The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a standard way to create graphical models of parts of object-oriented software systems. These models are used to help analyse aspects of a proposed software system, and/or communicate those aspects to others. It does not specify a particular software development process or implementation language.
There are a total of 14 different types of diagrams defined in UML 2. Different diagrams represent different views of the system and are used for different purposes.
Many units within the Faculty require the use of UML diagrams. Particularly in early-year undergraduate units, the specific diagrams to be used will be specified, and guidance as to how the diagrams are to be used will also be provided.
While the syntax of UML is specified in the UML standard, the way that syntax is used to represent software designs differs somewhat throughout the IT profession, and consequently will also differ somewhat from unit to unit. If you are unsure about how UML is to be used for a particular assignment, you should consult with the teaching staff for that unit.
Simply creating a UML diagram does not provide any guidance as to whether the system depicted in the diagrams is well designed or not. You can use correct UML to accurately depict a very poor system.
UML useful references
Fowler, Martin (2000). UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language. Third Edition. Addison Wesley. An online version of the Guide is also available.
Ambler, Scott W. (2005). The Elements of UML 2.0 Style. An online version is available through the library.
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