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Unified Modeling Language

The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a standardized graphic notation for the development of software products. The modeling language uses graphics, diagrams and descriptions to represent various process flows and concepts that are later to be implemented in the form of software. UML is a tool that occupies a central position in modern software development.

General Information

The Unified Modeling Language was first introduced to the general public in the early 1990s. The modeling language arose from the desire to be able to formulate object-oriented modeling approaches within the framework of a uniform standard. In the mid-1990s, the leading representatives of object-oriented programming Grady Booch, Ivar Jacobsen and Jim Rumbaugh developed the first approaches to standardize previous methods syntactically and semantically. An initial suggestion as to how such models could best be implemented came from the software company Rational Rose.

This recommendation was adopted by the Object Management Group in 1997, modified and adopted with version UML 1.1. Further versions, which followed in the course of the years, introduced some changes and improvements. In 2005, UML version 2.0 was released. The latest version of the Unified Modeling Language is V 2.5, which, however, has not yet been fully standardized by the ISO (International Standardization Organization).

Tasks and areas of application

The basic function of UML is to represent complicated processes and issues in a simple and easy-to-understand way, making them easier to understand for developers and other stakeholders. In the Unified Modeling Language, particularly important terms are defined during the modeling process and, in addition, relationships between the terms are analyzed in detail. Unimportant criteria are omitted in order to better focus on the essential aspects. By using different UML diagrams, it is much easier to communicate about the important goals and characteristics of the software project and to present them in an understandable and clear way.

Unified Modeling Language in detail

The Unified Modeling Language is a powerful tool for describing and visually representing different processes in a versatile way. For this purpose, users are provided with a variety of different diagrams that can be individually adapted to the needs of the software project.

UML 2.5 includes a total of 14 different diagrams, which are divided into three groups:

This group includes the class diagram, which describes the essential classes of the process to be modeled. The component diagram describes the physical structure of the software system at runtime. Distribution diagrams represent the exact arrangement of system components in the context of UML. Composition diagrams, on the other hand, illustrate the division of classes into different parts, while profile diagrams visualize properties.
Behavior diagrams are used to describe the relationships between individual objects in the system. The use case diagram describes the perceptible performance of the software system to the user. The activity diagram is used to analyze and represent behaviors of a system. The state machine visualizes the behavior of individual objects.
Special behavior diagrams belong to this group. Sequence diagrams describe interactions between different objects, while communication diagrams emphasize the role of individual objects within the system. Timing diagram visualizes temporal constraints between transitions from one state to another. The interaction diagram is used to connect elements (objects) in the sequence and activity diagram.

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