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UML 2.0 in a Nutshell

Dan Pilone and Neil Pitman
Published by O'Reilly and Associates
ISBN:0-596-00795-7
234 pages
£ 24.95
Published: 24th June 2005
reviewed by Mark Jones
   in the March 2006 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

``UML 2.0 In a Nutshell'' is a very complete and precise reference to the latest UML standard. The book is also refreshingly lightweight, weighing in at just over 200 pages. That's not to say it's simply a yellow-pages style reference, because it does contain a wealth of information and explanations of everything it discusses.

An introduction to UML is first covered, after which the book moves quickly through the different types of UML diagram and related components. In particular, the book summarises class diagrams, package diagrams, composite structures, deployment diagrams, use-case diagrams, statechart diagrams, activity diagrams, interaction diagrams, tagged values, stereotypes and profiles. The book concludes with a brief discussion of how to produce effective UML diagrams. Two Appendices are also present which discuss Model-Driven Architecture and the Object-Constraint Language.

Although very concise, the explanations and examples given are of sufficient detail to enable the reader to dip into this book and come away with much knowledge. I've often found reference books to be a very dry read and only of use as a guide when you're in the field. However, by reading or skimming this book from cover to cover, the reader is given a good overview of the new UML standard. Having said that, to get the most out of this book, you do need to have some previous experience of UML and systems-modelling.

If you're looking to learn UML from scratch, I would recommend you explore an introduction- or tutorial-style book first. However, if you're a modeller or designer already using UML, I strongly recommend that you take a look at this book. Skimming it from cover to cover will give you a good overview of the new standard, and it will provide an invaluable desktop reference.

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