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Keywords: UML, object modelling, object oriented design
Title: Fast Track UML 2.0
Author: Kendall Scott
Level: Intermediate, advanced
Verdict: Not for beginners, but if you're familiar with UML 1.x and want to get to UML 2.0 fast then this is a good place to start
The title's not kidding, this really is a fast track into UML 2.0. Forget any high-falutin' introductions, any in-depth discourses on modelling theory, object orientation or even much in the way of discussion of the Rational Unified Process or modelling tools. Instead this is a book that focuses pretty much on the core elements of UML 2.0.
The approach the author takes is to assume some knowledge of UML and then to cycle through different topics looking at the relevant constructs and how they fit together. While there's a knowledge of UML 1.x assumed, the book does not really look at it in relation to UML 2.0. For instance there are no 'this is new' or 'this has changed' sections. What's more there's an implicit assumption that the reader understands object oriented development (which goes without saying if the reader is already familiar with UML 1.x).
What this means, of course, is that the book really doesn't work as an introduction to UML, modelling or object orientation. If this is what you need then there are other books around, including Learning UML by Sinan Si Alhir.
However, if you are looking for a fast introduction to the different UML 2.0 constructs then this is a good place to start. The book makes good use of diagrams, and there are plenty of examples for each of the UML elements. The pictures are supplemented with concise text detailing what the diagram is modelling and how it is used. In places, such as the chapter on classes or the chapter on use cases, this basic text is expanded with additional material that offers advice and guidance. For example in chapter 1, on classes, the author discusses noun/verb analysis as a means for discovering classes. Chapter 4, which looks at use cases, includes a discussion the qualities of a good use case. This kind of material adds value to what would otherwise be a fairly dry listing of UML diagrams.
In conclusion, if you need a quick introduction to the different UML elements, and you're have some existing familiarity with UML, then this is a good place to look.