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Michael Flanakin's blog Food for thought...

In Progress

Here we go again... I've done random searches for UML tools before, but this time, I figured I'd go ahead and document it. I probably won't make this as extensive of a search as I usually do just for the simple fact that I don't need a tool that bad right now. As always, let me know if you know of one that I haven't mentioned or if my data is incorrect or out-dated.

Updated Dec 9, 2005

Overview

I'll be noting the tool, version, and date I last reviewed it as well as comparing the following features: the language used to develop the tool (lang); XMI import (m)/export (x) capabilities (xmi); whether the tool supports use case (uc), activity (ac), class (cl), and sequence (seq) diagrams; output formats (image (i), HTML (h), PDF (p), Word (w), Excel (e), and PowerPoint(t)); forward (f)/reverse (r) engineering in C/C++, C#, Java, and VB; code templates (temp); when the tool was last updated (upd); and, finally, whether there is a demo (or screenshots) available.

Tool Ver Date Lang XMI UC Ac Cl Seq Out C/C++ C# Java VB Temp MDA Upd Demo Score
StarUML 4.5 Dec 05 Java mx Yes Yes Yes Yes wet fr fr fr Yes Yes Yes 12
Umbrello 1.4 C Yes Yes Yes r r Mar 2005 Yes 5
UMLet 4.5 Java Yes Yes Yes Yes ip Yes 6

If a cell is blank, the feature has been neither confirmed nor denied. Positive or desired responses have also been highlighted. The score accounts for the number of desired responses.

Some of the tools I have yet to review are listed below. I don't know if these are all open source or not and have actually questioned whether I should include free commercial tools, too. Either way, these tools are in no particular order and I will get to them all in time...just, probably a long time. Any and all help is appreciated! Thanks.

  • ArgoUML - http://www.argouml.org/
  • UML Library for Java - http://sourceforge.net/projects/nsuml/
  • Quick UML for Java - http://sourceforge.net/projects/quj/
  • UML Sculptor - http://sourceforge.net/projects/umlsculptor/
  • Dia - http://www.lysator.liu.se/~alla/dia; http://hans.breuer.org/dia; http://dia-installer.sourceforge.net
  • Omondo - www.omondo.com
  • Posseidon - http://www.gentleware.com/products/download.php3
  • jDes Community Edition - http://www.javaportal.co.uk/links.uml
  • Napkin - http://cube42.com/tiki-index.php?page=Napkin
  • Flux - http://flux4eclipse.sourceforge.net
  • MDE - http://www.m1global.com/
  • UniMod - http://unimod.sf.net/
  • Slime UML - http://www.mvmsoft.de/content/plugins/slime/
  • Konesa Modeller - http://www.canyonblue.com/products.htm
  • Fujaba - http://www.fujaba.de
  • Way Pointer - http://www.jaczone.com/product/overview
  • FL - http://www.novosoft-us.com/solutions/tools.shtml
  • Rapid RMA - http://www.tripac.com/html/prod-toc.html
  • UMLGraph - http://www.spinellis.gr/sw/umlgraph
  • AndroMDA - http://www.andromda.org/index.html
  • OptimalJ - http://www.compuware.com/products/optimalj
  • Aris UML Designer - http://www.ids-scheer.com/aris-uml-designer
  • Jude Bamboo - http://objectclub.esm.co.jp/Jude/jude-e.html
  • JDeveloper - http://otn.oracle.com/products/jdev/content.html
  • UMT-QVT - https://sourceforge.net/projects/umt-qvt
  • Visual Paradigm for UML Community - http://www.visual-paradigm.com/productinfovpumlce.php
  • Unimodeller - http://www.unimodeler.com
  • DOME - http://www.htc.honeywell.com/dome
  • Delphia Object Modeller (D.OM) - http://www.si.fr.atosorigin.com/dom/english/index.html
  • Codagen Architect - http://www.codagen.com/products/architect/default.htm
  • ESS-Model - http://essmodel.sourceforge.net
  • Describe - http://www.embarcadero.com/products/describe
  • Rhapsody Developer Edition - http://www.ilogix.com
  • MasterCraft Component Modeller - http://www.tata-mastercraft.com/overview.asp
  • Mega Suite - http://www.mega.com/us/product/overview
  • MetaBase Modeler - http://www.metamatrix.com/l3_metabase.html
  • System Architect - http://www.popkin.com/products/system_architect.htm
  • ProxyDesigner - http://www.proxysource.com/home.asp?href=Products/ProxyDesigner.html
  • Tau UML Suite - http://www.telelogic.com/products/tau/uml/index.cfm
  • Visible Analyst - http://www.visible.com/Products/Analyst/vaooedition.html
  • Real-time Studio Pro - http://www.artisansw.com/products/professional_overview.asp
  • Ameos - http://www.aonix.com/ameos.html
  • Software through Pictures UML - http://www.aonix.com/stp_uml.html
  • AllFusion Component Modeler - http://www.cai.com/products/alm/paradigm_plus.htm
  • Innovator - http://www.mid.de/en/innovator
  • BridgePoint - http://www.projtech.com/prods/bp/info.html
  • Objecteering Personal Edition - http://www.objecteering.com/products.php
  • OpenTool - http://www.tni-valiosys.com/?p=industry&s=aerospace&ss=opentool&type=overview
  • ObjectGeode - http://www.telelogic.com/products/additional/objectgeode/index.cfm
  • OpenMDX - http://www.openmdx.com

StarUML (Go)

Holy hell! I've died and gone to UML heaven! Granted, all I've done is look at the vendor site, but the features this tool boasts of are better than any I've ever seen before - IBM Rational Rose, Microsoft Visio, Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect... none of them can touch it! Due out for the 5.0 version by the end of 2005, I can't wait to play with it. The only thing that comes to mind to say about this tool is: it's sexy. Heck, I don't even want to bother looking at the 50 or so tools I listed above. This is my new sexy lady and I'm takin' her out for some good times! (Ok, now you know I'm a geek)

[ Overview ]

Ubrello (Go)

This was originally built for KDE and was ported to Windows, but requires Cygwin. I don't really like the look of it too much and can't really tell how conformant to UML it is, but it seems like a decent tool. It seems like most of the screenshots are proving its cross-platform support as opposed to features, which is kind of disappointing.

[ Overview ]

UMLet (Go)

The tool looks to be pretty light-weight and it comes as an Eclipse plugin, too, so that's definitely a plus. The tool requires Java 1.5, but that's not that big of a deal. The screenshots aren't all that great as showing you what the user experience is like, so I'm kind of wondering how that would be. Despite that, for simplicity, this tool is probably the answer for a lot of shops.

[ Overview ]

My Conclusions

[Dec 9, 2005]
StarUML!!!! Where's that blink tag when you need it!? Anyway, I haven't played with it yet, but I'm excited (as if you couldn't tell by my description of it above). As soon as I post this, I'll be downloading it, exporting one of my Rose models (Rose is mandated by the org I work for, but I can probably get away with this tool), importing it into StarUML, and making the updates I was just about to get started on. I estimate fun times to be had by all (read: me). Can't wait to get my hands dirty!

[May 12, 2005]
I have yet to decide on a tool for sure, so please, be patient. Feel free to post any comments pertaining to your tool of choice.

Helpful Links

Here's a few links that might be helpful in choosing the best tool for your team. Hopefully you find them useful, too.

UML Programs (on Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UML_programs
UML Products (on Objects by Design)
http://www.objectsbydesign.com/tools/umltools_byPrice.html

Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 8:45 AM | Back to top

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