The Agile Modeling (AM) Method

UML Notes: Diagramming Style Guidelines

UML notes are modeling constructs for adding textual information – such as a comment, constraint definition, or method body – to UML diagrams. Notes are depicted as a rectangle with the top-right corner folded over.
Figure 1. A summary note for a diagram.

Figure 2. Indicating uncertainty on a diagram.

  1. Describe Diagrams With a Note. In Figure 1 you see that the name of the system, the purpose of the diagram, and its owner is indicated.
  2. Set a Convention for Placement of Diagram Descriptions.
  3. Left-Justify Text in Notes . It is common practice to left-justify text in UML notes, as you see in Figure 1 and Figure 2.
  4. Prefer Notes Over OCL to Indicate Constraints. Figure 2 includes a very simple example of OCL, {ordered, FIFO}, code that programmers may understand but few stakeholder are likely to.
  5. Follow Common Coding Conventions for OCL and ASL. The book The Elements of Java Style describes Java coding guidance which you can modify for OCL and ASL.

Recommended Reading

Modeling style: Elements of UML 2.0 Style The Elements of UML 2.0 Style describes a collection of standards, conventions, and guidelines for creating effective UML diagrams. They are sound, proven strategies that lead to diagrams that are easier to understand and work with. These conventions exist as a collection of simple, concise guidelines that if applied consistently, represent an important first step in increasing your productivity as a modeler. This book is oriented towards intermediate to advanced UML modelers. Although there are numerous examples throughout the book it would not be a good way to learn the UML (instead, consider The Object Primer). The book is 188 pages long and is conveniently pocket-sized so it’s easy to carry around.
Choose Your WoW! 2nd Edition This book, Choose Your WoW! A Disciplined Agile Approach to Optimizing Your Way of Working (WoW) – Second Edition, is an indispensable guide for agile coaches and practitioners. It overviews key aspects of the Disciplined Agile® (DA™) tool kit. Hundreds of organizations around the world have already benefited from DA, which is the only comprehensive tool kit available for guidance on building high-performance agile teams and optimizing your WoW. As a hybrid of the leading agile, lean, and traditional approaches, DA provides hundreds of strategies to help you make better decisions within your agile teams, balancing self-organization with the realities and constraints of your unique enterprise context.
The Object Primer 3rd Edition: Agile Model Driven Development (AMDD) with UML 2 The Object Primer 3rd Edition: Agile Model Driven Development with UML 2 is an important reference book for agile modelers, describing how to develop 35 types of agile models including all 13 UML 2 diagrams. Furthermore, this book describes the fundamental programming and testing techniques for successful agile solution delivery. The book also shows how to move from your agile models to source code, how to succeed at implementation techniques such as refactoring and test-driven development(TDD). The Object Primer also includes a chapter overviewing the critical database development techniques (database refactoringobject/relational mappinglegacy analysis, and database access coding) from my award-winning Agile Database Techniques book.