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Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Impact of UML on Systems Analysis: End-User Communication and Modeling Tools

The Impact of UML on Systems Analysis: End-User Communication and Modeling Tools
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Author(s): Michael A. Eierman (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA) and Bruce C. Hungerford (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA)
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 3
Source title: Innovations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-261-9.ch103
ISBN13: 9781616921255
EISBN13: 9781466665347


The Unified Modeling Language (UML) has received significant attention as the tool of the future for modeling information systems. According to Rumbaugh, Jacobson, and Booch (1999), models serve several purposes: (1) to capture and state requirements and knowledge so that all stakeholders understand and agree on them; (2) to facilitate thinking about the design of a system; (3) to capture design decisions separate from the requirements; (4) to generate usable work products; (5) to manage information about large systems; (6) to explore multiple solutions economically; and (7) to master complex systems. The UML is purported to facilitate the development of models to help achieve these goals. However, IS modeling was done prior to the development of the UML with tools such as Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs) and Entity-Relationship Diagrams (ERDs). These tools have been developed over many years of information systems development and are (and have been) taught to thousands of information systems professionals. Many organizations still use these tools, and many other organizations use these tools but are considering switching to the UML. While the UML is being promoted as the future of IS modeling, there is little empirical evidence that suggests it is better at fulfilling the purposes of a model identified above. This research seeks to inform the decision whether to adopt the UML over traditional modeling languages by comparing outcomes of the two types of languages.

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