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The Booch Method of Object-Oriented Analysis & Design

STATUS: Updated
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The Booch method is one well-known OO-method, that helps you design your systems using the object paradigm. The Booch method covers the analysis and design phases of an OO-system implementation.

Booch defines a lot of symbols to document almost every design decision. I guess that working with this method, one will rarely use all the symbols and diagrams and will probably stick to a tailored sub-set, indeed Booch references a minimal one in his book: the Booch Lite.

One aspect of Booch method deserves to be pointed out: the method is descriptive, i.e. Booch tells you what you can do in terms of system definition, and does not give you prescriptions on what you should do in order to better perform analysis and design of the system. Now, this could be seen by some as an advantage (those who like a certain freedom for their software production), and as a weakness at the same time as one would probably need more expertise and experience to go OO without more specific guidelines.

Within the method one starts with class and object diagrams (a discovering activity) in the analysis phase and refine these diagrams through various steps (within the same diagram, undergoing a refinement process as long as the problem domain gets more and more understood), following an evolutionary approach. Design symbols are to be added when ready to generate code, usually representing very final implementation decisions. Here Booch notation large set appears to prove beneficial: it is possible to fully document the OO-code.

(Because of the descriptive nature of the process, the order under which diagrams are presented here has no direct meaning)

The Booch Method

This overview just gives a glance to the method and is very far from being exhaustive, refer to the Booch book for better explanation of what presented here:

Grady Booch: Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications, 2nd edition.
Benjamin Cummings, Redwood City. ISBN 0-8053-5340-2, 1993

All figures are reproduced from the cited book having established an agreement with the copyright holder, the Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company. Please, have a look at the agreement before going on.

This review has been developed using P. Schneider original layout.


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Massimo Marino