What is the Difference Between UML and Class Diagram? with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation

The main difference between them is that UML is a general-purpose visual modeling language that helps to visualize, build and document software systems, while the other one is a type of UML diagram that represents view static of an application.

When developing software, it is not possible to develop it at the same time. It is important to understand the system before implementing them. UML provides a solution to this problem. It is a visual language that allows the system to be modeled. There are several UML diagrams. The class diagram, which is a static diagram, is one of them.

Key areas covered

1. What is UML
     – Definition, Functionality
2. What is the class diagram?
     – Definition, Functionality
3. What is the relationship between UML and class diagram?
     – Association scheme
4. What is the difference between UML and class diagram?
     – Comparison of key differences

Key terms

Class diagram, UML

What is UML

UML stands for Unified Modeling Language . It is a standard language for visualizing, building and documenting software systems. It is different from common programming languages ​​such as C ++, Java, and Python in that it does not use any kind of coding. In addition, it provides a pictorial representation of the software.

Although UML is not a programming language, there are tools to generate code in various programming languages ​​by using UML diagrams. UML is easier and simpler to understand and use. It is not made just for developers. Business users and ordinary people can also learn it very easily. Also, UML helps implement object-oriented concepts.

What is the class diagram?

A class diagram is a UML diagram. It is a static diagram that represents the static view of an application. In addition, it describes the attributes and methods (operations) of a class and the associations between them.

These diagrams are widely used in software development as they allow you to model object-oriented programming concepts. Also, a class diagram consists of classes, interfaces, associations, collaborations, etc.

Class – Blueprint to create objects. The class consists of a name of attributes and methods. Attributes are properties, while methods are operations.

Object – An instance of a class.

Interface – Consists of operations and / or attributes that define behaviors of objects.

Artifacts – Represents specific entities such as documents, databases, executable files, etc.

Also, there are interactions to represent the relationships between the classes.

Inheritance – Allows subclasses to use the attributes and methods of the parent class.

Bidirectional Association – Represents the default relationship between two classes.

One-way association – The association navigates to one class only.

Relationship between UML and class diagram

  • A class diagram is a UML diagram.

Difference between UML and class diagram

Definition

UML is a general-purpose, development, and modeling language that provides a standard way of visualizing the design of a system. In contrast, a class diagram is a UML-like static structure diagram that describes the structure of a system by showing the system’s classes, their attributes, operations, and relationships between objects. So this is the main difference between them.

Use

Another difference between them is that the UML helps to model, visualize, build and document the software system, whereas a class diagram helps to model the static view of an application.

conclusion

The main difference between them is that UML is a general-purpose visual modeling language that helps to visualize, build and document software systems, while the other one is a type of UML diagram that represents view static of an application.

Reference:

1. “Unified Modeling Language”. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, October 24, 2018, Available here.
2. “UML class diagram tutorial.” Lucidchart, Nov 1, 2018, Available here.

Courtesy Image:

1. “UML Logo” by Object Management Group®, Inc. (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Composite UML Class Diagram” By Trashtoy – Own work, written with text editor (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

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