Umfassende Studie über UML Werkzeuge

Comprehensive study on UML tools (2011)

H. Eichelberger, K. Schmid, Y. Eldogan: A comprehensive analysis of UML tools, their capabilities and their compliance (2nd Edition 2011)



In this study, we analyze the capabilities of current UML modelling tools. In particular, we focus on tools which have been updated since publication of our last study in 2009. 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.

The revised version can be obtained from our website for free.


During this study we identified 200 tools which provide UML modelling capabilities. Out of these 200 tools, 72 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, this study contains analysis details for 62 tools, 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. 


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.

Core characteristics

  • Comprehensive assessment of 62 UML modelling tools
  • Detailed analysis of each tool according to 476 features derived from the UML specification
  • Categorization of the tools according to the so called UML compliance
  • Online tool comparison table


Additional information

Unfortunately, we cannot continue this work on the analysis of UML modeling tools due to continuous changes in the tool market and further restrictions regarding publication of results. However, we may actualize selected results as part according to individual orders or in terms of a vendor mandate including an appropriate license.



Dr. Holger Eichelberger 



2011 study report

Further publications:

  • H. Eichelberger, Y. Eldogan, K. Schmid, A Comprehensive Survey of UML Compliance in Current Modelling Tools, SE 2009LNI 143, Kaiserslautern, 2009, p. 39-50
  • H. Eichelberger, Y. Eldogan, K. Schmid, How much UML is in my UML tool? An Overview, SEISCONF 2009