Software Development with Linux

UML modeling tools reviews JUDE

WED, 01 APR 2009

To continue my reviews of UML Modeling tools, here is the first review of a free but not open source UML modeling tool : JUDE/Community. JUDE/Community is the free version of JUDE/Professional.
JUDE/Community is based on the concept of "Usable from the moment of installation", the modeling features of JUDE/Community are designed to be simple and user friendly. -- JUDE's web site
I've tried JUDE/Community version 5.5 on Kubuntu 8.10 using Sun Java JRE 6.10.

Again, my review consist of drawing all the diagrams displayed on Wikipedia's Unified Modeling Language page.

So, let's start with the class diagram. As you can see, there's no problem here. I remember having used JUDE/Professional (but I'm not sure it was named like this back then) a couple years ago. And for what I can remember, this tool has been improved a lot.

In the component diagram, there really is a "port" element that can be used, instead of faking it with a free form rectangle box. This isn't something I've seen often, in the free modeling tools.

If I'm not mistaken, JUDE/Community is the first free tool I've tried with which I've been able to draw the composite structure diagram. In the menu, there's a "New Composite Structure diagram", which is also a feature I've not seen often.

Unfortunately, things didn't went well with the deployment diagram. I was not allowed to draw the relation arrow between the components. Only the dependency arrow was usable. I don't know if this is a bug in the version (which is pretty new), or maybe related to the JVM I was using. Maybe it's just me that didn't found out how to do it.

But a similar problem happen with the object diagram. I couldn't draw the association between the two objects. For the diagram, I used the free form tool to do it. But this isn't the way I like to work. And, even if this is the free version, I would have assume that there would be no problem with the diagrams, since this is a tool that you could actually pay for.

At least, there were no problem with the package diagram.

The same for the activity diagram, no problem at all.

And again, no problem with the use-case diagram. I definitely see that, for most of it, JUDE/Community is well-polished and easy to use. Most of the diagrams were done fast, and I didn't have to look too far to find every elements. But still, since this is the free version of a commercial software, my expectation were a little bit higher.

For the communication diagram, I also had problems. I couldn't put the "message" link between the objects. Maybe, since I'm doing diagrams that are unrelated to each other, there were something missing in my model to be able to do it. But, instead of preventing me to do what I want, it should at least pop a message saying what's missing, or allow me to do it anyway and have a "model checker" that could inform me of the wrong parts.

It would be of no surprise to learn that the interaction overview was not available. I've not often see it available.

The last diagram, the sequence diagram, presented no problem.

Even if it's the free version, JUDE/Community offers a couple of great features :

  • Import / Export (JAVA only, but C++ and C# in the professional version)

  • Auto create class diagram

  • Export HTML documentation

  • JUDE API, which allow you to use the model inside your JAVA application

The professional version offers more that just UML, including :

All in all, I would say that it compare well with the free and open source UML modeling tools I've reviewed. But, since it's the free version of a professional tool, I would have expected more. For what I've seen, I won't pay for the professional version. The extra features offered could probably be found elsewhere.