Driven Architecture enabled Query View Transformations, and Object Constraint Language 2.0 definition capabilities.
Enterprise Architect 6.0
Sparx Systems (www.sparxsystems.com)
Enterprise Architect is a favorite tool among people looking for a low-cost yet useful UML-based modeling tool for .NET and J2EE. EA goes beyond the UML to support business process modeling and data modeling—you can actually build business applications. It supports a wide range of test case definition (unit, integration, system, acceptance, and scenario) for a test-driven design (TDD) development.
—Scott W. Ambler
MindManager Pro 6.0
I first saw Mindjet's MindManager in action when Glenn Ferrell used it to formulate a strategic action plan. I watched him map what appeared to be a jumbled mash of disparate ideas to a cohesive action plan in minutes. Release 6.0 takes what is a terrific brainstorming design tool to one that stays in the process longer downstream by incorporating Microsoft's Office Suite.