Free UML Tools

by Alistair Miles

I’m looking for a tool for building UML models visually. I want something that will export some sort of image format for documentation, some sort of machine readable format, and preferably something that will generate some Java classes from the model. I’d also like something that integrates with the Eclipse framework. Support for the latest version of UML would be good – I guess that’s UML 2.?. Oh, and of course, I want it all for free …

ArgoUML 0.22

Free download from this link. Unzip and run jar file. Supports export of XMI 1.2. Not sure about UML version. Fairly decent UI. Export class diagram as PNG. Code generation for Java and others (handled 1 .. * association as Vector member).

StarUML 5.0

Free download from this link. Windows installer. Exports XMI 1.1 for UML 1.3. Exports class diagram as JPG. Decent UI, better than ArgoUML. Code generation for Java and others (although handled 1 .. * association strangely?).

Visual Paradigm SDE 3.3 for Eclipse, Community Edition

Free download from this link (registration required). I installed just the SDE 3.3 with Eclipse 3.2. Not so easy to install, or figure out how to configure. UI less intuitive. Integration with Eclipse is not so clean. Export as JPG (with irritating text line about visual paradigm at the top), cannot import as XMI in community edition. Cannot generate code in community edition (or at least I couldn’t figure out how).

Eclipse MDT

Eclipse Model Development Tools (MDT) project promises graphical UML tools, based on the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) … not yet available 😦

Best so far .. StarUML.

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