Glossary of Terms
[A to B]
- Something which cannot be directly instantiated; the opposite of concrete.
- abstract class
- A class that cannot be directly instantiated.
Contrast: concrete class.
- The creation of a view or model
that suppresses unnecessary details to focus on a specific set of details of
- The essential characteristics of an entity that distinguish it from all
other kinds of entities. An abstraction defines a boundary relative to the
perspective of the viewer.
- An action by which the customer accepts ownership of software products as a
partial or complete performance of a contract.
- The specification of an executable statement that forms an abstraction of a
computational procedure. An action typically results in a change in the state
of the system, and can be realized by sending a message to an object or
modifying a link or a value of an attribute.
- action sequence
- An expression that resolves to a sequence of actions.
- action state
- A state that represents the execution of an atomic action, typically the
invocation of an operation.
- The execution of an action.
- active class
- A class representing a thread of control in the
- A class whose instances are active objects. See: active
- A unit of work a worker may be asked to perform
- active object
- An object that owns a thread
and can initiate control activity. An instance of active
class. See: active class,
- activity graph
- A special case of a state machine that
is used to model processes involving one or more classifiers.
diagram. Synonym: activity diagram.
- actor (instance)
- Someone or something, outside the system or business that interacts with the
system or business.
- actor class
- Defines a set of actor instances, in which each actor instance plays the
same role in relation to the system or business.
- A coherent set of roles that users of use cases play when interacting with
these use cases. An actor has one role for each use
case with which it communicates.
- An actor-generalization from an actor class (descendant) to another actor
class (ancestor) indicates that the descendant inherits the role the ancestor
can play in a use case.
- actual parameter
- Synonym: argument.
- aggregate [class]
- A class that represents the "whole" in an aggregation (whole-part)
relationship. See: aggregation.
- An association that models a whole-part relationship between an aggregate
(the whole) and its parts.
- A special form of association that specifies a whole-part relationship
between the aggregate (whole) and a component part. See: composition.
- The part of the software development process whose primary purpose is to
formulate a model of the problem domain. Analysis
focuses on what to do, design focuses on how to do it. See design.
- analysis class
- An abstraction of a role played by a design
element in the system, typically within the context of a use-case
realization. Analysis classes may provide an abstraction for several
role, representing the common behavior of those roles. Analysis classes
typically evolve into one or more design elements (e.g. design classes
and/or capsules, or design subsystems).
- analysis & design
- A core workflow in the Unified Process,
whose purpose is to show how the system's use
cases will be realized in implementation; (general) activities during
which strategic and tactical decisions are made to meet the required
functional and quality requirements of a
system. For the result of analysis and design activities, see "Design
- analysis mechanism
- An architectural mechanism used early in the design
process, during the period of discovery when key classes
and subsystems are being identified. Typically
analysis mechanisms capture the key aspects of a solution in a way that is
implementation independent. Analysis mechanisms are usually unrelated to the
problem domain, but instead are "computer science" concepts. They
provide specific behaviors to a domain-related class
or component, or correspond to the
implementation of cooperation between classes and/or components. They may be
implemented as a framework. Examples include
mechanisms to handle persistence, inter-process communication, error or fault
handling, notification, and messaging, to name a few.
- analysis time
- Refers to something that occurs during an analysis phase of the software
development process. See: design time,
- architectural baseline
- The baseline at the end of the Elaboration
phase, at which time the foundation structure and behavior of the system is
- architectural mechanism
- An architectural mechanism represents a common solution to a frequently
encountered problem. They may be patterns of structure, patterns of behavior,
- architectural pattern
- A description of an archetypal solution to a recurrent design problem that
reflects well-proven design experience. Presented in the Software
- architectural view
- A view of the system architecture from a
given perspective; focuses primarily on structure, modularity, essential
components, and the main control flows.
- The highest level concept of a system in its environment [IEEE].
The architecture of a software system (at a given point in time) is its
organization or structure of significant components
interacting through interfaces, those
components being composed of successively smaller components and interfaces.
- The organizational structure of a system. An architecture can be recursively
decomposed into parts that interact through interfaces, relationships that
connect parts, and constraints for assembling parts. Parts that interact
through interfaces include classes, components
- A binding for a parameter that resolves to a run-time instance. Synonym: actual
parameter. Contrast: parameter.
- (1) A piece of information that (1) is produced, modified, or used by a
process, (2) defines an area of responsibility, and (3) is subject to version
control. An artifact can be a model, a model
element, or a document. A document can
enclose other documents.
- A piece of information that is used or produced by a software development
process. An artifact can be a model, a description, or software. Synonym: product.
- artifact guidelines
- A description of how to work with a particular artifact,
including how to create and revise the artifact.
- artifact set
- A set of related artifacts which presents one aspects of the system.
Artifact sets cut across core workflows,
as several artifacts are used in a number of core workflows (e.g. the Risk
List, the Software
Architecture Document, and the Iteration
- A relationship that models a bi-directional semantic connection among
- The semantic relationship between two or more classifiers that specifies
connections among their instances.
- association class
- A model element that has both association
and class properties. An association class can be
seen as an association that also has class properties, or as a class that also
has association properties.
- association end
- The endpoint of an association, which connects the association to a classifier.
- asynchronous action
- A request where the sending object does not pause to wait for results.
- An attribute defined by a class represents a
named property of the class or its objects. An attribute has a type
that defines the type of its instances.
- A feature within a classifier that describes a
range of values that instances of the classifier may hold.