Should you upgrade to ARIS 9?

A few of my clients have recently started looking at ARIS 9. They almost always come back to me asking if they should upgrade at all. This is somewhat surprising seeing all the great new features of ARIS Connect, but looking at the tool without ARIS connect what do you get besides a new look and feel?

After looking at the new version, I came to the following conclusion: Yes you should upgrade and here’s why.

Aside from the obvious that it is a new version and you most likely already pay maintenance, you should consider that version 7 will be de-supported at some point in the near future.

Instead I would like to consider the positive points of ARIS 9:

  • You can do ad-hoc analyses of your data and their relationships with other objects. You can go across multiple levels of relationships for the whole database, based on the selected object types. You can even filter the output based on specified criteria. All of this is shown visually and the query can be saved for private or public use.
  • You can now create Spreadsheet models that can be used to represent your ARIS data on whole new ways. This includes maintaining your attributes in this fashion.
  • ARIS 9 has an open meta model. You can now create your own model types, objects and connections that was not previously available. You can even edit the models currently in use, and add those relationships that has always eluded us.
  • ARIS 9 was built on Cloud technology and can be hosted offsite on cloud if required.
  • Single user management. Gone are the days where you have to duplicate users and passwords across databases. You can now maintain your users at one point and the changes are valid for all the databases on the server. You still need to manage the user’s access rights per database using an Architect client.
  • License management is now also built into the user management. Licenses can be loaded onto the server and assigned to specific users. You can assign multiple licenses to one person. This also applies to the add-on licenses.
  • You can now log on using customised “views”. The view used determines how much of the functionality is active on the client when loaded. You can use or enable a “View” access, where the object symbols won’t appear to the user. The “Modeller” view allows modelling, while the “Administration” view shows the configuration and scripting modules too.
  • The report scripts used in ARIS 7 will still work. The best thing is to fully re-test all of your reports in 9.

There are more things that have improved, but also some changes not everyone will like. The point is change is inevitable and it would be better to embrace the changes rather than try to fight them off all the time. Ultimately the changes made are for the better, and I found a few “a-ha” and “finally” moments where I found enhancements that has always been “missing” on the old versions.

As with many new releases there might be some bugs that will need to be ironed out in the coming months, and depending on the severity, it does seem like Software AG will fix them as soon as possible.

The net result is that it does look like its worth upgrading to the new version, even if you do not buy into the new tools available like ARIS Connect.

At the time of writing, the latest version of ARIS is 9.6. This blog is not affiliated with Software AG and the views and opinions are my own.

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