Unified Modeling Language (UML)

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“Where does UML fit?” is a common question among new (and not so new!) business analysts. We all know that the M stands for modelling but beyond this, perceptions start to differ. In its current form (V2.0) UML consists of 13 diagram types all of which provide a different view of a system.

In this article we’ll take a brief look at which of the 13 diagrams are of most relevance for us and how they fit together...

Author: Jan Kusiak

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Many people on our Business Analysis workshop ask why we use dataflow diagrams (DFDs). Why not Use Case…or even BPMN? After all DFDs have been around for 20 years, surely the world has moved on?

Well, has it? The primary purpose of a business analyst is to communicate – to stakeholders and to solution providers – and when it comes to communication we all know that pictures (diagrams) are much more effective and less ambiguous than words. Remember the phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words". The question is – which type of diagram best suits our needs? In this article, written by IRM's Training Services Manager Jan Kusiak, we’ll look at using diagrams for stakeholder communications.

Author: Jan Kusiak

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As a software architect and developer I’ve used Enterprise Architect (EA) from Sparx Systems (www.sparxsystems.com) for a number of years. In that time I’ve spent considerable time and energy trying to get our business analysts to do the same. While I’ve had some success I must admit it’s been an uphill battle. I suspect this is partly because EA is often seen as a technical person’s tool. And that’s not altogether surprising.

  • Enterprise Architect – the name itself is completely misleading. EA is not only for people with the title ‘Enterprise Architect’. It’s for the entire project team, from BA’s to Testers and even for Clients.
  • User Interface – for developers the user interface of EA is extremely familiar and intuitive. It looks like a lot of the tools they use already. For non-technical users more familiar with tools like Microsoft Office it is somewhat more intimidating.

So, if you’re a Business Analyst looking for a tool that can help you do your job more effectively then read on.

Author: Andrew Tokeley, Development Manager, Intergen Ltd
You can read Andrew's blog at:
http://andrewtokeley.net

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UML class diagrams show the classes of the system, their inter-relationships, and the operations and attributes of the classes. Class diagrams are typically used, although not all at once, to: Explore domain concepts in the form of a domain model Analyze requirements in the form of a conceptual/analysis model Depict the detailed de...
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UML 2 class diagrams are the mainstay of object-oriented analysis and design. UML 2 class diagrams show the classes of the system, their interrelationships (including inheritance, aggregation, and association), and the operations and attributes of the classes. Class diagrams are used for a wide variety of purposes, including both conceptual/domain ...
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Structure diagrams in general Structure diagrams show the static structure of the system being modeled. focusing on the elements of a system, irrespective of time. Static structure is conveyed by showing the types and their instances in the system. Besides showing system types and their instances, structure diagrams also show at least some of the ...
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In the Unified Modeling Language (UML), use cases are visually represented as ellipses. However, in spite of its popularity and size, UML has little of practical use to offer modelers beyond this simple iconic representation. Trying to capture and present requirements using just use case diagrams can often render the otherwise useful technique of u...
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This article describes a common pitfall of thinking of analysis and design together as a single process, and highlights the need to treat analysis and design as two separate processes. The author, points out that much of the UML standard, as it is explained today, is described in terms of design artifacts rather than analysis artifacts. Author: Co...
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Geri Schneider Winters writes about whether or not you could write alternatives to alternatives in use cases.

There is no actual standard for the formatting of a use case specification, just guidelines and best practices.  Therefore, if using alternatives to alternatives in use cases makes the use case more clear - use it, by any means.

Author: Geri Schneider Winters

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When it comes to providing reliable, flexible and efficient object persistence for software systems, today's designers and architects are faced with many choices. From the technological perspective, the choice is usually between pure Object-Oriented, Object-Relational hybrids, pure Relational and custom solutions based on open or proprietary file f...
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In this article, the focus shifts to a particular view in the 4+1 Architecture Views, defined by the Rational Unified Process. We will examine how to use Activity Diagrams as "roadmaps" for the Process View, to capture processing flows as a series of steps. We will also discuss several techniques for creating these diagrams and ensuring their effec...
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The core purpose of software development is to provide solutions to customers' real problems. Use cases are a vital aspect of a technique that has been used successfully to ensure that development projects actually focus on these problems. They are used to discover, capture, and present customer requirements in a form that is accessible to develope...
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The author illustrates how to use UML Activity Diagrams to capture and communicate the details of user interface navigation and functionality, and explain three stereotypes: presentation, exception, and connector. Author: Ben Lieberman
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The Use Case Model describes the proposed functionality of the new system. A Use Case represents a discrete unit of interaction between a user (human or machine) and the system. A Use Case is a single unit of meaningful work; for example login to system, register with system and create order are all Use Cases. Each Use Case has a description which ...
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This article proposes innovative ways to combine three of the most important methodologies that have emerged in the past decade in the field of information systems architecture: UML, RUP, and the Zachman Framework. Over the past decade, the advantages of using the Unified Modeling Language (UML) for modeling software applications have become clea...
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