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From Stephen Cameron <steve.cameron...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Thinking about re-introducing UML in our workflow
Date Fri, 20 Nov 2015 22:31:45 GMT
Hi,

Related to this thread, my new job involves maintenance of a Struts 2 based
website, in thinking about the best way to approach this task, both to
learn how it has been put together and potentially make life easier into
the future I thought the best place to start is creating some diagrams,
maybe even UML diagrams .

Then I remembered something called AndroMDA [1] from my past reading on
UML/MDA, it has a 'cartridge' for generating a Struts web-application off a
UML class model [2]. Just reading the documentation now, it can also make
use of an UML Activity diagram for designing page navigation[3], also, it
consume a BPMN diagram as a design model too (Hmm, just maybe this has more
potential than I imagined).

I'll have a play with this myself soon (It seems like a fun way to learn
about Struts and JBOSS), but thought in worth mentioning in this
discussion. If I was starting from scratch to build such a 'public facing'
website, an approach that I can see working is to first develop an Apache
Isis based domain model in Java and get all the systems integrations needed
working with that. Then, to generate UML class diagrams off that design,
add in the page navigation design (UML Activity diagram?), and use that
combination to generate the skeleton of a tradition request/response type
website using AndroMDA.

If this all worked, it would provide something very close to a commercial
MDA suite that I was interested in supporting called WebRatio [4], for
which the public website design [5] market seems quite large. They talk
about web-applications, but  I like the Isis coded model approach better
for real applications (as opposed to database back web-sites). For public
facing web-sites, a templates based approach does still seem to be valid,
such as Struts/JSP, and using a MDA probably a good way to manage that
complexity.

The WebRatio folk have designed a specific graphical web-site design
language called Interacton Flow Modelling Language (IFML) [6] (but AndroMDA
is UML focused). There is an open-source Eclipse plugin for IFML that they
have contributed to [7].

Interested to hear thoughts, maybe a dead-end, but maybe not.

Cheers


[1] http://www.andromda.org/
[2]
http://www.andromda.org/andromda-cartridges/andromda-bpm4struts-cartridge/index.html
[3]
http://www.andromda.org/andromda-cartridges/andromda-bpm4struts-cartridge/howto2.html
[4] http://www.webratio.com
[5] http://www.webratio.com/site/content/en/web-application-development
[6] http://www.ifml.org/
[7] http://ifml.github.io/









On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 1:48 AM, Cesar Lugo <cesar.lugo@sisorg.com.mx>
wrote:

