What is our primary use case?
I am a computer designer and I consult to various companies. I use PowerDesigner for my own system modeling, which I then share with engineers and ultimately, the customer.
Examples of the types of modeling I do are insurance billing and banking products.
What is most valuable?
I do a data-centric design, so for me, the data analysis and design tools are the most valuable features.
The interface is user-friendly. Because of the graphic nature of it, it helps you to be able to manage complicated systems much easier.
What needs improvement?
Better support for integration with open-source technologies is needed. For example, I try to use open-source databases such as Postgres and MySQL instead of Microsoft, DB2, or Oracle. However, I think it's lacking in capability from the tool to the database.
In the future, I would like to see data manipulation capability where you can actually write SQL queries and manipulate data from directly within the tool.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using SAP PowerDesigner for more than ten years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
PowerDesigner is definitely stable. I have been using it for a long time and I have had no crashes. It just works.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Because SAP is pushing it and they use it as a design tool, I think it's very scalable for collaboration. However, I have no idea in practice because I'm just using it myself.
How are customer service and technical support?
In the time that I have been using this product, it has never been necessary to contact technical support. I think that the help files, along with what you can find using Google, are explanatory enough.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
The two other products that I have used are erwin Data Modeler and Enterprise Architect. I switched because of the scope and the user-friendliness of the tool. PowerDesigner used in conjunction with SQL Server is quite amazing. They work well together.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is straightforward. There's nothing complex about it.
It will take some time to teach yourself how to use the product, but the installation is nothing. It's an hour or two to deploy it.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I bought the software outright and do not pay a licensing fee.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I have been looking for a tool to interface seamlessly into an open-source environment, and what I have found to be lacking is a visual database prototype tool. I would like something like, for example, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio that can access the data instead of just the definitions for it. I am constantly searching for an open-source tool that can do not just modeling, but data manipulations or data definitions in a better way.
What other advice do I have?
I certainly recommend using this product, although it wasn't cheap so cost is a consideration. Price is a complaint that I have for most design tools in the IT world, as most of them are extremely expensive. Corporations and large companies can use them effectively.
For me, the GUI is definitely a pleasure. At the same time, there is a steep learning curve when dealing with bigger and bigger systems. Fortunately, the tool helps with that.
I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?