UML Components: A Simple Process for Specifying Component-Based Software

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9780201708516: UML Components: A Simple Process for Specifying Component-Based Software

Although originally conceived as a notation for object-oriented modeling, UML has great potential for component-based systems. UML Components applies UML to the world of component architecture, demonstrating how it can be used to specify components, their interactions, and their integration into cohesive systems. This book shows readers which elements of UML apply to server-side component-based development and how to use them most effectively. Following a simple step-by-step process, the authors walk through requirements definition, component identification, component interaction, component specification, and provisioning and assembly. Throughout, the focus is on the specification of the external characteristics of components and their inter-dependencies, rather than on internal implementation. Numerous UML diagrams illustrate component specifications, and a detailed case study demonstrates important concepts and techniques. System architects, designers, programmers, and testers interested in leveraging the advantages of UML will find this a concise, practical, and insightful guide. The authors address the two great challenges of designing and constructing enterprise-scale componen

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From the Inside Flap:

This book describes how to architect and specify enterprise-scale component-based systems.

It is a practical and technical book. The business benefits of a component-based approach to building systems have been well documented in many theoretical books and we don't repeat these. Our focus is on helping people move from the theory to the detailed reality.

It seems to us that people who want to take a model-based approach to the design and construction of enterprise-scale component-based software face two big problems. First, what tasks and techniques can they use that will both produce a good system and be compatible with whatever project management process is in use? Little has been written to date about processes that can support the construction of large component systems. Second, how should they use the wide range of notations and techniques found in the Unified Modeling Language (UML)? The UML has become the de facto standard for pretty much all application development modeling, but its application to component-based approaches isn't obvious.

If you flick through the pages it might seem to you that we've concentrated mainly on the second of these problems--there are lots of UML diagrams--but a deeper examination will show, we hope, that the primary emphasis is on explaining a simple process by which components can be identified and specified, and robust but flexible application architectures can be produced.

Of course, the full development process covers more than just specification; it covers all activities from requirement gathering to system deployment. But this book focuses on specification. It explains how to represent requirements in a way that will facilitate the construction of specifications, it shows how to create specifications, and it gives guidance on implementing the specifications in software. We make no apology for focusing on specification. The main challenge that a component approach can meet is dealing with change, but the substitutability of parts this requires can be achieved only if components are properly specified.

Underpinning the process are a set of principles and definitions that organize and structure our thinking about software components. We have found these ideas to be a great help, and we urge you to take the time to understand and appreciate them. You'll find them set out in Chapter 1.

Who Should Read This Book? We have written this book for practitioners--people who need to architect systems and specify components in UML today, using today's tools. We describe a clear process for moving from business requirements to system specifications and architectures. This will be helpful for those struggling with business-IT alignment in today's e-business world. The architecture pieces will assist those focusing on system architectures and assemblies, from city planning through detailed application architectures. The emphasis on unambiguous interface specification will be useful for those trying to establish software factories, those defining clear buy-and-build software policies, and those involved in application integration and legacy migration. It should also appeal to testing and validation teams.

We also think this book contains sufficient conceptual clarity and succinct explanations of techniques to make it of interest to both academics and educators. We certainly hope they will buy it.

How Best to Read This Book Start at page 1 and keep going. When you reach a page that's thicker than the rest and shiny on one side, you're done. Seriously though, this isn't a big book, and we think you'll get most from it if you read it all. We think it's all important, so we can't suggest sections to skip on first reading, although you might find it useful the first time through only to skim some of the detailed specification examples, especially in Chapter 7. In fact, we tried to write the kind of book we like to read ourselves--lean and mean, with no unnecessary asides to distract from the main message.

Having read it all once, however sketchily, you will probably want to dip in and out of particular chapters as you're dealing with specific issues on your projects.

If you want to dig deeper into the examples we have provided, you can find the full case study at umlcomponents.

Where Did These Ideas Come From? We'd like to think that the ideas in this book are all our own, but they're not. The component concepts and the process ideas we've used have been formed over a number of years and derive from a great many sources. We've relied heavily on the expertise of others who have struggled with--and solved, at least partially--related problems.

On John Cheesman's side the ideas come from his early work on the Microsoft Repository Open Information Model (OIM), in the mid-1990s; his work with Desmond D'Souza and Alan Cameron Wills on the Catalysis meta-model D'Souza99; UML, of course, to which he was a direct contributor; and Sterling Software's Advisor method for component-based development Advisor, developed mainly by John Dodd and itself influenced by Catalysis.

John Daniels is one of the pioneers of object-oriented concepts and practices. In the early 1990s he developed, together with Steve Cook, the Syntropy method Cook94. This work has been a forerunner and common ancestor of many of the later developments mentioned above, especially Catalysis. The UML's Object Constraint Language (OCL) is directly descended from Syntropy, and several ideas first seen in Syntropy have found their way into the UML.

Figure P.1, although inevitably a simplification, gives some insight into how the ideas have influenced each other. Of course each of these areas has its own set of influences, which we haven't shown, although OMT Rumbaugh91 and Bertrand Meyer's notions of design by contract Meyer00 deserve special mention.

We joined forces in 1999 to refine the concept models, tighten the process ideas, and align them with the workflows and terminology of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) Jacobson99. This book is the result.

Practical Experience We have greatly benefited from studying the experiences of the Sterling Software component-based development (CBD) Customer Advisory Board (CAB). This is a set of companies who have been developing enterprise-scale component-based applications since 1996 in a variety of vertical domains, from telecoms to transportation, and finance to manufacturing. At the time of writing, the CBD CAB has around one hundred member companies.

These companies have helped to separate what works in practice and has genuine, practical added value from what sounds good but is impractical on a real project. They've kept our feet firmly on the ground.

What works in practice is often a function of how well a particular process or technique is supported by application development tools. And it has to be said, most UML tools don't do a great job of supporting component-based development. We avoid references to specific tools in this book since we want it to have a broad appeal, and we try to keep as close to standard UML as we can, defining a relatively small set of extensions. But clearly, the better your tool of choice supports these concepts and processes, the more practical you will find them.

John Cheesman Surrey, England johnc@componentsource

John Daniels London, England john@syntropy.co.uk

0201708515P04062001

From the Back Cover:

Developers using component technologies such as COM+ and Enterprise JavaBeans need to be able to define and express specifications for their components. They can do so using the Unified Modeling Language (UML), whether or not the components are being implemented internally using object technology. However, they also need a simple process that ensures specifications relate correctly to requirements.

Although originally conceived as a notation for object-oriented modeling, UML has great potential for component-based systems. UML Components applies UML to the world of component architecture, demonstrating how it can be used to specify components, their interactions, and their integration into cohesive systems. This book shows readers which elements of UML apply to server-side component-based development and how to use them most effectively. Following a simple step-by-step process, the authors walk through requirements definition, component identification, component interaction, component specification, and provisioning and assembly. Throughout, the focus is on the specification of the external characteristics of components and their inter-dependencies, rather than on internal implementation. Numerous UML diagrams illustrate component specifications, and a detailed case study demonstrates important concepts and techniques.

System architects, designers, programmers, and testers interested in leveraging the advantages of UML will find this a concise, practical, and insightful guide. The authors address the two great challenges of designing and constructing enterprise-scale component-based software: finding a process that can support the construction of large component systems, and making the best use of the wide range of notations and techniques found in the UML.



0201708515B04062001

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