> Hi.
>
> I just wanted to let you guys know that I have tried Papyro in eclipse. I
> have been able to reverse engineer java code and create UML Class Diagrams
> (supports most of the UML types of diagrams including use cases, state
> machine, activity and many more). I tried adding a property within a domain
> object class, then redo java engineer and it keeps my diagram and was able
> to include the new property. I haven't been able to do the opposite, adding
> a property within the UML and have it add it to the existing java class
> though. Adding a new UML class generates java code just fine. I haven’t
> been able to reverse engineer some repository classes, anything that uses
> java.util.List fails to be imported into the UML model, I haven't find the
> solution yet (sortedSet works fine). It doesn't automatically create the
> diagram (like other simpler tools do), but once you import your java code
> into the UML model, it's just a matter of drag and drop and into the
> diagram canvas and select which properties and operations (actions) you
> want to be shown, very convenient to exclude the obvious from the diagram,
> like getters and setters, maybe disableXxx / hideXxx / defaultxXX methods,
> your choice.
>
> I will keep working on it, looking good so far.
>
> Cesar.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Óscar Bou - GOVERTIS [mailto:o.bou@govertis.com]
> Sent: Monday, November 16, 2015 4:53 AM
> To: users
> Subject: Re: Thinking about re-introducing UML in our workflow
>
>
> For you to know.
>
> I was just reading about “AgileJ” [1] (the video at [2] is excellent. It
> perfectly summarizes the points-of-view expressed here about the evolution
> last years of UML usage in dev teams).
>
> But I’ve also found the Papyrus Eclipse project [3]. Seems to be really
> alive (there has been a conference this month).
>
> And It also seems to have full code synch from Java … See [4].
>
> Any experience out there with Papyrus?
> Could it be a good match for Apache Isis?
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> Oscar
>
>
> [1] http://www.agilej.com
> [2] https://www.youtube.com/embed/hs9TYFsxkxE?autoplay=1&rel=0
> [3] http://www.eclipse.org/papyrus/
> [4]
> https://www.eclipsecon.org/europe2015/session/papyrus4java-uml-diagrams-ordinary-java-developers
>
>
>
>
> > El 16 nov 2015, a las 11:29, Óscar Bou - GOVERTIS <o.bou@govertis.com>
> escribió:
> >
> >
> > Hi all.
> >
> > First of all, the good news for all romantics:
> >
> > Together is still alive !!! See [1].
> >
> > [2] says it fully supports Eclipse.
> >
> > Really interesting, Jeroen, introducing Lombok.
> > Look how clear and concise is the Aggregate in [3] expressed in C#.
> >
> >
> > For me, my immediate need is to have a visual depiction of the new
> features developers must work on.
> > So an Agile diagramming tool would be ok for it.
> >
> > I’m used to drag-n-drop like interfaces, and I'm there are “visual”
> tools out there that support plantuml, so it would be ok to be based on it.
> >
> > Also agree that the model "must be" the code (and not “the code is the
> model” MDA approach, despite my experience with Bold for Delphi/Capable
> Objects was REALLY really good).
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Oscar
> >
> >
> >
> > [1]
> > http://www.borland.com/en-GB/Products/Requirements-Management/Together
> > [2[
> > http://www.borland.com/en-GB/Products/Requirements-Management/Together
> > /Plugins-and-integrations [3]
> > https://github.com/Lokad/lokad-cqrs/blob/master/SaaS.Domain/Aggregates
> > /Register/RegistrationState.cs
> >
> >
> >
> >> El 16 nov 2015, a las 10:57, Mike Burton <mikeb@mycosystems.co.uk>
> escribió:
> >>
> >> Hi Jeroen,
> >>
> >> My experience is similar. I was always suspicious of the "code
> generation " approach, inevitably gives 2 "sources" that get out of step.
> >>
> >> The only good exception I saw was TogetherJ where "the code is the
> model"
> >>
> >> Best Regards
> >>
> >> Mike Burton
> >> (Sent from my iPhone)
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On 15 Nov 2015, at 23:44, Jeroen van der Wal <jeroen@stromboli.it>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> All very interesting!
> >>>
> >>> Over the years I tried numerous modelling tools and only the
> >>> low-tech ones
> >>> stayed: drawing on a whiteboard, using coloured index cards [1]
> >>> (learned from Dan) or using a simple online tool like yUML [2]. And
> >>> I only use them to communicate the broad picture or for explorative
> purposes.
> >>>
> >>> I gave up on code generators: I always ended up fighting the
> >>> generated code. And the impression that they support rapid
> >>> application development proved wrong: at the point where you had to
> >>> work on more advanced stuff velocity came to a halt. If an
> >>> application is built on lots of repeating code snippets then my
> >>> conclusion is that the underlying framework is not good enough.
> >>>
> >>> I love source code that tells the story of the application. Where
> >>> everything that could be left out of the code is eliminated. Very
> >>> DRY, convention over code. This has drawn me to Naked Objects and
