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UML 2.0 in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) 2nd Edition

30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596007959
ISBN-10: 0596007957
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Editorial Reviews


"A really good short summary of UML 2.0" - Mike James, VSJ, September 2005 " a very complete and precise reference to the latest UML standard. The book is a refreshingly lightweight, weighing in at just over 200 pages. That's not to say it's simply a yellow-pages style reference, because it does contain a wealth of information and explanations of everything it discusses. If you're a modeller or designer already using UML, I strongly recommend that you take a look at this book. Skimming it from cover to cover will give you a good overview of the new standard, and it will provide an invaluable desktop reference." - Mark Jones, news@UK, March 2006

About the Author

Dan Pilone is a Software Architect with SFA, Inc., cofounder and president of Zizworks, Inc. and a terrible rock climber. He has designed and implemented systems for Hughes, ARINC, UPS, and the Naval Research Laboratory. When not writing for O'Reilly, he teaches Software Design and Software Engineering at The Catholic University in Washington DC. Originally writing in C and C++, he has moved into the blissful world of managed code with Java and C#. He has had several articles published by Intelligent Enterprise and Java Developer's Journal on software process, consulting in the software industry, and 3D graphics in Java.

Neil Pitman is Chief Technical Officer of Mahjong Mania, co-developer of LamMDA from Mindset Corporation, and formerly Vice President of Research and Development at Codagen Technologies. Neil has twenty years of experience in software development ranging from medical systems to Smalltalk development platforms, gaming software to code generation. When he does real work, it's in J2EE and XSLT as well as UML. Look for him at


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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2nd edition (June 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007959
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Pilone is the founder of Element 84, a consulting and custom software development company. He has designed and implemented systems for NASA, Hughes, ARINC, UPS, and the Naval Research Laboratory. He has taught project management, software design, and software engineering at The Catholic University in Washington D.C. Dan has written several books on software development, including Head First iPhone Development, Head First Software Development, UML 2.0 in a Nutshell (0-596-00795-7) and UML 2.0 Pocket Reference (0-596-10208-9).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Landon Dyer on July 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the book that UML In a Nutshell should have been.

Several years ago I picked up the original UML In a Nutshell with high hopes; I didn't bother reading much of it in the bookstore because (after all) the book was an O'Reilly. It had an animal on the cover; quality was assured. I snapped it up and went home. It turned out to be the one of the worst computer books I'd ever bought, and many of the Amazon reviews agreed with me. I wrote my own scathing (but rather funny) review, and to be honest I don't know what happened to the book itself, I no longer cared.

A few weeks ago I received email from an editor at O'Reilly asking if I was the person who had posted that review, and would I be interested in a copy of their re-written book on UML 2.0? The book arrived a few days ago, and I've spent a couple hours going through it. (In the interest of disclosure, please note that I did not pay for my copy).

To put it mildly, UML 2.0 In a Nutshell is a vast improvement. I don't know how to emphasize this: It's like waking up from a bad nightmare of Throgzaks-are-after-you (and of course, you can't run) to realize that everything is okay and it was just the cat sleeping on your face. It is a huge relief that O'Reilly recognized their error and decided to fix it.

This book is smaller, more succinct and to the point. The authors dive into meaty subject material right away, starting with the stuff that most engineers are likely to use. The writing is pleasantly conversational, targetted to a technical (rather than a managerial) audience, and the subject matter is well organized.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brian C. Lanham on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I approached this book with some trepidation. I did not want to get into a sales pitch about the merits of one modeling tool over others. It quickly became obvious that this book is not about tools. In fact, the opposite it true. This book is truly about the UML. While there are sparse references to some tools, the text focuses on the UML as a standard and how to effectively and pragmatically apply it to your efforts.

Another concern I had when starting this book was a strict adherence to the UML. Much to my pleasure, this book takes a very pragmatic approach to modeling software systems. There are often statements indicating how "many designers do it" as opposed to the more formal approach. These situations show how making the UML work for you (as opposed to you working for the UML) does not cause any lack of clarity. In fact, it often adds to clarity and simplicity.

I really appreciate the way in which the text suggests approaching adoption and use of the UML. It would be difficult to try and quickly learn and apply all of the details, of all of the diagram types, and which arrows connect what shapes. The book addresses this by suggesting that readers adopt the UML in pieces. It also suggests that not every diagram type is needed for every situation. Once again, the text emphasizes a practical approach.

Although it would seem difficult to describe the graphical nature of the UML in text, the author does this quite adeptly. There is an excellent balance between figures and text. Examples are direct and meaningful. Also, the author does not dwell on how to model a software system. Instead, the focus is on how to use the UML as a modeling tool.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Hart on March 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
When searching for a very good UML reference book last year, I happened upon the book entitled "UML 2.0 in a Nutshell" by Dan Pilone with Neil Pitman. The book, which measures a mere 8.9 by 6 by 0.8 inches, is both lightweight and highly portable; which is one of the reasons that I decided to purchase a copy. However, it was ultimately the content of the book, and not its compact size, that convinced to me that this would a very useful resource. Condensed within 216 pages, "UML 2.0 in a Nutshell" lives up to its title, as the book is an extremely informative resource in understanding the various graphical elements that comprise UML with its nine types of diagrams.

The book's 12 chapters and two appendices are divided into four main parts: an introduction, static diagrams, behavioral modeling diagrams and finally, extensions and applications of UML.

First Part: Introduction

chapter 1: Fundamentals of UML

This chapter provides a short, but good introduction to the fundamentals of UML. If you have never used UML before, this will help to introduce several key concepts of UML; but you might want to consider purchasing a UML tutorial book, such as "UML Weekend Crash Course" by Thomas A. Pender, to obtain a more hands-on approach to learning UML.

Second Part: Static Diagrams

Chapter 2: Class Diagrams

Class diagrams are one of the most important aspects of UML. With class diagrams, the relationships between classes can be thoroughly illustrated, including the strengths of the relationships between classes. This chapter provides a precise description of the various ways that class relationships can be defined within UML: dependencies, associations, aggregations, compositions and generalizations; as well as association classes.
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