Not many business intelligence (BI) companies can say that they’ve been in business for 20 years. So how is CA celebrating this milestone? By releasing a new version of its CA ERwin Data Modeling Suite, of course. "We said, well yeah that's pretty neat; we know data modeling," says Donna Burbank, senior principal marketing manager for CA ERwin Data Modeling Suite. "We want to show that we’re the experts, \[that\] we've been around for a while. But with this release we also want to show that we continue to innovate, so we're doing new stuff; we're not old and stale." Some of the new "stuff" CA is offering in this version of CA ERwin Data Modeling Suite include a new tool, CA ERwin Data Profiler 3.2, a free version of CA ERwin Data Modeler, and the latest version of CA ERwin Data Modeler.

CA ERwin Data Profiler provides Exeros data profiling technology, which helps you understand data in your systems and ensure you have one version of the truth in your databases. Burbank says "Basically what we hear loud and clear from our user community is … now our jobs as data architects and DBAs are a lot more complicated. There's things like business intelligence and master data management and MDM hubs, and I'm being asked to consolidate six customer data sources and create a single version of the truth for customers … So you have to make ERwin that we’re used to using, that's our regular hammer to do our job, help us integrate. So that's a big focus of the release."

CA ERwin Data Modeler 7.3 offers new out-of-the-box reporting capabilities, including out-of-the-box reports, because it’s now integrated with SAP BusinessObject’s Crystal Reports. "Basically, we're telling customers if you have reporting, why learn another reporting tool for Erwin, and why should we write a reporting tool, because there are plenty of good ones out there. So we've actually partnered with BusinessObjects and are offering Crystal Reports," says Burbank.

Using CA ERwin Data Modeler, you can share important information with various data management tools such as Oracle BI, Cognos, and SAP/MDM. "So we actually have an interface with most of the industry BI tools, master data management hubs, \[and\] ETL tools that you can actually import/export—we call it our meta integration bridge—and we’ve expanded the list in this release."

With this release, CA opened up the product's API, letting you customize the Data Definition Language code to fit your organization specifically. Other new features found in this release include ODBC reporting, support for Oracle's eBusiness Suite, and support for SQL Server application development and deployment using Microsoft Visual Team System Edition 2008.

In addition, CA is offering CA ERwin Data Modeler Community Edition, a free version of ERwin Data Modeler that's aimed at students and small application developers. This version lets you have up to 25 objects. "We're really trying to build a central community," says Burbank. "We've got an online forum that we’ve started that's jumped within a few months on CA."

CA ERwin Data Modeling Suite has been updated to support SQL Server 2008. CA ERwin Data Profiler and CA ERwin Data Modeler are available for $4,000 apiece. You can learn more about the CA ERwin Data Modeling Suite by visiting http://www.ca.com/modeling.