Getting Together for role-based modelling

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
The latest version of Borland’s modelling suite – Together 3.0 for Microsoft Visual Studio – has some major new features, including full support for UML 2.0, which is to be the standard for Microsoft’s .NET IDE.

The most significant improvement is that Together now offers “role-based” modelling in the form of Together Designer and Together Developer. Together Designer is for analysts and architects, and provides tools to validate software design and model requirements, while Together Developer is (as you might guess) aimed at developers.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Built-in design patterns and re-factoring tools
  • Audits and metrics that help coding standards to be measured and tracked
  • Built-in unit testing
  • Automatic document generation
  • Improved workflow management and communication
There is also improved support for specific .NET languages: VB.NET re-factoring, VB.NET audits, and metrics for both C#.NET and VB.NET.

Of course the new features are in addition to the original range of features and functions, including the LiveSource reverse-engineering technology that provides the “round-trip” capabilities that keeps models and code synchronised at all times. It also supports UML 1.4 and UML 2.0 diagramming. UML 2.0 has significant improvements, including the ability to model very large software systems, better-defined UML run-time semantics, modelling concepts to support automation and support of component-based architecture design.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Together 3.0 is that it brings UML 2.0 model-based design to Visual Studio now rather than later. How it fits in with Microsoft’s own design tools only time will tell. Naturally it integrates with Borland’s full range of “life cycle” tools.

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