Telelogics Popkin Purchase Prepares the Way for SOA

Opinion: Improved architecture modeling and better preparation for IT audit should flow from toolmakers' integration plans.

Last weeks acquisition of New York-based Popkin Software and Systems Inc. by Swedens Telelogic AB combines two companies whose products Ive covered for years. I reviewed Version 10 of Popkins System Architect product this past September, having first made the products acquaintance with (as I recall) Version 3: Ever since, its been among my favorite software engineering and system modeling tools because of its extensive variety and method neutrality in supporting many different diagramming techniques.

I also looked at both companies offerings in the specific context of support for the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) in an eWEEK article earlier this year.

I spoke last week about the combined companies direction with Telelogic CTO Ingemar Ljungdahl and Popkin CEO Jan Popkin. Like many good software-toolmaker mergers, this one combines companies whose products were already found working side by side at many sites. Telelogics DOORS requirements management tool was already a clear complement to System Architects enterprise architecture modeling aids. "We are right now in the process of detailing the various integrations that we can create. We are looking at how it fits into the automated life cycle of the Telelogic tools," Ljungdahl explained.

Im interested in the potential of this combination along two axes. First is the growing opportunity for enterprise architecture to become more strategic as service-oriented architectures increase the payoff of large-scale thinking. As I noted in last weeks issue of eWEEK, the leverage of tools like Business Process Execution Language is greatest for those who can apply it across the enterprise and not just within separate data and application silos.

The second axis of revolution for the newly expanded Telelogic is that of growing interest in IT governance. Merely building a system that did its job used to be an adequate definition of success, said Jan Popkin during our conversation. Today, it seems clear to me that its also necessary to document the choices and the decision-making criteria that went into building that system.

An explicit picture of why the system works the way it does, and why any imperfections in that system were reasonable compromises rather than acts of negligence, is something that Id want to have in my lawyers briefcase in this time of HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley (which even showed up last week in a Jeopardy question!) and any number of other mandates and scrutinies.

Tell me what youre scrutinizing, and what tools would help, at