FAQ: What's the difference between InfoSphere Data Architect and Rational (formerly Telelogic) System Architect?
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IBM bought Telelogic I was (and still am) frequently asked “What is the difference between InfoSphere Data Architect and Telelogic (now Rational System Architect). Here is the information I have about the product roadmaps and how these two products complement each other.
Before the acquisition:
First, some background to set the stage. As you know, even before the acquisition IBM marketed a data modeling tool which at that time was called Rational Data Architect, which had originated from the old Rational Rose and Rational Software Architect product line. It has since evolved into a robust data modeling solution that is today called InfoSphere Data Architect.
Meanwhile, Telelogic was in the business of creating Enterprise Architecture solutions. The best way to explain Enterprise Architecture is to look at a common application: an IT consolidation project. The goal of the business is to leverage the architecture blueprint of strategy, process, applications, systems, and data to best identify consolidation candidates, then understand the impact of change to the organization in order to successfully plan and implement the transformation. The business goal is to leverage architectural information to maintain, even increase, operational efficiency while reducing costs. Now how do you accomplish this? This is precisely what Enterprise Architecture enables you to do. It lets you come up with the plans and processes needed to move from the goals of what you are trying to achieve from a business perspective. To successfully build a current and accurate architecture for planning, information needs to be imported from various sources within the organization. This information can already exist within Visio (process), Excel or asset management tools (IT content), or data modeling tools (information). Telelogic System Architect was (and is) dedicated to building this higher level Enterprise Architecture, but other tools are more suitable for the detailed work in an individual domain (breadth versus depth). However, synchronization among these point solutions and enterprise architecture solutions is critical for consolidation of data and elimination of duplicate work.
The situation today after the acquisition:
Because of the acquisition, IBM and Rational’s robust Solution and Data Architecture line, including InfoSphere Data Architect, provide the capabilities required by focused solution and data architecture teams. System Architect and InfoSphere Data Architect provide customers the solutions they need to address both their high level EA initiatives, and focused data architecture initiatives, while providing a path of alignment between the two efforts. Today, Telelogic Solution Architect has been renamed to Rational System Architect. Sure, there is some overlap, but this overlap becomes a value-add to IBM customers. Going back to the IT consolidation example, more accurate decisions can be derived from the Enterprise Architecture if data in the architecture comes from current and accurate sources. System Architect’s import from InfoSphere Data Architect extracts information from an accurate and current source. This is one reason that Rational System Architect has a data modeling component.
So to say all of that in one sentence, InfoSphere Data Architect is meant to be the data modeling tool focused on data architects and database modeling, whereas the data modeling components in Rational System Architect are meant to be the tools that support the data aspects of the broader enterprise architecture strategy.
IBM’s plans for the Rational System Architect product are to expand the concept of Enterprise Architecture Management, making Enterprise Architecture more relevant for more stakeholders within the organization. This is being accomplished by expanding the harvesting, analysis and reporting capabilities in core System Architect, while expanding supported integrations between System Architect and other focused domain solutions. This means that you will see more and more requirements for the lower level tooling being fulfilled by legacy Rational products. As for InfoSphere Data Architect, we are continuing to compete with our peers for the hearts and minds of data architects, enhancing data modeling capabilities, while extending the value proposition of what data designers do by enabling policy-based, mana
Hope this helps.