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UML, Unified Modeling Language.

UML is a standard notation for the modeling of real-world objects as a first step in developing an object oriented program. It describes one consistent language for specifying, visualizing, constructing and documenting the artifacts of software systems.

Why model?

Developing a model for a software system before you actually start programming the software, can be seen as having a blueprint for a large building you want to build. It is essential to have one. Although this doesn’t mean that you have to draw a model each time a simple class is introduced in your software. You have to think for yourself whether you want a model or not.

A few notation-rules

Most UML diagrams are graphs containing nodes connected by paths. The information is mostly in the typology, not in the size or placement of the symbols. There are three kinds of visual relationships that are important:

  • Connection (usually lines)
  • Containment (2D shapes with boundaries)
  • Visual attachment (one object being near another)

Suggested Video

Draw your own diagrams

Additional Reading and useful links