|author(s)||Holger Eichelberger, Yilmaz Eldogan and Klaus Schmid|
|title||A comprehensive analysis of UML tools, their capabilities and their compliance (2nd Edition 2011)|
|institution||Institute for Computer Science, University of Hildesheim, Germany|
|number / issue||1/2012|
In the last decade, the Unified Modeling Language (UML) has become a de-facto standard as modeling language in software engineering. However, due to the complexity of the UML specification it is rather difficult for an individual tool to provide a faithful implementation of the entire breath of modelling elements defined by UML. Thus, tools differ significantly due to their individual support of the UML.
The decision for a software development organization regarding a specific modeling tool is important, in an extreme case for an entire company. Usually, such a decision leads to different kinds of costs such as training of the employees. Licensing costs are often only a small portion of the actual costs for such a tool. Thus, the decision for a modelling tool shall be done carefully. This study is probably the most comprehensive comparison of UML tools at the moment and, therefore, provides adequate support in making rational decisions on modeling tools.
The focus of this study is on the realization of modeling capabilities by individual tools, i.e. whether and how modeling elements of the UML have been implemented. As a basis for a detailed analysis of the modelling capabilities, we decomposed the UML specification into 476 features and inspected the tools for their individual support of these features. A detailed summary per tool links the identified capabilities to the requirements for individual diagram types as stated in the UML specification. This enables the reader to quickly check the appropriateness of a certain tool for a given application context. As a part of our analysis, we characterize each individual tool in terms of its UML compliance according to the classification schema of the OMG.