Friday, April 04, 2008

GTD for Sequence Diagrams - Powerful tool

Steve Hanov has created an online service Web Sequence Diagrams. This service lets you draw sequence diagram through a sequence of English statements in a particular way which is called as SD/MSC on the site.

The power of this technique lies in its simplicity. The sequence diagrams can now be stored as plain text files and can be rendered any time through the online service.

The sample SD/MSC on in the above screen shot gets rendered as below.
I see potential in the technique as the plain text sequence file can take part in version control systems easily due to the plain text nature.

We can copy paste and alter sequence diagrams easily. We don't have to think about where to click, how to attach the graphics lines and the online rendering service takes care of drawing a nice sequence diagrams for you.

The service also provides different styles for the sequence diagrams like Rose style, Plain style. When I saw this service through Architects Zone in DZone, I jumped on my seat with pleasant surprise. This was a treasure found for me. Thanks Rob for this wonderful tip.

The tool I used for sequence diagrams till now is ArgoUML. ArgoUML is very good at class diagrams but somehow its sequence diagrams portion is very dull and unintuitive. It also screws up large sequence diagrams. This service has provided a wonderful alternative and saved many hours from my word day.

This tool is a super duper hit in my development team. All find this tool easy to create sequence diagrams and even the developers who were not much interested in creating sequence diagrams due to the time it took in ArgoUML have started creating sequence diagrams.

Sequence diagram is a important part of the design of software before we start coding it. It lets us think on paper, in terms of concepts classes and interfaces and the messages we need to pass between objects. It helps us identify possible new classes required in a new user case development.

The online service Web Sequence Diagrams made this task piece of cake.

with regards
Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

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