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Reload this page Unified Modeling Language

This page uses modern project management strategies and toolsanother page on this site to present the options for strategies and tools during various phases of a web system development project.

Take the Brainbench certification test on the Unified Modeling Language (UML)

Oracle Certified Solution Developer - JDeveloper Skill 2a : Exam #1Z0-513 Object Oriented Analysis and Design with UML


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Align at top of frame Phase 2. Design (Elaboration)

    This plan is based on several popular approaches to ameliorate Object Oriented computer systems development:

    • Microsoft's Solutions Framework (currently on its way to version 4);
    • Rational Unified Process bought by IBM; and
    • The ICONIX process proposed by Doug Rosenberg and Kendal Scott in their Applying Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML", (2001, Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-201-73039-1)

    Each phase in the process provides a different perspective for the various roles contributing to the project.

    Standard Design Patternsanother page on this site may be used to reuse elements of a system's design.


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Align at top of frame The Solutions Design Process Model

    A model is a description of a system in a context.

    The Muench model is where requirements documents are successively refined as they are converted into design documents, which are also iteratively refined into more glanular (more detailed) specifications.

    The MSF descibes how, during the design process, designs become more concrete and detailed.

    Audience Granularity of
    Deliverable Individual Documents
    Static Dynamic
    End-Users Business Functional and Non-Functional Requirements
  • Conceptual Design
  • Features for stakeholders,
    Domain Glossary,
    Deployment Diagrams
    Role State Transitions
    Scenarios through Use Casesanother page on this site in Storyboards using BMPN (Business Process Modeling Notation)
    Designers System Requirements
  • Logical Design
  • Logical Database Schema
    Objects and Services
    Robustness Diagrams
    User Interface Guidelines
    Activity Diagrams
    Developers Subsystem Requirements
  • Physical Design
  • Physical Database Structure (DDL) Sequence Diagrams
    Components User Interface
    User Interface Mockups
    Programmers Unit Requirements
  • Final Design
  • Package Diagrams
    Class Diagrams
    Application demo modules
    Unit Tests

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Align at top of frame Flow of UML Models Through Stages of Development

    Development Stage Graphical Representations
    Use Case Model Use case, Activity Diagrams
    Domain Model BMPN (Business Process Modeling Notation), Class, State Diagrams
    Architectural Design Robustness, Package, Implementation Diagrams
    Detailed Design Class, Sequence, Package Diagrams
    Source Code Java, C#, C++, XML, DDL

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Align at top of frame UML (Unified Modeling Language) Graphical Notation Models

    OMG's UML 2.1 standard specifies 13 diagrams (up from 8 in UML 1.2). Here is how various authors group the diagrams.

    Model Views Focus DiagramsA website external to this site
    Use Case
    what functionality the system provides to its users.

    Code generated from this diagram appear in user GUI menus as activity that a user wants to do and which the computer can help.

    use case diagram objects webpage article Use-Case diagramsanother page on this site represents the scope and goals of actors triggering or using use cases within systems. Scenarios are single paths through a use case. — sequences of actions (dyanamic behavior) within autonomous domains. Extension points record the things that can go wrong and provide alternate (extended) scenarios for handling them. UML "include" and "extend" relationships show decomposition of requirements. UML
    view ("rescued" from Jacobson’s Objectory work before UML)
    The traceability between what the system does (use cases) to how the system works (sequence diagrams). Done to disambiguate the use cases and identify gaps in the domain model. Robustness diagrams describe HOW actors use boundary (interface) objects (such as form objects and JSF pages) to communicate with the system.
    Control objects (controllers) transmit data from boundary objects to persistent entity objects (domain databases or other repositories of data). An improvement. UML This example is a standard.
    what elements are in the system structure. Class diagramsClick to enlarge detail the attributes and operations (methods) in the static (persistent) structural hierarchy of a system. They abstractly describe potential links among objects. UML

