Thursday, July 18, 2002

Small-scale XMI programming: a revolution in UML tool use? XMI is not an easy format for a human to read, and even small models can translate into large XMI files. However, the big advantage of XMI being based on XML is that the whole range of generic XML tools is available. Developers writing scripts to work on code generally avoid the need to parse the code, but scripts working on XMI can easily take advantage of parse tree information, because XML parsers are available in every popular language. The ability to analyse and manipulate XMI files means:
Analyses or changes that used to be tedious to do by hand using the GUI of a UML tool can be automated; and so the temptation to let the UML model get out of step with the code is decreased. For example, changes made to the model may propagate to the code using tools' own forward/reverse engineering combinations, so that a developer may choose to make a change to the model and propagate it to the code rather than just changing the code.
Any developer can write a script to extract information from XMI files and turn it into the input format of a proprietary tool they may be familiar with.


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