Software Engineering Under the Sea

By Eric Foster-Johnson, ITworld |  Opinion

Poseidon for UML provides a handy framework for creating Universal
Modeling Language (UML) diagrams, used by many organizations to aid
software development. However, Poseidon for UML goes further than just
generating UML diagrams. You can import or generate Java code (this
tool is very much oriented towards Java development), and you can also
critique UML diagrams created by others.

Poseidon outputs diagrams to Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG format)
along with GIF and PostScript. You can export UML models in XMI, an XML
format designed to allow UML models to be moved between diagramming
tools. In theory, this should allow full interoperability. It doesn't
always work out this way in practice though due to the different
interpretations of XMI from many tools.

Poseidon for UML is based on the open source project ArgoUML
( Originally founded by Jason Robbins,
ArgoUML doesn't offer as many features as Poseidon, but is available
with full source code. Poseidon also is available from Gentleware.
Download the application from

Both ArgoUML and Poseidon support Java WebStart, which allows you to
download a Java application from a site and then it checks the site
each time you start up for updates. This makes installation easier as
well as making upgrades mostly transparent.

Writing this application in Java should allow it to run on any
operating system that supports the standard Java environment, called
J2SE in Sun terminology. Taking a page from the Sun marketing,
Gentleware offers a free download of the Poseidon for UML Community
Edition. You can also purchase the high-end products Poseidon for UML
Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition. The for-fee products will
be available in 2002, according to Gentleware on their page at

Poseidon for UML integrates with the NetBeans and Forte Integrated
Development Environments (IDEs) as an add-on module. Both NetBeans and
Forte (which share the same underlying code base) support add-on
modules that extend the functionality of the base IDE.

I experienced a few quirks, especially in the display of the diagrams,
but I was really pleased at the amount of functionality in this free

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