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Borland brings UML approach to .net

Borland Software is bringing modelling and designing capabilities to the .net development community in the latest incarnation of its Together tool.

Together Edition for Microsoft Visual Studio.net integrates UML (Unified Modelling Language) design and modelling with the code in the Microsoft .net Framework and reduces the complexity of UML, according to Todd Olson, chief scientist for the Together line at Borland.

Borland's LiveSource functionality, for instance, enables developers to synchronise models and code so that any changes users make to a model automatically take hold in the code.

"The audience of .net programmers really has not been using UML, but they've got closer," said Jim Duggan, an analyst with Gartner. "Design-driven programming tends to be more popular as you attempt bigger application development projects."

Such projects typically are associated with Java rather than .net, he added, and J2EE developers have jumped on modelling.

The modelling that Microsoft offers comes via Visio, and a big perk to Together is that "the models you build are tightly integrated with the code for the application development lifecycle", said Prashant Sridharan, senior product manager for the developer and platform division at Microsoft.

Sridharan said that Microsoft will discuss its own plans for modeling tools at the upcoming PDC (Professional Developer's Conference), slated for late October.

"The Together product fits the strategy of Microsoft to push in the direction of modelling," Duggan said, "though it's a bit of a contrast to Microsoft's own design for modeling, which will involve BizTalk."

Also new to Together for Visual Studio are pattern support, which provides application blueprints that can be used to facilitate reuse, and automatic documentation generation, designed to make documentation easier to create and share.

Tom Sullivan writes for InfoWorld

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