Selecting a good UML tools RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,


    I am in making a decision of selecting a UML tool

    for better class design, sequential diagrams and so forth.


    with your all experience kindly suggest me which one would be better and more useful.

    (Visual Studio do provide UML tool but it is not stable currently. At the same time since it is a Microsoft product so they will make their tool look and feel rich + enhance the functionality in the coming years)


    Following are the choices - (or you can suggest one)


    1) Rational Rose,

    2) Visual Paradigm

    3) Enterprise Architect (sparxsystems.com.au)

    4) Visual Studio Provided UML

    5) Visio


    As keeping current market tools in mind and as a designer of the system

    I have to make a decision on which tool i should go with.


    What I have a personal experience is with Rational, Visio and Studio. But I am not sure with other tools?


    Kindly let me know and share your experiences.


    Thanks and Regards



    Thursday, July 27, 2006 1:57 AM

All replies

  • I have read a few discussions on these before and most people tend to agree that

    1) Enterprise Architect does most of what we want and is a lot cheaper than Rational. Most others are slightly more limiting in what they offer.

    2) It is usually not worth investing in a tool which has a tight coupling with the code. Theoritically  - it sounds good that the class diagrams that are updated along with the code. However, when we design, we design analysis level classes. When we code, the same classes tend to become "value objects" with other classes doing a lot of work, especially as we would implement factories and facades. The class diagram at that stage becomes practically unreadable.  I am not saying that the facility is unusable and not needed, all I am saying is that its not worth paying a loads more money just to get this facility.



    Thursday, July 27, 2006 9:09 AM
  • thanks Pranshu for the reply.


    I understand your concern. Do you think that VS Studio 2005 will offer UML'ing in subsequent time to come ?

    If I go with VS Studio and not the Enterprise Architect then what are the differences. ?





    Thursday, July 27, 2006 11:06 AM
  • I personally havent used VS2K5 for any serious modelling work. I have played with it though and the two things which still stick with me about that experience are

    - I was impressed that they handle inner classes!  (Although I have never used/seen them in any design document)

    - I had a very difficult time printing the class diagram created. But this could be due to my unfamiliarity with it.

    I am sure others in this forum might have comments on the same.

    In my opinion, with IBM offering Rose and WAS in an integrated fashion, Microsoft had to integrate or build one. It doesnot look like a bad attempt at all to me - for the class diagrams.  ( I didnt try out anything else- and dont even know if lets say Sequence diagrams can be drawn in that)

    Since I havent really used it, I cant really comment on how good or flaky it is or how it compares with others.

    I know a good number of people who use the free staruml as well.

    I personally will suggest using a tool which you can buy for the entire team - and that depends on your budget. If you have a limited budget, you might be better off with a free tool for everyone rather than an excellent tool for only the leads.

    Thursday, July 27, 2006 3:45 PM
  • Hi all,

    The above answers were quite good and satisfying. I am trying to evaluate the EA to test UML, Use Cases, Business Requirement capturing, DB Modeling etc.

    I have seen Together from Borland also, Do you guys have any experience with using "Together" ? I mean how is the integration with VSTS. can you put all documentation in TFS etc.

    pls. share your experience as well.

     Also if I want to compare Visual Paradigm with Borland and other Visual Studio based Plug-ins which are available.


    Thanks for all,


    Tuesday, August 1, 2006 2:30 AM
  • Hi Paresh,

    You might want to look/post  at discussions at comp.software-eng newsgroup - you could find discussions containg UML in that group from google via:


    You should be able to get some good comments from that group.

    also look/post at the newsgroup  comp.object



    Tuesday, August 1, 2006 4:19 PM
  • In addition to what pranshu said - you may want to look at http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/UmlAsSketch.html


    Friday, August 4, 2006 10:36 PM
  • UML is a communication language, as what Martin is saying in his bliki. For forward-engineering use the whiteboard and a camera for documentation. For reverse-engineering you can use every fancy tool you like, but the easiest thing to use is a tool which generates UML from code. VisualStudio does that, it's not correct UML but good enough for communication, and when it's generated from code it doesn’t matter if they upgrade it, just generate it again ;-) another tool which can do this but with better UML is Together for Visua Studio from Borland

    Sunday, August 6, 2006 5:51 AM