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MyEclipse UML Development Overview

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The contents of this document refer to the UML1-based feature set in MyEclipse. Please note that there are both UML1 () and UML2 () tooling available in the IDE and this document covers the UML1 () tooling. Similar documentation of the UML2 features are available here.


1. Introduction

This document presents an overview of UML features available in MyEclipse. MyEclipse UML provides developers the MyEclipse developers with the following UML features:

  • UML Diagrams: Use-case, Class, Sequence, Collaboration, State, Activity, Deployment
  • Integrated Diagram Editor, Outline View, and Properties View
  • UML Perspective
  • Free-form figure drawing tools
  • Direct edit of Node and Connection details via Hot-Zones
  • Diagrams stored in UML Model Repository File (e.g., cardemo.umr)
  • No restriction on location or project type that may contain UML Model Repository files
  • Generate Java code from models
  • Export models as XMI 1.0 format
  • Export diagrams in image format: GIF, PNG, PS, EPS, SVG
  • Reverse-engineer class diagrams from any MyEclipse J2EE project or Eclipse Java project
    • Batch process reverse-engineer any combination of project, source-folder, Java package or individual class
    • Drag-n-drop any Java class or interface from the Eclipse Package Explorer view onto any UML class diagram
    • Customizable reverse-engineering preferences
  • Drag-n-drop any UML artifact from the Outline view onto any compatible UML diagram
  • Auto-layout option for class diagram

To learn more information about the topics presented in this tutorial please have a look at the links in our Resources section. To get a better feel for MyEclipse and learning more about it, please check out our product Documentation for more material.


2. Getting Started

Getting started with MyEclipse UML all begins with the creation of a UML Model Repository file (UMR):

After creating the new UMR file you will be taken to the MyEclipse UML perspective:

The MyEclipse UML Perspective provides many specialized tools to you for developing and working with your UML diagrams, including:

  • Support for 7 of the most popular kinds of UML diagrams

  • Easy management of multiple diagrams in the same UMR file

  • Diagram-specific tool bars that allow you to create and modify your diagrams quickly and easily

  • Support for in-lined editing of elements directly in the diagram

  • Quick-connect support for elements that support relationships with other elements in a diagram

  • Context-sensitive properties for the elements you are working with directly in your diagram


There are many more tools available to you as a UML developer like exporting your diagram to an image so it can be included in documentation, printing or even just auto-laying out the contents of the diagram using an advanced layout algorithm.

The MyEclipse UML tools are geared towards an Agile development model, helping you to get up and running quickly either reverse-engineering a project into diagrams to better understand it, or generate source code from a diagram to get started quickly.

3. Forward Engineering

One of the most powerful features of the MyEclipse UML tool set is the ability to forward and reverse engineer code to and from your diagrams. Forward engineering can be accessed when a Class Diagram is being viewed from the UML menu

UML Forward Menu

During the forward engineering step you can select the classes you want read out of your project and converted into a Class Diagram by way of the wizard

UML Forward Select

The forward engineering step will generate not only the classes and interfaces described in your diagram, but also any relationships (e.g. inheritance) specified as well.

4. Reverse Engineering

In addition to forward engineering, the MyEclipse UML tools also support reverse engineering; or the ability to read source code out of your project and generate Class Diagrams from them. This can be helpful when analyzing a new or complex source tree and trying to get a better understanding of how all the parts interact with each other. The reverse engineering process can also be helpful for generating diagrams for documentation purposes as well.

Reverse engineering can be initiated two ways, one from the UML menu just as the forward engineering step was and the other way is using Drag and Drop.

Drag and Drop

Using the DnD reverse engineering is the easiest mode of reverse engineering in MyEclipse. You simply select the classes you want from your package explorer

UML Drag Start

and drop them directly into your diagram, seeing the new diagram created for you instantly

UML Drag End

Reverse Engineering from the Menu

To access reverse engineering from the UML menu, you start by clicking the Reverse Engineer UML from Java menu item

UML Batch Reverse Engineering

After the reverse engineering process is started you can select the elements from your project's source that you want included in the diagram

UML Reverse Engineering Dialog

and then even have a chance to fine-tune the reverse engineering process before continuing

UML Reverse Wizard 2

5. Drawing Tools

All diagram tools have their limit when it comes to being able to usefully describe the diagram to another developer or manager trying to make sense of the diagram; this is especially true when you are limited by the diagramming tool's ability to annotate or decorate your diagram with notes or prompts.

The MyEclipse UML tool supports generic drawing tools for all the different types of diagrams

UML Drawing Tools

these free-form drawing tools allow you to annotate any diagram in any fashion you like without effecting the actual layout or meaning of your diagram

UML Drawing Example

6. Feedback

We would like to hear from you! If you liked this overview, have some suggestions or even some corrections for us please let us know. We track all user feedback about our learning material in our Documentation Forum.  Please be sure to let us know which piece of MyEclipse material you are commenting on so we can quickly pinpoint any issues that arise.