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Peer Review

UML Resource Center



Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Dec 03, 2002 by Information Technology Editorial Board
Overview: The material is a resource center for The Unified Modeling Language? (UML) and
the related commercial products of Rational Software.
Type of Material: Reference material.
Recommended Uses: This material could be used by students as background reading on UML or as
background material by faculty who are preparing courses in Software
Engineering, Modeling, or indeed UML.
Students can read some of the whitepapers. They can learn from the CD entitled
"Inside the UML" about UML modeling using Rational Rose.

Technical Requirements: This site is in html.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students can find out about FAQs for beginners, documents that define the UML,
tutorials, whitepapers and recommended reading. In addition, it facilitates the
reader with UML and to make readers aware of the various tools and services
marketed by Rational to support modeling in UML.

Target Student Population: Students in software engineering, and systems analysis and design courses. The
site is also best used for senior undergraduate students or graduate
students. It is also an excellent resource for faculty.

Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some understanding of object technology is required.A thorough understanding of
software engineering, the role of modeling in the software development process,
and object-oriented terminology.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The strength of the material is its comprehensiveness. It is technically
extremely sound.
There are 8 whitepapers that address some aspects of modeling. The CD entitled
"Inside the UML" is a multimedia introduction to UML modeling using Rational
Rose. Recommended reading list contains three categories of books. There is an
online discussion board.
Concerns: Linked learning materials are limited to the CD entitled "Inside the UML" from
Rational Software and other tutorials that can be purchased from ICONIX.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: The site is very comprehensiveness and will give the knowledgeable user easy
access to a wealth of material relevant to UML.
Concerns: The limited online learning material available makes the site difficult to use
as a teaching tool.
I have two concerns. First, the site is primarily intended to provide reference
material and to advertise some of Rational's products. It is therefore rather

limited as a tool for teaching how to use UML. For example, I have not been
able to find some simple examples of how to use UML to build a model for even a
simple application. Similarly, although one can find successful cases on the
use of UML by simply following a number of links, navigation to these cases is a
long process (one first has to follow the link to documentation on UML to go to This site then contains links to descriptions of successful uses
of UML, some of which are, ironically, hosted by Rational).

Second, when browsing the site, it is not always clear whether one is looking at
generic material or whether one is looking at material that is relevant to one
of Rational's products. While this is certainly acceptable given the
of the site, this feature makes it less suitable as a teaching tool.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The simple organization of the site makes it easy to use.The site is technically
very sound. For example, I have been unable to detect any broken links. It is
also an extremely good "portal" into material on UML
hosted elsewhere

Concerns: Hyperlink labels do not match the page titles in some cases (e.g. Clicking
"Getting Started" and "UML Resources" lead to pages with the title "The Unified
Modeling Language").

It is not always clear whether one is looking at material that is
generic to UML or whether one is looking at material on products and/or services
that are proprietary to the company hosting the site. This is especially
worrisome if one is using the material to prepare generic courses.

Also, it is good to bear in mind that this site contains primarily reference
material. This makes it suitable for students involved in (independent)
research, but completely unsuitable for other students.

Other Issues and Comments: < A resource on UML should include links to other useful collections such as Cetus
Links (Architecture and Design: Unified Modeling Language (UML)at