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Modeling Product Reviews

(Editor's note: This page is very old and quite obsolete. It is included for historical reference.)

 


15 Aug 2000

Copyright
 1997-2000 
Applied
Information
Science

Since 1994 AIS has periodically posted reviews of several commercial design and data modeling products. Each such review has required at least two solid weeks for familiarization and testing, not to mention years of intermittent use, in order to develop a well formed opinion (and if you've read any of the reviews you know I have opinions).

Between the rapid rate of vendors' releases and my growing dissatisfaction with available tools, I just don't have the heart any longer to spend two weeks at a crack updating these reviews so I offer a quick outline below, with links to existing (albeit out of date) reviews. 

Of course I may still get the urge to write about some new or newly interesting product - but you are more likely to see my new work in a book or two than as more reviews here. My efforts are now focused on developing the next generation of tools to design and construct information systems. If you need help in that arena, please drop me a line.

My personal 
ranking
Vendor &
Product
Essential
characteristics
1 Embarcadero Technologies

ER/Studio

modern;
simple;
sensible;
industrial strength
2 Microsoft

Visio

surprisingly good;
more MS compatible than MS Office
3 Sybase

PowerDesigner

over-hyped;
glamorous;
easy at first but harder later;
somewhat unreliable
4 Silverrun Technologies

Silverrun

academic;
elegant;
obscure;
logical
5 Computer Associates

ERwin

dull;
familiar;
solid;
confusing
6 Popkin

System Architect

clever;
omni-
competent;
hacker-
friendly
9 Oracle

Designer/2000

huge;
complex;
obscure;
old fashioned
(deceased) Microsoft

InfoModeler /
VisioModeler

insanely great;
way out front;
totally different;
died young
... and many others too numerous and insignificant to mention

Remember, we do not sell any products nor do we represent any vendors. You can contact them all directly from the links above.

In any case, our choice is none of the above ...