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Thursday, October 16, 2014

What is agile modeling (AM)? An explanation. Part 2

Read the first part of this post (Agile Modeling: An explanation - Part 1)

The modeling should be carried forward in small increments. As such it is easy to find bugs if the increment fails or some fault occur. As an agile developer, it is your duty to continuously strive to improve the code. This is just another way of showing that your code works in real, and is not just mere theory. The stakeholders know what they want better than the developers. Thus, by actively participating in the development process and providing constant feedback they can help in building a better software overall.
The principle of assuming simplicity means keeping focus on the required aspects instead of drawing out a highly detailed sketch. It also means using simple notations for depicting various model components, using simple tools, taking information from a single source, rejecting temporary models and updating models only when required. Facilitation of the communication can be improved by making a public display of the models, be it on wall or website, application of standards of agile modeling, collective ownership of artifacts and modeling in a team. Gentle application of the patterns enhances the results drastically.
The formalized contract models are required when you require integrating your system with other legacy systems such as web application or database. These models lay out a contract between you and the owners of these legacy systems. The principles, values and practices of AM have been developed by many experienced developers. With AMDD or agile model driven development we do sufficient high level modeling in the initial stages of the project for making out the scope of the project. In the later stages the modeling is carried out in iterations as a part of the development plan. You might then take model storming road for compiling your code straightaway. Agile practices can be applied to most of the projects. It is not necessary that you should be working on an agile project to benefit from these practices. Also it is not necessary to put all principles, practices and values to use to harness agile advantage. Instead it is better to tailor these practices according to the specifications of your project.
Another way of harnessing agile benefits is to follow AMDD. MDD (model driven development) in its agile form is called agile model driven development. In AMDD before writing the source code we create extensive agile models. These models are strong enough for carrying forward all the development efforts. AMDD is a strategy that seeks to multiply the scale of agile modeling. The main stages in this process are:
> Envisioning: Consists of initial architecture envisioning and initial requirements envisioning. These activities are carried out during the inception period.
> Iteration modeling
> Model storming
> Reviews
> Implementation

It is during the envisioning phase that we define the project’s scope and architecture. It is done using high level requirements and architecture modeling. The purpose of this phase is explore the requirements of the systems as far as possible and built a strategy for the project. Writing detailed specifications is a great risk to take. For short term projects you may like to pare only few hours on this matter. Agile modelers are advised to spend only required time on this phase to avoid the problem of over – modeling. For exploiting the important requirements you might require a usage model. It helps you explore how the product will be used by the users. For identifying fundamental business entity types an initial domain model is used. The issues with the user interface and its usability can be explored using an initial UI model.

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