Any UML tools for IDEA 7?

Is anyone aware of any professional-quality UML tool that would integrate with IDEA 7? IntelliUML Teresa has been out of development for quite some time, and now it is officially discontinued. Visual Paradigm for UML won't work with Idea 7.x.

I am specifically interested in a UML tool that integrates with Idea, AND does round-trip engineering (capable of generating java class stubs from a UML model, generating a UML model from existing java classes, and keeping the code and model in synch.)

There are quite a few - good and bad, cheap and expensive ones that integrate with Eclipse. I am under an impression that there is NO such tool for Idea 7 today. Am I wrong?

Message was edited by:
constv

6 comments

What characterizes "professional-quality" for you?

RRS

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Well, it has to be useful and usable - to put it simply... I am not looking for a toy that was written by an enthusiastic programmer as a side project. (I actually really like Martin Schmidt's SimpleUML, and I sometimes use it, e.g. to quickly build a class diagram from a few selected existing classes. But - by its definition - it has significant limitations for any serious project.)

I gave a brief description of the minimum functionality that I am interested in - in my original post. Most commercially available UML tools support round-trip engineering (e.g. for class diagrams), for example. That, and a well-designed, convenient UI are of the most importance to me. There may be tons of other features, less or more important based on the project, client requirements, etc. But I personally could get by with just the ones I have mentioned .

By any means, I am not a "UML nazi" who spends weeks and months creating piles of UML documentation before a single line of code is written. And I don't advocate that. But I find it extremely useful to put together a well-defined object model for the project as one of the first steps - as soon as the requirements/use cases are clear. It helps if, afterwards, instead of having to manually create dozens of simple JavaBeans or class stubs, you could generate them with one click. Later, that model may evolve, perhaps, significantly, as the coding and re-factorings progress. I am sure many of us need a tool that allows us to easily code from the UML model, and update the UML model on the fly as we develop and re-factor our code. Like I said, such tools exist... but nothing that integrates with Idea 7 - so far. At least, to my knowledge. So, I am wondering if anyone at least has heard any rumors about something like that coming up?

Message was edited by:
constv

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You don't say which aspects of UML (which kinds of diagrams, e.g.) you need to use. I like to use SimpleUML as an aid to code understanding (both for others' code and for my own, after details have aged out of my memory).

I own a license for Sparx Systems' Enterprise Architect and find it to be the best value in UML tools. It's doubtful you need anything it doesn't have (it has round-tripping), but to my knowledge, there's no IDEA integration.

EA does handle incremental update to its models well. I.e., you use it to build a model by analyzing your source code and then change the code and re-analyze it in EA. EA will incrementally update its models and minimally change any diagrams that include changed classes.

As with IDEA, Enterprise Architect is extremely feature-laden, and just as with IDEA, I use only a bit of its functionality.


Randall Schulz

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Thanks Randall. I totally agree about EA, I have used it quite a bit (my previous client had corporate licenses), and the only thing in it that was missing for me was integration with IntelliJ. I am actually considering buying a license for EA. It's just hard to believe that there's no UML tool right now that really integrates with IDEA any more. By the way, IntelliUML Teresa was quite nice. But they have sacked it. Visual Paradigm claims, I have found out, that their next release will support Idea 7, but who knows when that is going to happen. Plus, their Professional edition is about $900.

Personally, I just like IntelliJ too much! :) I do like when stuff just flawlessly integrates into it, and basically becomes another IntelliJ feature. I think IDEA is the best designed software development tool I have seen, and it indeed brings pleasure to my work. Every time I have to step outside of IntelliJ to do something else, like a UML diagram, it feels like stepping out of a warm cozy house into the street: sometimes its nice and shiny, but often it's nasty and drizzling! ;)

BTW, wasn't JetBrains founded by a couple of guys who used to work at TogetherSoft? Until it was swallowed by Borland, TogetherJ was, perhaps, one of the best for UML! Certainly better than Rose. I am surprised JetBrains doesn't have their own light-weight and easy to use UML tool. I'd buy it!

-Constantine

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Hi,

You may want to take a look at MagicDraw (http://www.magicdraw.com/). I haven't tried it in a long time, but back 5 or 6 versions ago they had some solid features. Also, they claim to have integration with IDEA 4 and over. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to give it a test run so I can't give you more details. Please let us know your conclusions if you do try it.

Cheers,

Sebastien

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Given constv's requirements, the minimal edition of MagicDraw suitable for him would be the Professional Edition for Java, and the least-cost option for that edition in version 15 is $900. With one year (*) of upgrades ("Software Assurance") the price is $1100, which is close to five times the cost of a personal license for IDEA.

(*) If I'm reading their pricing page correctly, the free upgrades provided by their Software Assurance expires at the end of the calendar year, so for a fixed cost, you get less upgrade availabiligy throughout the year.

Magic indeed...


I know I'll be sticking with SimpleUML and Enterprise Architect!


Randall Schulz

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