> >>> made me decide to spend my time on Apache Isis.
> >>>
> >>> As you imagine by now I would not take the route from diagram to
> >>> code. For me the code editor is the sole canvas to express your
> >>> ideas. And I think that if we keep improving Apache Isis on a few
> >>> points there will never be a need for an additional tool:
> >>>
> >>> 1) Reduce boilerplate and make writing an application skeleton as
> >>> easy as the easiest modelling tool. This has the advantage that a
> >>> software architect can sketch the application and leave it to his
> >>> developers to fill in details. But everyone is working on the same
> >>> code base using the same tools. In this area we started using
> >>> Lombok. Also Dan had an idea to make it possible to create your own
> >>> custom annotations which can combine multiple annotations.
> >>>
> >>> 2) Visualise the meta model. With contributions and mixins the
> >>> application logic can come from anywhere. This is architecturally
> >>> sane but makes an application hard to grasp. It would love to see a
> >>> maven plugin that generates appealing documentation from the meta
> >>> model of an Isis application.
> >>>
> >>> 3) When taking the visualisation concept a bit further it would be
> >>> very powerful to explore and navigate the meta model within the IDE.
> >>> Any plugin developers here?
> >>>
> >>> That's just my two cents.
> >>>
> >>> Cheers,
> >>>
> >>> Jeroen
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> On 15 November 2015 at 21:01, David Tildesley <davotnz@yahoo.co.nz>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> On Sunday, 15 November 2015 5:37 AM, Dan Haywood <
> >>>> dan@haywood-associates.co.uk> wrote:
> >>>>> Thanks for this James.
> >>>>
> >>>>> My observation re: using the (relational) data model as the
> >>>>> initial input though is that this is likely to lead to rather
> >>>>> coupled code, ultimately not maintainable.
> >>>>
> >>>> Couldn't agree more.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> So, while going from the database up to the domain is fine for a
> >>>>> single module of 10 or so entities, any app that is bigger than
> >>>>> this really
> >>>> should
> >>>>> be modelled from the domain down to the database.
> >>>>
> >>>> Quite right. Any business app that is non trivial should be domain
> >>>> modelled.
> >>>>
> >>>> David.
> >>>>
> >>>>> Dan
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> On 14 November 2015 at 15:00, James Agada <James.agada@cwg-plc.com>
> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I actually tested out using Telosys to generate an isis app from
> >>>>> database definition. It did work but of course it meant i did the
> >>>>> ER first. I used MySQL, did the ER modelling on the workbench,
> >>>>> forward engineered into the database and then used telosys scripts
> >>>>> to generate a functional Isis application. Did it as a PoC but we
> will come back to it later.
> >>>>> James Agada
> >>>>> Chief Technology Officer
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On 14 Nov 2015, at 3:49 PM, Óscar Bou - GOVERTIS
> >>>>> <o.bou@govertis.com>
> >>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Many thanks, Stephen for this detailed explanation.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> The problem I’m facing is that I intent to communicate the
> >>>>> developers what’s the model to implement.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> And I usually don’t find big mistakes in action code, but what
> >>>>> mostly forces us to refactor is miscommunication regarding the
> >>>>> Domain Entities, attributes and actions names, including typos
> >>>>> (think my team speak
> >>>> Spanish
> >>>>> but they’re modeling in English) or wrong or missing relationships
> >>>> between
> >>>>> those entities.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> All that could be avoided by firstly agree in a common UML Class
> Diagram.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> If it can potentially generate automatically the Java skeleton
> >>>>> with
> >>>> Apache
> >>>>> Isis annotations is a big plus, as it will avoid mistakes when
> >>>>> moving
> >>>> from
> >>>>> design to implementation.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> And if it could potentially reverse engineer Java (incl. Apache
> >>>>> Isis
> >>>>> idioms) a really good feature.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Any ideas about what tools could best adapt to the workflow (that
> >>>>> could
> >>>> be
> >>>>> potentially customized to cover the last 2 whishes) ?
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Thanks,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Oscar
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> El 14 nov 2015, a las 2:03, Stephen Cameron
> >>>>> <steve.cameron.62@gmail.com>
> >>>>> escribió:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Hi Oscar,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> In a qualified way I think your idea has merit. I have never used
> >>>>> UML for design, but a few years ago I decided to take a good look
> >>>>> at it and see
> >>>> it
> >>>>> if was useful. The idea of being able to draw a diagram and
