Thursday, November 08, 2007

Feature-Rich, Low-Cost Software Modeling Solutions Driving Adoption, Creating Pricing Pressure

Recently published research by Venture Development Corporation (VDC) indicates that the availability of low-cost and free modeling tools is contributing to the growing use of standards-based modeling tools. Just as software programming evolved from the use of machine code level to more formal languages, software modeling tools allow developers to further abstract design and more easily address issues central to program’s architecture while insulated from the numerous details necessary to implement the system.

With the percentage of surveyed developers using tools typically priced below $1,000 having increased from 2006 to 2007, the growing functionality and penetration of free and low-cost modeling solutions have caused some market participants to reevaluate their strategies. According to Chris Rommel, Research Associate with VDC’s Embedded Software Practice, “The release of Aonix’s OpenAmeos into the open source community and Telelogic’s ‘Modeler,’ a free UML 2.1-based modeling tool announced in January 2007, respond to these challenges with the hope that adopting developers would eventually seek additional functionality and/or purchase other solutions from their larger tool sets.”

According to Rommel, “While this rise in functionality and affordability certainly permits a greater number of developers to experiment with UML, the level of additional functionality required by new adopters will ultimately fuel any subsequent upgrades to more sophisticated and higher-priced tools.” Furthermore, the proposed acquisition of Telelogic by IBM may cause some developers to reevaluate their current modeling solution that could further accelerate the adoption of low-cost tools.

Within the Volume V: Embedded Software and System Modeling Tools report, VDC explores these and other critical issues and offers several strategies for commercial software modeling tools suppliers to effectively compete in the embedded market.