Summary and Info
As the front page subtitle states, this is a brief guide to the UML. It is also a good one.
The first chapter is an introduction to UML, including some short history on the language. The second chapter covers the Development Process with a quick overview of a couple of them - i.e. Agile, RUP, ...- followed by some guidance on choosing the right one.
The following chapters cover the main UML diagrams, respectively, the Class, Sequence, Object, Package, Deployment, Use Case, State Machine, Activity, Communication, Composite Structure, Component, Collaboration, Interaction Overview and Timing Diagrams. At the end, there is an appendix that summarizes the changes between UML versions.
Not all of the diagrams get in-depth coverage. Whereas Class Diagrams get the most attention of the author with two chapters specifically dedicated to them, Object, Deployment, Communication, Composite Structures, Component, Collaboration, Interaction Overview and Timing Diagrams get only a few pages, between two and four. Some of them are just limited to the sample diagrams that illustrate the chapter, with no or little text to support them. Rather than a shortcoming, this seems to be ensuing from the author's willingness to have the book limited to a few pages - 150 exactly, without the appendix -, covering what he considers to be essential.
As such, this book is no replacement for the three classic UML books, i.e. the User's Guide, the Reference Manual and the Unified Process of the Booch/Jacobson/Rumbaugh Object Technology Series that the reader, in my opinion, will anyway have to go through until he/she gains sufficient working proficiency with the language. If the reader's intention is so, he/she'll be better inspired reading "UML Distilled" after, or better, in parallel with the User's Guide, diagram after diagram and have a look at the Reference Manual on selected dictionary terms, as necessary. The Unified Process book can be read independently.
This is not a book an OOA/OOD. As prerequisite, the reader is expected to be comfortable enough with OO concepts such as Class, Object, Relationship, Aggregation, Composition, Inheritance, etc. Although not required, working proficiency with a former OO modeling method - e.g. Fusion, in my case - will help.
More About the Author
Martin Fowler (born 1963) is a British software developer, author and international public speaker on software development, specializing in object-oriented analysis and design, UML, patterns, and agile software development methodologies, including extreme programming.
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