Lattix LDM Tracks Your Architecture

Lattix LDM 3.0 solution goes beyond Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagramming.

For years, the Unified Modeling Language (UML) has helped developers visually map applications. Now Massachusetts-based Lattix Inc. aims to extend the vision of UML diagramming with its LDM 3.0 solution.

LDM uses an approach called Dependency Structure Matrix (DSM) to catalog dependencies and create a scalable, matrix-style blueprint of the application. This allows developers to assess potential problems and see how changes to one aspect of an application's architecture will affect other parts. It can also be used to develop firm architectural rules and detect when they've been violated.

Lattix introduced support for .NET last year and is seeing a good response. "Since then, we've had probably as many .NET orders as we've had for Java and C and C++," says Lattix Vice President Frank Waldman.

The 3.0 release significantly extends the program's reach. Now users can use DSM to map interdependencies across multiple domains, such as Web services and databases.

Right now, however, the product can only be used with Oracle databases. Waldman says the next release will include another database module.

Another new feature is the Lattix Data Import module, an XML specification that lets users input information about dependencies from different languages, config files and tools.

But the company isn't positioning Lattix as a cure-all.

"This is not a replacement for UML," Waldman says. "You would continue doing your detailed designs in UML.

The most fundamental problem with [UML] is when you have too many elements ... you can't get a big-picture view. There are too many boxes and arrows. ... [But] the matrix is uniquely qualified to do that. Plus, there are patterns. You can't recognize patterns in a UML diagram -- in a matrix you can."

Lattix LDM 3.0 includes modules for Java, C/C++, .NET, Oracle, Hibernate and LDI. Prices start at $495 for the Professional Edition. A free evaluation license is available.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.

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