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UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) [Paperback]

Martin Fowler
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 25, 2003 0321193687 978-0321193681 3
Pressured with tight deadlines, application developers do not have the luxury of keeping completely up-to-date with all of the latest innovations in software engineering. Once in a great while, a tremendous resource comes along that helps these professionals become more efficient. The first two editions of UML Distilled have been perennial best-sellers because of their concise, yet thorough, nature. This eagerly-anticipated third edition allows you to get acquainted with some of the best thinking about efficient object-oriented software design using the latest version of the industry-standard for modeling software: UML 2.0. The author has retained the book's convenient format that has made it an essential resource for anyone who designs software for a living. The book describes all the major UML 2.0 diagram types, what they are intended to do, and the basic notation involved in creating and deciphering them. A true treasure for the software engineering community.

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UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (3rd Edition) + Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software + Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

  • Would you like to understand the most important elements of Class diagrams? (See page 35.)
  • Do you want to see the new UML 2.0 interaction frame notation for adding control flow to sequence diagrams (see page 58) and the unofficial notation that many prefer? (See page 60.)
  • Do you want to know what changes have been made to all versions of the UML? (See page 151.)
  • Do you want a quick reference to the most useful parts of the UML notation? (See the inside covers.)
  • Do you want to find out what diagram types were added to the UML 2.0 without wading through the spec? (See page 11.)

More than 300,000 developers have benefited from past editions of UML Distilled . This third edition is the best resource for quick, no-nonsense insights into understanding and using UML 2.0 and prior versions of the UML.

Some readers will want to quickly get up to speed with the UML 2.0 and learn the essentials of the UML. Others will use this book as a handy, quick reference to the most common parts of the UML. The author delivers on both of these promises in a short, concise, and focused presentation.

This book describes all the major UML diagram types, what they're used for, and the basic notation involved in creating and deciphering them. These diagrams include class, sequence, object, package, deployment, use case, state machine, activity, communication, composite structure, component, interaction overview, and timing diagrams. The examples are clear and the explanations cut to the fundamental design logic.

If you are like most developers, you don't have time to keep up with all the new innovations in software engineering. This new edition of Fowler's classic work gets you acquainted with some of the best thinking about efficient object-oriented software design using the UML--in a convenient format that will be essential to anyone who designs software professionally.

About the Author

Martin Fowler is an independent consultant who has applied objects to pressing business problems for more than a decade. He has consulted on systems in fields such as health care, financial trading, and corporate finance. His clients include Chrysler, Citibank, UK National Health Service, Andersen Consulting, and Netscape Communications. In addition, Fowler is a regular speaker on objects, the Unified Modeling Language, and patterns.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 3 edition (September 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321193687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321193681
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars UML 2, but not as we know it! October 30, 2003
By A Customer
I disappointed by this, the third edition of UML Distilled. The first edition of this book was clearly rushed out to meet the release of the UML specification and so contained many inaccuracies. However, this is now the third edition and it still has many problems.
The biggest issue is that the author has too many non-standard diagrams. These are helpfully labelled "non-normative", and are an odd mix of UML 1, UML 2 and some other bits and pieces that the author likes. Now what is the point of this? These diagrams won't be supported by UML 1 tools, or by UML 2 tools, so how is one to draw them? Also, the non-normative diagrams do not have a metamodel or any well-defined semantics, so even if one were to build a tool to support their syntax, their semantics would still be open to debate.
The next issue is that many of the UML 2 diagrams are syntactically incorrect (e.g. the use of dependencies rather than connectors in composite structures). Perhaps this is because the author was writing the book while the UML 2 specification was still being developed. Personally, I would rather he had waited a bit rather than give us something only partially baked.
The discussion of UML syntax implies that UML as a visual language is much less powerful and complete than it actually is. For example the very brief discussion of sequence diagrams misses out most of their important new features. You don't learn about combined fragments, references, gates or parameters (although some of these are mentioned in passing). Yet these are the things that make UML 2 sequence diagrams so much more powerful and useable than they were in UML 1. In fact, the sequence diagrams in this book look like they have been translated directly from UML 1 sequence diagrams without applying any of the new features.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3rd edition is for whom has 2nd edition. June 29, 2005
By Steve
I have both 2nd and 3rd edition of UML Distilled. Compared to 2nd edition, 3rd edition has lots of Martin's experience sharing. This is not a bad thing. But for a beginner of UML, what he wants is to quickly understand UML instead of Martin's experience.

For example, Martin tells readers that you should focus more on text description other than UML use case. Also, for the other example, in Chapter 14 Component Diagrams, it is full of Martin's opinion about how to use Component Diagrams without telling readers what is the definion of Component Diagrams.

