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Messages - Gary W.

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Bugs and Issues / Version Control 'Artifacts' when exporting to XMI
« on: November 20, 2008, 04:46:54 am »

One of our vendors uses version-controlled EA, and upon receiving final delivery of the *.eap file, we found version-control icons indicating check-in/out/lock'ed/etc.

So, we exported to XMI, and then imported into a brand new project file.  But the icons *still* exist, and it's only if we select 'strip GUIDs' upon import, that these vestiges disappear.

Is this a bug?


Uml Process / Re: XOR Disjunction applied to two associations
« on: June 25, 2009, 09:15:33 am »

Since we're expanding this to other modeling constructs.. how about ownedBy(Car, Party) where Party has sub-classes Person, Company.  In the future, you could expand Party sub-classes to include 'Army', 'Government', etc.

Of course, you could also extend this abstraction to ownedBy(Vehicle,Party) where Car is a type of Vehicle, and where the ownedBy association is an Association Class with attributes such as StartingDate, EndingDate to include the time-varying aspect of the 'ownership' .

But back to the original question.. yes, I have done what Luis suggested, and it looks something like:

My 2 cents  :-[

Uml Process / Re: how to model include relationship in uc scenar
« on: January 11, 2008, 09:56:40 am »
... in my application there will be various authorisation levels and the application will have to check user's authorisation level every time a "protected" operation would be accessed by him. Unluckily, this check often takes place in the middle of a use-case logic and according to our project methodology (maybe not the best one) we want to describe the use cases at such a detail level that we want to know when the authorisation level checking takes place (e.g. because very often we display a higher-level-authorisation-form then).

Then you really have no choice but to factor out the portion-of-the-use-case that requires an up-front authorization check.   Well, either that or come up with a another way to document such cross-cutting concerns in a section separate from the use case body, but which can be readily cross-referenced.

We'll be tackling the exact same problem in about 6 months, when we begin design of an application that requires such fine-grained security.  We have yet to decide how to specify this =8^(


Uml Process / Re: how to model include relationship in uc scenar
« on: December 19, 2007, 08:40:44 am »
More specifically, I want to include an authorisation logic in a separate use case.
For this sort of thing, we document it as a precondition on the use case(s).  For example, "Lands Administrator is logged on and has been granted the appropriate authorization to bla bla bla...".

However, be aware that Use Cases aren't *great* at documenting non-functional requirements (i.e. complex system logic that has little use interaction).  A Use Case that simply documents that logic may end up being one long paragraph, or a bunch of pseudo-code.


Uml Process / Re: UML Profile for Simple Features Access for SQL
« on: November 08, 2007, 02:29:13 pm »
If somebody has any suggestion on other way to interact, with or without EA software, ideas are also most welcome.
Creating a UML Profile is a great idea.  *We* cheated by duplicating Simple Features Specification for SQL (Revision 1.1) in our EA Model, and then specialising our modelled observations from these classes.  Technically, you are correct to treat them as meta-classes rather than classes.

However, by creating such a "Simple Geometry" package to hold Point, Curve, Surface, etc., we were able to easily associate Geometry to our implementation-specific SpatialReferenceSystem (i.e. Oracle Spatial's MDSYS.CS_SRS table).

Also, we were able to simply model multi-dimensional data, in the form of the two classes FeaturePointMD and FeatureLineMD.

Our focus was on modeling a specific implementation of Simple Features to meet specific requirements (e.g. specific kinds of spatial data such as roads, jurisdictional bounds, waterways, catchment basins, etc.  

Now... if you ever finish your UML Profile and choose to publish it, we would be VERY interested  ;D


Uml Process / Re: Use Case Writing Question
« on: June 15, 2007, 09:29:55 am »
I would recomend Use Case Modeling. Kurt Bittner and Ian Spence ISBN 0-201-70913-9

Yes, this book was already recommended by Thomas K. in the following posting:;board=UMLPRO;num=1175210555;start=0#3

I've ordered it, received it and scanned it over.  I haven't had the chance to read it cover-to-cover but and have already used several sections as examples to my BA's.

One particular relevant section (for my situation) was the text on on page 180:
"Sometimes, a group... will subvert the use case into a design tool, decomposing the system behavior into use cases....  [You can confirm this subversion by noting the] ... expressed need to somehow sequence the use cases.    So, like a row of dominoes, the use cases fall one-by-one in a sequence."

