How to Read This Book
Beginning in Chapter 3, the chapters are organized as explained in this section. Depending on your experience level you might choose to focus on specific areas of the discussion.
The first paragraph of each chapter provides a synopsis of that chapter's content. The remainder of each chapter is divided into six sections as described below.
The workflow section describes at a high level what needs to be done at this point in the development life cycle and the rationale behind these tasks. This section provides a focus that will be most helpful to the project manager or team leader. An overview of the UML elements used in this phase is included as well as practical advice for the manager of these tasks.
The Case Study Status
This book includes a realistic case study of a fictitious healthcare company, EAB Healthcare, and focuses on automating specific parts of the business. Examining each stage of the development of EAB's system will help illustrate the different types of UML models and how they can be applied to systems development.
This section connects the reader back with the case study used in this text. The intent here is to inform the reader of the progress made by the case study development team "between chapters."
This section introduces UML, object-oriented, database, and other concepts used in each chapter. This is not meant to be a full tutorial on any of these technical areas. There are many books available that provide in-depth information on each of these areas. This section provides just a basic reference that should be sufficient for understanding the subsequent material.
This section is similar to "The Workflow" section but presents information at the practitioner (that is, the "worker-bee") level. More specifics appear on how to approach or perform the tasks in the workflow. The section describes what to do and how to do it. Practical advice is included as in the earlier section but this time at the practitioner level.
This section takes the form of a narrative about what is happening with the case study development team, describing the team members' trials and tribulations (and lessons learned) as they work on the project. The actual design and how the team got there are discussed. Samples of the actual model are interspersed in the text.
This section summarizes the main points of the chapter.
Database Designer Callout Boxes
These shaded areas of text, interspersed throughout the book, are used to highlight areas that should be of particular interest to the database designer.
Figure 11 Stages of modeling and related UML constructs
Process Flow Overview
Figure 11 shows an overview of the flow of the book in terms familiar to database designers and also in terms of the UML. Each level of modeling (conceptual, logical, and physical) shows within it the major activities performed and the key UML elements that support that activity. For example, in logical modeling, the analysis and preliminary design activities primarily use UML class, sequence, and statechart diagrams. Other UML elements may also be used but most of the activities will center on the noted elements.
One caveatwe have attempted to keep the approach described in this book as practical and pragmatic as possible. We are not theorists, nor academics, nor methodologists. We come from the real world of software development where "getting it done" is a major measure of success. Whenever we found theory colliding with practicality, we gave practicality the right of way.
You will find in the appendixes the actual UML models that were developed as part of the EAB Healthcare case study. For the interested student, these models provide an appreciation of the type and extent of models that would be developed for a system similar to that presented in the case study.