Introduction to the Unified Modeling Language

Get introduced to the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

What is UML?

Models offer us a way to view the system from different angles. However, how exactly does one create a perfect model that meets all our requirements? This scenario is where the Unified Modeling Language (UML) comes into the picture, which is a standard way of visualizing a system’s design.

UML is not a programming language but is used to visualize a system’s behavior and structure. It is known for providing tools to software engineers and developers that allow them to analyze, design, and develop software systems and model processes. UML is the perfect language to explain the inner workings of the software system to all the stakeholders involved—from an analyst to an author.

UML basic notations

UML is composed of three main building blocks: things, relationships, and diagrams. These three exist at the center of UML and play a key role in producing effective and easily understandable models.

Let’s look at these building blocks in detail.

Note: We’ll look into the relationships and diagrams of building blocks in the upcoming lessons.


This building block itself is divided into the following various types:

  • Structural things

  • Behavioral things

  • Grouping things

  • Annotation things

We won’t be discussing the grouping and annotation things in detail since their functionalities are pretty much the same as their names. Let’s now explore the structural and behavioral things in detail.

Structural things

The structural things represent a system's physical aspects, such as a class, object, interface, use case, actor, component, and node. A description of these is provided below:

  1. Class: The notation represents the attributes and methods of an object.

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