    UML Package DiagramsIn this page illustrate how model elementson this page are grouped and divided, (how Java package and dependencies between packages are mapped to Java import statements.) UML

    webpage article Object (Instance) diagrams depict the static structure and data values of a system at a particular (instantaneous) point in time. UML webpage article

    how elements interact over time (in lifecycles) to provide the functionality of the system. Two types of Interaction diagrams show how objects interact with each other:

    Click to enlarge Collaboration (Communication) diagrams use numbered arrows to sequence the interaction of messages exchanged between objects. They are used to show how objects in a system interact over multiple use cases. UML UML

    Click to enlarge Sequence diagrams allocate behavior to objects. They illustrate when messages (requests and responses) occuring along a vertical timeline (from top to bottom) are activated horizontally among objects (players/roles). UML UML

    Some modeling software, such as Rational Rose, lets you toggle between these two views. The ICONIX methodology eliminates Collaboration diagrams entirely for its redundancy.

    UML2 added for embedded software
    UML Timing Diagrams where time flows from left to right.


    Click to enlarge State machine diagrams depict the events / actions causing transitions from initial to intermediate to final states (status). UML UML webpage article Sample: Java threadsanother page on this site
    Note: Sequence Diagrams cannot be drawn within Visio 2005.

    Click to enlarge Activity diagrams illustrate the behavior of an operation as a set of actions between an initial and final state. “Swimlanes” separates responsibilities among roles. As object-oriented equivalent of flow charts and data-flow diagrams (DFDs), they depict object and control flows between action states. Solid lines between activities illustrate causal relationships. Dashed lines represent producer-consumer relationships. Events are annotated on lines with unadorned words. "(request)" and "(reply)" with parentheses indicate arguments passed between activities. "[Denied]" and "[Approved]" with square brackets indicate conditions. Diamond shapes describe decision branching. A thick dark line illustrates activities performed in parallel. UML UML

    A variant of Activity Diagrams are UML 2.0
    UML Interaction Overview Diagrams to illustrate collaborations among users.

    Agile modelers begin from a
    UML User Interface Flow Diagram (Storyboard)

    how the system is realized or implemented (into a jar file). Component Diagram screen captured Component diagrams describe relationships among software components within the implementation environment (such as what <<resides>> in a component Entity). They indicate the choices made at implementation time. UML

    UML 2 added ports and interfaces to component diagrams.

    the context (run-time configuration) of an implemented system in use. Click to enlarge example from Smartdraw Click to enlarge Deployment diagrams show the configuration of run-time dependencies among artifacts (executables and script files) running on nodes (resources). UML

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Align at top of frame Process Models

    Process models:

    • Value-added Chain Diagram (VACD) diagrams use:
      • 5-sided baseball diamonds to represent objectives
      • "penant flag" shapes to represent processes
      • ovals to represent organizations
      • sharp-cornered solid rectangles to represent roles.
      • sharp-cornered grey rectangles to represent technical terms.

    • Event-driven Process Chain (EPC) diagrams describe chronological and business logical dependencies using:
      • 6-sided shapes (which formerly represent manual processes) to represent events.
      • triangles to represent control poins.
      • ovals to represent organizations
      • round-cornered rectangles to represent functions.

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Align at top of frame UML Graphics Packages

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Align at top of frame About the Unified Modeling Language

    These Diagrams depict the relationships among model elements and artifacts.

    Artifacts are deliverables such as executable files or script files (created with effort).

    Model elements include classes, interfaces, components, use cases, and other objects.

      An object ("thing") is a concrete instance of an abstract class. Thus, object instances <<originates from>> a Class. Note the use of guillemet (a French word pronounced "Ghee-yu-ay") characters to designate a stereotype.

      Stereotypes are qualifiers that narrow the meaning of elements and relationships.

      Each instance of an object is an entity with a unique identity, behavior, and a state.

      A class is a realization of an <<interface>>. Thus, an interface is a specification of a class.

      A class is a classifier of objects. Thus, a classifier is a description of an instance.

    Relationships among objects include:

      Associations and compositions are considered "adornments" in UML.

