What’s “Reference Model Management”?
Astah’s “Reference Model Management” is a very powerful function which allows you to import other project models as read-only. This allows you to alter models locally using other project’s models without worrying about altering the originals.
When there’re any updates on the original models, Astah automatically detects them and informs you; ensuring you’re always working with the latest changes and eliminating the need to manually check an sync.
Useful in what situations?
When you are working with a team, you would be breaking down the work per layers, components or packages to assign to each member. Even when you are not working with team, sometimes you may want to divide projects to manage them separately. In both cases, this “Reference Model Management” enables you to work on your model with other project models without a worry about making side effects to them. Also when any change is made on the other models, Astah automatically detects it and you can sync right away.
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Development with High-level Design
When you have the high-level models provided from your clients, or ones that have been set in a fixed state, you want to make sure that nobody alters them. Making them “read-only” in your project prevents any unexpected alterations or extensions.
Another benefit of “Reference Model Management” is the alert that Astah gives you if an attempted change could affect the high-level model, which can be a hint that the “high-level design” isn’t currently appropriate and some changes may be needed there.
Development using Frameworks and Libraries
When you develop using the framework or libraries, you can’t make any changes to them. So importing the framework as read-only makes sure you won’t change them and create inconsistent dependencies because of changes.
Here’s how to use “Reference Model Management” with Frameworks and Libraries.
1. Reverse Engineering – import the framework source code
There are many open source frameworks available for developers. By using Astah’s reverse engineering capability, you can import the framework source code into Astah to create a “Framework project”.
- How to import Java -1 (Standard)
- How to import Java -2 (Easy Code Reverse Plug-in)
-> just a drag & drop of .java files or repository URL onto Astah can import the Java source code!
- How to import C++
- How to import C#
2. Import the Framework project to your project
Create a new file for your project, and add the Framework project as read-only from [File] – [Reference Model Management] – [Add].
You can import multiple projects, so create as many projects as needed by reversing the source code and then add them to your projects as read-only.
3. Use and extend the Framework
Now you can work using the framework models. If Astah finds that proposed changes could have negative side effects to the framework models (by adding attributes, operations, parameters and dependencies from the framework to extended classes), it gives an alert, so you can fixe the proposed changes.
4. Update the Framework
When the framework is updated, you can reverse the latest source code to the framework project and update your framework project.
Once the framework project is updated, Astah automatically detects it, so that you can sync the update of the framework.
Using Astah’s “Reference Model Management” for team development and to minimize accidental mistakes in designs is only available for Astah Professional edition. Get a free 50-day trial and see how it works! If you’d like to evaluate Astah with your team, you can get a corporate trial license!
Related article: Let’s start collaborative UML modeling with Astah