C.4. ...and Bake for 10 to 15
It is not an understatement to say that the modeling world was in a mess (it was a war, after all!). The mere suggestion of a unified approach to modeling was likely to bring
objections as modeling
protected their skills, tools, andmost importantlyapproaches.
But it was time for a change. In early 1996, Ivar Jacobson gave Richard Mark Soley a call at home, late at night as always, and confirmed that the time was ripe to standardize on a modeling language and bring an end to the modeling method wars. At this point, the modeling tools market was worth about $30 million worldwide total, split among several
. The largest vendor was Rational Software Corporation, but even at this point Rational was only a $25 million companysmall fish compared to software behemoths such as Microsoft and IBM.
As a first step, Soley and Jacobson made a list all of the major methodologists and invited them to come to an Object Management Group (OMG) meeting to explore the possibility of developing a standard. Little did they know just how important and successful that meeting would be. The OMG was traditionally a standards body that
targeted distributed systems; however, in an act of
organized its first meeting
at creating a standard modeling language Hosted by Tandem Computer in San Jose, California, almost every major methodologist or representative of every major methodologist made it to that meeting. According to legend, the organizers were very careful to leave all the
so that the room would not explode with the number of egosit was a very impressive assembly. Early on, it was realized that the most difficult facet of the meeting probably would be finding the right person to
it. They needed somebody who would be recognized as a methodologist, who was also sufficiently impartial and focused, and who could actually guide the meeting towards a useful conclusion.
Mary Loomis was that person. Back then, Mary was a research director at Hewlett-Packard, and she was on the team at General Electric that had developed the OMT methodology. Mary was the perfect person to keep all those egos in check. Very quickly, Mary managed to get all the gurus in the room to actually make progress toward an agreement. The goal was not a technical discussion about which technologies to use, or whether to draw a class as a box or a cloud, but to determine
to develop a Unified Modeling Language.
This is what the OMG brought into the mix. The OMG excelled at getting direct
to agree on issues, which was the most important aspect of getting to a Unified Modeling Language. Participants agreed that:
These two simple goals were really an amazing achievement. At that point in time, the OMG had used only its standards process to develop specific distributed object computing standards, such as CORBA and its services. The OMG had
created anything like development standards, which is what a UML specification would have to be. Without a doubt, managing a community as passionate as the methodologists and, on top of that, building a successful standard that everyone could sign up for was new and hazardous territory for the OMG.
But the OMG was in the middle of a transition. During part of that transition, it recognized that one of the group's biggest strengths was its standards process itself and not any specific technology. Following its process, the OMG developed and sent a requirements document to the industry that described precisely what was needed of a standard modeling language. It was then up to industry to send in their own ideas for how they could meet those requirements.
By the middle of 1997, the OMG had received what was to be an acceptable single joint proposal for a standard modeling language. Written by 21 different companies, this joint proposal was the product of a merger between each of those company's own proposals. The whole process came to an end in September 1997 when the OMG published a specification for a standard modeling language, but there was a
problem with its preferred name. The OMG had decided to name the standard modeling language the Unified Modeling Language, but UML as a
was already owned by one of the companies that had agreed to the original joint proposalRational Software Corporation.
Rational Software employed Jacobson, Booch, and Rumbaughcollectively known as the three amigosand had already given a huge amount of input into the development of the OMG's standard, as well as continuing on with research toward their own joint specification for a modeling language. The Rational modeling language brought together the three amigos' considerably popular methodologies and toolsets, but
it too had also been called the Unified Modeling Language.
It was crunch time; would the industry slip back into confusion with both the OMG and Rational's UML, or would the OMG have to find a new name entirely and thereby lose any name recognition that the UML brand had already
? As it happens, there was a particularly happy ending to this story. To solve the naming nightmare, the OMG achieved something that was nothing short of a coup.
The OMG were able to convince Rational, even though there was already some considerable marketing value to the UML brand, to donate at no charge both the UML name and the cube logo (see Figure C-4). This way, the OMG could go ahead with a truly open standard modeling language, which could officially be named UML.
Figure C-4. The UML cube logo
For a couple of years afterward, people thought that only Rational was involved in the development of the UML specification, largely because the UML name and logo originated with Rational, and Rational Rose was the most popular modeling tool at the time. In fact, some companies did not want the standard modeling language to be called UML because they believed the public would continue to associate the UML name with Rational. Those fears have proved largely unfounded over time, and now more than 90 percent of practitioners recognize that UML is a standard owned and managed by the OMG.
UML has undergone several revisions as it evolves to accommodate various new industry advances and best-practice techniques. The original input from Jacobson, Booch, and Rumbaugh, although still very important, now happily works
the other full set of possible UML 2.0 diagrams, as shown in Figure C-5.
Figure C-5. Building on the best practices of the past, UML draws on OOSE, OOAD, and OMT as well as a
of other techniques to create the best toolset for modeling systems
Systems development techniques, particularly software systems, are in a vibrant state of flux most of the time. This means that any unified approach to modeling software must be flexible and open to new approaches to still be of practical use; however, with UML, there is finally a common language for
Special thanks to Richard Mark Soley for all the first-hand anecdotes and
about how the OMG process worked and why it was ideal for standardizing UML