Book Review - Visual Modeling with IBM Rational Software Architect and UML
We've adopted the RUP methodology at my place of employment, and I've been involved in a number of specification writing projects of late. This book made me want to dig a little deeper into the IBM tool offerings to automate much of what I'm trying to do manually... Visual Modeling with IBM Rational Software Architect and UML by Terry Quatrani and Jim Palistrant.
Contents: Introduction to Visual Modeling; Beginning a Project; The Use Case Model; The Analysis Model; The Design Model; Implementation Model; UML Model; Notation Summary; Index
Quatrani and Palistrant use the RSA tool to show how to develop RUP-style specifications in an automated, organized fashion. If you already have the basics of UML down, then it's quite easy to understand where they are going and how RSA can generate things like use case and sequence diagrams in such a way that they can be maintained and reused. For instance, I recently had to generate sequence diagrams for a particular technical specification assigned to me. With some "just in time" information and some charting software, I was able to hack together a semblance of what was required. But reading through this book, I realize that RSA could have guided me through the process, making sure the notation was accurate, that it conformed to UML standards, and that could be easily updated when the inevitable review required changes. While not an exhaustive reference guide to RSA or UML, there's enough here to jumpstart your learning and generate useful output while doing so. With the additional links back to the IBM developerWorks site, you should be set to start minimizing your pain when it comes to generating all those wonderful little diagrams that designers love (and coders detest)... :)
I'm not ready to turn in my coder's badge for life as a UML diagrammer, but with RSA and this book I think I might be able to start to bridge the two worlds...