BigLever Software, the leading provider of systems and software product line engineering (PLE) solutions, announced today the release of a new bridge product for integrating Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect with the company’s industry-standard Gears PLE Lifecycle Framework. This new integration will enable Enterprise Architect to operate seamlessly, efficiently and effectively as part of the unified PLE lifecycle toolsets used by a growing number of product and systems engineering organizations.
Enterprise Architect provides high performance, scalable visual modeling capabilities that streamline and maximize the power of model driven engineering for software-intensive systems. BigLever’s Gears solution manages product diversity and asset variation throughout the engineering lifecycle and across an entire product line portfolio. The new Enterprise Architect/Gears Bridge will allow the Sparx Systems user community to support product line variability by making Enterprise Architect “product line aware”. By becoming “product line aware”, Enterprise Architect can now connect directly to BigLever’s Gears Framework, enabling it to work synchronously with other “product line aware” tools across the lifecycle.
The Enterprise Architect/Gears Bridge will also serve to strengthen the PLE Ecosystem, an open community of world-class tool providers including developers of commercial, open source, customized, integrated or proprietary Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools. As the industry-standard PLE lifecycle framework, BigLever’s Gears solution provides the technology foundation for the PLE Ecosystem.
“As product line engineering continues to proliferate into the mainstream, the demand for an expanded ecosystem of consistent, compatible, unified PLE solutions intensifies,” said Dr. Charles Krueger, CEO of BigLever Software. “This new Bridge solution allows Sparx Systems’ large and diverse Enterprise Architect user community to realize the major benefits that PLE delivers. By integrating model driven engineering and PLE technologies, BigLever is enabling more organizations to embrace innovative modeling tools and techniques as an integral part of their PLE practice.”
BigLever’s integration solutions support seamless PLE by utilizing Gears concepts and constructs to extend third party tools and ensure consistent PLE capabilities directly from the Gears Framework. Bridge solutions make third party tools “product line aware” by incorporating standardized variation point mechanisms and enabling the execution of PLE operations – such as product configuration, variation point editing and variation impact analysis – directly from within third party tools. In addition to Sparx Systems, BigLever provides integration solutions for IBM Rational, Serena, Microsoft, Perforce and Open Source tools.

About the Enterprise Architect/Gears Bridge
 The new Gears Bridge solution will allow engineering organizations to use Enterprise Architect MDD models as shared PLE assets within their Gears production lines, and Gears PLE constructs as first-class systems and software engineering mechanisms for managing product line diversity in Enterprise Architect MDD models. More specifically, the new bridge allows Enterprise Architect users to:
· Use PLE mechanisms to manage the diversity for an entire product line portfolio in a single, consolidated MDD model, as a highly scalable alternative to cloned copies or one-size-fits-all UML and SysML models.
· Automatically configure Enterprise Architect models for different products by making feature choices in a Gears feature profile.
· Convert Enterprise Architect model elements into Gears variation points to encapsulate the PLE diversity for that model element, without extending or complicating UML and SysML models.
· Use one or more Enterprise Architect models – either packages or projects – in a larger collection of shared assets across the full engineering lifecycle for a product line portfolio.
· Perform integrated PLE operations directly from Enterprise Architect menus.

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