UML provides a unique opportunity for tool development: by unifying the user community it increases the potential rewards from building powerful tools, and the fact that UML is a (comparatively) carefully defined language with a (comparatively) well-developed notion of model consistency makes more exciting capabilities possible. Tools for UML are developing fast, but there is enormous scope for improvement; indeed the current market leaders have been (unfairly?) described as "glorified drawing tools".
We discuss the state of the art, problems which future tools may address, where existing techniques should apply, and promising lines for investigation. The tutorial will include opportunity for participants to explore their own ideas on the subject.
The intended audience includes UML tool developers, UML tool users and (especially) choosers, and anyone interested in the definition and support of UML. You should be familiar with UML, although not necessarily intimate with the standards documents.
Perdita Stevens is a lecturer in software engineering in the Division of Informatics at Edinburgh University. Her background includes working as a professional software engineer, consultancy in UML and object orientation, and research from knowledge transfer for legacy systems to verification tools for infinite-state systems using games.
From October 2000 she will hold an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship to investigate "Supporting Software Design", especially the ways in which formal techniques can underlie a future generation of powerful, usable and soundly-based UML tools.
Her textbook "Using UML" has been reprinted 5 times and widely adopted; two translations are in progress.