Rational Rose is alive and well with Version 7.

Rational Rose is getting more support from IBM with a new release for June 2007. The new version is called "Rational Rose Version 7". What is really interesting is that Rose XDE has been withdrawn and the migration path for the XDE product is back to Rational Rose (see June 2006 announcement).

The product line follows past versions with a basic modeling version (no code generation or reverse engineering), developer versions for C++ and Java, a data modeling version, and the "Enterprise" version which includes just about everything.

Product support include a version that runs on Linux. There is also a "real-time" version, what some people used to call "red box" Rose, with a version that is now called "Rational Rose Technical Developer". See the product information sheet (PDF) for additional information that compares the products, describes the system requirements, etc.

Trial versions are available for download from the IBM download page.

I've downloaded and had some hands-on time with the Version 7 trial. It preserves the same basic interface, menus, features, etc. as with the 2000-2004 versions. The product is so close to the previous versions that I was still able to use Quatrani's books on the 2002-2003 versions as the lesson guide for students in a recent class.

Rose V7 remains strong as a UML 1.4 product (with some UML 2 notation possible). It also remains strong for modeling independent of code or models that need to connect to code in several languages (C++, Java, XML, SQL, etc.).

Still, Rose V7 may not be the best fit for every project needs. Some projects will be better suited with Rational Software Architect or another product.

With IBM's June 2007 announced acquisition of TeleLogic, it remains to be seen how that product or it's technology will impact the established Rational product line.

- Brian