What is UML?

UML is the acronym for Unified Modeling Language, and it is a standard language for defining, visualizing, constructing, and documenting the various components and artifacts of software systems. UML was developed by the Object Management Group (OMG) and the specification draft of the first version of UML was offered to the OMG in January 1997. UML was initially started to capture the behavior and characteristics of complex software and non-software system and currently, it has become a standard of OMG.

The idiom “a picture is worth a thousand word” , absolutely fits in describing UML. Object-oriented concepts of programming were introduced very much earlier than UML was. During that period, there were no standard methodologies to the group, customize and consolidate the object-oriented development paradigm. It was then that UML language came into the picture.

There are a number of objectives for the development of UML but the most important reason is to define some multi-purpose modeling language, with which all modelers can use and it also needs to be designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind.

UML is very powerful enough to be used to represent all the concepts that exist in the object-oriented analysis and design phase. UML diagrams are simply a representation of object-oriented concepts alone.

Features of UML

There are lots of features of UML and some of them are:

1. Sequence diagram: a sequence diagram is a view that is dependent on the time of interaction between objects to reach a targeted behavioral goal of the system. The time sequence is similar to the more older versions of the sequence diagram. An interaction might be designed and developed at any level of abstraction that is within the system design, from basic subsystem interactions to instance level.

2. Communication diagram: This is a new feature that is being added to UML 2.0. The communication diagram is simply a structural view of the interactions between objects. This feature is gotten from the collaboration diagram concept found in UML 1.4 and in earlier versions.

3. Interaction Overview diagram: This feature is also a new addition in UML 2.0. An Interaction Overview diagram is used to describe a high-level view of a group of interactions that are combined into a logical sequence, this includes flow-control logic that is used to navigate between the interactions.

4. Timing diagram This feature was added to UML 2.0. It is an optional diagram that was designed to specify the time constraints on the messages that were sent and received in the course of an interaction.

There are lots of benefits of UML and some of them are:

1. Most-Used and Flexible: UML is a very highly recognized and understood platform used for software design. It is a standard notation among software developers. You can safely assume that most software designers and developers will be at least able to use it, therefore making it the go-to alternative to explain various software design models.

2. The software Architecture is communicated effectively: The software architecture design is the blueprint of the system. It is the framework on which the efficiency of the various software system and its processes depends upon.

3. You Need to Know Only a Fraction of the Language to Use It: Though there are about 14 different types of UML diagrams that are used for modeling applications, software developers only use only three or four to document a software system. 

4. Abundance of UML Tools


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