Sybase has announced some enhancements for its modelling software, PowerDesigner, in an attempt to offer enterprise architects a way to measure the gap between the "as-is" state and the "to-be" state.

David Dichmann, Sybase's product manager for design tools said the changes had been made to improve agility within an enterprise.

He said that there was an analogy with business intelligence. "If you look at the way that we build business intelligence systems, we enter the customer information and how to manage that, but we forget the architecture," he said.

The Sybase proposal is to offer people a variety of differing views of the information, presented in a simple way. "We contain everything in a single tool," Dichmann said.

There are three main innovations in the new version he said. "There's a whole new way of modelling, including an enterprise architecture editor. There's an impact analysis tool that offers enterprise architects a visualisation of the impact of change and a simple way to check on the costs of such a change, and improved metadata accessibility," he said

In addition, the product uses what Sybase calls Link and Synch technology which works by capturing the intersections between all architectural layers and perspectives of the enterprise. This allows users from all groups to clearly visualise and effectively implement fast, reliable and predictable change.

According to Dichmann, PowerDesigner 15 will also help meet regulatory compliance demands as well as assist in the migration to service-oriented architectures (SOA).

Dichmann likened the use of the product to the Big Dig, Boston's radical transformation of its road system, which entailed the construction of a tunnel underneath the city.

"That was an engineering challenge similar to the way that enterprises build their architecture. It was a massive build that couldn't involve shutting down the city for a year while it was constructed," he said. "Similarly, enterprise architects can't shut down a company while they work through changes to processes. PowerDesigner will minimise the disruption."