It clearly and concisely captures the situation in one area of our system.. much better than my own words had attempted to do so.  The BA finally came around to the possibility or re-writing the Use Cases and we were all set to meet to discuss.

Unfortunately, the Project Manager got wind of this and asked us to put this off for now (too close to the delivery date of the Requirements document).  >:(

I'm now working on how to resolve this.


Uml Process / Re: Use Case Writing Question
« on: May 23, 2007, 09:46:51 am »
The other book I find useful is Use Case Patterns -

Do you mean "Use Cases: Patterns and Blueprints" by Overgaard & Palmkvist?  Or did you mean "Patterns for Effective Use Cases" by Bramble & Cockburn & Pols?

FYI, since I started this thread I should update everyone  that the team (of 3 now, not 4) is doing much better at writing use cases.  Even the guy that didn't initially accept advice is on-board now.. .we've teamed him up with one of the more senior BA's and they're writing *his* use cases together.

We still get slight differences in writing style between the 3 BA's but I don't see how this can be avoided.  We'll fix this up later where *one* senior BA skims through all the text and looks for inconsistent sentence structure or inconsistent terms.   As a bonus, they've finally agreed to draw up a 'glossary of terms';  it was a no-brainer to me to have such a glossary, but this team had to be convinced of its value.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread,

Uml Process / Re: Use Case Writing Question
« on: April 25, 2007, 08:38:50 pm »
It seems to be a problem of figuring out what use cases are in scope vs. how to write them. A lot of reading at this stage will confuse and slow down most of BAs.

Well, both "in scope" and "how to write" are (part of) the problem.

And, some people just are too set in their ways.  Of the team 's original 4 members, one was transferred out because it turned out he had little Analysis experience *period*, let alone Use Case writing.  

Another one, when offered (by his manager) a 'checklist of things to keep in mind' (e.g. like your 'keep the goal in mind all the time' advice) acted like it was beneath him and said '.. don't need it....'.


Uml Process / Re: Use Case Writing Question
« on: April 02, 2007, 10:48:15 am »
Silly you.

Yes, you are correct in your assessment.  :-[

Luckily, I had forewarned them that I might revise the instructions if they complicated matters rather than moved the analysis forward.

So, I met with them today and took away the <extend>, but allowed them to link a use case to another if it was REQUIRED to satisfy the goal of the base use case (i.e. <include>).  I reiterated my earlier instruction to use a 'system boundary box' to group related use cases together, but since they cannot use <extend>, these UC bubbles will be unconnected.

They heard me this time and it sunk in (yes, everyones' advice to threaten bodily harm worked GREAT).   8)

Go and buy them Bittner/Spence Use Case Modeling.

I recently googled "Use Case Modeling" by Kurt Bittner and Ian Spence, and it looks good.  I've been using Alistair Cockburns book, and apparently Bittner/Spence is compatible with Alistair's approach.

I'll pick up the book for future reference, as it'll be too late to apply to my current situation.  As for asking them to read it now, well, they're already behind the eight-ball and in fact wanted to skip over some things just to make their deadline.  So... I'll wait until they pass their deadline before suggesting this. ::)

Check this forum - use the search function and be persistent - for an ongoing thread regarding this. I think the thread subject may have mentioned Java

I'll try again.  The search facility doesn't seem to recognize double-quotes around 'exact match'.  So putting in
"use case" java

... treats it as three distinct words.  Putting in "use case" as a phrase is better but then I don't get the "java" keyword in there.

I will try again.. one thread "Re: UML book recommendations?" looks promising but I'll have to be get back to this later on in the week.

Thanks to everyone for their help.. it made a difference.  


Uml Process / Use Case Writing Question
« on: March 29, 2007, 02:22:34 pm »

I'm mentoring a group of 4 BA's, none of which have much experience with the more modern methods (i.e. anything using UML).

I've successfully moved them off of function decomposition, too-high policy descriptions, and too-low system interaction descriptions.

However, as they got deeper into Use Case writing, I saw examples of related (but not directly relevant to the use case goal) behavior, or re-usable behavior that is part and parcel of multiple (base) use cases.

So, I introduced <include> and just recently, <extend>.  But now I see in their UC diagrams a whole spider-web of things.  I see hints of 'screen navigation', but also hints of 'functional decomposition' creeping back in.

The client won't allow state transition diagrams, or 'special requirements' sections in the Use Case template; or indeed, even in the overall Analysis document.

