Home > Articles > Programming > Java

The Java Project Dilemma

In this sample chapter, Paul Reed lays the groundwork for the need of a software process in order to ensure that your next Java projects have all of the muscle they need to succeed.
This sample chapter is excerpted from Developing Applications with Java™ and UML, by Paul Reed.
This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

I have run across more projects after the fact that missed their initial goals than met them. One reason is that most of the project teams had no clue about what a development process was or how to customize one for a project's unique characteristics. In addition, most of the projects had little in the way of analysis and design artifacts to show how they got where they were. The whole endeavor lacked the ability to be tracked; that is, it lacked traceability.

This chapter lays the groundwork for the need of a software process. I will present two processes in this book: one that is commercially available from Rational Software called the Unified Process, the other based on my own experiences, which I call the Synergy Process. For reasons to be covered later, the Synergy Process will be presented in Appendix B. The primary process that will guide this book's efforts is the Unified Process, which is presented in greater depth in Appendix A.

This process, along with the Unified Modeling Language (UML), can ensure that your next Java projects have all of the muscle they need to succeed. More importantly, these projects will stand the test of time. They will be able to flex and bend with shifts in both the underlying businesses they support and the technology framework upon which they were built. They won't be declared legacy applications before they reach production status.


  • To review the dilemma that projects face.

  • To explore the nature of an iterative, incremental, risk-based software development process.

  • To become acquainted with the software process model used in this book, called the Unified Process.

  • To examine how the project team can market the use of a process to project sponsors.

  • To review the Unified Modeling Language and its artifacts, and how it serves as the primary modeling tool for a project's process.

The Sad Truth

The premise of my first book, Developing Applications with Visual Basic and UML, was that most software projects undertaken today don't come close to meeting their original goals or their estimated completion dates. My reasoning was that most project teams have a somewhat cavalier attitude toward project planning and software process. In addition, most projects have little in the way of analysis and design artifacts to show how they got where they are. That is, projects traditionally lack traceability. This holds true for applications built in any language—Java included.

My professional career with computers began after college in 1979, when I began working on large IBM mainframe applications using technologies such as IMS and later DB2, what many people today would call legacy applications. However, I prefer the terms heritage or senior to legacy.

Not only did I get to work with some really great tools and super sharp people, but I also learned the value of planning a project and establishing a clear architecture and design of the target application. I saw this approach pay back in a big way by establishing a clear line of communication for the project team. But more importantly, it set in place the stepping-stones for completing a successful project.

In 1990 I worked on a first-generation client/server application using SmallTalk on the OS/2 platform. This was the start of a new career path for me, and I was shocked by the "process" used to build "production" applications in the client/server environment. The planning was sketchy, as was the delivery of analysis and design artifacts (something that showed why we built what we built).

This pattern of "shooting from the hip" software development continued with my use of PowerBuilder, Visual Basic, and later Java. The applications delivered with these products worked, but they were fragile. Today many applications wear the client/server or distributed moniker when they are just as much a legacy as their mainframe counterparts, if not more so. Even worse, many of these become legacy applications a month or two after they go into production. The fault isn't with the tool or the language, but with the lack of a sound process model and methodology to ensure that what is built is what the users actually want and that what is designed doesn't fall apart the first time it is changed.

Most organizations today ship their staff off to a one-week Java class and expect miracles on the first application. Take this message to heart: The fact that you know Java doesn't mean you will necessarily build sound object-oriented applications. If you don't have a sound process in place and a very firm footing in sound object-oriented design concepts, your application will become a Neanderthal waiting in line for extinction.

Slowly I began to apply my own opinions about process and methodology to the applications built in these environments. This worked quite well. The applications were more resilient and accepted change more easily, and the users typically had smiles on their faces.

This book combines all of my experience building distributed applications with UML, which I feel is the best artifact repository for documenting the analysis and design of an application today. I would also like to think that my approach to this topic is exciting because I use a real example throughout the book utilizing various Java technologies and tools to demonstrate how you might approach solving some of your own problems.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020