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Topics - Geert Bellekens

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Uml Process / UML best practice: Attribute or Association
« on: August 10, 2011, 03:59:24 pm »
Another one in the series of UML best practices: how to decide whether to use an attribute or an association:

Any and all comments/input/insults are welcome


Uml Process / UML best practice: One Operation => One SD
« on: May 27, 2011, 04:23:22 pm »
I've written down one of my best practices to model implementations of operations using sequence diagrams.
UML Best Practice: One Operation => One Sequence Diagram
Any and all comments/congratulations/insults are welcome :)


Uml Process / Modelling testcases in UML
« on: September 28, 2009, 06:14:50 pm »

We are planning to model our testcases on a functional level.
A TestCase for us is related to one specific usecase scenario, and it describes what needs to be executed, and what the desired results are for this testcase.
We are thinking of modelling this using usecase instances. Each testcase is an instance of the usecase from which it tests a scenario. In the scenario of the TestCase we will then describe the flow and desired results.

What do you think of this approach, and how do you model testcases?

Any input is greatly appreciated.


Uml Process / Call for Action: Set UML Free!
« on: January 15, 2010, 04:40:50 am »
Have you also though it would be neat to collaborate with colleagues and friends (or forum members) on UML diagrams online?

Then the webUML initiative might be of interest to you.
Show your support by signing the call for action at and
include the badge in your profile.

Thanks for your support


Uml Process / How do you document your (Modelling) Method?
« on: December 01, 2009, 08:03:20 pm »
At my current client we are in the process of documenting the modelling method.
At the moment we have some Word documents scattered around the intranet and some network drives, we have a partial metamodel in Enterprise Architect, some powerpoint slides... you get the picture.
I would like to rationalize this approach and have a central integrated documentation. This documtation should include all aspects of the modelling method, and it should be able to link from one aspect to the other.
To get an idea of what I mean with the different aspects see Modelling Method
The different types of documentation I need are described here: Modelling Method Documentation

The only tool I found so far that seems to be able to provide what I need is EPF but I'm not sure whether that will fit my needs. I'm afraid it will be a bit overkill.

So my questions are:
- How do you document your (Modelling) method
- Are there any other tools on the market that I could use.



Uml Process / Extending an enumeration
« on: October 01, 2009, 11:55:50 pm »

I'm breaking my head here on the subject of extending enumerations.
According to UML specs and the (not very helpfull) EA help it should be possible to extend an enumeration, but nowhere is stated how this should be done.

I've been thinking about inheritance, but that seems to work a bit akward. Suppose following situation:
EnumA with literal A1
EnumB with literal B1

If EnumB generalizes enumA, what exactly does that mean?
You could argue that, since for every instance of EnumA we could use an instance of EnumB that an attribute of type EnumA now can hold both A1 as B1 literals.

So now what happens with an attribute of type EnumB. You could argue, that since EnumB inherits everything from EnumA we should be able to set the value of the attribute to A1 as well as B1. (so now it doesn't matter wether your the type of the attribute is EnumA or EnumB)

... I'm confused ...   :'(


Uml Process / Diagrams do not contain model information?
« on: August 27, 2009, 07:29:11 pm »
Continuing the discussion from in a new topic.
The main question is:
Since diagrams are hardly defined in the UML metamodel we should be able to delete all of them without loosing any information.
Diagrams only serve as a means for a human to understand the model.
This seems to become problematic when talking about Activities and the Activity diagrams. (especially in the way it is implemented in EA)


Uml Process / Connecting states to operations
« on: September 01, 2009, 08:06:38 pm »

I'm trying to find a way to model the state aspects of our elements.
Currently I have following:
The element for which we are modelling the state aspects has an attribute (with stereotype state) that represents the state.
The type of this attribute is an enumeration (again with stereotype state) that lists all possible states.
Nested in the class we have a statemachine (with the same name as the state attribute).
The StateMachine contains a state diagram, and for each value in the state enumeration we have a state in the state machine.
Between the states we have of course the transitions with guard condition etc...
The issue that I'm facing right now is how to link the transitions with those operations that perform the transition. I.e if I have states "Open" and "Closed" and a transition between "Open" and "Closed" I whish to know which operations in my model change the state from "Open" to "Closed".
On the other hand I want to know which operations should get triggered when the state is changed from "Open" to "Closed".

Any thoughts or idea's on how to achieve this in EA?



