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UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (Object Technology Series) Paperback – 25 Aug 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Amazon Review

The second edition of Martin Fowler's bestselling UML Distilled provides updates to the Unified Modeling Language (UML) without changing its basic formula for success. It is still arguably the best resource for quick, no- nonsense explanations to using UML.

The major strength of UML Distilled is its short, concise presentation of the essentials of UML and where it fits within today's software development process. The book describes all the major UML diagram types, what they're for and the basic notation involved creating and deciphering them. These diagrams include use cases, class and interaction diagrams, followed by collaborations, state, activity and physical diagrams. The examples are always clear and the explanations cut to the fundamental design logic.

For the second edition, the material has been reworked for use cases and activity diagrams, plus there are numerous small tweaks throughout, including the latest UML v. 1.3 standard. An appendix even traces the evolution of UML versions.

Working developers often don't have time to keep up with new innovations in software engineering. This new edition lets you get acquainted with some of the best thinking about efficient object-oriented software design using UML in a convenient format that will be essential to anyone who designs software professionally. --Richard Dragan, amazon.com

Topics covered: UML basics, analysis and design, outline development (software development process), inception, elaboration, managing risks, construction, transition, use case diagrams, class diagrams, interaction diagrams, collaborations, state diagrams, activity diagrams, physical diagrams, patterns, refactoring basics.

From the Back Cover

Now widely adopted as the de facto industry standard and sanctioned by the Object Management Group, the Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a notation all software developers need to know and understand. However, the UML is a big language, and not all of it is equally important. The award-winning first edition of UML Distilled was widely praised for being a concise guide to the core parts of the UML and has proved extremely successful in helping developers get up and running quickly. UML Distilled, Second Edition, maintains the concise format with significantly updated coverage of use cases and activity diagrams, and expanded coverage of collaborations. It also includes a new appendix detailing the changes between UML versions.

Written for those with a basic understanding of object-oriented analysis and design, this book begins with a summary of UML's history, development, and rationale and then moves into a discussion of how the UML can be integrated into the object-oriented development process. The primary author profiles the various modeling techniques in the UML--such as use cases, class diagrams, and interaction diagrams--and describes the notation and semantics clearly and succinctly. He also outlines useful non-UML techniques such as CRC cards and patterns. These descriptions are made even more relevant with a collection of best practices based on the primary author's experience and a brief Java programming example demonstrating the implementation of a UML-based design. With this tour of the key parts of the UML, readers will be left with a firm foundation upon which to build models and develop further knowledge of the Unified Modeling Language.

Praise for the First Edition

"UML Distilled is a recipient of the prestigious 1997 Software Development Magazine Productivity Award in the Books category. Addison-Wesley congratulates authors Martin Fowler and Kendall Scott for their outstanding work."

"This book is a godsend. It is packed with solid advice presented in a concise and highly readable way. The essence of the notations is explained very well indeed but the author goes beyond this to give very clear insights into the application of UML techniques."
-- Jennifer Stapleton, Vice President Technical, British Computer Society

"UML Distilled is well written, knowledgeable about both systems development and UML, and disarmingly honest."
-- Robert L. Glass, The Software Practitioner (March 1998)

"UML Distilled proves that you can say a lot of useful things about computing in a small book."
-- Gregory V. Wilson, Dr. Dobb's Journal



020165783XB04062001

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Top Customer Reviews

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Master piece. Great book. One of the book made me good software architect.
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This was the first readable book I found on UML and it is still my favourite. It has a practical focus, and concentrates on how to make effective use of UML rather than the abstruse features and OO theory.
There is easily enough detail to allow someone new to UML to effictively read, modify and create UML diagrams as well as some helpful hints and reminders on style for the more experienced.
If you want more then see this book as a well annotated bibliography with an introduction to each topic and where you can find the detail when you need it.
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Despite some of the recent comments I found this book to be an excellent introduction to UML. Although I have quite some experience in using UML in commercial environments, this is a book I will carry with me to explain simply and clearly to others what it is about. Don't expect to find process or technique, that is not the idea of this little guide, but if you are used to some forms of moddelling, you may expect an easy route to introductory UML.
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The best introduction to UML there is. It is short, succinct and well written (as all of Martin Fowler's books are) but also comprehensive and comprehensible.
This is a good book for anybody looking to learn about UML: managers, developers, analysts, and architects. Clearly anybody who is going to use UML in anger will need to consult more detailed material but this is an excellent starting point for all.
Highly recommended
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I hate to say this, because I like the author's style and agree with many of his comments, but this book is next to useless.
It is a very good 20 minute intro to the ideas of UML, and gives a (too) concise intro to the basic diagraming techniques etc. However, as an experienced developer with some knowledge of UML already, plus other design techniques, I have to admit that he lost me in Chapter 4, simply because of the break-neck speed that he goes at, without pausing to state exactly what you would use something for.
E.g. he mentions that a diagram could be done at 3 different levels of varying abstraction, but a) provides no example diagrams of each, and b) there's no clear definition of the differences.
Considering many have called this the "standard UML intro" take heed - what you can read in this book you can get free on the internet. If it covered more or explained it all better then I would be all for the book........ but it doesn't.
Sorry Martin!
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As a total newcomer to UML the high ratings of this book persuaded me to buy it. I tried reading it, but found it totally frustrating. There was no discussion of UML until chapter 3 and quite a lot of the book is taken up with statement of personal preference, anecdote and the like. it's also very poorly structured, which is rather ironic! It's probably fine if you know UML already. I had to go on a course and recommend Learning Tree highly. This book may make more sense in a year's time but somehow I doubt I will bother to find out.
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This is NOT the bible of UML, but seriously, unless you use UML strictly in academic circles, this is far more than you'll ever need.

The size is perfect, small enough to carry around with you wherever you go, plus it is comprehensive enough to cover all angles of UML2 that are actually usable, if not a bit more.

Highly recommended.
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If you work in industry where diagrams are a means to an end and something you don't spend weeks working on (we're lucky to get a day or two to spend on them) this is the only book you'll ever need. It tells you the basic diagram features (certainly enough to do a few class diagrams at least) which is all you really need. If you do find you need more you can get another book. One tip to note: using the modelling tools (such as Rose) isn't as straighforward as you might expect, so expect to devote some time to this and perhaps get a book/resource to help.
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