The Rational System Architect and the Visible Analyst are software products, which used to classified as CASE (Computer Aided System/Software Engineering) technologies. The original meaning of the term was limited only software automation, improving and solving connected issues. Today the meaning is much bigger – it received a new meaning, covering the development process of complex information systems in general and business-processes of a company. In the process of considering of pros and cons of both tools, we will realize which product could be preferable for us.
CASE systems are mostly based on structural or object-oriented design and programming, showing specifications as diagrams or text to describe the system requirements, models relations, and software architectures.
The both products are important instrument in the company’s strategic planning, analysing and business processes modelling. The goal of the Visible Analyst is to make these processes as much easy, as possible. It focuses on the representation of the complicated schemes of the IT and business processes in understandable visuals. This software is very user-friendly, designed for average users. Easy understanding of all processes supported by a course of video lectures and instructions. It is very efficient tool in storing and documenting all important information, data and processes, that is very important for software. This enables two important characteristics to have place - quality and consistency of all important data. Compatibility to the most popular systems and applications makes this product efficient for the management process and brings easy solutions of understanding of the most complicated processes.
However, concerning management processes in a company in general, the Rational System Architect has more additional features that I see as valuable for a company. It enables quality implementation of the main management functions – planning, controlling ad optimisation. It is a comprehensive and efficient tool for architecture of an organization’s modelling. The key focus of the system is business modelling, data modelling, structural analysing, building matrices relations. It gives ability for unlimited number of specialists to use constantly updating information, as well as to support general corporate terminology and to discuss problems in a same corporate approach, understandable for each participant. For data storage here is using well-established Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Server Desktop Engine, Oracle. In the main time, the highly customizable access rights to the database increases the level of security.
A special features of the Rational System Architect (using BPMN and IDEF3 notations) allows to see real data movement in the model, to find and eliminate pinch points, to optimize processes. Using a system of reporting can produce reports of any complexity and detailing, publish them on the Web-site for sharing automatically.
The both products are very important for business processes. They are flexible and easy for understanding tools. However, to my mind, the Rational System Architect has more advantages for the company. It allows better securing and sharing of the important information, gives all needed resources for thoughtful and deep analizing of the current situation in the business processes and management process. Moreover, it has better flexibility due to its comprehensive set of individual settings. It could be used by any employee just in frame of his (her) responsibilities and needs. Constant and easy updating of the whole system allows to prevent important mistakes in communication and fast decision-making process. Moreover, the Rational System Architect is provided by IBM corporations that helps to be sure in regards to its quality and professional level.