Advice From The Community

Read answers to top Architecture Management questions. 431,024 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Mark McGregor
I have been doing some research on new free/low-cost EA Modelling Tooling. Examples would include Axellience, Value Blue, Archi etc. Has anyone had any experience or views on these newer/simpler/lower-cost cloud-based tools? What has your experience been?
author avatarPetr Klučka
Consultant

 + Lucidchart - Accomplish more by collaborating in real time. Accelerate understanding and drive innovation with powerful diagramming (archimate),  whiteboarding, and data visualization.
+ Visual Paradigm on-line - Create a variety of technical and business diagrams faster, better and affordable. 100+ diagram types. Profi tool !

author avatarMark McGregor
Real User

Thanks Petr, appreciate your sharing.

author avatarMichaelSukachev
Real User

Recently we implemented LeanIX. It's an inventory and modelling EA tool with some predefined artifacts and ability to create your own diagrams. With the correct pricing option might be not that expensive, but not comparable with just digraming tool like lucid charts (btw, LeanIX can integrate with Lucidcharts) .
Another one might be Sparx EA Cloud offering.

author avatarRussell Rothstein
Community Mgr

@MichaelSukachev ​thanks for sharing your expertise. Could you provide a review of LeanIX? If so, click https://www.itcentralstation.com/lp/provide_review?product_id=31126
You've written some great reviews of Sparx and Mule Anypoint, so we would all like to hear what you think of LeanIX.

author avatarMark McGregor
Real User

Thanks @MichaelSukachev ​appreciate your sharing. I know from my research that LeanIX takes a very different approach, and for many adds value beyond diagramming. I have yet to review the Sparx Cloud offering, I was under the impression that it was not actually native cloud but instead cloud hosting of the desktop version, but maybe I am out of date on that one.

author avatarMichaelSukachev
Real User

@Mark McGregor, you're right, Sparx offers cloud supplement to the desktop version only - for some reason I thought that they already have a native cloud solution. From price/features prospective Lucidcharts looks pretty attractive. Both Lucidchart and Visual Paradigm can create good visual content and pricing is comparable too - Lucidcharts looks to have more available integrations though.  

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What is Architecture Management?

The concept of architecture in IT can be subjective, despite its importance. Using the analogy of physical buildings, IT architecture sets out a blueprint, so to speak, that defines the structure of an organization’s data and IT assets. The architect’s goal is to help an organization achieve objectives, both current and future, using information technology.

Architecture management software is designed to enable architects visualize and analyze architectural solutions. They are also used for communicating architecture and business process analysis amongst diverse stakeholders. Architecture management solutions are more than just drawing tools, however. They usually make it possible to model, design, simulate, prototype, build, test, manage and trace an architectural solution from vision to completion. They map to applications, processes and data.

Architecture management software tools, according to IT Central Station members, should help keep the notoriously complicated and jargon-laden discipline as simple to manage as possible. Members warn potential buyers to make sure they understand how each vendor defines specific terms. Meanings and usage of the same term can vary across product lines and architectural communities. As part of this, the tools should supports a variety of meta-frameworks, such Zachman and Togaf 9 as well as application portfolio scoring models. Architecture management packages need to give an overview along with the ability to drill down from a bird’s eye view to the little details, and back. Traceability matters as well, because architects have to be on top of the evolving architectural plan.

Technical factors are as critical as conceptual ones. The performance of the process is an essential metric. With data modeling being important to architecture, the best architecture management products allow model objects stored to a database for analytical purposes. In this vein, native RDMBS support is also recommended.

Flexibility in technical implantation is also required. The tools have to support current and business models while allowing for future changes. Solutions have to be able to flex to support changes. That said, one major recommendation is to tie tooling to maturity – avoid buying a tool that the architecture team cannot handle at its current maturity state. 

Find out what your peers are saying about Sparx Systems, Planview, erwin, Inc. and others in Architecture Management. Updated: July 2020.
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