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Wide Adoption for UML Techniques

In 1997, the Object Management Group (OMG) made the UML a standard modelling language for object-oriented applications. Since then, it has been seen as the dominant set of techniques for software analysis and design. So one might think that UML is widely adopted by software development organisations. We checked this with a poll asking the following question: at what stage is the adoption of UML modelling techniques (use case, class, object, sequence diagrams) at your location?

Not aware 7%
Not using 18%
Investigating 12%
Analysed and rejected 4%
Pilot projects 4%
Partial implementation (adoption of some UML techniques) 25%
Partial deployment (some projects are using UML) 14%
Deployed (all new projects are using UML) 16%

Participants: 427

Ending date: November 2005

Despite being the dominant techniques in the literature and being offered by a majority of modelling tools editors, UML is still ignored by some organisations. Nevertheless the adoption rate is very high. Around 50% of the participants told us that their organisation has adopted, totally or partially, the UML techniques. Around 16% are investigating it or conducting pilot project and only 4% of participants said that the UML techniques have been rejected after analysis.

On the other hand, these results are not so surprising if you consider the lack of competition. Before the merge between OMT, Booch and Objectory, the object oriented modelling space saw the activity of other contributors like Coad, Yourdon or Schlaer & Mellor. I do not see this kind of competition today. This could also be explained by the fact that the OMG is providing a process for UML's evolution as an open standard. The current discussions are now more on the processes themselves with the emergence of the agile methods. In many agile approaches, the analysis and design phase should limit the usage of modelling techniques. Requirements are defined by a close relationship between users and developers working with a prototype-like mode created by short delivery iterations.

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