Standard UML Models
The Unified Modeling Language (UML)
Enterprise Architect's modeling platform is based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.3, a standard that defines rules and notations for specifying business and software systems. The notation supplies a rich set of graphic elements for modeling object oriented systems, and the rules state how those elements can be connected and used. UML is not a tool for creating software systems; instead, it is a visual language for communicating, modeling, specifying and defining systems.
UML is not a prescriptive process for modeling software systems; it does not supply a method or process, simply the language. You can therefore use UML in a variety of ways to specify and develop your software engineering project. This language is designed to be flexible, extendable and comprehensive, yet generic enough to serve as a foundation for all system modeling requirements. With its specification, there is a wide range of elements characterized by the kinds of diagrams they serve, and the attributes they provide. All can be further specified by using stereotypes, Tagged Values and profiles. Enterprise Architect supports many different kinds of UML elements (as well as some custom extensions). Together with the connectors between elements, these form the basis of the model.
Wide Range of Applications
Although initially conceived as a language for software development, UML can be used to model a wide range of real world domains and processes (in business, science, industry, education and elsewhere), organizational hierarchies, deployment maps and much more. Enterprise Architect also provides additional custom diagrams and elements, to address further modeling interests. This topic is intended to provide an introduction to Enterprise Architect's diagrams, elements and connectors, and its modeling process. It also illustrates its alignment, when applicable, to the Unified Modeling Language.
Extending UML for New Domains
Using UML Profiles, UML Patterns, Grammars, Data Types, Constraints and other extensions, UML and Enterprise Architect can be tailored to address a particular modeling domain not explicitly covered in the original UML specification. Enterprise Architect makes extending UML simple and straightforward and, best of all, the extension mechanism is still part of the UML Specification.
Find Out More
UML is an open modeling standard, defined and maintained by the Object Management Group. Further information, including the full UML 2.3 documentation, can be found on the OMG website at http://www.omg.org.
If you are unfamiliar with UML, please explore the topics in this section, the Diagram Toolbox descriptions, and the EAExample project supplied with Enterprise Architect. The online UML Tutorial (parts 1 and 2) and UML 2.0 Tutorial are also very helpful.
In addition to the UML Specification available from the OMG, two books that provide excellent introductions to UML are:
- Schaum's Outlines: UML by Bennet, Skelton and Lunn. Published by McGraw Hill.
- Developing Software with UML by Bern Oestereich. Published by Addison Wesley.