With diverse staffing options and distributed team development becoming the de facto standard, it's more difficult than ever to track projects and manage workflow. Mesa Systems Guild's Mesa/Vista Enterprise 3.0 provides a complete process-management clearing-house for project and resource data. Designed for enterprise use, its Web-based tools for collaboration and communication integrate with your Web server to provide a tightly knit working environment for team development.
I found this version of Mesa/Vista offered a more refined interface than previous versions. The frames-based, icon-driven layout is easy to understand and provides quick navigation between data sources. Initiating and updating projects was the easiest of any management package I have tried, including less complicated packages such as Instinctive Technology's eRoom.
The key addition to this version is the capability and ease with which Mesa/Vista can link disparate data sources. Teams can create and store project materials in one repository, then easily check them out via a Web browser. This version uses Java applets to allow access to underlying data without requiring that the native application reside locally.
I was impressed by Mesa/Vista's vertical integration with third-party development applications such as Rational Rose. I was able to traverse easily between data in Mesa/Vista and its corresponding modelling diagrams.
Mesa/Vista offers very effective version control and can add any type of document to a project for tracking. Plus, Mesa/Vista's newly added search engine allows for fast lookup and drill-down navigation of project materials. Version 3.0 adds support for user administration via Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), and an LDAP server is included. A useful extra is the capability for individual users to customise their viewing preferences.
Its simplicity of administration and ease of use make Mesa/Vista very appealing. Its comprehensive features provide an edge in effectively managing projects, especially when compared to less extensive packages such as Netmosphere's ActionPlan.
THE BOTTOM LINE: VERY GOOD
Mesa/Vista Enterprise 3.0
This upgrade provides a solid solution for managing Web-based projects via a unique plug-in approach.
Pros: Easy to install, configure, and administer; added search tool; improved linking; low priceCons: No direct support for budgeting or estimation; cannot copy between projectsMesa Systems Guild; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.mesasys.comPrice: $US10,000 for enterprise core; $500 to $7500 for plug-ins (for Rational Rose)Platforms: Servers: HP-UX, Solaris, Red Hat Linux, Digital Unix for Alpha, Windows NT Web servers: Netscape, Apache, Microsoft Internet Information ServerJames R. Borck (email@example.com) is an IS director at Industrial Art & Science, in Connecticutation founded in 1945 to promote regional economic prosperity in the Bay Area. It can be found on the Web at www.bayareacouncil.org.