Archive for April, 2010|Monthly archive page

Sequence Diagram Tool for Eclipse (part 2)

Many people sent me recommendations for an Eclipse-based UML Sequence Diagram tool.  Thank you all.

I’m going to take a look at some of these in more detail to see if one of them solves the problem  I identfied in the previous post.  I will report back what I find.

So far, the best ‘quick and dirty’ tool for creating sequence diagrams is not Eclipse based.  It’s web based.

It’s called  WebSequenceDiagrams.  Its input is a simple and clear language:

And it generates a usable sequence diagram.  Perfect for explaining how some key interactions in the system work.

This is obviously a very simple example, but I’ve quickly ‘drawn’ diagrams with 12+ objects and 50+ sequences.  Moving back and forth between the JDT/CDT, a text editor and a browser is a bit of a pain.  But its still quicker than anything else I have tried before.

Recommendations for UML tool for Eclipse?

I’ve been searching the web this morning looking for an easy to use UML tool that I can use inside Eclipse.

There are quite a few on Eclipse Marketplace.  Before I narrow down my list, I thought I would ask the community for recommendations.

The use case is that I am reading through a very large code base (millions of LOC) and need to document some key interactions with sequence diagrams.

  • Sequence diagrams are top priority
  • Class diagrams are second priority.
  • I want to create a conceptual diagrams.  For example, I want to quickly pick and choose which object interactions to show in the sequence diagram.  Or which attributes and methods to show in the class diagrams.
  • I definitely don’t want to have to populate a full UML2 model.
  • It needs to be easy and quick to create a sequence diagram.  I stopped using Visio years ago because it took forever to populate and lay everything out.
  • It needs to output some format that I can post to a webpage such as png.
  • It needs to be $0-$100.

What tools do you like and why?

Update: Thanks for the suggestions.  I’m going to look into them and share what I find.  I’ve written about the tool I decided to use here.

Tiniest Useful Plug-in: Enable “Save All” Button

I like having the Save-All toolbar button in Eclipse.  I feel lost without it.  I almost never hit Save and Ctrl-Shift-S just doesn’t work for me.

Awhile ago I wrote this little plug-in that does only one thing: adds the Save-All button.  Seems like others might want to use it too.  The plugin can be found here: