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Agile Modeling: Effective Practices for eXtreme Programming and the Unified Process [Paperback]

Scott Ambler
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 4 2002
The first book to cover Agile Modeling, a new modeling technique created specifically for XP projects eXtreme Programming (XP) has created a buzz in the software development community-much like Design Patterns did several years ago. Although XP presents a methodology for faster software development, many developers find that XP does not allow for modeling time, which is critical to ensure that a project meets its proposed requirements. They have also found that standard modeling techniques that use the Unified Modeling Language (UML) often do not work with this methodology. In this innovative book, Software Development columnist Scott Ambler presents Agile Modeling (AM)-a technique that he created for modeling XP projects using pieces of the UML and Rational's Unified Process (RUP). Ambler clearly explains AM, and shows readers how to incorporate AM, UML, and RUP into their development projects with the help of numerous case studies integrated throughout the book.
  • AM was created by the author for modeling XP projects-an element lacking in the original XP design
  • The XP community and its creator have embraced AM, which should give this book strong market acceptance

Companion Web site at features updates, links to XP and AM resources, and ongoing case studies about agile modeling.

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Agile Modeling: Effective Practices for eXtreme Programming and the Unified Process + Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Practitioner's Guide to Agile Software Delivery in the Enterprise
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Product Details

Product Description


“…I would not hesitate in recommending this book…” (CVu, October 2004)

“…easy-to-follow…enjoyable writing style…overall the book is impressive…valuable reading…” (Software Testing, Verification & Reliability, March 2003)

From the Back Cover

"In Agile Modeling, Scott Ambler captures the spirit of skillfully applying the UML, patterns, and more-the balance between too much and too little."
-Craig Larman

Extreme Programming (XP) and the Unified Process (UP) have both caused quite a sensation in the software development community. Although XP offers a methodology for faster software development, many developers find that it does not explicitly include modeling time, which is crucial to ensure that a project meets its proposed requirements. UP developers, on the other hand, have found that the UP approach to modeling is too documentation-intensive and top heavy, thus impeding progress.

Enter Agile Modeling (AM)-- a unique methodology specifically designed to enhance your modeling efforts on software development projects.

In this innovative book, Scott Ambler reviews how to:
* Model on an XP project without detracting from its fast-moving and agile software development approach
* Simplify the modeling disciplines/workflows of the UP without losing any of the true benefits of those disciplines
* Use modeling to explore an issue or to facilitate communication
* Effectively apply the UML, and extend it with other methodologies, to meet your real-world development needs
* Reduce the documentation burden on your project by writing agile documents
* Use simple modeling tools, such as index cards and whiteboards, and know when to use complex CASE tools
* Rethink your approach to work areas, modeling teams, and modeling sessions

The companion Web site includes updates to the book, links to XP and AM resources, and ongoing case studies about AM.

