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UML 2.0 tools push MDA

By Kathleen Kriz

Modern modeling languages are constantly developing and changing – this includes the most prominent, the Unified Modeling Language (UML).  A 2.3 update to UML is supported by training and new tools from vendor No Magic, Inc.

Gary Duncanson, President and CEO of No Magic, said UML is a foundation to modern software development.
“UML is a basic knowledge that every architect out there must have,” said Duncanson. “You can’t claim to be an enterprise architect, a system engineer, a software developer that uses model-driven architecture (MDA).”

“UML is the gateway to all the other related specs, and all these other profiles are built on top of UML whether it’s for a system on a chip to system engineering to enterprise application integration, all those things are built on top of models, and the basic modeling element is UML,” he said.

Clarence Moreland, COO of No Magic, said UML 2.0 improves on predecessors.

“UML 1 to 1.5 didn’t fit the bill because there wasn’t enough granularity,” said Moreland. “The notation, the syntax of UML didn’t map at a low enough granularity to the syntax of the object-oriented programming languages it was designed to support code generation in.”

UML 2.0 is intended to address syntactic and semantic mismatches between object-oriented programming languages and UML, and will also broaden its applicability when it comes to expanding use from lower level to higher lever software engineering.

Yet, the primary reason UML 2.0 was created was to support model-driven architecture.

“A big driver for UML 2.0 was to be able to support OMG’s model-driven architecture initiative,” said Moreland. “The existing specification didn’t have the semantic richness necessary to support MDA so that was the primary driver.”

Older versions of UML are still being used, and according to Moreland, all versions of UML are backwards compatible, meaning it is possible to support UML 2.3 with UML 1.5.

One of the most prevalent concerns with UML among users is redundancy in the language.
“The biggest problem now is redundancy and also the complexity of the language as it grows to support broader applicability,” said Moreland. “But it is a general purpose modeling language so that’s given rise to domain-specific languages which are for the most part narrower, specialized versions of the UML.”

No Magic is also offering a free training course on UML 2.0 to help people to get trained and up to speed on modeling and on UML in particular, said Duncanson.

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