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Jolt Awards

The 14th Annual Software Development Jolt and Productivity Awards


MindManager X5 Pro

“Our goal has been not just to improve productivity, but to make work more intuitive and enjoyable.”

— Michel Scherotter, Business Solutions Architect; Chris Holmes, Business Solutions VP; Peter Hizalev, Lead Architect; Andrew Mochalskyy, Team Leader

MindManager X5 Pro was new to most of us—and I even questioned whether it was really an analysis tool. But we all had the same response: “Wow!” This was new and different. The Larkspur, Calif.–based company’s tool builds mind maps: n-ary trees with whatever content you put into them. Create thousands of nodes, and you can still traverse from root to leaf in linear time. Need to brainstorm? MindManager lets you capture free-flowing ideas immediately. Want to make your mind map ready for executive presentation? MindManager comes with a full library of images, icons, backgrounds and templates with the appropriate categories already laid out for you. Publish your maps as Web pages or export them to Microsoft Office, to PDF format or to the MPX format used by many project management tools. Smart Map Parts are special symbols that link to external applications and Web services. MindManager Pro comes equipped with map parts for a Google Web search, various CNet news feeds, File Explorer and direct links to Microsoft Outlook Appointments, Tasks, Notes and Contacts. Still need more? Add new features with the Macro Editor and VBA-compatible script language built into MindManager Pro. Want to be really fancy? Mindjet provides a Developer Zone with guides on developing MindManager add-ins using VB 6.0, VB .NET, Visual Studio .NET, C++ and ATL. You can even write your own Smart Map Parts using XML, XSL and Web services. And all for only $299. Wow!

—Gary Evans

Visual Paradigm for UML Professional Edition
Visual Paradigm

This impressive tool generates all UML 1.4 diagrams except object models, and adds diagrams for textual analysis, business workflow and CRC card diagrams. Visual Paradigm (VP) supports Java code generation, reverse-engineering from Java to UML, and synchronized round-trip engineering, which you can turn off if you wish. VP also allows model and code synchronization with JBuilder, Eclipse and NetBeans. Through its Resource Centric feature, VP adorns model elements with only syntactically correct operations and relationships. Other major tools do what VP does, so why am I impressed? Well, it’s comfortable to use, and it’s only $699 per seat. All in all, this Hong Kong company’s tool is easy and fast.

—Gary Evans

Borland Together Edition for Eclipse 6.1

UML tools can be annoying. There’s the code, and there are the models, and the two don’t stay in synch nearly as well as the vendors would have you believe. This isn’t the case with Together. If you add a generalization arrow in your static structure diagram, you immediately see an “extends” clause appear in the editor window. Like competing tools, Together offers a full suite of UML views. But what’s different is the simplicity of its user interface. Rather than overwhelming you with features, Scotts Valley, Calif.-based Borland offers an impressively simple and very powerful suite that makes using UML effortless. Another plus is its seamless integration with Eclipse.

—Mik Kersten

WayPointer 3.0

Overwhelmed by the diversity of UML diagrams? Mystified about how much of RUP applies to your project? Tired of making all those icons and boxes? Wonder if you notated all the actors? This aptly named Swedish tool wraps around Rational’s XDE system design and modeling tool. Sitting in a small window on the developer’s screen, it acts as mentor, respectful design critic and tireless updater of your project’s Rational model repository, helping you with those questions as you work your way from use case to class design. Software tools are great, but something like WayPointer, a developer’s assistant that helps you use those tools more effectively and raises your game as well, is even greater.

—Roland Racko

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