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The Elements of UML(TM) 2.0 Style Paperback – Aug 29 2014

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 9 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521616786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521616782
  • Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 1.1 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #392,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Just as Strunk & White's The Elements of Style provides rules of usage for writing in English, this text furnishes a set of rules for modeling in the Unified Modeling Language."
IEEE Computer

"It's fully loaded with information that can make your UML diagrams far better than most. That's because the author doesn't waste space. Once you get to the body of the book there are no blank pages, and few (if any) wasted words, just lots of recommendations for simple ways to improve your UML diagrams...In summary, this is an excellent book full of good advice on improving your UML 2.0 modeling."

Praise for Scott Ambler's previous books:

"...Scott Ambler's book delivers exactly what it promises--a robust look into building object applications."
Software Development on Building Object Applications That Work (Cambridge, 1998)

"...the best book I've read that covers the basic fundamentals of object-oriented software engineering and process. It is easy to understand and is a must read for those new to OO."
Mike Stefano, New York Life Insurance Company, on The Object Primer (Cambridge, 2001)

Book Description

For all developers using the Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.x this book sets rules for style that will improve productivity - especially in teams, where understandability and consistency are critical. It does not tell you how to create the models, but instead describes how to create clean, easy-to-understand diagrams.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0e27234) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f5f234) out of 5 stars UML Style Redux Feb. 10 2006
By Gary K. Evans - Published on
Format: Paperback
With the release of UML 2.0 into the wild, it was inevitable that Ambler would update his Elements of UML Style book. Like its predecessor, this little book is more a companion than a teacher. You will not learn how to do UML modeling from this guide--that is not its intent--but you will learn how to make your UML models more readable and consistent. Ironically, books that do intend to teach you UML modeling do not talk about "goodness" or accessibility of the model's representation. This guide brings that balance to your use of UML.

There are many "gems" sleeping in his book. In his section on the Sequence diagram Ambler recommends putting the message text near the receiver side of the message arrow. This is not subtle: it makes the model significantly easier to read--especially when evolving the diagram in real-time on a white board. "Prefer Names over Types for Parameters" is another, and especially true when modeling from an analysis mindset rather than describing design. I could go on, but that would be redundant. Get the book. Read it. Consider his recommendations, and feel free to go in another direction if you can justify that direction is an improvement in clarity and communication.

Not everything Ambler says should be taken as "the way", of course. As an experienced modeler I have certain style preferences to which I gravitate, and which violate some of Ambler's precepts. In use case diagrams, for example, I always denote an arrowhead on the actor-to-use case association. I also note specific stereotypes on the actors of a use case diagram because not all actors in a system are equal in importance in the project lifecycle. But I follow, and have independently adopted, many of Ambler's recommendations. Indeed, I know that many of his recommendations are derived from the common usage of the modeling community, plus his own unique additions.

If you are just starting out with UML diagramming, this little guide will help you adopt some consistency as you navigate the new landscape of 13 diagrams in UML 2.0. Not all of those diagrams are equally important, either, and I was very pleased to see Ambler clearly stating his reservations about the Composite Structure diagram. Many of us wonder about the value of this offering in UML when other issues such as data modeling and UI modeling have been so prominently absent since UML's inception.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f5fc48) out of 5 stars Certainly worth the price! Jan. 29 2006
By John R. Prince - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As others have noted, this book is not intended to "teach" you UML, but instead to build on (and subsequently enhance) one's knowledge of the UML.

The Good: It serves as a quick reference for your UML diagrams. That being before (and during) your artifact creation, this book can be used as a "check-list" to ensure your modeling techniques are sound. I personally use it as a "bathroom" book, in that you can pick it up at any point and quickly derive information based on your current need.

The Bad: The physical size (not the volume) of the book is rather small. I prefer larger books, but that is my subjective opinion. Additionally, the examples Ambler uses are the same old "Online Ordering", "School Enrollment", "Sales Clerk", etc. he uses in other literature he's produced. No big deal, really-but it would be nice to see new examples to drive his point across.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to ANYONE interested in increasing their UML knowledge. And for $10.00 it is a real bargain! Just remember, if you are wanting to learn UML basics, this book is not for you.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f58840) out of 5 stars Good Foundational Advice Sept. 21 2007
By Jim Fuhring - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the book "The Elements of Style" that I was given to use in High School to improve my writing, this book seeks to do the same for your UML diagrams. The author states that the purpose of this book is to "describe a collection of standards, conventions, and guidelines for creating effective UML diagrams". This book succeeds in its goal. I really like the fact that at the beginning of each chapter, each chapter covers one diagram type, a short description of what the diagram is used for is presented. As a designer, I see these rules not being followed or ignored much of the time. Rule 15 (Prefer Well-Known Notation over Esoteric Notation) is what I see as one of the most violated rules. Most people seem to diagram what they think is appropriate and ignore the UML rules. Hmmm, sounds like most people that write as well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f5fd68) out of 5 stars Good Desktop Reference Feb. 8 2007
By S. Valente - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written in a clear, concise style and offers sensible guidelines for the contruction and layout of the major UML diagrams. For a bit more in-depth explanation of the application of the diagrams, read Fowler's "UML Distilled". I think the two work very well together as companion references.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f589c0) out of 5 stars Riddled With Mistakes - Makes The Book Unreadable Jan. 15 2015
By Andriy Drozdyuk - Published on
Format: Paperback
Finally at point #131 I give up reading. Author refers to some "X" on the diagram which is not there.
Book is riddled with references to diagram objects that are not there. Another one is #113 where the author refers to "itemNumber" which is not present in the diagram. Unforgivable for this type of reference.

Have the other reviewers not read past page 50?

Spelling mistakes are also not lacking (enough to cause you to pause and think if you've missed something)!

Not recommended.