Hello all. I'm the product manager for Rational Data Architect (RDA), IBM's strategic data modelling tool. I visit lots of customers and talk to my own colleagues about this product, and I would like to take this opportunity to clear up a few things that I keep hearing over and over. Here are three things you may not know about RDA:
Number 1: Rational Data Architect is part of the IBM Data Studio family (don't let the name fool you)
As my teammate Holly Hayes describes in her Data Studio "big picture" article, RDA is the data design component of the integrated data management lifecycle. Rational Data Architect is built on top of the Rational Software Development platform and is designed to integrate well with Rational Software Architect and other Rational Software products. As a matter of fact, other components of Data Studio also are built on this platform and can extend the Rational application development environment with complementary data-centric capabilities. So, if you're a DBA or data architect, yes, you should be interested in something named Rational (especially since it's very likely that RDA can work with most if not all of your existing databases, IBM or non-IBM).
Number 2: Support for Cognos and Telelogic is already in the product.
Ever since the acquisition of both Cognos and Telelogic, I get questions about whether RDA supports them. Yes, the ability to support both is included in RDA V7.0 today, which means you can import a Telelogic(Popkin) System Architect file or a Cognos Framework file into RDA. We'll make this support more obvious in the UI in the next release, but here's how you can do it now:
1. Edit the following file: C:\Program Files\IBM\SDP70Shared\plugins\com.ibm.datatools.metadata.wizards.miti.win32_1.0.1.v200803201158MetaIntegration
2. Search for Cognos or Telelogic and set the interface you want to import from to 'true' and save the file.
3. Then when you go into RDA and go File-> Import-> Data-> Data Model Import Wizard you will see the newly created interface that you enabled in the drop down box.
Number 3: Rational Data Architect is NOT just for architects.
There is a misconception that only hard core data modelers can benefit from Rational Data Architect. Although RDA gives the hard core data modelers the advanced capability that they need in a data modeling tool, it also provides other roles with a good representation of the data and the relationship of all these data items. So what other people can benefit from RDA in your organization? Let's start with these:
- Business analysts can use RDA to help them understand the business entities in their organization and the relationships that exist. It also helps them to create reports that they need to keep track of all their information.
- Data Governance Stewards benefit by being able to store and define naming standards. It also helps this group to identify new standard requirements and store domain and naming standards.
- Database administrators use RDA to quickly analyze database structures and generate DDL for their data models. Other features are compare and synchronize, and it also allows DBAs to understand any database changes for a specific database release.
- Developers can quickly understand their physical system design. A lot of people miss this group but the reality is that they are developing their applications for the data in their organizations. Only RDA allows you to do things like convert a data model to an application model and vice versa. How do you do this? You can do this by using RDA in conjunction with Rational Software Architect. It also gives you a convenient place to store all your SQL Scripts in one tool.
Rational Data Architect has really gained popularity over the last couple of years since it was released. With the next release, which is planned to be available later this year, you will see more ground being made by building on top of the Eclipse 3.4 foundation and more enhancements put in place to make RDA the premier tool for database modeling. More on that later....
-- Anson Kokkat