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Subject: Re: autogeneration of UML to XML


Generating XML from UML is not such a problem but I agree that a standard mapping would be useful. However, the major problem
remains how to model messages.
A business model aims at providing a uniform representation of concepts for several business applications. A message is a piece of
information to be exchanged between 2 applications. So, when trying to use UML to represent messages, you realize you need to "draw"
message models which are very different from your business model. A message model is a view on the business model.
When trying to organize all this with a UML tool, you realize it is not that easy: first, you need a business model to represent the
business semantic, to identify the business processes and the data contents. Next, you have to build (or to use) a set of message
components. So, you need some kind of mapping between your business concepts and your message components.
Next, you need to design your messages. When designing a message, you'd like to be as precise as possible (why having an basic
component optional, while you know it should be mandatory in a specific message...)

Conceptually, the ebXML approach looks nice: messages are build from Core Components using the Assembly Rules and next refined using
the context rules. It seems however difficult to support this without the support of a tool. As far as we know, neither UML CASE
tools, nor XML editors,  are supporting that type of functionality.



Mike Conroy wrote:

> Thank you Kurt for your mail. I thought that the automats had stopped working since having looked at the Rational document I was
> beginning to think that it wouldn't be too difficult to do the same thing for UN/EDIFACT :-))) Anyway I'm enclosing the MDL file
> for you to transform. And I wish you all the best. I'm looking foreward to seeing the results. Regards Mike
>      ----- Original Message -----
>      From: Kanaskie, Kurt A (Kurt)
>      To: 'Mike Conroy' ; ebXML Core
>      Sent: Friday, April 20, 2001 9:56 PM
>      Subject: RE: autogeneration of UML to XML
>      Mike and others,
>      Finally got around to finding this thread…
>      What’s really needed to complete the path (UML to DTD/Schema) in a standard way, is a UML Profile for XML specification
>      from the OMG, the owner of UML. It would detail the rules and mapping from UML elements (class, association,
>      stereotypes, etc.) to DTD/Schema. Without that we are left with the sited Rational document
>      (http://www.rational.com/uml/resources/documentation/index.jsp) or some other “meta-model”. Also understand that the
>      technology surrounding OMG’s UML and XMI (IBM, Data Access, Unisys) has solutions to auto generate DTDs of the UML
>      model. This is somewhat different than modeling a DTD in UML and autogenerating it. I can go into more details on this
>      if you like.
>      In order to autogenerate a DTD/Schema from a UML model I would need the actual UML model not the PDF. If you could send
>      it to me, I would be grateful. That doesn’t mean I will be able to do it in short order since it most likely doesn’t
>      follow the Rational Document and my solution (skunk works) may not be robust enough to handle it. However, I plan on
>      taking on the challenge as time permits. I’ve cleared the major hurdles so it shouldn’t be that bad, plus I have a
>      flight to Paris this Saturday, lots of uninterrupted time. The procedure is to first transform the UML model into OMG
>      XMI, then use XSLT on the XMI to generate a DTD. The main drawback to this approach is that it is very compute and
>      resource intensive. I’m hoping Moore’s law will help me out here :). Also, my scripts only generate DTDs, I haven’t done
>      the work yet for Schemas.
>      To satisfy the “doubting Thomas” in you, I wish I could send you a simple example UML, DTD, XSL scripts and instructions
>      but I need to first clear it with Lucent’s intellectual property unit, I’m working on it. So you will have to take my
>      word on it for now. I did attach the simple model, resultant DTD and helper scripts to give you some level of proof.
>      Just so you know, this exact methodology has been provided to the OAGI for them to generate DTDs from their UML model of
>      OAGI BODs (they protect the intellectual property).
>      Regards and I look forward to working on your UML,
>      ________________________________________________________________
>      Kurt Kanaskie
>      Lucent Technologies
>      kkanaskie@lucent.com
>      (610) 778-1069 Note the new number!
>      -----Original Message-----
>      From: Mike Conroy [mailto:michael.conroy@wanadoo.fr]
>      Sent: Friday, April 06, 2001 5:19 PM
>      To: ebXML Core
>      Subject: autogeneration of UML to XML
>      Ever since William Kammerer said : "Heck, I haven't even yet seen anyone take a UML data model and generate schemas from
>      it -  and that should be a lot simpler" theres been a flood of e-mails from people such as Duane Nickull of XML GLobal
>      Technologies, Arofan Gregory of Commerceone, James Whittle of  e-centre, Philip goatly of Bolero, and Kris KETELS of
>      Swift, have all jumped into the thread to tell us that they currently have the capability to "autogenerating from UML"
>      XML schemas.
>      Well I for one am most impressed. However, I do have a grain of doubting Thomas, in my vains. I made a UML class model
>      of the core components, which I am led to believe is a faithful rendering of the Excel spreadsheet.
>      Just to give me, and perhaps many others who are listening in, an idea of how the autogeneration from UML works, would
>      someone like to demonstrate their capabilities on the enclosed core components model ? It might help settle a lot of the
>      dust that has been raised on the subject.
>      Regards
>      Mike

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