ERwin 8… The wait is almost over

Waiting for new technology is a game that requires some skill. I am sure you can relate to this. I am not an early adopter when it comes to embracing new technology. I am a pretty practical guy who needs to be sure things work as promised before I take the leap. Add to that, I am a pretty economical person who knows that prices will drop as technology adoption becomes more widespread. It can be a tricky game to play. If you jump too soon, you lock yourself into an unproven technology that’s a drag on your life. Wait too long and that new technology is yesterday’s technology.
Right now I am playing that game with my smart phone. As a Verizon customer with my contract up for renewal, I could not wait for the day that the iPhone became available. Well, it’s just a few weeks away. I love my Blackberry and am pretty impressed by the Androids on the market. Now, the press is all about upcoming smart phones with larger computing power and memory. I am sure the new generation will have more power then the IBM mainframe from my early days of computing. I thought it would be a simple choice, but I find myself doing a lot of comparison shopping of features and mostly promises of great things yet to come.
As a user of CA ERwin, the impending release of release 8.0 is long anticipated. As the Modeling Global User Community President, I’ve seen many demos, read quite about it in pre-release documents from CA, and participated in the beta program. Without a doubt, the new release offers some long overdue functionality. Simple things make me happy. Spell check is a very welcome feature. The Bulk Editor replacing Data Browser promises to improve the process of moving data from and to the model. The more configurable workspace with menus that can fly in and out will undoubtedly make my life easier as a data modeler.
I know the ERwin features are highly desirable, but I find myself playing that early adopter game with this release. I have never jumped early in the implementation of software. I’ve always been gun-shy of the x.0 releases. How many Dilbert’s have we seen where the software marketing department just tells the developers to put it out there and “everything will be just fine”? My history with most software tends to lend some credibility to these cartoons.
Changing software in an enterprise environment is quite a bit more risky than changing your smart phone. For the first time in a long time, I am considering an early adoption of ERwin 8.0. For me that will most likely still be sometime late in the 2nd quarter 2011. I am in the process of building my migration and adoption plan for ERwin 8.x. Part of that involves identifying the risks and benefits. That risk/benefit analysis will have a lot to do with when our shop moves to ERwin 8.0.
For me, readiness of the enterprise is a big factor in deciding when to make the move. Our modeling environment uses the web publishing tools extensively to deliver models on our Intranet and feed our on-line data dictionary. Data browser is integral in many of our work processes. The migration of reporting and data extracts to the new ERwin 8.0 functionality will be the most critical pieces of the migration puzzle. How adaptable to these new reporting methods will my users be?  
I look forward to seeing ERwin 8.0 released. I know it addresses many of the product enhancements requested by our user community. I know it falls short in addressing others like improvements in complete compare and a redesign of model management in Model Mart. I know we can’t have everything out the gate, but I do hope that CA Technologies is listening and has road mapped improvements in these two areas in upcoming releases. R8 promises to make life easier for the ERwin community. The real test will be how successful the early adopters are in their implementations and use of the tool. Just think, the wait is almost over!
I’ve reached 2NF in “Why Be Normal?” How normalized are you?
Tom
 Find out more about “Why Be Normal?” at http://erwin.com/whybenormal/. Want to know what “We Be Normal!” is all about? Visit https://communities.ca.com/web/ca-modeling-global-user-community/ to get the whole story.
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