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Fenrisulvur

UML File Formats?

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Alright, with the proliferation of the Unified Modelling Language, and the amount of both standalone tools and IDE integrations available for it, I assumed two things. First assumption was that I'd have no trouble finding a good tutorial on the subject, to fill in the gaping holes in my understanding* of the modelling language and offer a practical example of a solid, widespread UML-based methodology in action. Er, no dice, apparently**. Anyway, the real subject matter of this thread, and the second assumption I foolishly made, was that there'd be at least one good standardized (or frontrunning - supported by at least two editors would be good) file format I could store models in. Text-based is really preferred - if nothing else, I want something that'll diff well so I can throw it in a revision control system along with the source code - and I really don't want something that cumbersomely mixes graphical and structural information into some proprietary binary blob format. Ideally, whilst I'd be doing most model-creation within the editor, I'd like to be able to go in and make changes by hand if I feel like it. I found UXF - and I'm definitely happy to work with an XML-based format - but I have no idea what supports it, how well-formed it is, how much of either UML standard it covers, etc. The Wikipedia article I just linked is the stubbiest of stubs, and provides no links to further reading. So, can anybody offer insight here? *I slacked off in class, I admit. **I've probably found enough information scattered over the web to connect the dots, but if someone has a more comprehensive guide, I'm still interested.

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From my experience the formats tend to be locked into the tools :s

I've found http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/resources/uml2_tutorial/ to be a great in depth tutorial, although it hasn't got a lot about metholdogy and is sometimes tied into the Enterprise Architect product (which is typically not too bad, as they conform pretty strictly to the OMG spec).

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If you are referring to this UXF, it seems to be a mere academic exercise.

The real world industry standard is the official XMI (XML Model Interchange) format, but small noncompliances, software assumptions and information stored in extensions are likely to take away any possibility of "interchange" between different UML modelers. File format lock-in is in the best interest of expensive tool vendors.

However, XMI should be tested while you aren't encumbered by legacy models binding your organization to a certain tool: making little models with all fancy UML features you plan to use in application A and importing them in application B (and back again) shouldn't take long.

Consider reducing the need to exchange sophisticated models between UML tools with suitable processes: you can reverse engineer UML diagrams from existing code (in each tool separately), just draw diagrams in a proper drawing software without trying to generate code or the like with UML tools, abandon the old diagrams from the early design phases, and so on.

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