UML in the Business CommunityIn the modern world, business analysts use UML as a communication tool to relay business needs to the IT professionals. What is the Unified Modeling Language (UML)? Here is a definition of UML according to the Object Management Group (OMG) specification. “The Unified Modeling Language is a graphical language for visualizing, specifying, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of a software-intensive system.
The UML offers a standard way to write systems blueprints, including conceptual things such as programming language statements, database schemas, and reusable software components.” First I will start out with a brief discussion on the history of UML. I will then briefly go over the different modeling aspects. Last, I will cover the different UML diagram types.What do you get when you take the different concepts of Booch, OMT, OOSE and Class-Relation then integrate them all into one single modeling language? Do you give up? You create a common and widely usable modeling language such as UML.
UML strives to be the standard modeling language which can monitor both concurrent and distributed systems. According to Wikipedia, the OMG has in fact made UML into an industry standard by calling for information on object-orientated (OO) methodologies that might create a rigorous software modeling language. Many industry leaders answered this calling to help create the standard.There are three different aspects of the modeled system which are handled by UML. These three modeling aspects are the functional model, object model and the dynamic model. The functional model is concerned with how the system functions from the user’s point of view.
This model includes use case diagrams. The object model deals with the structure and substructure of the system using objects, operations, associations, and attributes. This model includes class diagrams. The dynamic model deals with the internal behavior of the system.
This model includes sequence diagrams, activity diagrams and statechart diagrams.There are many types of UML diagram types. These diagram types consist of use case diagrams, class diagrams, collaboration diagrams, sequence diagrams, statechart diagrams, activity diagrams, and deployment diagrams. Use case diagrams are used to obtain system requirements from a user’s perspective.
The use case diagram can be thought of as an interaction that a user has with a system to achieve a goal. Class diagrams represent static structure of the classes and their relationships in a system. Interaction diagrams consist of both sequence diagrams and collaboration diagrams. A collaboration diagram is an interaction between objects. They represent a combination of different information taken from class, sequence, and use case diagrams. A sequence diagram is typically used to show object interactions in a single use case and is easier to see the order in which activities occur then the collaboration diagrams. Both, the collaboration and sequence diagrams describe the same information and can be transformed into one another easily.
The Harel statechart can model superstates meaning that a machine can be in two or more states at the same time. Classic statechart diagrams can only be in one state at a time. Activity diagrams show behavior with control structure. This can be used to show behaviors over many use cases, model business workflows, or describe complicated methods. Deployment diagrams are used to show the hardware used in system implementations and the associations between the different hardware.As you can see, UML is rapidly becoming a big part in the business community. It appears that as we push forward in the future that UML will become a necessity in the business world.
In summary, I first went over UML’s definition along with a quick history on UML. I then went over the different modeling aspects that are handled by UML which are the functional model, the object model, and dynamic model. Last, I discussed different UML diagram types such as the use case diagram, class diagram, collaboration diagram, sequence diagram, statechart diagram, activity diagram, and deployment diagram.ReferencesUnified Modeling Language – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved July 12, 2005, from http://en.
wikipedia.org/wiki/umlIntroduction to OMG’s Unified Modeling Language – Object Management Group, Inc. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from http://www.omg.org/gettingstarted/what_is_uml.htm