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Business forum that uses UML

 
HS Thomas
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I just wondered whether anyone has come across a business forum that uses UML.
I imagine that it would most likely be in Rational or Microsoft.

regards
 
Lasse Koskela
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What do you mean by "business forum"?
 
HS Thomas
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A place Business Analysts would likely visit. And become familiar with patterns like BusinessServiceLocator ( at a deeper level than the term suggests).
I suppose where patterns are discussed at a conceptual level rather than code or implementation level.
regards
[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Lasse Koskela
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Since when have business folks studied design patterns?
 
HS Thomas
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Well, if UML is aimed at communication, presumably between Analysts and Designers (as well as Designers and Designers and Developers) doesn't it make sense that they could also learn something about conceptual design , and if components are being developed they should understand what the Components do, at a conceptual level?
OO designers are not the only ones who have to go through the 'paradigm' shift. Why should Business Analysts be excluded? Otherwise they'll still be functioning under analysing for work around 'screens and reports'.
regards
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Lasse Koskela
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Ah. I think I see your point. Yes, UML can be used in the "business analyst" world as well but I wouldn't cross the boundary between "technical UML" and "business UML". Actually, one of my colleague who happens to be an old-timer in OOAD is doing a lot of projects including object-oriented business domain modeling. It's about applying object-oriented thinking and problem-solving for business problems.
 
HS Thomas
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Well, would he like to start a forum ?


No seriously. I take your point that there is a line beyond which business and technical might be wasting the other's time. But I'd still like to take a peek at the workings of the other side.
regards
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Stan James
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Unified Process has not been real strong on business modeling, but business process modelers could certainly use UML if they felt like it. I think most business modeling I've seen was in workflow terms, not object and interaction terms.
 
HS Thomas
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Workflow is usually a linear process. Using objects and components properly can make it that much more flexible. I think BAs have to understand components in order to be effective in this arena. Some Business Analysts are developers by night , usually have an Engineering Degree and Commercial degree/background. (While not all engineers get engineering jobs, those that do, don't build, they model. And it's interesting that the idea for Software Patterns started with a Town Planning Architect's book).
Anyway, my point is that the component/computing stuff may not be too foreign to such Business Analysts, even at the objects and interactions level.
I am surprised someone hasn't created an online community for Business Analysts. Unless this is it !
regards
[ September 07, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
shailesh sonavadekar
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you are correctly pointed out , Thomas that software architectures and design patterns concept have come from civil engineering and architecture. The famous books of Sir Chirstopher Alexander are still quoted by Kent Back And Ward Cunnigham who started this concept of design patterns.
They are still the epics even if they are not from software field.
 
HS Thomas
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Thanks Shailesh.
 
Fintan Conway
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Well, if UML is aimed at communication, presumably between Analysts and Designers (as well as Designers and Designers and Developers) doesn't it make sense that they could also learn something about conceptual design , and if components are being developed they should understand what the Components do, at a conceptual level?
OO designers are not the only ones who have to go through the 'paradigm' shift. Why should Business Analysts be excluded? Otherwise they'll still be functioning under analysing for work around 'screens and reports'.
regards
[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]

Hi HS,
Business Process Modelling involves using Activity diagrams to model workflows - this is where BAs would use UML.
If the BA is involved in Requirements gathering then they would need to know how to structure a Use Case model. Use Cases define how the system will function. The role of a BA (as I see it) is to describe how the business needs to use the system being developed. Knowledge of components will not aid the BA in understanding the business or communicating the requirements to developers. Things like BusinessServiceLocator patterns are implementation details - which should not come into requirements / functionality description / modelling business processes.
The BA should use Activity diagrams and properly structured Use Cases to communicate effectively the required functionality of the system. Anybody mixing implementation details at the requirements stage is designing the system too early. We don't want the BA to design our system for us do we .
Of course, if the BA is doing programming on the side then he should learn OOAD as a programmer rather than as a BA.
Regards,
Fintan
 
HS Thomas
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Thanks, Fintan, for drawing some lines.
I still think there should be a common Body of Knowledge for both Business Analysts and Systems Analysts beyond Use Cases and Activity Diagrams . In addition to interviewing techniques, analysing data and statistics etc., etc..
Or perhaps you prefer the term "common toolbox".
I guess each project would have the responsibility of maintaining that toolbox.

regards
[ September 09, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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