Does UML make the grade? Insights from the software development community

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The Unified Modeling Language (UML) has become the de facto standard for systems development and has been promoted as a technology that will help solve some of the longstanding problems in the software industry. However, there is still little empirical evidence supporting the claim that UML is an effective approach to modeling software systems. Indeed, there is much anecdotal evidence suggesting the contrary, i.e. that UML is overly complex, inconsistent, incomplete and difficult to learn. This paper describes an investigation into the adoption and use of UML in the software development community. A web-based survey was conducted eliciting responses from users of UML worldwide. Results indicate a wide diversity of opinion regarding UML, reflecting the relative immaturity of the technology as well as the controversy over its effectiveness. This paper discusses the results of the survey and charts of the course for future research in UML usage.

Original Citation

Grossman M., Aronson J.E., McCarthy R.V. (2005). Does UML make the grade? Insights from the software development community. Information and Software Technology, 47(6), 383-397.


DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2004.09.005