Introduction to Types of UML Diagrams
Unified Modeling Language, that is, UML in simple words, which is a general-purpose modeling language. The main objective of UML is visualizing the way a system is designed in a standard way. It is also very much the same as blueprints that are being used in other fields of engineering as well. It is not a programming language, but rather it is a visual language. Types of UML diagrams are used to only demonstrate the behavior as well as the structure of a system. UML helps system architects, businessmen and also software engineers in modeling, design as well as analysis. The OMG, that is, Object Management Group adopted UML as the standard back in 1997. Since then it’s been managed by them. After that, in 2005 ISO published UML as an approved standard. UML has been revised and reviewed around the years periodically.
Next, let’s discuss the types of UML diagrams.
Different types of UML Diagrams
There exist many types of UML diagrams and each has a different purpose without considering if it was designed either before the implementation or after the implementation.
2 of the widest categories which covers all the other types are
- Behavioral UML Diagram
- StructuralUML Diagram.
As you can guess from the name only, some of the UML diagrams analyze as well as depict the structure of a process, while another one describes the behavior of the system, its building components, and also its actors. The further categorized types are as follows:
Structural UML Diagram
- Class Diagram
- Object Diagram
- Component Diagram
- Composite Structure Diagram
- Deployment Diagram
- Package Diagram
- Profile Diagram
Behavioral UML Diagram
- Activity Diagram
- Use Case Diagram
- Interaction Overview Diagram
- Timing Diagram
- State Machine Diagram
- Communication Diagram
- Sequence Diagram
Let us discuss them in brief now :
1. Activity Diagram
Activity diagram is the most important UML diagrams that are used for performing business process modeling. It is basically used to explain the flow of various activities as well as actions in software development. Also, these can be both sequential and also parallel.
2. Use Case Diagram
Use Case diagrams are essentially needed to analyze high-level requirements of the system. Now, these requirements can be expressed with the help of different use cases.
3. Interaction Overview Diagram
It is the one that has ability to picture control flow along with nodes which contains interaction diagrams. It is same as the activity diagram in the sense that both of them visualize sequence of activities.
4. Timing Diagram
These diagrams are basically needed in order to represent relations between objects whenever the center of attention is resting on time. However, even though we aren’t interested to know how do objects interact or even change each other, despite we wish to represent how to do these objects as well as actors would act along a time axis that is linear.
5. State Machine UML Diagram
State machine UML diagrams are also called State chart diagrams. They are mostly used to explain different states of a component within the system. State machine UML diagrams take the name state machine since the diagram is basically machine only which explains the several states of an object and also how it alters depending upon internal and external events.
6. Communication Diagram
Communication diagrams just like the sequence diagrams are kind of interaction diagram demonstrating how the objects interact. It is an extension of an object diagram that shows objects with messages which travel from one to another.
7. Sequence UML Diagram
Sequence UML diagrams can also be considered the most important UML diagrams among design-level models for the development of a business application. Since they possess visually self-explanatory nature, lately, these diagrams have become quite popular in the prediction of business processes.
8. Class Diagram
Class UML diagram can also be considered as the most common diagram type needed for software documentation. As most of the software being created today are still based upon the OOP paradigm, so if we use class diagrams in order to document these software turns out to be a common-sense solution. This also occurs since OOP depends upon classes and the relations.
9. Object Diagram
Object UML diagrams help developers in checking if the generic abstract structure which they have created, that is, class diagram, is representing viable structure whenever it is put into practice, that is, when the objects of a class are being instantiated. However, few developers look towards it as a secondary level of accuracy checking.
10. Component Diagram
Component UML diagrams can help in breaking down the system into smaller components whenever you are dealing with the documentation of quite complex systems. Often it is quite hard to predict the architecture of a system since it might be encompassing various departments or also it might be employing different technologies.
11. Composite Structure Diagram
A Composite structure diagram is considered a type of static diagram showing the internal structure of the class as well as collaborations. It is a set of interconnected elements.
12. Deployment Diagram
Next, Deployment diagrams are generally used in visualizing the relationship between the software and the hardware. If we talk more specifically, then with help of deployment diagrams we can also construct a physical model of how artifacts are deployed on nodes which are hardware components.
If we talk about a typical simplified deployment diagram in a web application, it would include:
- Nodes, that is, application server and database server
- Artifacts, that is, application client and database schema
13. Package Diagram
The package diagram seems more like a macro container required for deployment UML diagrams that we have already explained. Now, different packages contain nodes and also artifacts. They organize the components and model diagrams into groups in the same manner as a namespace would encapsulate different names that are in some manner quite correlated.
14. Profile Diagram
Profile diagrams cannot be considered as the typical UML diagram type. Despite, it can be considered more like an extensibility mechanism and not a diagram type like any other.
If we use stereotypes, constraints, and tagged values, we can easily extend as well as customize already existing notations of UML. Profile diagrams, however, are like a language. For example, if you speak English you can easily create new sentences. In a similar way, if you speak profile diagrams, then you can easily and specifically create new properties as well as semantics for UML diagrams.
Thus, UML diagrams are useful whenever we are modeling business data. Class attributes map to abstract access methods for persistent fields, and association roles map to abstract access methods for relationship fields. Navigability predicts if relationship access methods appear in both related entity beans or just one. Further, multiplicity notation determines the correct type for relationship fields, issues of a life cycle, and also cascading delete characteristics.
This is a guide to types of UML diagrams. Here we discuss the basic concepts with widest categories of UML diagram. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –