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SAP PowerDesigner OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP PowerDesigner is #1 ranked solution in top Metadata Management tools and #4 ranked solution in top Architecture Management tools. PeerSpot users give SAP PowerDesigner an average rating of 8 out of 10. SAP PowerDesigner is most commonly compared to erwin Data Modeler (DM): SAP PowerDesigner vs erwin Data Modeler (DM). SAP PowerDesigner is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 71% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 24% of all views.
SAP PowerDesigner Buyer's Guide

Download the SAP PowerDesigner Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: June 2022

What is SAP PowerDesigner?

SAP PowerDesigner is a valuable solution for developing several different types of data models according to business process needs. Data models can be logical, conceptual, and physical, and can also include dimensional and relational models. PowerDesiger has the ability to integrate a designed business process model with the actual database design to ensure that all the data process steps are included in the logical model. PowerDesigner is able to use the physical model to create the actual database, and from there, design various physical iterations from a single logical model.

PowerDesigner can perform excellent reverse-engineering of existing databases to create a model diagram. The solution integrates well with many of today's most recognized database management systems (DBMS). Some of the solution’s featured outputs include custom or standard reports of every object in the design (relationships, field, and tables), design impact analysis, and entity-relationship (ER) designs.

PowerDesigner offers intuitive capabilities such as metadata management, link and sync, and data modeling. Users can instantly view architecture layers and essentials, access the robust metadata repository, and share findings with the user’s entire team.

SAP PowerDesigner Features

  • Document Creation: Easily share documents to cultivate an environment of communication and collaboration with all stakeholders in a project. Users can even include non-modelers. Users can provide private, secure access to metadata using hyperlinked Web reporting and multi-model documents, and even use wizard-created lists.

  • Result Analysis: The solution helps merge all model types with an intuitive automated link-and-sync process. Users can easily streamline communication and creative streams to improve the organization’s ability to experience transformation.

  • Intelligence Mapping: Users can develop thorough mapping protocols for data dictionary input. Users can record dependencies correctly with a simple drag-and-drop mapping editor and drag information from any supported source to target model pairs.

SAP PowerDesigner Benefits

  • Improve Overall Productivity: The solution enables enterprise architects and developers to share information through a trusted metadata repository that can handle all modeling types.

  • Simplify Workflows: PowerDesigner offers an easy-to-use wizard-driven protocol to streamline web-based reporting and documentation, making workloads easier for IT staff and other users.

  • Improve Communication: PowerDesigner’s intuitive link-and-sync technology will facilitate secure trusted networks between an organization's specific protocols, data models, and language.

Reviews from Real Users

“The most valuable feature of SAP PowerDesigner is the testing of the models, it has the best function. Reverse engineering is very helpful too. I use SAP PowerDesigner for data modeling and documentation. It interacts well with the other tools. Additionally, we use it for all of the business requirements, such as CDM and PDM.” - Saadat T., Emerging Cloud Solution Architect at a tech services company

“It's a great tool for documentation. A new data scientist can easily understand the data just by looking at it. Once you are managing your physical data with a logical data model, by looking at this data model, you can understand what it means, the business meaning of the elements which are maintained by the relational database.” - Michael R., DA


SAP PowerDesigner was previously known as Sybase PowerDesigner.

SAP PowerDesigner Customers

Medtronic, Cirque du Soleil, Antarc, B&G Manufacturing, EarlySense, eBay, Ferrero, James Austin Company, Lenovo, Sagem, RAK Ceramics, Vodafone

Archived SAP PowerDesigner Reviews (more than two years old)

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George McGeachie - PeerSpot reviewer
PowerDesigner and ER/Studio Consultancy and Training Specialist at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
The best data modelling tool on the market, and that's nowhere near everything it can handle
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the way you can extend it and customize it. With most modeling tools, you fit your modeling process to fit the tool. In PowerDesigner, you can make the tool fit the way you want to work."
  • "Pricing for small consultancies needs improvement. They sustain prices to competing tools. The competing tools tend to do special offers. PowerDesigner SAP doesn't pay much attention to the pricing of it and there are no special offers."

What is our primary use case?

