Telelogic promotes UML 2.0-savvy design environment

[PROGRAMMERS REPORT, OCTOBER 22, 2002] -- Although UML 2.0 is still on the drawing board, some players are ready to launch software that helps designers to work to the upcoming standard. Last week, Telelogic got the ball rolling with releases of Tau/Architect and Tau/Developer.

The product, like UML 2.0, may not be fully welcomed by some coders, although UML advocates might try to tell this group that the technology has the power to free-up time for better up-front design and for attention to a more interesting set of coding challenges.

The products could help to further the cause of the Model Driven Architecture (MDA), an OMG-backed effort that appears to be a key ingredient in the next UML. Proponents of MDA maintain that advances in software-generation capabilities will allow developers to create applications with minimal line-by-line coding. Current estimates suggest UML 2.0 will be voted on early in 2003.

Tau/Architect targets system designers who want to model their applications. Tau/Developer supports complete application generation of C code and extended C++ code from class diagrams. Java is 'on the roadmap' for future Telelogic endeavors.

If UML 2.0 is a work in process, and if the OMG's ratification process is still ongoing, does Telelogic, a member of the influential U2 Partner consortium, feel confident it can support it in products? ''The U2 Partner's work is reaching an end,'' responded Matthew Graney, director of technology marketing at Telelogic. ''We felt that even though we are working ahead of OMG's ratification process, we could safely incorporate U2 Partner submission elements with a high likelihood of future ratification.''

Telelogic's tools are built to solve the problems of late, poor quality, out-of-spec or incorrectly specified software. ''The single biggest problem is that the wrong problem is being solved. Requirements are often incomplete or misunderstood,'' said Graney. Modeling methods based on the original UML, even those supporting round-trip engineering, have not gone far enough to address these problems, he added.

UML, to date, has not provided sufficient precision to architects, noted Graney. ''The model-driven approach is the next step in the evolution of the industry. Round-trip engineering results in coders doing the design. Sometimes it's too convenient to make changes in the code. That was a result of the models being unable to create all the code. It meant that there were two models to update,'' said Graney.

Improvements in precision, hierarchical interaction scenarios, and definition of components and system interactions, said Graney, characterize both UML 2.0 and Telelogic's new software line.

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About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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