    • generalizations of concrete examples into an abstract concept, represented by an arrow with a white arrowhead.
    • associations represented by an arrow with a black arrowhead.
    • compositions
    • derivations

      Align at top of frame Dependices among Packages

      Collaboration diagrams illustrate UML model elements grouped into packages that contain or reference model elements.

      Two colons separate package names qualifying an element name


      A dependency between autonomous domains is called a bridge, represented by dashed lines pointing to the domain at a lower level of abstraction (not a flow of control). One domain makes assumptions which are requirements placed on lower domain. With Executable UML, domains are represented as packages with dependencies.

    Align at top of frame States

    A solid round dot represents the initial (starting) state.
    A circle around a solid round represents a final (finishing) state.

    Align at top of frame Events

    Visio 2003 allows these events on transitions:

    • Call events occur when an element receives a call for an operation.
    • Signal events occur when an element receives an explicit signal from another element.
    • Change events occur when a designated condition (usually described as a Boolean operation) becomes true.
    • Time events occur after a designated period of time or at a specific time or date (such as when someone become designated as Inactive after a period of time).

    Align at top of frame Actions

    Visio 2003 allows these actions to be associated with transitions:

    • A create action creates an instance of some classifier (data element).
    • A call action is a synchronous or asynchronous action that invokes an operation on an instance.
    • A local Invocation is an action that invokes a local operation, that is, an operation on "self." This type of action does not generate a call event.
    • A return action results in a value being returned to the caller.
    • A send action results in an asynchronous signal being sent. You can specify the signal receivers (via objectSetExpression) or leave them unspecified, in which case they are defined by some external mechanism.
    • An Uninterpreted action represents any action that is not explicitly defined in the UML.
    • A Terminate action results in the self-destruction of an object.
    • A destroy action results in the destruction of an object specified in the action.

    Align at top of frame Classes

    Classes are represented by a box with three parts: class identifier, attributes, and events.

    A classifier Role (or simply Role) defines an abstraction of an instance.
    A Classifier Role specifies a single usage of its class.
    Object instances <<conforms to>> a ClassifierRole.
    ClassifierRoles are a <<view of>> a class.

    The diagrams are visual representations of Object Constraint Language (OCL) text.
    Classifier names are preceded with a colon.
    ClassifierRoles names are preceded with a slash.

    An Association Role specifies the required properties of a Link used in a Collaboration.

    A collaboration has external initiators, active handlers, and passive managed entities.

    As with any language, UML is defined by syntax and semantics. Syntax are rules by which language elements (e.g., words) are assembled into expressions (e.g., phrases and clauses). Semantics are rules by which syntactic expressions are assigned meanings. unifies the syntax, graphic notations, and semantics from Booch, OMT, Objectory, and other object modeling languages.

    The UML also includes:

    • example profiles of Business Modeling and Software Development processes.
    • CORBAfacility Interface Definition
    • XML Metadata Interchange DTD


UML 1.1 was first adopted Nov. '97.
UML 1.2 had editorial revisions without significant technical changes.
UML 1.3 doc# 06-08-99 adopted Nov. '99 UML 1.4 doc# 01-09-67 formally adopted Q2 2001
UML 2.0 adoption planned for end of 2002 breaks out into
  • Infrastructure
  • Superstructure
  • OCL (Object Constraint Language)

Zoomable, interrelated Championzone sample UML charts
from Microsoft's Visio gallery. You can zoom in and out on these interrelated charts by clicking the “Fit in Window” and scrolling a wheel mouse.

A website external to this site Kendall Scott's UML Dictionary

The UML Forum by Cris Kobryn at Telogic

A website external to this site Ian Moraes' Introduction to the UML

$52 Applying UML and Patterns: An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and the Unified Process (2nd ed.) by C. Larman (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall PTR (Pearson): 2002)

$45 Design Patterns Explained: A New Perspective on Object-Oriented Design by Alan Shalloway, James R. Trott (Reading, MA: Addison- Wesley (Pearson): 2001)

$45 UML and the Unified Process: Practical Object-Oriented Analysis and Design (Addison-Wesley, Dec, 2001) by Jim Arlow, Ila Neustadt

