Why Unified Modeling Language (UML)
There are a number of reasons why you will want to consider Unified Modeling Language (UML) – for your application development. When I think of UML, one term which comes to mind is "software quality." One thing that has plagued the software industry in recent year is poor software design. While the software industry has done fairly well for the last decade, the impact of globalization is changing the ways in which software is designed.
In the past, most software applications would be constructed in house, and it would be done by a team of developers that worked in the same location. Since everyone was close to each other, communication wasn’t a big issue.
Due to globalization and outsourcing, many companies are looking to have their software applications designed by developers living in remote locations. This is done primarily to reduce the development costs. However, for what a company may save in terms of money, they may lose in terms of communication. Software development is a complex process, and as the demands of the software industry continue to increase, there will be a demand for tools which allow developers to communicate with high levels of precision. Another powerful feature that can be found in UML is automatic documentation.
If you are a developer who is still using traditional methods of application development, you may be suspicious of UML. This is understandable, since many software development tools don’t live up to the hype. However, with UML, there are a number of things you will want to consider. First, UML is not a methodology. It is a modeling language, and it can be used to define diagrams and the meaning of these blueprints. A method is an element which will take things a bit further. It will be responsible for defining the processes that must be followed to create the software. It will also organize both the diagrams and tasks.
UML is Independent of Methods
Over the last few years, I have seen a number of people creating new methods that utilize the UML notation. However, I must emphasize that it is not necessary to use a method to unlock all the capabilities of UML. There is no fixed method that is the end all for application development. Once you get past all the method aspects of the language, you will be left with various types of diagrams. Instead of looking at just the uses of UML, you will also need to look at the uses of the diagrams. The one word which best describes the benefits of UML is communication. This is a concept that is very important for anyone who wants to use the Unified Modeling Language properly.
When you have a team of developers who are working from remote locations, communication is extremely important. If your developers don’t communicate, the team will have problems with the software development cycle. Once the software is completed (if the team can complete it at all), more than likely, you will have a product that is low in quality. It may be full of bugs or other problems that could make it annoying to the end user. If you are working for a company that makes money through software sales, it is easy to see why this is a very dangerous scenario. A failure to communicate during the development process can lead to disaster, and a great deal of money and time may be wasted.
It could be argued that communication is the hardest part about developing high quality software. UML is a godsend because it is proficient in handling this difficult problem. It can allow a team of developers to communicate effectively, and your geographical location is of little importance. If you want to maximize the capabilities of UML, you must use it in a manner that allows your team to communicate with a high degree of precision. There are a number of ways in which UML can allow your development team of communicate better, and I will explain this in detail in the following paragraphs.
Examples of How UML Can Help Your Team Communicate Efficiently
UML can enhance communication by providing a diagram which starts with a container class. A container class can be found in the AWT, or Abstract Windowing Toolkit that exists within Java. When you read this diagram, it will allow you to understand a number of things.
You should be able to see that the container is a subsection within another component. The components may be made visible, and components could include buttons or labels. A developer can request that a component inform them of the container in which it is contained, and the developer may also find that some of the components don’t need containers.
It should also be noted that a container may have a layout manager. The container is an abstract class, and its subtype may include things such as windows. Windows can show themselves to the developer, and it may have its own subclasses or frames. A frame will have a title, and it can be resized or left alone. While all the subclasses of a window can do this, this attribute is not directly connected to the window. A dialog can be defined as a modal, but this is not allowed for frames. While you may prefer a diagram, you may not. This is largely dependent on whether or not you have experience with UML. You also have a preference of choosing either a narrative statement or one that is visual.
Personally, I prefer the visual statement, but there are developers who will prefer the text instead. If you are working with a fellow developer that prefers the text as opposed to the visual statement, you can give it to them. Understanding what your fellow developers want is the hallmark of using Unified Modeling Language (UML) properly. While some developers will want the diagrams, others will prefer the text.
Additionally, there are some that prefer text for some projects, and diagrams for others. No matter which option you prefer, your development team can communicate effectively if everyone gets what they want. I would also like to note that the layout manager can be defined as an interface. The component can be used for the implementation of a number of different interfaces.
Why Unified Modeling Language (UML) : Conclusion
To use UML properly, a development teams must know how to communicate with it. They must understand the importance of diagrams and text, and the preference of each developer should be noted and maintained. By doing this, UML can become a powerful tool that will allow you to produce high quality software applications.
Most importantly, your team will be able to communicate from remote locations. You will be free of the many communication problems that plagued developments teams in the past. To communicate, you must be able to select information and emphasize it. When you deal with a group of classes, there will be features that are more important than others.
In a situation like this, it is important that all members of the team understand the most important features. If there is something that you want to emphasize, you should avoid showing everything else in the same light. By doing this, you will help the reader understand what is most important.