UML in a Nutshell

Overview

Modeling languages have been used by system developers for decades to specify, visualize, construct, and document systems; rough sketches using stick figures and arrows and scribbled routing conditions go back still further. But the Unified Modeling Language (UML), for the first time in the history of systems engineering, gives practitioners a common language that applies to a multitude of different systems, domains, and methods or processes. It does not guarantee project success, but enables you to communicate ...

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1998 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 286 p. Contains: Illustrations. In a Nutshell (O'Reilly).

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Overview

Modeling languages have been used by system developers for decades to specify, visualize, construct, and document systems; rough sketches using stick figures and arrows and scribbled routing conditions go back still further. But the Unified Modeling Language (UML), for the first time in the history of systems engineering, gives practitioners a common language that applies to a multitude of different systems, domains, and methods or processes. It does not guarantee project success, but enables you to communicate solutions in a consistent, standardized, and tool-supported language.All indications suggest that the industry is rushing to the UML. Created by leading software engineering experts Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, and Ivar Jacobson (now of Rational Software Corporation), and accepted as a standard by the Object Management Group (OMG) in 1997, the language has already achieved more success than any previous contenders. With a firm conceptual and pragmatic basis, it is well suited to supporting projects in modern languages like C++ and Java. And standardization lays the groundwork for tools as well as standard methods or processes.This book presents the UML, including its extension mechanisms and the Object Constraint Language (OCL), in a clear reference format. For those new to the language, a tutorial quickly brings you to the point where you can use the UML. The book is concise and precise, breaking down the information along clean lines and explaining each element of the language. Introductory chapters also convey the purpose of the UML and show its value to projects and as a means for communication.Topics include:

  • The role of the UML in projects
  • The object-oriented paradigm and its relation to the UML
  • Tutorial with realistic examples
  • An integrated approach to UML diagrams
  • Class and Object, Use Case, Sequence, Collaboration, Statechart, Activity, Component, and Deployment Diagrams
  • Extension Mechanisms
  • The Object Constraint Language (OCL)


This quick reference guide to Unified Modeling Language (UML) version 1.1 is geared toward managers, engineers and professionals. It details both UML syntax and semantics, and it explores the role of UML in problem solving. For best comprehension, users should be familiar with UML.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565924482
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/24/1998
  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly) Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Alhir is a practitioner (consultant, conference/public speaker, and published author) as well as an IT Project Management Certified Professional and e-Business Certified Professional.

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Read an Excerpt


From Chapter 1: Introduction

What Constitutes the Unified Modeling Language?

The UML Definition

...The UML is defined by a set of documents (Figure 1-2) from Rational Software Corporation and the Object Management Group. The UML definition

  • Is expressed by the following documents (the UML-defining artifacts):
    • UML Semantics
    • UML Notation Guide
    • UML Extension for the Objectory Process for Software Engineering
    • UML Extension for Business Modeling
  • Uses the Object Constraint Language (OCL) defined by the Object Constraint Language specification document.
  • May be obtained from Rational Software Corporation or the Object Management Group via the World Wide Web (see the references section)
The UML Semantics Document

The UML semantics document constitutes the single, common, definitive, formal, comprehensive, and precise specification of the UML (called the inside view). The UML semantics document

  • Is primarily used by tool vendors; however, it may be used by practitioners since it is the definitive definition of the UML.
  • Specifies the UML's layered architecture, organization (using packages), and defined modeling elements.
  • Includes the following inside-view information for a given UML package:
    • Overview: General introduction
    • Abstract syntax: Concept definitions, relationships, and constraints expressed using the UML's graphical notation and English prose
    • Well-formedness rules: Rules and constraints expressed using English prose and the OCL
    • Semantics: Meanings expressed using English Prose
    • Standardelements: Applicable standard extension mechanisms
    • Notes: Other commentary
  • Also contains appendices on the standard elements and the UML glossary.
  • Enables the development of complex systems, consistent usage of the UML, and tool interchange
The UML Notation Guide

The UML Notation Guide constitutes the notational or visual representation of the UML and provides examples (called the outside view). The UML Notation Guide

  • Is primarily used by practitioners applying the UML
  • Specifies the UML's diagrams and their modeling elements
  • Includes the following outside-view information for each modeling element:
    • Semantics: Summarizes the UML semantics.
    • Notation (concrete syntax): Explains the notational representation (forward mapping to notation).
    • Presentation options: Describe options in presenting modeling information.
    • Style guidelines: Suggest stylistic markers and options.
    • Examples: Provide notation samples.
    • Mapping: Explains the mapping of the notation to the semantics document (reverse mapping from notation).
  • Enables the use of the UML.
The UML Extension Documents

The UML extension documents provide user-defined extensions (using extension mechanisms). These documents

  • Extend the UML to the objectory process for software engineering.
  • Extend the UML to business modeling.
A UML extension is a set of extensions (stereotypes, tagged values, and constraints) that extend, customize, or tailor the UML for a specific domain or process.

