One of the most famous tools is IBM’s Rational System Architect. Systems Architect supports to develop various artifacts using EA frameworks.
However, this tool is not free unlike software developments tool such as eclipse. Rather, an enterprise architecture tool is pretty expensive shopping. In the case of Rational System Architect, the price of one user license is USD $4,190.00 (02/12/2012). This pricing have prevented enterprise architects from using these commercial tools.
"Traditionally, enterprise architecture tools are proprietary and have a reputation for being expensive to purchase, customize and run. In a 2009 report over 50% of respondents claimed not to be using a commercial EA Tool, with many making use of Visio, PowerPoint, Excel and/or SharePoint only and a 2008 survey indicated the cost of licensing as the main barrier for EA Tool adoption." *2A problem of using Microsoft Office products for EA project is maintainability of the artifacts. EA program is iterative process and artifacts need to be updated. Thus, version control of artifacts is important, and it is difficult to do it on these Microsoft’s products.
"There are a number of underlying issues for organizations that use Visio, PowerPoint, Excel and/or SharePoint rather than an EA Tool; the information captured quickly becomes out of date, the ability to quickly and easily re-draw a different view of the information is not available, the meta-model must be manually enforced." *2However, some open source enterprise architecture tools are available (and they are free!). There are two popular open source EA tools: "The Essential Project" *3 and iteraplan.
- The Essential Project *3
Usually, the cost of consultants are much expensive than the cost of tools. So, if it helps the efficiency of consultants in large amount, commercial tools will be worth the price. However, nowadays there are many alternative options including open source tools. Enterprise architects should choose these products depending on their purpose.
Finally, the followings are the requirements and comparison of EA tools, which are made by Gartner Group. These criteria might help to choose an appropriate tool.
- Requirements of EA tools *2
- A repository
- A meta model that supports business, information and technology viewpoints as well as the solution architecture
- Provides support within the repository for relationships among and between the objects in the above viewpoints and solution architecture
- The ability to create or import models and artifacts
- The ability to extract repository information to support various stakeholder needs.
- Comparison of EA tools *5