Supporting Tools

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This is simply a list of practical and useful tools. It was chosen on the basis that it is simple to use, same-day value and in many cases for free.

It must be noted that I do not re-present any of these products, nor have any commercial interests. As such, my aim is simply to guide the Architecture Practitioner.

Key

l Frequent Use(almost always) , job at hand dictate which of the tools are the most appropriate

¤ Occasional Use(some times), ideal complimentary toolset

¡ Infrequent(Seldom)



Supporting Tools (appropriate to purpose)

Category

Primary Toolset/Product

Key


Also Consider

Comments

Analysis & Discovery


Microsoft Excel

l





Mindjet MindManager

l





Xcelsius 2008

¤










Brainstorming, Strategic Planning + Facilitation


Mindjet MindManager

l





Microsoft Powerpoint

l










Code Editing/Viewing (General)


Notepad++

¤



Many cases a specialist tool may not be available and you need a clearer view on a script or other.  Although this should be in the Utility section, it has come in so handy many times (Code Review,Architecture Assessment etc.) that I have included it as part of the supporting toolset







Decision Making


Microsoft Powerpoint

l



Conversation/Recording


Microsoft Excel

l



Templates


Microsoft Word

l



Recording


Mindjet MindManager

¤




Design


Microsoft Visio

l



See more specific


Microsoft Powerpoint

¤



Business Conversations







Diagramming


Microsoft Visio

l





Microsoft Powerpoint

l





Mindjet MindManager

¤










Graphics


Microsoft Powerpoint

l



Business


PSP/CorelDraw X4

l



Designer


Microsoft Visio

¤



Detail Diagrams/Models







Modeling - Generic


Microsoft Excel

l





Microsoft Visio

l





Mindjet MindManager

¤





SmartOutline

¡




Mapping


Microsoft Excel

l





Mindjet MindManager

l










Packaging of end products


ZIP

l


Arguably could be any of the ZIP type products, e.g. PKZIP, WinZip etc.

Create Work Packs by using Mircrosoft ZIP to glue them into a self contained package.  Usually include an Index file that briefly explains all of the ZIP content


HelpNdoc

l


In cases where a self contained package is required - Windows CHM format, nice thing is that you have search and bookmarks

Freeware version available


InnoSetup

¤



In cases where SETUP like installation is required


PDFTools

¤



Nice to edit split & merge PDF docs - FREE version


Microsoft Powerpoint

¤



Package to CD, include autorun







Publishing of interim/end work products


Microsoft Powerpoint

l





Adobe PDF

l



Acrobat ideal, but mostly using the SaveAs from Office 2007 as PDF.  Also PDFTools


Microsoft Word

l










Reasoning


Mindjet MindManager

l



Version 8, Class act


Microsoft Excel

l



Mainly use Pivot Tables


Treepad

¤



Free Lite Version/Limited


SmartOutline

¤



Sophisticated, much more than Reasoning.  


Microsoft Word

¤



Most of the time if you are looking for reasoning using Outlines you can get by using Word Outline View


Microsoft Visio

¡



Use Visio Pivots

Reporting


Microsoft Word

l





Microsoft Excel

l





Microsoft Powerpoint

l





Mindjet MindManager

¤




Research


Mindjet MindManager

l



Collating & Bringing together.  Use Links to create web of information







Requirements Management


Microsoft Excel

l





TrueReq

¤





Mindjet MindManager

l




Visualisation


Xcelsius 2008

l





Microsoft Powerpoint

l





Microsoft Visio

¤





Mindjet MindManager

l












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