A UML variant is a semantically well-defined language (expressed as a metamodel) based on (and built on top of) the UML metamodel. It specializes the UML but does not change the UML terms or redefine their meanings.

The Object Constraint Language

The Object Constraint Language (OCL) is a formal, easily readable and writable, nonprogramming, implementation-independent language. The OCL

  • is used for expressing typed, pure, side-effect-free (precise and unambiguous) constraints and expressions.
  • is used for attaching constraints and other expressions to the UML models and modeling elements (or objects).
  • is used to specify the well-formedness rules of the UML within the UML semantics document.
  • Is formally specified in the Object Constraint Language specification document, which provides the following information: Connection with the UML semantics, basic values and types, objects and properties, collection operations, predefined OCL types, and the grammar for the OCL...
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Table of Contents

Preface Part I: Introducing the Unified Modeling Language Chapter 1. Introduction What Is the Unified Modeling Language? What Constitutes the Unified Modeling Language? The Evolution of the Unified Modeling Language Chapter 2. The Big Picture Problems, Solutions, and Problem Solving Problems and Solutions Problem Solving Chapter 3. Object Orientation Worlds Paradigms Object Orientation Objects and Classes Links and Associations Scenarios and Interactions Variations and Summary Part II: Using the Unified Modeling Language Chapter 4. A Unified Modeling Language Tutorial The Unified Modeling Language Diagrams Use Case Diagrams Class Diagrams Object Diagrams Sequence Diagrams Collaboration Diagrams Statechart Diagrams Activity Diagrams Component Diagrams Deployment Diagrams Other Notation and Information Chapter 5. The Unified Modeling Language Architecture Metamodel Architectural Views and Diagrams Mechanisms Problems, Solutions, and Problem Solving Part III: The Unified Modeling Language Quick Reference Chapter 6. Diagramming and Model Organization Diagrams Notes Packages The Role of Tools Chapter 7. Class and Object Diagrams Classes Objects Associations Links Compositions Chapter 8. Use Case Diagrams Actors Use Cases Communicates Relationships Extends Relationships Uses Relationships Chapter 9. Sequence Diagrams Interactions Class Roles Lifelines Activations Messages Chapter 10. Collaboration Diagrams Collaborations Association Roles Multi-roles Message Flows Chapter 11. Statechart Diagrams States Transitions Events Actions Chapter 12. Activity Diagrams Swimlanes Action States Action Flows Object Flows Chapter 13. Component Diagrams Components Development-Time Relationships Calls Relationships Chapter 14. Deployment Diagrams Nodes Communication Relationships Run-Time Relationships Supports Relationships Becomes Relationships Chapter 15. Extension Mechanisms Stereotypes Properties Constraints Tagged Values UML Extension for the Objectory Process for Software Engineering UML Extension for Business Modeling Chapter 16. The Object Constraint Language Expressions Object Properties Collections Standard Types References World Wide Web Resources Books Index
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2002

    Not for engineers

    This book alleges to be for anyone interested in UML, including engineers, but that's simply not the case. The book does contain a fair amount of detailed technical information, but it tends to be presented in a style more consistent with management-speak than engineering jargon. For example, the introductory chapter contains one of the most buzzword-compliant sentences I've ever been pained to read: '[UML] enables the capturing, communicating, and leveraging of strategic, tactical, and operational knowledge to facilitate increasing value by increasing quality, reducing costs, and reducing time-to-market while managing risks and being proactive in regard to ever-increasing change and complexity.' I don't believe that makes the book useless or bad, but more technical types will be left scratching their heads in puzzlement as they put down the book in favor of 'UML Distilled'. If you want a book to convince your boss that UML is something you should use at work, then this may very well be your best bet. If you need a tech manual to work through some of the finer points, then look elsewhere.

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