The Future of VSTS Modeling Tools: UML + DSL

Well if you asked me a year ago if Microsoft is going to deliver UML tools the answer would not been to positive.

As you can read in Cameron Skinner‘s blog Microsoft changed it’s views a bit. It’s not anymore about “DSL vs. UML”, but a combination of both: “the right tool for the right job”.

There will be a clean separation between the two approaches:

  • UML will be used at the high-level modeling (“logical” layer”)
  • DSL at the “physical layer”

As a result Microsoft will introduce five UML 2.1 compliant UML diagrams with the next version of VSTS and a few new DSLs. The UML diagrams are:

  • Class Diagram
  • Use Case Diagram
  • Component Diagram
  • Sequence Diagram
  • Activity Diagram

You can have a look at those on these screenshots by MVP colleague Willi.

So Microsoft is not at all moving away from DSL, but recognized the value of UML as an addition and now clearly propagates the value in using a combination of both.

The future is: UML + DSL. The “programmatic approach” as Cameron puts it.

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