H. Eichelberger, K. Schmid, Y. Eldogan: A comprehensive analysis of UML tools, their capabilities and their compliance (2009)
In this study, we analyze the capabilities of current UML modelling tools. In particular, we analyze the tools of well-known vendors which are important in industrial settings. The study provides an overview on the actual market of modelling tools and supports potential or users when making tool buying decisions. We revised this study due to changes in the tool market.
During the initial study from 2009 we identified 200 tools which provide UML modelling capabilities. Out of these 200 tools, 68 were analyzed thoroughly with regard to their implementation of UML. The remaining tools were not considered in detail due to technical reasons such as that the tool vendor does not exist anymore, we were not able to install the tool or no new version of the tool is provided since the introduction of UML 2. In summary, analysis details for 64 tools are contained, as the license terms of some vendors did not allow the publication of the evaluation results and we were not able to find an agreement with the vendor regarding a publication. The index of the study details the list of all contained analysis reports.
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.
The report of the study carried out in 2009 can be ordered as a package consisting of
There are also special prices for non-commercial organizations.
The documents below provide an insight into the study report
Prof. Dr. Klaus Schmid
Institut für Informatik
Software Systems Engineering
Institut für Informatik
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Phone +49 5121 883-40330