As part of my consultancy business I provide training for PowerDesigner users, face-to-face and online. Working directly with clients or as part of subcontracted project work, I provide mentoring for users and customise the tool to fit the client's needs. The majority of my clients use PowerDesigner for various types of Data Modelling and Database activities, along with Data Governance, Process Governance and Enterprise Architecture.

How has it helped my organization?

I use PowerDesigner myself for managing my own workload. For example, I use a Requirements Model to manage the tips and tricks I plan to include in my blog, and a customised Enterprise Architecture Model to manage my training portfolio. PowerDesigner includes a 'Free Model', which I use to manage and generate my library of PowerDesigner scripts.

What is most valuable?

The architecture of PowerDesigner is designed with extensibility in mind, supporting comprehensive customisation and automation features which allow customers to make the tool fit the way they want to work, embedding those new features directly into the tool itself. For example, the built-in Template Language enabled me to add a feature to export the structure of a Data Model as a JSON-format file for ingestion by a Data Governance tool. Even if you don't customise or extend PowerDesigner, the tool is still the easiest modelling tool to use, with spreadsheet-like editing capabilities, the ability to link to or replicate (in a managed fashion) objects from a different model. The bi-directional traceability between objects and models is also a key differentiator - whenever you connect two objects together, that connection is visible from both objects (this may sound obvious but, believe me, other tool vendors don't seem to think it's important enough).

What needs improvement?

SAP have invested a lot of time and effort into improving and extending the capabilities of the PowerDesigner Web Portal. Following the most recent release, users can create and edit Conceptual, Physical, Requirements, Business Process, and Enterprise Architecture models using a standard web browser as well using the client software. I'm looking forward to the day when the Web Portal supports every type of model, including Logical Data Models. I also would like to see better support for NoSQL databases.
Buyer's Guide
SAP PowerDesigner
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about SAP PowerDesigner. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
610,045 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SAP PowerDesigner for fourteen years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are organisations with hundreds of users, very large models, and very large repository databases. It works.

How are customer service and support?

The documentation is excellent, and more comprehensive than that supplied by the competition. However, even the best software documentation doesn't support you through your day-to-day modelling activities, which is why I wrote a book "Data Modelling Made Simple with PowerDesigner". The technical support is very good, utilising SAP' standard customer support portal. I have interacted with technical support at another vendor, where everything is done by email, making it very difficult to keep up-to-date on a case.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used many modelling tools (possibly more than 10) over the years; when I set up my own consultancy I had a choice of tools to focus on, choosing PowerDesigner. I do also provide some consultancy and customisation for Idera ER/Studio Data Architect.

How was the initial setup?

It's very easy to install. If you want to install a simple repository database, that's really easy as well - SAP provides a licenced copy of SQL Anywhere, which you can deploy anywhere (as the name suggests).

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The list price for PowerDesigner is competitive for the base Data Architecture features when compared with the major competitors, especially when you consider the features that SAP don't charge for such as the Repository, Web Portal and 'Viewer' software. However, the pricing for small consultancies needs to be improved. The competing vendors often have special offers that make the tool more affordable, which is vital for data management consultancies that have to buy the tools that their clients use.

What other advice do I have?

A powerful modelling solution has to be selected, implemented and managed in the same way as any other enterprise software - before you evaluate tools make sure you've documented your modelling process and the metadata you need to manage. Run a 'Proof of Concept' first - so you actually know what you're letting yourself in for and how much work you may or may not have to do to get it to work the way you want.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Carel Van Der Merwe - PeerSpot reviewer
CEO at Abellard
Real User
User-friendly, good data analysis and design tools, but better support for open-source databases is needed
Pros and Cons
  • "I do a data-centric design, so for me, the data analysis and design tools are the most valuable features."
  • "In the future, I would like to see data manipulation capability where you can actually write SQL queries and manipulate data from directly within the tool."

What is our primary use case?

I am a computer designer and I consult to various companies. I use PowerDesigner for my own system modeling, which I then share with engineers and ultimately, the customer.

Examples of the types of modeling I do are insurance billing and banking products.

What is most valuable?

I do a data-centric design, so for me, the data analysis and design tools are the most valuable features.

