This is the first, in what may be, a series of posts detailing my experiences with the IBM Rational Software Architect development tool (based on Eclipse). I had to install it because I am about to do some work with IBM Websphere and the IBM Rational Software Architect has features that make testing for the Websphere platform that I need to use. However, at this point, there is very little good I can say for the product.

I installed it yesterday choosing a custom location for it. The installation took a long time and put over 4 Gigs of files on my system. Then I had to run the updater which upgraded from 6.0 to The download was over 2Gigs! That is crazy. To top it off, this morning when I started it for the first time the welcome page was full of javascript errors and broken images - so something didn’t install correctly. I spent nearly seven hours installing and applying the patch and it didn’t install correctly. I am diappointed to say the least.

More to come later…



I think that Mr Anonymous above is in my dev team. RSA is our corporate choice… along with a whole collection of IBM paraphernalia. I don’t think I’ve ever had to use an IDE with such a massively negative effect on productivity as RSA.


Not at all surprising..this software is a big ‘s**t’, eating away 70 p.c of my development efforts everyday.


IBM RSA is a software that was imbued with the very essence of fail when it was conceived. Its like RSA has been designed to undo everything that the developer does in some implicit way. What an epic waste of time this software has been.


Funny… I am using RSA 7.5.1 and junk is a nice word. This thing is an atrocious piece of sh.. So many critical features are buggy and slow I don’t even know where to begin.


Already into version of RSA and it is still junk. The eclipse platform itself is sluggish, and the Rational plugins makes it worse. You can’t find how to configure default fonts in diagrams, certain styles of diagram elements (i.e. putting the name of a use case inside the UC oval, rather than underneath), colors of fonts and lines, on Linux, if you don’t disable “antialiasing” the diagrams are either non-visible or full of artifacts, and w/o antialiasing they are plain ugly, zooming-in/out frequently blows the all thing away (probably an eclipse/Java problem with Xlib threads, but …). The forum is useless: you won’t get any answer there as no Rational dude is on duty to take care of you, and the folks are as clueless as you are. Most questions remain unanswered. Just check this by yourself: go to the RSA forum and see how many “0” answers are there … Expensive, big, cumbersome to update, help system sucks, no books to find some answers, and the only book that exists

“Visual Modeling with RSA and UML” by Quatrani is pathetic. On Linux? you MUST be kidding to use this. On Windows? it’s just a bad joke. Forget it.

Funny enough, if you find a bug, which is VERY easy to do, and you don’t have a service contract with IBM, then you can’t report it. I.e. they don’t want your input … So, I guess that they don’t want to fix their numerous bugs, right?.

Fortunately THERE ARE other UML and design utilities you can use out there (Altova if you got the bucks, MagicDraw and several open source too)


I agree 100% with your assessment. And to add to it. Once you actually get the stuff installed, it actually working is hit or miss. The WebSphere Integrated test environments are a total joke, updates are impossibly long, and you need BlueGene/L to get any performance out of it. Trust me, I’ve worked with this piece of junk for over 3 years and it keeps getting worse. WSAD wasn’t terrible, but RAD/RSA/RWD is simply horrible. 1.2 gb for Rational Web Developer? You gotta be kidding me!! Good luck.


I’m not suprised. While I have never used the particular product you’re working with, I’ve found all of the Rational products I’ve used to be overpriced, amateurish and short-sighted. The best part of the RUP is the information. The worst part is the attempt to put the knowledge into tools.

I replaced Rose with Enterprise Architect and I’ll never go back.