I acknowledge that there are aspects of 'screen navigation', and 'business rules' that require documenting, but they're cluttering up the Use Case text!

I've got the BA's to put such content into a 'notes' section of each Use Case, but now the Notes is 2-3 pages long (while the UC main flow and alternate flows are only 1-2 pages long).

I just introduced the 'system boundary' box, which allows them to group related use cases together.  They STILL want to put <extend> between them, as it "... helps them to see how they interrelate...".

Any advice?     :-/


P.S.  Can anyone direct me to any good and up-to-date "use case writing" discussion forums and/or mailing lists?

Uml Process / Re: How to model database tables to UML classes
« on: July 27, 2005, 05:04:56 pm »

> But I still have the problem in EA to model a
> many-to-many relationship within 1 table. Do
> you have any clue?

If you want to model this situation, then a single association with '0..*' at both ends will show the logical construct.  

However, it isn't normalized and you cannot implement this in the typical relational database.

If this "many-to-many relationship within 1 table" is truly an accurate description of the structural rules, then I'd show the resultant design by creating a second class with two "0..*" associations to your first class.  This can be implemented in a relational database (when you convert classes to tables).

BTW, what are you modeling?  What is the class name?

> EA also has a 'generate ddl' functionality. Why
> use Designer ?

The client has Designer as the standard (although I'm trying to get EA in there =8^).

EA isn't as knowledgeable about Oracle DB objects (e.g. materialized views, sequences, stored packages, distributed objects,  DB/object privileges), but it's a easier-to-use tool than Designer, and allows UML-notation.


Uml Process / Re: How to model database tables to UML classes
« on: July 26, 2005, 05:23:25 pm »

>> a many-to-many relationship within one table (is it
>> called a pig's ear ?).

No, the common usage of this term is a reflexive and optional one-to-many relationship.

>>  are there also other replacements for Oracle's Designer ?

None based upon a powerful and extendable metamodel the way Designer was, nor one capable of generating and diff'ing the implemented DB objects.

So, we've gone with EA for the analysis/design portion, but we still use Designer for the Generate DDL portion.  Of course, Designer itself is not fully up-to-date with Oracle 10g functionality (e.g. no geometry columns, spatial indices, use of newer package syntax, etc.).

When I have the time, I'll use EA's PSM/PIM functionality to recreate Designer's Generate DDL capability.   Until then, I'm stuck with post-generation changes to Designer's DDL.


Uml Process / Re: How to model database tables to UML classes
« on: July 22, 2005, 10:51:30 am »

>  That's because the world is in third normal form!

Assuming this is a 'smart aleck-y' comment, I should point out that one my clients insists on FIFTH normal form!!!  



Uml Process / Re: How to model database tables to UML classes
« on: July 21, 2005, 05:02:33 pm »
> I think the association class can be a solution to my
> many-to-many's problem.

First off, you need to decide if this is indeed a problem for you.  As part of my work, I use Class Diagrams for the Domain Model (as per Fowler's definition), and perhaps drilling down into detailed design.

The DB design is done in another syntax (either in EA or in Oracle Designer), and the target audience and purpose are quite different.  I don't necessarily have to resolve the many-to-many in my Class Model.

> the design of my classes will look like the same as the
>  design of my database tables. Is'nt it a problem?  

That'll depend on your situation.    If the purpose and target audience is the same, then you may not need two diagrams.  In my case, the Class Model is a deliverable to be signed off, as is the DB Design Model.. but by different groups of people.

> similarities beween  a database tables designing and a > modeling class diagram in UML. Is it true or not?

If you're talking Domain Model versus DB tables, then 'yes' a Domain Model diagram will look like a normalized and well-abstracted DB design.  

However, Class Models can have more detail (e.g. constraints) and functionality (e.g. method) than a DB Design, so it'll look completely different.

Note that you may not even need a 'solution' to your many-to-many problem in the Class Model.  You could simply leave it a many to many between the two classes, and leave the exact details to the implementation.


Uml Process / Re: How to model database tables to UML classes
« on: July 19, 2005, 01:29:26 pm »

You can use an Association Class (11th icon down in the Structure toolbox on the left vertical toolbar).

I like this because it also lets me record attributes to this "intersection table".  I rarely find true many-to-many's in relational DB design, especially once the time-varying component gets factored in.  So, I put 'effective/retired date' attributes in the Association Class.


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