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6. Implementation Diagrams - Component and Deployment
So far, we've seen how the tasks which the system will perform can be diagrammed along with the details of the system classes, and the system dynamic behavior. But what about the big picture? There are two types of implementation diagrams which strive to provide the solution. With the deployment diagram, you can depict how the system components are physically related, and with the component diagram, you can display the components in the system which are organized.
You can combine the two diagrams if you wish:
Above, the nodes are given in green and the components in maroon. The nodes represent something upon which a component can run, and components are units of software.
On the diagram, nodes are connected with connections which displays the physical path of information with in the system. Components are connected with directed dashed lines which represent the communication between components. You can also use lollipop interfaces on components to depict which of the communication is actually through an interface.
Putting it all Together
The physical diagrams will help with the overall structure and distribution of the system. The component and deployment diagrams can be drawn separately or combined as you choose to do. Also, the components within the nodes need not be displayed as given above, although it will help in the overall understanding of what is being executed where.
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7. Summary & Further Reading
You should but remember what each UML diagram is and what each is used for:
Use Case diagrams help to specify the user goals that the system has to carry out.
Class diagrams depict the physical structure of the system objects and their static relationships.
Sequence and collaboration diagrams give the dynamic interactions between instances which are used to carry out a single use case.
State charts diagram depict an instance over time and the events that cause it to change.
Activity diagrams are good for giving details on high level processes that require conditional and parallel processing.
Physical diagrams give you an overview of the structure, distribution and implementation of your system.
Putting it all Together
You should not be overwhelmed with the semantics and detail. UML is a very rich and detailed language and you should remember that there is no need to master each and every bit of information at first. You should first strive to get comfortable with the basics.
Also, you should keep your diagrams very simple. Each of the UML diagram should have only one key concept or design feature which you're striving to explain. Further, that key concept or feature should be interesting enough. You don't need to design the very obvious features as you should not be redundant. You should express what needs to be expressed and move forward.
In order to get Further Information!!
You can browse the web for various resources such as message forums, other tutorials and more examples.
A good and very accessible book which should get you started is: UML Distilled Second Edition - A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language
Author: Martin Fowler with Kendall Scott. Published: 2000 Addison-Wesley (http://www.visualcase.com/)