Uml Process / Using UML Component as a logical analysis element?
« on: April 03, 2008, 04:41:45 pm »

My client is currently creating a "Component Based Design with UML" method for functional and technical analyses.
We had a discussion about the UML component (UML v2); whether or not it is a common practice to use it in a functional, non platform specific, non technical manner.
My question: Do you use the Component only to model a physical "deployment" item (as UML v1 would suggest) or do you also use it on a logical level; to group analysis elements and define the services of and the dependencies between the groups?

Uml Process / User Interface Nagivation diagram
« on: March 12, 2008, 03:36:21 pm »

My client is currently implementing a new method which they call Component Based Design with UML notation. This method will be applied to functional and technical analyses.
In this method they would like a (functional) User Interface Navigation Diagram (UI Storyboard) in which they show all navigation paths between the different screen involved in a use case realisation.
I would like to know what type of diagram you would use. I've seen three different diagram types so far that are used to capture this type of information, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Class diagram: Each screen is a Class showing attributes and operations. Each nagivation path between two screens is represented using an association. The event in which case the navigation is followed is represented using the name of the association.
  • Collaboration diagram: each screen is an object. Each navigation path a message. Each event a guard on the message.
  • State Diagram: Each state is a screen, each navigation path is a transition; the events are guard conditions on the transitions.
Please let me know what your preferred solution is and why.


I'm making a new UML profile with diagram and toolbox profile.
All seems to be working fine, except for the default name of the new elements.
I'm extending the GUIElement and for some reason a new elements always get the default name "UI Control", and not MyStereotype1 as I've seen with other profiles.

Does anyone know what determines the default name? I can't seem to find the related help topic.



I'm struggling a bit with the RTF editor.
I have a section that shows the constraints on an element:
Code: [Select]
element >
[b]Attribute Restrictions[/b]
constraint >
- {ElemConstraint.Name}
< constraint
< element
I would like to omit the titile Attribute Restrictions if there are no constraints defined, but I seem to have a hard time finding a solution.

I know about the bookmarks like ElemConstraint.Name.Start and ElemConstraint.Name.End, but those work only on the individual constraint level. I'm looking for the equivalent for all contraints.

Is there a bookmark or something else I can use for this?


PS. Possible workarounds are:
- Create a custom fragment, add a table with a table header and you can add a title just above the table. Works fine if you need tables, but not if you don't.
- Create a model document only for this part, and omit it if you don't have constraint. That could work, but it would kind of blow up the number of model documents in this case.


I have defined a stereotype for Classes and attributes, and I added a boolean tagged value to both.

Now I would like to somehow visually indicate when this boolean is true on an attribute.
If needed I'm willing to re-write the whole attribute compartment, but I'm not sure if that is even possible.

Anyone know of a way to achieve that? I'm coming up blank :-/


I'm making a UML profile and I would like to define a new connectortype that can be used from an Element to another Element, but also between a Connector and an Element.

Sort of like the connector between an AssociationClass and the Association, or between a constraint and a connector.
Does anyone now how to do that?
The connector steretoype I defined only works between Elements.



Does anyone know the secret formula to add something to the scenarioStep.UsesElementList
I tried with element.Name and element.ElementGUID as parameters, but that doesn't seem to work.
I think the whole UsesElementList simply doesn't work because it is always empty, even if I added linked elements in the uses column manually.
If in anyway possible I would like to avoid having to change the xml in the t_objectscenarios.XMLContent

Here's what I have in the code so far.
Code: [Select]
     for each usecase in usecases
            dim scenario as EA.Scenario
            for each scenario in usecase.Scenarios
                  dim scenarioStep as EA.ScenarioStep
                  for each scenarioStep in scenario.Steps
                        dim matches
                        set matches = regExp.Execute(scenarioStep.Name)
                        dim classesToMatch
                        set classesToMatch = getClassesToMatchDictionary(matches, dictionary)
                        dim classToMatch as EA.Element
                        for each classToMatch in classesToMatch.Items
                              Session.Output "usesElementList before: " & scenarioStep.UsesElementList.Count
                              scenarioStep.UsesElementList.AddNew classToMatch.Name, classToMatch.ElementGUID
                              scenarioStep.Uses = scenarioStep.Uses & " " & classToMatch.Name
                              Session.Output "usesElementList after: " & scenarioStep.UsesElementList.Count
                        Session.Output matches.Count & " matches found for step " & scenarioStep.Name



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