Unified Modeling Language (UML)

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The problem with many Unified Modeling Language (UML) educational texts is that they present the various concepts each in isolation; so you see a use case diagram for one problem domain, a class diagram for an entirely different problem domain, and you never get to see the important traceability between the diagrams.

In this case study we aim to put it right by working through a single problem from use cases and activity diagrams, through sequence diagrams and state diagrams, to class diagrams and component diagrams. We have arranged the case study as three distinct perspectives or aspects as follows.

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The UML Component Diagram along with the complementary UML Deployment Diagram shows how a software solution will be delivered and deployed in the form of interconnected components that interoperate via well-defined interfaces. You can think of this as analogous to how electronic components are wired together, and in this context you should consider that any one component may be replaced by a different but compatible component with no adverse effect.
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The UML State Diagram, sometimes known as the Statechart Diagram or Static Transition Diagram, defines the entire lifecycle of a business entity or object in terms of the messages it receives and the responses it makes from the moment of creation until the moment of destruction.
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A UML Use Case is an atomic system function with a well-defined and standardized specification, which is performed by or o behalf of a system user or ‘actor’. This article describes how a UML Use Case Specification should be written.
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A typical business function might contain several unique events each of which we want to end up as a component of a larger software application. So how do we go from a table containing textual information to a specification which a developer can use?

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This article discusses Stephen King’s creative writing method and provides an example of using it in developing a use case narrative: the main scenario with alternate and exception paths. Yes, that is correct – Stephen King, the prolific writer of contemporary horror, science fiction and fantasy novels.

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About the Series This series of articles is designed to present the set of core UML diagrams in a way that emphasizes the important relationships between the different diagrams and the logical progression from one diagram to another. In this installment we progress from the UML Sequence Diagram to the UML Class Diagram. Introduction The UML Cla...
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A UML Sequence Diagram is used most commonly to show the realization of a use case in terms of interactions between business entities or software objects. This diagram therefore helps with the transition from non-object oriented activity diagrams and use case diagrams to the object-oriented paradigm of modern software development.
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This is a complete example of a Business/Systems Analysis Model using UML and including: Use Cases, Activity Diagrams, Context Diagram, and more.
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Use case models have been around for decades. Long after Information Engineering was all the rage and through object-oriented analysis and design they hung around. They threatened to disappear when Agile methods gained popularity, but here they are. Discussed, dissected, blogged about—why don’t they just go away?! 

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Use case diagrams are used to show the decomposition of a business problem or software solution into a set of discrete functions (the use cases) which can be enacted by or on behalf of users (the actors). In a nutshell, this diagram shows who (the actors) can do what (the use cases) when interacting with the software solution.

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Unified Modeling Language (UML) Activity Diagrams are rather like traditional flowcharts that may be used to describe the steps required to enact high level business processes or low level algorithms. From the software analyst’s perspective these diagrams are most useful for representing business processes, so this will be our focus here. Whereas activity diagrams are often relegated to the final chapters of the UML text books, I prefer to present them up-front as the logical starting point for any UML analysis and design endeavor.

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We are frequently asked about connecting and tracing software architecture elements to business processes by integrating BPMN business models and software models in UML (Unified Modeling Language)... Now we will explore how to supplement business architecture with software architecture. 

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Today’s letter is “C” – for Class Diagrams. Business Analysts use Class Diagrams to help them discover ‘structural’ business rules and to document them in a visual form that is readily understood by developers.  What is a structural rule?

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This article proposes a use case best practice technique: Always document decisions separately and explicitly in use case scenarios. This practice assists the business analyst in identifying where alternate and exception paths may be needed.This is similar to how decisions and resulting gateways are documented in Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN).

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