AgileJ StructureViews consists of three primary components covering:
- Reverse Engineered Class Diagrams
- Filtering and Presentation Control
- Batch Generation of Class Diagrams
Reverse Engineered Class Diagrams
With AgileJ StructureViews installed in your Eclipse IDE you can create class diagrams by dragging classes from the Eclipse package explorer tree onto a diagram canvas. As you make a new class diagram, you also have the option to have it pre-populated by package, inheritance or dependencies.
Filtering and Presentation Control
Unfiltered class diagrams usually contain so much text and lines as to be worthless to look at. We take this problem very seriously, and provide a system of Java element filter and presentation controls so you can prune down the volume of information on a class diagram to a meaningful level.
Batch Generation of Class Diagrams
AgileJ StructureViews also includes an optional class diagram batch generator which seeks out groups of related classes from your Java projects and assembles class diagrams for you ready to browse. The batch generator also creates an indexed, web-ready rendition of all the class diagrams it generates.
Differences to other Java UML tools
AgileJ StructureViews has always been primarily a Java programmer's tool focusing on supporting Java project development through visualization of existing and evolving Java source code while avoiding any interference with the processes behind the creation of source code. Agile methods favor working code above documentation; and the reason behind this is that documentation consumes time to create and maintain and can even lead to reluctance to refactor the implementation. Therefore, AgileJ StructureViews, being loyal to agile methods has many differences to the mainstream UML supporting tools:
- It is programming language specific. There is important Java-specific information such as exceptions and Java modifier keywords which it is useful to see on a class diagram.
- It is IDE specific. To work as a programmer's tool it must be highly accessible during programming with little overhead to use.
- It supports reverse engineering only; there is no forwards engineering supported. Forwards engineering, in other words creating source code by editing diagrams, is slower than writing the source code by hand due to Eclipse programmer support functions such as code completion, quick fixes, project automatic building, reference searching and the many navigation views.
- Its diagram layout and line routing is as far as possible fully automatic so as to minimize the effort required to create class diagrams.
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