Software design is a cognitively challenging task. Designers
must manually enter designs, but the primary difficulty is
decision-making rather than data-entry. If designers improved their
decision-making capabilities, it would result in better
Current CASE tools provide automation and graphical user
interfaces that reduce the manual work of entering a design and
transforming a design into code. They aid designers in
decision-making mainly by providing visualization of design
diagrams and simple syntactic checks. Also many CASE tools provide
substantial benefits in the area of version control and concurrent
design mechanisms. One area of design support that has been not
been well supported is analysis of design decisions.
Current CASE tools are usable in that they provide a GUI that
allows designers to access all the features provided by the tool.
And they support the design process in that they allow the designer
to enter diagrams in the style of popular design methodologies. But
they typically do not provide process support to guide the designer
through the design task. Instead, designers typically start with a
blank page and must remember to cover every aspect of the
ArgoUML is a domain-oriented design environment that provides
cognitive support of object-oriented design. ArgoUML provides
some of the same automation features of a commercial CASE tool,
but it focuses on features that support the cognitive needs of
designers. These cognitive needs are described by three cognitive
opportunistic design; and
comprehension and problem solving.
ArgoUML is based directly on the UML 1.4 specification. The
core model repository is an implementation of the Java Metadata
Interface (JMI) which directly supports MOF and uses the
machine readable version of the UML 1.4 specification provided
by the OMG.
Furthermore, it is our goal to provide comprehensive support
for OCL (the Object Constraint Language) and XMI (the XML Model
ArgoUML was originally developed by a small group of people
as a research project. ArgoUML has many features that make it
special, but it does not implement all the features that commercial
CASE tools provide.
The current version (0.26) of ArgoUML implements all the
diagram types of the
standard (versions of ArgoUML prior to 0.20 implemented the
standard). It is written in Java and runs on every computer
which provides a Java platform version 5 or newer. It uses the
open file formats
XMI (XML Metadata Interchange format) (for model
PGML (Precision Graphics Markup Language) (for graph
information) for storage. When ArgoUML implements UML 2.0, PGML
will be replaced by the UML Diagram Interchange specification.
This manual is the cumulative work of several people and has
been evolving over several years. Connected to the release 0.10 of
ArgoUML, Jeremy Bennett, wrote a lot of the new material that was
added to the earlier versions by Alejandro Ramirez, Philippe
Vanpeperstraete and Andreas Rueckert. He also added things from
some of the other documents namely the developers cookbook by
Markus Klink and Linus Tolke, the Quick Guide by Kunle Odutola, and
the FAQ by Dennis Daniels. Connected to the release 0.14 changes
were made by Linus Tolke, and by Michiel van der Wulp. These
changes were mostly to adopt the manual to the new functions and
appearance of ArgoUML version 0.14, and introduction of the index.
The users and developers that have contributed by providing
valuable input, such as review comments or observations while
reading and using this manual are too many to name.
ArgoUML is available for free and can be used in commercial
when you download ArgoUML. We are providing the source code for
ArgoUML for you to review, customize to your needs, and improve.
Over time, we hope that ArgoUML will evolve into a powerful and
useful tool for everyone to use.
This User Manual is aimed at the working designer, who wishes
to make use of ArgoUML. The manual is presently written assuming
familiarity with UML, but eventually it will support those new to
The manual is written in DocBook/XML and available as both
HTML and PDF.
The ArgoUML project welcomes those who want to get more
involved. Look at the
to find out more.
Tell us what you think about this User Manual! Your comments
will help us improve things. See
Section 1.3.3, “User Feedback”