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When I first read Extreme Programming Explained (Beck 2000), one of the most poignant things about XP for me was how Kent first defined a foundation for his methodology. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Violating its own principles Feb. 10 2003
One of the values of the agile movement is simplicity, which the author kindly spends about two pages explaining it to us mere mortals. And it seems only logical that this high principle would also imply brevity. Unfortunately, this book in itself is a violation of that principle. The only useful lesson that one can possibly distill from this three hundred and fifty pages tome is the following: Keep it simple, lose it if you don't use it, and don't hesitate to ditch your expensive modeling software when it becomes too restrictive. A wonderful and very effective advice if I may add, but there is definitely no need for an entire book to explain it.
This book is neither a modeling tutorial nor an introduction. And if you have had any decent amount of practical modeling experience then chances are you have already learned the above lesson. As such, the book fails to hit the mark for both experts and novice modelers. Nevertheless, the lesson it contains is important, thus the two stars. The book itself, however, receives a flat zero rating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Challenge from Common Sense Feb. 3 2003
An adept application of common sense--and the author's significant experience--to the use of models in software development.
A model can be almost anything that developers make to describe the software that they build--just like an architect's drawings.
A given software development effort might call for any number of different types of models including data models, class models, sequence diagrams, dataflow diagrams, statechart diagrams, etc. The set of models used on any particular project will depend partly on the nature of the project and partly on the preferred methodology of the software developers.
Agile Modeling (AM) is not itself a software development methodology. It is a collection of principles and practices to follow when using models to develop software according to a methodology like Rational Unified Process (RUP) or eXtreme Programming (XP). Many of the practices derive from an application of XP concepts.
AM challenges a number of practices widely followed (or at least preached) in organizations developing software:
1. Specializing personnel in producing a single type of model
2. Dedicating work sessions to producing a single type of model
3. Saving models after the software is developed
4. Keeping models up-to-date during and after the development project
5. Using sophisticated software to assist in modeling
6. Finishing models before coding software
AM does not in all cases prohibit these practices, but it emphasizes that the purpose of a software development project is to develop software--not just to develop models. The practices of AM help to keep models in their proper subordinate relation to the working software that is the true goal of any development project.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing the forest through the trees Aug. 18 2002
In this book, Scott Ambler provides a practical approach to modeling that allows you to successfully deploy best practices on your agile software development project. From use case modeling to deployment diagrams, agile modeling defines these best practices for rapidly moving from requirements to code in a single, easy to read book. Additionally, Scott presents many of the nuances of software modeling that cannot be found in any other book.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Agile Modeling is that it is not only a book about a great software development methodology; it also suggests cultural changes to the way that we view modeling. These changes blur the line between traditional approaches such as those espoused by the Unified Process and the new culture espoused by XP. These ideas are very much in line with the way that software is successfully produced.
This book is not an entry-level UML book. If you are looking for basic UML, look at some of the entry level UML books. Instead, this book geared toward those who are actively producing customer grade software applications. It hits the mark squarely for those who want to be more successful in this endeavor.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Information Aug. 14 2002
My first impression on receiving "Agile Modeling" was that there is lots of information which could be condensed into tighter passages or sometimes omitted.
I have read Scott Ambler's work before and am an admirer of his contribution to software development. I found the book helpful, as with most of Scott's work, despite the sometimes redundant information.
Despite my cautionary introduction above, I recommend this book to developers and project managers.
In this book the reader can expect to find information on how to implement development processes with Agile Modeling (AM).
This book discusses the processes for development - it does not go into the details on how to use the tools.
There is a comparison chapter on AM and XP which is helpful. AM, like all development processes, is a mixture of art and science. It is not carved in stone - although many may disagree with this statement. This book will help the reader decide what is appropriate to utilize for the project, given the real-world scenarios.
Hope this helps - please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book
Good book with lots of behind the scenes process info about how to implement agile modeling techniques. Read more
Published on April 19 2004 by pilgrimsprogproj
3.0 out of 5 stars If you live in a world of too much documentation, read this
For those few places left that steep themselves in documentation and don't have a legally-required reason to do so (do they exist? Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars We love it, managers hate it
I work at a consulting firm where the management lies and rips off the customer all the time. The day someone brought in this book and start talking about agile modeling, the... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003 by Craig Holter
5.0 out of 5 stars "Modern" software development explained
The best book on software development that I have read to date. It just makes so much sense! Keep an open mind and read it, I can't recommend this book enough.
Published on Oct. 26 2002 by Dadi Ingolfsson
2.0 out of 5 stars Spend your money elsewhere
Although I do believe that Mr. Ambler knows his stuff, I'm thinking he should consider changing his last name to Rambler! Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing
The name of the book is misleading. Scott's ideas are targeted not only at agile processes but cover the whole spectrum from agile to heavyweight/prescriptive, gearing them all... Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2002 by Klaus Wuestefeld
5.0 out of 5 stars Modelling for the real world
I really liked this book. Ambler describes how modelling actually works in the real world, not how it is supposed to theoretically happen. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2002 by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Ambler's most valuable book to date
The hype that grew around eXtreme Programming (XP) in the year 2001, and the publication of now almost 2 dozen books devoted to XP has not cleared up the original vagueness of what... Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2002 by Gary K. Evans
1.0 out of 5 stars Don�t waste your money.
This book is a little bit of common sense wrapped up in a lot of pseudo-religious psychobabble.
Agile modeling is a technique that can be summed up in one sentence. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2002
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