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Sequence diagram: The Best Way to learn

Gerald Davis
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 872
I like to believe that I have a complete understanding of sequence diagrams, but there are things that I don�t quite understand about them. For me, the most complete way to understand sequence diagram is to compare it with code.

I need either a book, online example or a UML tool that converts sequence diagram to code.

I don�t want no easy to understand sequence diagram tutorial using mobile phone or making a dang cup of tree or someone go tell me that design and coding are two separate things.
Ian Roberts
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Joined: Aug 20, 2003
Posts: 46
Gerald,

Sequence diagrams are used at various stages of the development life cycle and are used to present high-level interactions in the support of use cases, sub-system interaction for the application architect at analysis level and a much more detailed and object-based interaction at developer level. The reference to using code to understand a diagram has led me to assume that you are creating sequence diagrams at the developer level and are defining method signatures? Like all UML artifacts used in OOAD, the sequence diagram is best started at an abstract level before going into much more finer detail.

The only solution is undoubtly practise. But it is very easy to assume that when you create a sequence diagram the code must reflect it perfectly and therefore the diagram must be 100% correct. This is not quite true and why OOAD is an iterative approach. Although you may have a "perfect" sequence diagram that you believe is right, once the developer starts actually coding from it he may find that he has to make slight alterations etc. in order to produce the best result. This can be fed back into the design process as a refactor of the model but you can also end up spending most of your time maintaining code and supporting models. Dynamic models are often throw away once the code has been completed because it is rare that they reflect the actual result. There purpose, to present a graphical guidance of the object interaction for a particular use case or function.

Ian R.
Dan Drillich
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Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1167
Gerald,

A good explanation about sequence diagrams is at http://www.agilemodeling.com/artifacts/sequenceDiagram.htm

Rhapsody, the UML tool, of I-Logic integrates sequence diagrams into the development/testing process. It is a _very_ expensive tool but you can have the 30-day trial version at http://www.ilogix.com/rhapsody/rhapsody.cfm.

Regards,
Dan


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