RE: SDL-News: SDL and OMG / UML

Subject: RE: SDL-News: SDL and OMG / UML
Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 13:14:17 GMT

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> > From: Tim Brockwell <>
> > Reply-To: "Tim Brockwell" <>
> > Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 13:11:04 -0500
> > To: SDL Forum <>
> > Subject: SDL-news: SDL and OMG / UML
> >
> > Hi Folks.
> >
> > What's the buzz concerning the OMG's plans for a standardized UML
> > Action Description Language?

The OMG has developed an extension to the UML to capture the
of actions (as a result of the "Action Semantics" RFP). However, this is not
a language, but a semantic model onto which languages can be mapped.
To use
the action semantics you have to pick or make up a surface language
and semantics) and translate that surface language into the action
semantics. UML tools (if they support the action semantics) can then
exchange this model.

It can be expected that various tools will eventually invent their own
surface languages. The SDL algorithmic constructs can also be mapped
the UML action semantics. In fact, the UML action semantics was only
verified against the SDL algorithmic subset. The SDL algorithmic subset
also the first surface language that has been completely mapped onto the
action semantics. (There is an OMG document regarding this.)

> >
> > I've recently heard from a certain tool vendor that SDL is out of the
> > running with regard to UML state modeling in general.

I am not quite sure what this means. The UML is currently undergoing a
revision. Of the proposals that I have seen of improving the UML
superstructure there is only one addressing state modeling, and that
proposal introduces many of the features that were found very useful in
for modeling state machines.

> >
> > What is the conventional wisdom / prevailing attitude
> concerning the future of SDL vis-a-vis UML?

I believe that this should not be viewed as a competition. Rather, SDL has
been positioned (via the ITU Z.109 SDL profile) as a domain-specific
specialization of the UML, focused on the modeling of large reactive
(that is, systems that are characterized by the interaction of independent
agents exchanging asynchronous messages).

> >
> > Is there a marriage in the future, or will the UML community choose to
> > ignore SDL/MSC/TTCN and reinvent everything for themselves?
> >

See above. I believe that we will arrive at a synergetic situation where
these notations complement each other. Vendors, undoubtedly, will try to
present this convergence of modeling approaches in a different light.
Nevertheless, if UML 2.0 will arrive as it appears now, this will be great
news for us users.

All the best,

Thomas Weigert (as rapporteur for the maintenance of SDL and co-chair
of the
UML 2.0 working group)

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