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Which UML tool do you use, how and why?

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About one year ago I tried Rational Rose, Dia and other few programs to draw UML diagrams (for job/hobby projects), mainly class, sequence, activity, statechart diagrams. I've seen I spend too much time in drawing them on paper (or using paintbrush [dead]) and then write all the c++ classes skeletons (without counting the amount of time to update them!) I also like to draw dependency graphs/trees to avoid unwanted cascading code updates/changes [depressed] I'd like to know which UML tool do you use, how (as a beginner/senior programmer, to draw a class diagram composed of 2 or 2 thousands classes, etc), why (you'd suggest me to use/don't use it for which reasons). I'm interested in UML tool which I can draw very huge diagrams with. P.S.- I'm asking theese things, because I see Rational Rose has a limit of 10x10 A4 pages. I'd like to give a look at many of open source projects by examining their (reverse engineered) class diagram, but in RR they are messy (classes are overlapping each other) because they are too big to be drawn in 100 pages even with smallest fonts. I'm surprised to see a so expensive professional tool has such limits... maybe I'm wrong at drawing my programs. (I'm going to use WinXP with VC++ (maybe .NET with a free IDE if I can find one that is up to my expectactions [lol], I've a degree in Computer Science). Thanks in advance.

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I use the one by Visual Paradigm because our lecturer got keys for it under educational use and we all got a key. I havn't used it much bit it does have all the standard features as far as i can tell.

ace

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I use Enterprise Architect. It supports alle features you expect from an UML tool and comes at a very reasonable price, especially when you're a student.

When importing big software projects it usually creates a package per directory. Thus you can easily import bigger projects not loosing orientation in your diagrams. The auto layout function is ok. Though as with any automatic layouter it does not know about semantics thus the layout is usually worse than one done by an human.

I don't know about any maximum diagram size. But as EA is pretty slick and fast it might be able to manage pretty big diagrams

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Personally, I use Visio. Sure it's geared for flowcharts and other such planning diagrams, but it does have a setup for UML and can even (i believe) be integrated with Visual Studio (2003).

Another useful feature is that if you use databases it can reverse engineer an ERD for you too.

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I've used Visio and ArgoUML, and currently toying with UMLPad. They'll be showing us Rational in September here at college, although I might start toying with it this semester.

So far, Visio is my #1 simply because it can create skeleton code in C++ (while ArgoUML, at least last time I checked, only did Java). I have the feeling that Rational will beat it down when the time comes, though.

Lastly, UMLPad is wierd and I can't seem to get a grip on it.

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Original post by coldacidLastly, UMLPad is wierd and I can't seem to get a grip on it.


Tell me about it, it was the first UML tool I picked up and it confused the hell out of me, but then so did UML at the time.

Although I do use visio quite a bit (more for ERD's than UML diagrams) I, more often than not, just used a few sheets of A3 paper and a pencil. It wins everytime!

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The software engineering classes at my university use Rational Rose, so I have had to use that program extensively. I have decided that it has to be one of the most poorly written applications in the history of software engineering tools. It is riddled with bugs, takes FOREVER to start up (the UNIX version does, anyway, I've heard that the Windows version is a bit better), and there is no way to quickly breeze through UML diagram creation with just the keyboard. You always have to move your hand over to the mouse, and it makes everything take FOREVER to write.

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I agree with Apocryphiliac about Rational Rose. I hated that program. I use Dia exclusively now. [wink]

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Rational Rose should be avoided like the plague. It is very buggy and only supports 50% of the UML standard.

Together is supposed to be a very good tool.(I haven't used it).

Also Poseiden is good too. It has a free version, but you cannot generate C++ code with the free version.

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Anyone know any tool that does UML 2?

You have to relax the UML 1 standard to get Visio to allow you to pass interfaces as parameters. It's a bit crashy with me too (as far an integration with VS 2003 Enterprise Architect anyway).

I really liked Together - but that's a Java thang. That Dia program looks pretty cool.

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Well it has been my experience that every time I worked on a project where they were all caught up with the UML / Rational Rose mentality. We spent 90% of our time in meetings and 10% of our time changing things as a result. UML is great and all, but it can get over bearing and really cause a project to go on and on and on till someone cancels it :( That is just my personal experience.

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Original post by Randy of Neuron
Well it has been my experience that every time I worked on a project where they were all caught up with the UML / Rational Rose mentality. We spent 90% of our time in meetings and 10% of our time changing things as a result. UML is great and all, but it can get over bearing and really cause a project to go on and on and on till someone cancels it :( That is just my personal experience.


That's what happens when people argue the semantics and don't just get the information down. If one person says there should be one use case and antoher says that another one should be there and you can't change them in 90 seconds, then put them both down. Your UML docs are supposed to be living documents through each stage. The work will sort out differences of opinion in the end. You should have an initial set of use cases and class diagrams in a week. If you don't, people are spending too much time in meetings arguing about how what needs to be taken down.

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Quote:
Original post by Randy of Neuron
Well it has been my experience that every time I worked on a project where they were all caught up with the UML / Rational Rose mentality. We spent 90% of our time in meetings and 10% of our time changing things as a result. UML is great and all, but it can get over bearing and really cause a project to go on and on and on till someone cancels it :( That is just my personal experience.


CRC cards are the way to go with that!

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