> >>>>> generate code from it seemed sensible, after all that is what is
> >>>>> done by most other 'design' professions, such as building architects
> and engineers.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> To cut a long story short I realised after some reading that it
> >>>>> was not that simple, and that OO languages themselves are really
> >>>>> all that are needed for the process of designing a system. This
is
> >>>>> "the code is the design" school of thought, mainly attributed to
> Jack Reeves [1].
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I found that  keeping code and UML diagrams in sync in a top-down
> >>>>> 'UML to code' design process will always be problematic (maybe why
> >>>>> there are apparently no open-source tools that claim to do this).
> >>>>> Then I read about Domain Driven Design which seemed to agree with
> >>>>> this premise, and from there found Apache Isis via Dan's  book.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> So now for me UML class diagrams do have an after the fact use for
> >>>>> documentation purposes and if a solution implement was capable of
> >>>>> that reverse generation of diagrams from code it would be a good
> >>>>> thing to
> >>>> have.
> >>>>> Entity Framework can do this, its their "code first" approach.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Given that the-code-is-the-design is true, I think that UML class
> >>>> diagrams
> >>>>> real main value is as a data model, the question then is why not
> >>>>> use a purely data-modeling tool and generate Java classes off it.
> >>>>> Then the diagrams 'designed' could have a usefulness to
> >>>>> programmers and to system users, something like those created
> SchemaSpy [2]  for example.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> There are already useful and free Java class generation (binding)
> >>>>> tools from off data-models, of one sort or another, such as JAXB,
> DataNucleus'
> >>>>> schemaGen[3], even CAM [4].
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Here is my vision of what I think would be really useful: to have
> >>>>> a
> >>>> design
> >>>>> tool that can be used by non-programmers to create a simple
> >>>>> data-model,
> >>>> and
> >>>>> then to have that create a working Apache Isis based CRUD system.
> >>>>> This could serve your purpose (I guess) and also find a wider use.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> The means of achieving this would I think, require something like
> >>>>> the "dynamic classes" in available in the Moxy framework [5], that
> >>>>> is, map based so that no Java class compilation is needed.
> >>>>> Instead, a data-model configuration file (a schema) is read-in to
> >>>>> configure the system. This is not a strange idea, in fact its the
> >>>>> data-driven programming paradigm that is the basis of the original
> >>>>> browser concept (before it was turned into
> >>>> OO
> >>>>> application framework via addition of Javascript). In the browser
> >>>>> the
> >>>> data
> >>>>> is HTML that is turned into an in-memory Document Object Model
> >>>>> (DOM) for rendering.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> As a blended solution between Apache Isis as it is currently
> >>>>> (heavily influence by naked objects, an OO modelling based
> >>>>> approach for creating custom *behavioural* applications) and this
> >>>>> additional mainly data
> >>>> focused
> >>>>> approach, I think a programmer developing a business application
> >>>>> would start off with these dymanic classes and then in time
> >>>>> 'harden' the design by generating and compiling real Java classes
> >>>>> from off the model. [A non-programmer wouldn't get past the first
> >>>>> design 'phase' usually, but still end up with a useable UI.]
> >>>>>
> >>>>> In addition, by having separate abstract model-generated classes,
> >>>>> that
> >>>> can
> >>>>> be overwritten if the data-model changes, and concrete
> >>>>> implementation classes, where you put all your behavioural code
> >>>>> and that are never overwritten, you get close to the
> >>>>> 'round-tripping' that would seem to me
> >>>> to
> >>>>> be the only valid way to use UML *for design*. I think this is how
> >>>>> the Eclipse Ecore models work, that there are model classes and
> >>>> implementation
> >>>>> classes that extend the model classes. The IDE will often warn you
> >>>>> when these two sub-models have inconsistencies. This duality also
> >>>>> offers an alternative means to achieving the goals of Lombok it
> would seem.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Of course, sitting in the middle of all this is a meta-model, that
> >>>> creates
> >>>>> the dynamic classes, generates and compiles the 'hardened' model
> >>>>> classes (when used) and maps either of these means to a UI 'viewer'.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> For such data-management frameworks, the complicated aspect isn't
> >>>>> so much going from the designed data-model to Java, there are lots
> >>>>> of examples of that, instead its being able to have also, a
> >>>>> dynamic query capability. So that a person unfamiliar with the