$25 Instant UML (Wrox Press Inc; 1st edition Dec 1997) by Pierre-Alain Muller

$35 UML Distilled : A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (2nd Edition) (Addison-Wesley: August 25, 1999) by Martin Fowler & Kendall Scott

$35 UML Toolkit (John Wiley & Sons; Book and CD-ROM edition October 14, 1997) by Hans-Erik Eriksson, Magnus Penker

The Unified Modeling Language User Guide by Booch, Rumbaugh, and Jacobson

UML Notation Guide, Version 1.1

$70 Object Models: Strategies, Patterns, and Applications (Prentice Hall: December 1996) by Peter Coad, David North, and Mark Mayfield

$32 Java Design: Building Better Apps and Applets (2nd Edition) (Prentice Hall: January 1999) by Peter Coad and Mark Mayfield

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Align at top of frame Mechanisms

    UML is extended by Stereotypes, tagged values, and constraints:

    • Stereotypes specialize metamodel classes.

      The most common artifacts are:

        <<file>> A physical file in the context of the system developed.
        <<script>> A script file that can be interpreted by a computer system.
        <<executable>> A program file that can be executed on a computer system.
        <<library>> A static or dynamic library file.
        <<source>> A source file that can be compiled into an executable file.
        <<document>> A generic file that is not a source file or executable.

    • tagged values extend the attributes of the metamodel classes (labels that can be attached to UML elements).

    • constraints extend the metamodel semantics (logical conditions that can be applied to elements or relationships on a diagram)

    notes, dependencies, and type/instance and type/class dichotomies


Align at top of frame UML Stereotypes

An overview

The default stereotypes within Microsoft Visio 2003 provides are listed below. Its UML Stereotypes dialog does not allow sorting, so here is the list sorted by Base Class:

Stereotype Base Class
implemtation classClass

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Align at top of frame Conceptual Design

    Take the analogy of designing a physical building. It starts with the architect's sketches, providing a high-level view of the building for the client. They might contain a site plan, elevations, floor plans, cut away drawings, and other pictures or drawings. This view corresponds to the Conceptual Design for the project.

    It all starts with an understanding of what the users really need to do and creating an easily communicated set of models that captures this understanding.

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Align at top of frame Logical Design

    The architect's sketches are followed by architectural plans, showing the building as seen by the architect and contributing staff. This second phase in the architectural process combines the client's view with the architect's view and knowledge, providing detailed drawings in each of many categories for communication with the different contractors and other parties involved in the project.

    This analogy corresponds to the MSF view of a Logical Design where we lay out the structure and communication among the individual elements of a system being developed.

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Align at top of frame Physical Design

    Finally, contractors' plans are drawn up for the builder, adding detail to the architect's plans, making adjustments for the physical environment of the site and the technology and materials available to build the building. This view directs all the construction activities and may add greater detail such as shop plans for individual subcontractors.

    This analogy corresponds to the Physical Design, where the real world constraints of technology are applied to the logical model including implementation and performance considerations. This is the point at which real resources, costs, and schedule can be estimated.

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Align at top of frame Final Design

    The Final Design is a another name for the completed product released to the users.

Align at top of frame The Application Model

    Designed to improve development, maintenance, and support, this model provides a three-tiered, services-based approach to designing and developing software applications. The services utilized in this model are scalable, and can be used on a single desktop or on multiple servers worldwide. These models promote principles such as risk-driven scheduling, a fixed-release-date mind-set, versioned releases, visible milestones, and small, peer-based teams. MSF exposes critical risks, important planning assumptions, and key interdependencies required for successfully planning, building, deploying, and managing your company's mission-critical technology infrastructure or business solution.

    Rational Process Workbench (RPW) creates “process” web sites from UML process models stored in Process Content Libraries manipulated by Rational Rose (also used to create Activity Diagrams from the models). RPW references the Rational Unified Process.

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Align at top of frame The Enterprise Architecture Model

    Designed to shorten the enterprise architecture planning cycle, this model provides guidelines for building enterprise architecture through versioned releases.

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