UML/Database Modeler that I actually like!

August 20, 2004
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While trolling the DevelopMentor .NET Lists, William D. Bartholomew mentioned a new UML tool that does round-tripping to and from code.  I’ve used Rational’s (IBM’s) XDE before to do this, but it is buggy and hates source code control.

Sparx Systems’ Enterprise Architect is a great tool.  It doesn’t work in the VS.NET IDE, but works with it very well.  I like several important things about it:

  • It does roundtripping of the code with no discernable breadcrumbs.
  • It is fast and interfaces with VS.NET pretty clearly.
  • It costs next to nothing ($189 for the Professional Edition, and $95 for the VS.NET connector).
  • Handles the full spectrum of UML Models (Use, Case, Component, etc.)
  • Handles Database Modeling fairly well.
  • Auto-Layout actually makes decent looking diagrams.
  • Knows to connect objects that have references to each other.

One of the features that really stands out is being able to see the model and code at the same time.  Changes to the model affect the code and vice-versa:

I was really surprised by the price, since Rational’s XDE is $2,500…nearly 10% of the cost for more of a product.

Go get a copy before they figure out they’ve under-priced it!