Curtis Tsang, CEO Ying Leung, Principal Consultant
Smart Development Environment 2.0
If Visio jolted the development world in years past, Smart Development Environment (SDE) is jolting us today. The team at Hong Kong–based Visual Paradigm has now morphed their stand-alone Java and UML modeling environments to provide the same functionality across nine popular IDEs: Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, Eclipse/WebSphere, JBuilder, NetBeans/Sun ONE, IntelliJ IDEA, Oracle JDeveloper and BEA WebLogic Workshop. Now, Java developers can use the capable code-development facilities in their favorite IDE with UML 2.0 round-trip synchronization to generate Java and EJB code from UML models, generate UML models from Java and EJB code, and a whole lot more. SDE models employ a resource-centric display: Hover over a diagram element, and SDE adorns it with all valid UML symbols that can be used.
Not only does SDE support UML use case diagrams, it lets you associate multiple descriptions with each use case. SDE then dissects the use case to identify candidate classes, and even provides automated support for CRC card definition. The mouse-gestures capability grabs the "cool feature" laurels: You can create new modeling elements in your diagrams just by moving your mouse pointer according to a prescribed recognition pattern. You can add any Visio drawing to any UML diagram, and create your own stencils and shapes. The Visual Studio version supports round-trip engineering for C#, VB, C++ and ASP.NET projects. Plus, SDE is fast!
Productivity Award Winners
MagicDraw UML 9.0
Headquartered in Golden, Colo., No Magic has released a winner: MagicDraw UML, a well-designed and highly usable UML modeling tool that supports UML 2.0 notation and the UML 1.4 metamodel. While highly Java-centric, it also supports C#, C++, WSDL, XSD and CORBA IDL, and can generate GoF design patterns and JUnit test patterns. Database schema modeling is supported via JDBC connectors, with improved Oracle round-trip engineering support in this version. It integrates with many popular Java development environments, including Borland JBuilder, Sun ONE, Eclipse, NetBeans and IntelliJ IDEA. Teams can collaborate on a single model using Teamwork Server, and the new visual-model differencing feature makes it easier to see changes between two versions of a model. A 100 percent Java application, MagicDraw can also be extended with plug-ins written in Java or Jython.
Together Designer 2005
From Scotts Valley, Calif., Borland is a perennial favorite at the Jolt Awards for one simple reason: Its products work really well. Together Designer is geared toward project teams that need good requirements-modeling functionality but still require the code-generation features that made Together famous. I've used Together for years for its round-trip code-generation abilityif a modeling tool isn't intimately connected with source code, it simply doesn't offer the power that application developers need. Together is one of a handful of tools that meet my mission-critical needs.
Together Designer enables you to create platform-independent models (PIMs) using the UML, and from those PIMs generate code for either the .NET platform as C# or C++ code, or the J2EE platform as Java code. Most important, your models and code stay in sync as you work, ensuring that they remain first-class artifacts.
Rational Software Architect
UML design tools are gaining popularity, and IBM's Rational Software Architect (RSA) is probably the most complete and refined UML-centric design tool available. It provides UML 2.0 modeling capabilities and coverage of diagram notations. RSA also has excellent support for working with design patterns, including uniquely extensible support for creating new patterns. And its heritage is strong. Built on the Eclipse 3.0 IDE, RSA provides a seamless extension that matches the quality and consistency of the Eclipse UIsomething that can't be said for many other design tools that feel like add-ons rather than integrated tools. In addition, RSA offers enterprise application developers class-diagram editing of data-layer objects, Web services support, high-quality presentation-layer design tools, and integration with popular Rational tools and processes such as RequisitePro and RUP.