What we care the most during development of Astah SysML

Yi and Kenji

Astah_SysMLWe released Astah SysML 1.2 last friday. SysML is the International Standard to support MBSE (Model-Based Systems Engineering) and Astah SysML is proudly the only tool for it made in Japan.

Kenji (CEO of Change Vision) had a short interview with Astah SysML’s product owner Yi after its release.

Kenji&Yi_Astah

Kenji and Yi

Version 1.2 Release!

Kenji(K): Yi-san, congrats on the 1.2’s release!
Yi (Y) : Thank you. I am happy and relieved at the same time that we were able to deliver ver1.2 today as planned and I hope that many more people will use our tool.
K: What is the most important policy when you develop Astah SysML?
Y: Keeping its usability is the most important focus. There are many modeling tools out there for UML and SysML and etc, and our “Astah” series has high reputations for its intuitive usability. So keeping its level to the top is one thing. And the second is to listen to the users. Since Astah SysML’s initial release, we’ve received many feedback.. really A LOT and that made me determine that I want to enhance Astah SysML with many of the users who send us their feedback.

Difficulties during version 1.2 development?

K: So this was a version-up from 1.1 to 1.2. Were there any difficulties?
Y: Yes, the most difficult part was to determine what functionalities we should implement in such a short term.
K: I see. How did you manage to decide?
Y: I knew there was a big room to improve Astah SysML’s functionalities in ver1.1 and we had so many feature requests after ver1.1’s release, so it was very difficult for me to choose what to implement. And this time we chose “Team Development Support” based on the amount of requests for it and its necessarily. We often heard that “I’m currently using Astah SysML by myself solo but want to use it with my whole team eventually”. So we added an ability to copy and paste models via files and made improvements such as an alignment of Ports and easier setting for Port’s flow direction, these may be small but all dynamically becomes useful when used in a team base.

Applying User’s feedback

K: I see. Who are using Astah SysML now?
Y: Automobile and robotics in Japan and some army organizations and academic outside of Japan. To hear their feedback directly, I talk with them via Skype or go visit them. Especially AIST (Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) has been helping us giving their opinions since its first release and we much appreciate their contribution. Astah_NestedParts
One of the new features “Nested Parts”(Right figure) was a request from Mr. Geoff Biggs from AIST and “Copy and Paste models” was from another user who is also a long time user.
K: What levels are the Astah SysML’s users at?
Y: Many of them are still learning SysML. In Japan the usage of MBSE and SysML seems to be growing bigger. So they are adopting SysML and learning it at the same time. So I’m trying to make Astah SysML to be a tool anyone can use it easily even at their first time. So that they can focus on learning SysML without learning the tool itself. Multi-platform is also important too, number of developers with Mac is increasing so we’ve made it run on Windows, Mac and Linux and file exchanging possible without any OS-specific issues.

Future vision of Astah SysML

K: What is the vision for Astah SysML in the future?
Y: I want Astah SysML to be able to support the communication among engineers in various fields, mechanic, electronic, software and hardware with using the standard common notations. Also we’ll continue to attend OMG’s technical meetings and comply with the latest specification of SysML. This is the basic and core vision of how Astah SysML will be in the future and we want to grow it better by hearing actual users’ feedback.

We want to hear from you!

K: Ok, then last message to the readers?
Y: I repeat this, we want to develop Astah SysML with you. We want Astah SysML to be the easiest possible to use for all the users especially at their first try. Anyone can try out the full features of Astah SysML for 50 days for free, so please download it, use it and send us your feedback. We read any comments you make via Facebook, Twitter or Community Site where ever easier for you to post.
Thank you very much!

Astah SysML Overview: http://astah.net/editions/sysml
Astah SysML Trial Download: http://astah.net/editions/sysml/download

Yi and Kenji

Yi and Kenji

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