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#1 Sae1962  Icon User is offline

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How to use UML in software design?

Post icon  Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:26 AM

Hello!

My question concerns software architects that have experience with UML/UTP.

Introduction:
We are currently in the start phase of a new project, where documentation for hardware with embedded software is written. I am responsible for the GUI development. As the starting point, a predecessor model is used. Its GUI was presented to me as the first information with some planned modifications to it.

Although I have more than 15 years of software development experience, I was rarely involved at the start phase of projects, as I am working as a consulter. Consulters are often called when the project is running out of time...

As I consider it important to start with test documentation in parallel to functional specification, I think about using UML for the description of functional parts. For the test, I think of model-driven testing and to use UTP (UML Test Profile).

Details:
In our system, three types of users (actors) exist: power plant technician, commissioning technician, and system expert. The GUI is primarily used to
1. Watch values and change index values
2. Make the commissioning of the device (commissioning mode)
3. Install new software or make system maintenance (expert mode)

There only exist prescriptions for the commissioning phase. Reading and changing values over currently nine menus and their submenus is not described in detail, as it is more or less straightforward.

My question:
Is in such a project the use of UML/UTP to be recommended, and to what extend? Is it OK to draw for each simple menu access use case diagrams? I do not want to get caught by the UML fever (see http://queue.acm.org...cfm?id=984495).


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Replies To: How to use UML in software design?

#2 ladyinblack  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to use UML in software design?

Posted 03 August 2011 - 05:31 AM

From my understanding of software development process, UML is a requirement in any new project. In the design phase of the process model, you do use case scenarios to detail out what functions are required. If your menus and submenus are not detailed enough, or if you understand what the requirements are for each menu/submenu, a UML is used to show not just what you understand but also the next person in the team or the managers or whatever you call those people that you are ultimately going to preview the system to.

Oh, I'm just a student, no experience whatsoever in architect, just know this from recent studies.
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#3 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: How to use UML in software design?

Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

Quote

From my understanding of software development process, UML is a requirement in any new project.


Trust me, it's not. At all. It can be, and in many cases should be, but it's by no means required for every new project.
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#4 ladyinblack  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to use UML in software design?

Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:37 AM

Hmm, yeah, I do notice that with some of the project managers that show up at our doorstep claiming this new software works great and ideal for our purposes. I guess in the real world it doesn't always work out as it should be.

Good to know.
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#5 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to use UML in software design?

Posted 06 August 2011 - 06:26 AM

I find that UML tends to be used if code-reviews are part of the process. Not because they are required or aid in the design process but because they help make nice power-point slides. :)

I generally sketch out a UML-ish diagrams for my own use when I write software of medium to large complexity. The same diagrams might get sketched out on a white board during a design meeting or something but seldom do these actually get fleshed out into actual diagrams.

The main impetus to do so usually comes in the form of some kind of professional presentation. Code reviews where I need to try to convey a overall picture of how things fit together before selecting some smaller area to actually dive into the code.

In customer maintenance I have seen large UML diagrams printed up and hung on the wall. I don't know what they are used for or who generated them but I get the feeling that it is more for of an "external identity claim" then any functional purpose. They just want the area to look like a bunch of programmer live there.
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