Feature spotlights

Graphical visualization and analysis

Complexity has become the most difficult challenge faced by development as the size and sophistication of IT solutions have grown. Meet the challenge by using abstraction tools such as reverse engineering, browse diagrams, topic diagrams, explorer diagrams and architectural analysis. These tools help you gain, capture, preserve, and share tribal knowledge, and comprehend the purposes, functions, and interrelationships of extant components and services.

Agile sketching

Use intuitive, collaborative sketching capabilities to express and share ideas, and capture design intents and link them to other artifacts across the development and delivery lifecycle. With RSAD you can communicate to, and elicit feedback from, all stakeholders and members of your team and enhance presentations. If desired, the informal sketches can be selectively and incrementally refined into formal semantic models. You can also use those to drive Transformation Driven Development.

Design collaboration

With Design Room ONE team experience enhanced web publishing and model sharing with simplicity and improved performance. A perfect web environment for all stakeholders to view and review models ensuring all linked requirements are satisfied by the design. Easily generate reports with data from exported models.

Flexible UML modeling

Strike your own balance between simplicity and rigor. Use the full power of the most spec-conformant UML modeling tools available. Or configure them to elide many of UML’s details, and use “free form diagrams” to leverage its communicative power while relaxing its semantic rigor. A rich selection of visual themes and styles lets you add meaning and enhance communication. The included design patterns can help you quickly build models reflecting architectural best practices.

Lifecycle traceability

Link model and sketch elements to work items and other artifacts captured in Rational Team Concert, requirements captured in DOORS NG and test plans captured in Rational Quality Manager. With RSAD you can also test specifications captured in Rational Test Workbench, deployment automation specs captured in UrbanCode Deploy and model artifacts formally designated as re-usable assets in Rational Asset Manager.

BPMN Modeling

Graphically represent internal business processes. This graphical notation can help you visualize and understand the collaborations and business transactions within and between organizations. BPMN diagrams can help organizations adjust to new internal and business-to-business circumstances quickly. Import models, along with the layout information, from other third-party BPMN2.0 compatible tools preserving the layout. Many additional BPMN Global Task types are also supported.


You can add capabilities to this Eclipse-based product with your own and third-party extensions. RSAD offers these optional extensions including the Extension for Integrated Architecture Frameworks, Extension for SOA and WebSphere® and Extension for Deployment Planning. IBM Rational® Software Architect Designer for WebSphere Software offering includes all of the capabilities of those extensions plus all of the capabilities of IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software.

Broad set of supported technology domains

Import/export, reverse engineering, code visualization and Transformation Driven Development are supported over many technology domains including XML, Java, EJB, C++, C#, VB.NET, Swagger, SoaML, R-SOMA, WSDL/XSD, BPEL and SCDL. Model import is also supported from Visio and CSV.

Parallel design, change management and re-use

Models can be developed by teams with members working concurrently. Conflicts within overlapping change sets can be quickly resolved using the powerful model compare-merge capabilities. Those capabilities can also be used to compare “is” and “should” representations or see deltas between progress snapshots. Models can be decomposed and subsets can be independently versioned for reuse.

Transformation Driven Development (Software Factories)

Use the built-in capabilities for forward and reverse transformation between UML or UML-based DSLs (as the top level abstraction domains) and a broad set of more concrete technology domains. Or use the exemplar-driven transformation authoring tools that help you quickly develop factories using other combinations of abstract and concrete domains.,

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