The interface is user-friendly. Because of the graphic nature of it, it helps you to be able to manage complicated systems much easier.

What needs improvement?

Better support for integration with open-source technologies is needed. For example, I try to use open-source databases such as Postgres and MySQL instead of Microsoft, DB2, or Oracle. However, I think it's lacking in capability from the tool to the database.

In the future, I would like to see data manipulation capability where you can actually write SQL queries and manipulate data from directly within the tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SAP PowerDesigner for more than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

PowerDesigner is definitely stable. I have been using it for a long time and I have had no crashes. It just works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Because SAP is pushing it and they use it as a design tool, I think it's very scalable for collaboration. However, I have no idea in practice because I'm just using it myself.

How are customer service and technical support?

In the time that I have been using this product, it has never been necessary to contact technical support. I think that the help files, along with what you can find using Google, are explanatory enough.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The two other products that I have used are erwin Data Modeler and Enterprise Architect. I switched because of the scope and the user-friendliness of the tool. PowerDesigner used in conjunction with SQL Server is quite amazing. They work well together.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. There's nothing complex about it.

It will take some time to teach yourself how to use the product, but the installation is nothing. It's an hour or two to deploy it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I bought the software outright and do not pay a licensing fee.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have been looking for a tool to interface seamlessly into an open-source environment, and what I have found to be lacking is a visual database prototype tool. I would like something like, for example, Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio that can access the data instead of just the definitions for it. I am constantly searching for an open-source tool that can do not just modeling, but data manipulations or data definitions in a better way.

What other advice do I have?

I certainly recommend using this product, although it wasn't cheap so cost is a consideration. Price is a complaint that I have for most design tools in the IT world, as most of them are extremely expensive. Corporations and large companies can use them effectively.

For me, the GUI is definitely a pleasure. At the same time, there is a steep learning curve when dealing with bigger and bigger systems. Fortunately, the tool helps with that.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
SAP PowerDesigner
June 2022
Learn what your peers think about SAP PowerDesigner. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2022.
610,045 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Peter Vlekkekn - PeerSpot reviewer
Team leader and Data / Information Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
A pragmatic tool that's easy to use and offers good data modeling
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is a very pragmatic tool. It's quite easy to use."
  • "It would be helpful if there were glossary, catalog and governance tools. It would help make it a true end-to-end product."

What is our primary use case?

Often, a customer will want to migrate from another solution onto PowerDesigner. That's how I primarily use the solution: migrating things over to this solution.

We use it to set up the conceptual model. From there, we will take the physical model, where we can start the different DDLs. We will use it to generate the DDLs for the database teams to implement it.

What is most valuable?

The generational DDLs and the graphics are the solution's most valuable aspects.

The solution is a very pragmatic tool. It's quite easy to use.

The solution is very good for data modeling on a conceptual and physical level.

There are a lot of design tools that are very complicated to use, and customers will not use them in detail. I find the solution to be one of the best tools in the range.

What needs improvement?

I don't know of any features the solution is lacking.

It would be helpful if there were glossary, catalog and governance tools. It would help make it a true end-to-end product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a while. When I use the solution, the need to use it is driven more from the customer's own needs and not from my own. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any feedback from clients that would make me believe that there are stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't have any direct experience with scaling the solution. It's not something that I handle.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've never contacted SAP's technical support. I don't have any direct experience with them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We occasionally do migrations from MEGA HOPEX to PowerDesigner.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It's not complex at all.

However, it depends on how big your environment is. It's difficult, but approximately in one week, you can start creating the capabilities and then it depends on what you want to achieve. 

The problem for the migration part is the setup of the conceptual models and the physical models. If you do the modeling between the conceptual and the physical from a migration point of view, then it becomes more complex because you have the generation of internal keys.

What other advice do I have?

We don't have a business relationship with SAP. We prefer to keep our relationship independent and have no direct relationships with them at the moment.

It's certainly a good strategy to migrate to this solution from another tool, but I wouldn't recommend anyone start using it by trying out a trial-and-error strategy. An organization must think first about the migration strategy if they already have a tool and want to migrate before they start. A trial and error approach will waste a lot of time. 