> >>>>> dataset, can, via its data-model, start querying it (and also
> >>>>> maybe integrating it in real-time with other online resources, the
> idea of a data-browser appeals!).
> >>>>>
> >>>>> In the science domain, where I worked for a few years building
> >>>>> data-management infrastructure, there are highly advanced systems
> >>>>> for online data access and querying e.g. [6], but at the same time
> >>>>> a common tool used for small databases is still Microsoft Access.
> >>>>> Access has many strengths as a desktop database, including form
> >>>>> generation and also
> >>>> dynamic
> >>>>> query-by-form, but the problems arise when you want to make such
> >>>>> data publicly available, in the sense of being findable and
> >>>>> searchable in real time. You might as well have used a web-based
> >>>>> system from the start and then been able to easily open it to the
> world at the appropriate time.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Having though about this problem for a number of years and spent
> >>>>> alot of time working on a XForms based solution as well. I'd be
> >>>>> very interested
> >>>> to
> >>>>> see Apache Isis broaden its scope to offer what I have described,
> >>>>> in fact its doesn't seem to need very much more than what is
> >>>>> already present in
> >>>> the
> >>>>> Isis meta-model and Wicket viewer. The Restful objects support
> >>>>> already provides a generic 'generated' web programming interface.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> In summary I know that there are some Java projects that make very
> >>>>> effective use of a Model Driven Architecture approach (e.g [7]),
> >>>>> but I am now not sure that UML is the 'be-all-and-end-all' basis
of
> that.
> >>>> Actually I
> >>>>> think that data-models are the basis of most of MDAs efficiency
> >>>>> dividends and that there are other approaches, specifically that
> >>>>> conceptual models offer more versatility in terms of who and how
you
> can make use of them.
> >>>>> This thinking goes way back, such as Sowa's Conceptual Graphs [8]
> >>>>> and
> >>>> even
> >>>>> to Codd [9]. A modern expression of Sowa's thoughts (I gather) is
> >>>>> the W3C semantic web, but he was thinking of database design and
> query way back.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Apart from some additions to Isis, another interesting aspect is
> >>>>> looking
> >>>> at
> >>>>> the mapping to data-stores, using a graph database of one sort or
> >>>>> another to avoid the complexity of ORM is a simple answer to that
> >>>>> I feel. Again, the hardening of a design might mean manually
> >>>>> adding a few overrides of default ORM mapping rules into some
> >>>>> behavioural-model classes, that
> >>>> extend
> >>>>> generated data-model classes (getters and setters only).
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> [1]http://www.developerdotstar.com/mag/articles/reeves_design_main
> >>>>> .html
> >>>>> [2]http://schemaspy.sourceforge.net/sample/relationships.html
> >>>>> [3]
> >>>> http://www.datanucleus.org/products/accessplatform_2_1/rdbms/schema
> >>>> tool.html
> >>>>> [4]http://camprocessor.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
> >>>>> [5]https://wiki.eclipse.org/EclipseLink/Examples/MOXy/Dynamic
> >>>>> [6]http://www.opendap.org/
> >>>>> [7]http://www.opencrx.org/
> >>>>> [8]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_graph
> >>>>> [9]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relational_Model/Tasmania
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> On Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 8:45 PM, Óscar Bou - GOVERTIS <
> >>>> o.bou@govertis.com>
> >>>>> wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Hi all.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I’m considering re-introducing UML Class diagrams in our workflow
> >>>>> mainly
> >>>>> for:
> >>>>> - graphically design the domain entities.
> >>>>> - modeling relationships.
> >>>>> - agree with names of properties, collections and actions needed.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> It would be wonderful if the UML solution could also be
> >>>>> “integrated” with Apache Isis or Java, automating at least the
> >>>>> entities Java skeleton generation.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I’ve worked extensively with Rational Rose and Sparx
> >>>>> EnterpriseArchitect, but was thinking about an Eclipse-based
> solution that could “potentially”
> >>>>> be adapted to generate the Java entities with Isis annotations.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Before joining the Apache Isis community I developed [1] for
> >>>>> Enterprise Architect for automatically generating Spring Roo-based
> >>>>> classes, but Isis was better suited for our project and I abandoned
> it.
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Any ideas?
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Thanks,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Oscar
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> [1] http://roomodeler.com
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
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