If you are a new beginner of UML, go back to buy 2nd edition. If you are the readers of 2nd edition and would like to know Martin's experience, then 3rd edition can be a better choice.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great at beginning but sloppy at the end September 11, 2005
Fowler is one of my favorite writers. This book is a great book that is a must on the bookshelf of any serious developers. However, in spite of its power, which you can read in other reviews, it has some minor problems/mistakes.
Fowler, in this book, reminds me of a good instructor who starts a course very well, but at the end of the semester he just wants to finish all the topics carelessly.
The first eleven chapters are great and very well done, but the problem starts at chapter twelve, specifically when he tries to explain the "Composite Structure Diagram" and the usage of Ball-and-Socket notation in Component Diagram. He fails to do the job, however later on in his blog he tries to justify some of his mistakes. you can find the discussion under Ball-And-Socket post.
Another minor mistake is on page 89, when he confuses the concept of the namespace in .Net. I have seen that most of the people with Java background are confusing the "namespace" concept in .Net with "package" in java. Namespaces in .Net have nothing to do with access modifiers. I believe the more equivalent of packages in java are assemblies in .Net and for the Package diagram in UML one should consider an assembly as an equivalent to a package in the diagram.
The first two editions of the book were very successful, and after releasing the UML 2.0 a new edition, which covers the new elements in UML 2.0, was needed, but it seems Fowler was very busy at the time and he just wanted to upgrade the book in two or three days.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Definitive Practical Guide July 24, 2006
After Grady Booch, James Rumbaugh, Stephen Mellor and GOF, Martin Fowler is pretty much one of the fore-fathers of Object Oriented design and analysis. He is one of the initial torch bearers of the discipline we know as refactoring. Martin Fowler is the author of several renowned books on analysis and design namely "Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture", "Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code", "Planning Extreme Programming" and "Analysis Patterns: Reusable Object Models"

I have been using "UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language" for some time now and the best thing I like about this 170 page guide is its simplicity. This books well written, practical and goes straight to the point. This does not mean that it lacks in theoretical aspect of UML but it's not intended towards "fluff" when all you need is a bare minimum to get the job done. UML, as we know is standard for modeling software artifacts. Using UML software developers and architects can make a blueprint of a project like entity relationship diagrams for relational design and server queue diagrams for discrete event simulation.

Martin does an excellent job in explaining how to specify, visualize, construct, and document the artifacts of software systems by using UML. The practical guidelines help simplifying the complex process of software design by using pseudo codes and their corresponding UML designs. The back cover has some interesting prospect to look at book for instance

Would you like to understand the most important elements of class diagrams (see page 35)

Do you want to find out what diagram types were added to the UML 2.0 without wading through the spec?
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Book is easy to understand to some extent but rather focuses quite ...
Started dabbling with UML for documenting my existing code base. Book is easy to understand to some extent but rather focuses quite a lot on topics beyond UML, tries to teach good... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Purvesh T. Khona
1.0 out of 5 stars Ha ha UML
You know how many times I've seen uml after nearly 12 years...about 3....and one of those 3 is this book.
Published 6 months ago by Brad W
5.0 out of 5 stars UML should be this simple. Clear, basic explanation.
Simple solid explanation of how UML works. The idea is to make simple designs that give code writers a clear idea what you want. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bigg Dogg
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Reference ON UML 2.0 Diagramming! As Attested To By...
In 2011-12 when I returned to university for a refresher course, to bring myself up to date in the latest of bleeding edge technologies, anyone drawing 1970's style flowcharts... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andrew Oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have
Bought it for a software engineering class, loved it. Has exactly what you need to know, no more, no less. Easy to read and understand. A must-have for any developer.
Published 8 months ago by Shannon
Nothing else can be expected for a successful purchase.
That is the reason why I recommend it to all people without distinction around the world.
Be on record!
Published 8 months ago by Lidia Lopez
4.0 out of 5 stars Overview of UML
Nice overview of the terms and history of UML with many examples. Author does good job of making is easy to learn or follow.
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, concise, useful
I'm a Business Analyst at a shop that used text based requirements and design. A software architect friend recommended this book for my new job whe they use UML and graphical... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jefferson P Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Want to learn UML quick and easy?
Good book for learning the essential of UML so that you can use it in developing applications/systems or software. E
Published 16 months ago by Sigvart Midtsand Hovland
3.0 out of 5 stars High level concepts but no examples
I had to purchase this book for a program design course I was taking. Since I knew very little about UML I was looking forward to reading it, especially since I knew that this... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Leonhard Euler
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