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's easy to use and you can get good pictures out of it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Senior Consultant at Mibcon DIMA
Real User
A User-friendly and extensible solution that facilitates automation of routine tasks
Pros and Cons
  • "It can automate many routine tasks and save human resources to focus on real problems."
  • "There should be a better usage of current hardware including multicore CPUs, higher resolutions, and multiple displays."

What is our primary use case?

I am working for the partner of the vendor of PD. My jobs include implementing, training, customizing, and extending PowerDesigner.

One of my tasks is to develop automation that makes end users more efficient in their work.

How has it helped my organization?

It can automate many routine tasks and save human resources to focus on real problems.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are its user-friendly extensibility, impact & lineage analysis, and source/target mappings. It can be configured to display only relevant objects across all models, of any type. It has a public meta-model and the ability to automate many features so that the users can focus on what really matters, as opposed to the formal requirements of the modeling work.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better team collaboration in PD. Passing models (or objects in it) from one role to another. Today, we have to solve it by custom extensions and modelling rules just written on paper (and not enforced automatically).

Support for ArchiMate would be an improvement.

There should be a better usage of current hardware including multicore CPUs, higher resolutions (UHD, 4K), and multiple displays.

I would also like to see better troubleshooting options for repository issues. In case of problems during check-in of the model to the repository, the error message just says "checkin was cancelled", but id doesn`t give you any details or hints where to look, what to repair.

For how long have I used the solution?

Eleven years.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I started with IBM Rational Rose and then switched to PowerDesigner. I have some experience with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, too.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

PowerDesigner is not the cheapest solution on the market, so make sure that you are using it up to its full potential.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our customers often choose PowerDesigner because of its wide possibilities for data modeling, together with the huge potential to automate frequent and routine tasks. This enables them to implement their own modeling methods within the tool. 

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is an option in terms of price, but not in terms of the number supported DBs, source-target mappings, possibilities of impact & lineage analysis, and the ease of customizability of the tool.

What other advice do I have?

Before deploying PowerDesigner, do not underestimate the initial analysis of WHAT will be modeled, as well as HOW and BY WHOM. Are your users prepared well enough for the transition to PD (training, potential changes in the modeling process, ...)?

My advice for anybody implementing this solution is not to deploy PowerDesigner fully by yourself. Allow an experienced vendor consultant to explain all of the features and possibilities of the tool to you, and then just decide what and how you want or need to use.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are partner of SAP in Europe and we are implementing and customizing PowerDesigner into the customers` environments.
MahdiJalali - PeerSpot reviewer
Founder at Rozhmaan
Real User
A Good tool for Handling Big Data in Large and Complex Datasets
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution has good tools for big data, where you can manage large and complex databases."
  • "This product does not have a good BPMN Modeler."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case for this solution is to design databases, but I have also used it to design processes.

I also know how to add new features and program using the API. We added some new features to PowerDesigner about five years ago.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that we can convert CDM (Conceptual Data Model) to PDM (Physical Data Model), and then prepare an SQL statement to be executed.

It has a powerful engineering feature where if you change the data on a secure server then it will change it in PowerDesigner, too.

This solution has good tools for big data, where you can manage large and complex databases. By comparison, tools such as Enterprise Architect and Visio have problems with big databases.

What needs improvement?

This product does not have a good BPMN Modeler. Also, the simulations for BPMN modelers are not integrated well enough. If we want this functionality then we have to use another program. Compare this to Visual Paradigm, where we do have a good simulation for the BPMN modeler. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable solution, which is one of the advantages of using PowerDesigner, especially in big databases.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had to speak with technical support for this solution. 

How was the initial setup?

The setup of this solution is easy, but using it is rather complex.

What about the implementation team?

Everywhere that I have used this solution, it was installed by somebody else such as a consultant. However, the installation was easy.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user931305 - PeerSpot reviewer
Enterprise Architect at a consumer goods company with 201-500 employees
User
The wizard report links directly to MS Word and is very useful
Pros and Cons
  • "It has helped me to develop the as-is state, design its to-be state, and track the capital investment according to gap analysis."
  • "The data governance should be improved, like ER/Studio."

