What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case of this solution is for enterprise architecture diagrams. We are working with ArchiMate and we have several hundred diagrams for specific purposes, like current state architecture, future state architecture, capability maps, and road maps.
What is most valuable?
The feature I find most valuable is that the start times and loading times are short. It takes only a few seconds to load the repository and whenever I want to open diagrams, they are there almost immediately. So you don't have to wait long for diagrams to open. What's more, you have "undo functionality", and it has some great features because each object has icons where you can set functions, like when you want to connect with somebody else.
The program also has a bulk edit feature where you can insert multiple objects by entering a list of names, after which you can say which object types you want to have. The program then creates five or six of these object types. This also helps click editing.
It also has an import feature so you can import, like Visio diagrams for example. We've been importing the Visio diagrams exported from the other products we've been using. If we want feedback on that, you can have it on that system as well. You may need to do some tweaks like if the background is using an XML file, which I think is quite outdated, you just enter these things and then it is imported correctly.
The program also supports the ArchiMate exchange format, which has been specified by our group. So when you're using ArchiMate, this is a free product. I highly recommend ArchiMate because it doesn't have an enterprise repository. It is most efficient because it's running on the desktop, it's very fast and it has a context tool. So whenever you forget what a specific icon is, it has a quick help feature.
What needs improvement?
The repository of duplicate objects is bad. There is a function to identify duplicate objects, but if you don't recognize that they are duplicates, it becomes a problem.
Also, the repository is not easy to handle it because it just shows you a list of objects in the scroll books. For example, if you have 2000 applications, it is not really feasible to scroll 2000 objects.
Thirdly, the query engine is very awkward. If you want to use queries to define viewpoints in anything, the queries are very cryptic. It takes you a really long time to get to it. It does, however, have a query feature but the query only works on objects and not on relationships. It can show you where the objects with the match are, but it doesn't allow you to search, for example, on relationships that way.
What's more, Enterprise repository doesn't allow you to store documents. I thought we were able to store documents, like Office documents for example, and that one would be able to open them from there. But this flexibility is not offered.
You often get error messages so perhaps the developers can improve their product by using customer feedback because I think that's important.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using this solution since the beginning of this year.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The program stalled twice during these few months that I've been using it. I think it's acceptable because, as far as I can remember, I didn't lose any data. I think it is quite stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
BiZZdesign is supposed to be used by many users - more than what our company has. We have only five users. So I can't tell you how it really performs under a huge load. With the number of people in our company, everything runs smooth and there are no performance issues.
There is a limitation, though. You need to use either Chrome or the old Internet Explorer. I didn't actually check the other browsers, but we have found that it runs best on Chrome. I found that the program was very slow on Firefox. If anybody has issues with Chrome, he should look at using the current version of BiZZdesign.
How are customer service and technical support?
When we have technical issues, the person who helped us, was most experienced and he managed to solve our problem.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We also used iServer and Archi so when somebody wants to work with ArchiMate as a modeling language, this would be my strongest recommendation. It's a standard published by the open group. They have training courses available, you can certify, and you can find a vast amount of material on this on the internet.
These two solutions are really fast and you can also define your properties in the repository to enhance your reporting features. I've been using it now for four or five years and I'm always astonished by its functionality and strength.
The Office iServer portal is quite flexible and gives you access to all the information and you can even define who's able to see what. With BiZZdesign you have more interaction. I saw in the demos that you also can successfully build diagrams and color code them based on some performance features.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
This solution helps you to have multiple modeling techniques in parallel so that you can define a model based on ArchiMate. You could have another one in the same repository based on BPMN and so forth. All of this is built into the design. This is what I really like about BiZZdesign. And we did consider using iServer, but we didn't have this with iServer. With iServer, you must pay for extra packages. When you say value for money, I would say you get more when you look for multiple modeling, but when you need work on the repository for harmonization, the data is very important and run reports from it.
What other advice do I have?
I will rate this solution a seven or eight out of ten, because of the missing features. I like its strong capabilities of modeling and I am impressed by the fact that it is easy to use.