UML Tool Eases Co-Worker Collaboration

Software developers next month will see a new UML tool designed to allow them to collaborate with colleagues

Software developers next month will see a new UML tool designed to allow them to collaborate with colleagues.

Startup CanyonBlue Inc. last week unveiled Cittera, an Internet-based collaborative Unified Modeling Language tool that aims to compete with Rational Software Corp.s Rational Rose.

Venu Gopal, chairman of CanyonBlue, said that while there has been a lot of activity surrounding collaboration in the workplace, there havent been enough collaborative tools for developers.

"We think Citteras collaboration function will [allow] great progress in our software development process," said Naomitsu Nishii, a beta tester and technical manager for Osaka Gas Information Systems Research Institute Co. Ltd., in Palo Alto, Calif. "Its easy to share information between different models."

Nishii said the product will help his companys developers work with partners in India.

OGIS has been working with Cittera for a few months.

"Its very easy to use, and its functionality is very good," Nishii said. "The strongest part is the collaboration."

The product allows developers in various locations to work together on projects in real time. Gopal describes the environment as "a virtual room with a whiteboard."

"If you think about the life cycle of a project, youre making changes all the way along," said Gopal, in New York. "This is really a new paradigm in the development process."

Cittera, which was unveiled at the Software Development West show in San Jose, Calif., last week, also tracks changes and uses different colors for various users, so its easy to figure out who did what during the development cycle, Gopal said.

In addition, it includes support for Extensible Markup Language, the latest version of UML and Secure Sockets Layer for security. CanyonBlue also has signed up with VeriSign Inc. to keep its site secure.

The tool allows users to build various UML modules.

"You can componentize and create modules you can use throughout the system," Gopal said. "It goes towards, again, the whole issue of being able to leverage what you already have so you can focus on [building] something new."

CanyonBlue expects to launch the product late next month. Pricing will be based on usage and is expected to be around $250 per user per month.