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

4 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342193688
ISBN-10: 0321193687
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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.



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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: 6.9 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
First thing first, the third edition of this book is still not available in India. This review of mine's is based on its second edition. Let me first state the expectations I had from this book. It is the certification thing again which prompted me to go for this book. In the OOAD+J2EE+UML space, I feel the best certification to give,in terms of objectives, is the "IBM 486: Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with UML test" exam. Given IBM prescribes this one and the Craig Larman's book 'Applying UML and Patterns' towards preparing for the exam, one doesn't really have any other option but to read this book.

I have been working in the OOAD+J2EE+UML space for the last 3 years in the capacity of an Architect. Before this, though I have read few books on OOAD and Patterns, I hadn't read any book written exclusively on UML. In the large project I was part of, we used Use case diagrams, Sequence diagrams, Class diagrams and on certain rare occasions Activity diagrams.

You repeatedly come across comments such as concise, a very brief introduction, quick reference, compressed, direct in the reviews of this book. Frankly, it is all that. Let me give you chapter-wise impressions book before presenting my summary.

Chapter1: This chapter gives a decent introduction to UML, a reasonable tracing of its history and places UML in right perspective.

Chapter2: My favorite. Gives a classic snapshot of RUP. I infact used some of the lines for a presentation I had to do on RUP to my managers!!

Chapter 3: You get a very brief overview on Use Cases. It was nice to know certain esoteric features related to Use Case relationships. Watch out for the short 'n sweet synopsis on the differences between BUCs and SUCs.
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