UML also known as Unified Modeling Language is an integrated set of diagrams which has been developed for system and software developers. This helps them in specifying, visualizing, constructing and also documenting the artifacts of the software. These set of diagrams can also be used to demonstrate business models and various other non-software systems. The best engineering practices are collected and represented in the UML. Mostly graphical notations are used by UML to demonstrate the design of a software project. UML helps the project teams in exploring potential designs, communicating and validating the architectural design of the software.
In this article we would be describing the UML features in details.
Benefits Of Unified Modelling Language (UML)
- Modern techniques like component technology, visual programming, patterns and frameworks that are used in software development are a part of the UML. They help in automating the production of software.
- It improves the quality of the software.
- It reduces the cost and the time required to market the product.
- UML helps to manage the complexities of a business management system increasing scope and scale of the business. Some of the architectural problems that UML helps to deal with are- physical distribution of any product, load balancing and replication etc.
- UML gives users the privilege to develop and exchange meaningful models with the help of ready to use, expressive visual modelling language.
- It extends the core concepts of software development with specialized mechanisms.
- UML makes the software independent of particular programing languages.
The UML can be broadly classified into structural diagrams and behavioral diagrams.
Structural Diagrams- Concept And Features
The unmovable static structure of a system along with its parts are shown using structural diagrams. Structural diagrams can further be divided into 7 different types-
- Class Diagram– A centralized modelling technique that is common for almost all object-oriented methods is known as class diagram. It demonstrates the different types of objects inside a system and their relationship with each other.
- Component Diagram– This diagram is used to show how components are tied to each other to form larger components or software systems. It describes in details the architecture of the software and shows the dependencies between the software components. They include run time, executable and source code components.
- Deployment Diagram- The physical aspect of an object-oriented software system is modelled using a deployment diagram. It shows the architecture of the system as a part of distribution of software artifacts to deployment targets using structure diagrams. Concrete elements are represented as artifacts in the physical world as results of development process.
This diagram is used to model run-time configuration and also visualizing the distribution of artifacts in the software application. The hardware components are also modeled using this diagram along with the software components.
- Object Diagram– This is a graph which includes objects and data values. It is used to show a detailed state of a system at a point in time which is concrete in nature. It is mostly used to represent examples of data structure.
- Package Diagram– A diagram showing packages and the interconnection between those packages is called a package diagram. This is often used to show the different views of a system.
- Composite Structure Diagram– This kind of diagram is mainly used to model a system from micro point of view. It shows the different parts of a software or hardware system which includes internal ports, and the ports through which they interact with each other and also shows the connectors between the parts and ports. Therefore, we can also say that a set of inter-connected elements that collaborate at runtime with a purpose is a composite structure.
- Profile Diagram– Platform and domain related stereotypes are created and the relationship between them is defined using a profile diagram. Stereotypes can be created by drawing stereotype shapes and related to composition or generalization through the interface which is resource-centric. Tagged values of stereotypes can also be defined and visualized using the profile diagram.
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Behavioral Diagrams- Concepts And Features–
A series of changes to the system over time in the form of a dynamic behavior of the objects in a system is shown in behavioral diagrams. Broadly behavioral diagrams are broken down into the following types-
- Activity Diagram– Graphical representations of workflows demonstrating the activities and actions step wise described using a state diagram. It defines the permitted states and transitions along with the events effecting the transitions. It also helps in visualizing the entire life cycle of objects in order to provide a better understanding of the state-based systems.
- Sequence Diagram– The collaboration of objects based on a time sequence known as sequence diagram. The interaction of the objects with each other in a particular scenario is shown using this diagram. The new techniques of visual modelling help a developer create a sequence diagram very efficiently in just a few clicks. There are online essay writers available to guide students gain clarity and clear their doubts in respect to these diagrams.
- Communication Diagram– The communication diagram is more focused to show the collaboration of the objects compared to a sequence diagram and helps you get detailed insights.
- Timing Diagram-The behavior of the objects in a given period of time is shown using a timing diagram.
Therefore, we can conclude by saying that Unified modelling language has a very important role to play in software development. It is broadly classified into structural and behavioral diagrams which is further divided into 13 different kinds of diagrams. These are- class, component, deployment, object, package, composite structure, profile, use-case, activity, state machine, sequence, communication and timing diagrams. Students who face difficulties in understanding UML and its features can seek online assignment help.
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