What is our primary use case?

  • Improving retail company operations on ERP migration
  • The report wizard is extensive and useful.
  • You can import BPMN from Bizagi.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped me to develop the as-is state, design its to-be state, and track the capital investment according to gap analysis.

What is most valuable?

  • The wizard report links directly to MS Word and is very useful.
  • The matrix processes and capabilities are good tools.
  • It is easy and fast to use.

What needs improvement?

  • The UML simulation should be improved to avoid designing other tools out of the application. 
  • The data governance should be improved, like ER/Studio.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Switched because SAP PowerDesigner is easy to use.

What was our ROI?

The ROI has been 43%.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • ERwin
  • Sparx System Enterprise Architect
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user636216 - PeerSpot reviewer
Data Architect/Data Scientist with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The publicly accessible meta-model is the foundation for utility scripts, report and general model-to-model or model-to-text generation

What is most valuable?

  • Meta-model
  • Template generation
  • Library Models

The publicly accessible meta-model is the foundation for utility scripts, report, and general model-to-model or model-to-text generation.

Library models are referenced across projects.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Impact Analysis
  • Traceability

Set of models with a rich set of intramodal and intermodal dependencies, which caters for modelling of upstream and downstream dependencies, allowing for Impact Analysis and Traceability.

What needs improvement?

Reverse-engineering of late JDK and .NET.

Use third party parsers and enhance Object-Oriented metamodel to cater for newer language features.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No.

How are customer service and technical support?

I did not use the paid support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

What other advice do I have?

Use source reference models for your industry and implement as library models.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with self employed
Real User
The data modelling features are valuable. The meta-model seems to be proprietary.

What is most valuable?

  • Data modelling

How has it helped my organization?

  • Collaborative modelling

What needs improvement?

The meta-model (a.k.a. how objects are supposed to be connected to each other) seems to be proprietary.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for six months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We have not encountered any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is good... for a price.

Technical Support:

Technical support is good... for a price.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used Sparx Enterprise Architect that provides more functions for a fraction of the costs.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy to install.

What about the implementation team?

Setup is simple and does not require external help.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you have a full SAP stack, maybe you can get it for a fraction of the cost....

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user276171 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We can reverse engineer databases and create data models and documentation for clients

Valuable Features:

Reverse engineering a database in order to produce documentation for client to understand their database in order to support their application, perform data migration, perform system analysis, perform impact analysis, and write interfaces.

Improvements to My Organization:

This product is very useful when starting a new project. It helped the consultant to understand the database.

Room for Improvement:

No issues encountered.

Use of Solution:

I've been using it for about 15 years, starting with v5.0

Deployment Issues:

No issues encountered.

Stability Issues:

The product is very stable, even with no maintenance updates to purchase. There were a few bugs I have found, which I just learned to work around.

Customer Service:

It's very good.

Implementation Team:

It was implemented in-house.

Other Solutions Considered:

We also looked at what is now CA ERwin Data Modeler.

Other Advice:

It is a great product to use, but the client does not really need to purchase the software, as the consultant can reverse engineer the database, and then create the data model and documentation in order to deliver to client. The client can use the read-only version of PowerDesigner.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user187392 - PeerSpot reviewer
BI Analyst at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
PowerDesigner is more powerful than Erwin, including data modeling which is non-existent with Erwin.

What is most valuable?

The customized Data Model validation because, in short, PowerDesigner offers the capability to check if the the model was done following the best practices of data modeling . This capability can be customized to review other internal validation processes.

How has it helped my organization?

Less time spent with Data Administrators and therefore more agile approvals Data Model. This is because the Data Administrator spend less time in Logical Model validation, as PowerDesigner does the majority of the checks.

For how long have I used the solution?

Approximately one year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I have not used them.

Technical Support:

I have not used them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used Erwin and I switched because PowerDesigner is a more powerful tool. PowerDesigner is more powerful than Erwin in many ways, but to highlight one, the capability mentioned about the Data Modeling is non-existent on Erwin and in my opinion, it is very important.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other options were evaluated.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Download our free SAP PowerDesigner Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: June 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free SAP PowerDesigner Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.