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UML FAQ: What is new in UML v. 2.5 Beta?

Although OMG tried to hype UML v. 2.5 Beta as a significant milestone in the evolution of the language in a 2012 press release celebrating the 15th anniversary of UML adoption, the technical reality is this yet another “dot release” of the UML 2.0 major revision proposal that was first adopted by the OMG in 2003, and has been subsequently been patched by a long series of minor revisions.

While UML 2.5 Beta purports to simplify and clarify the UML 2.x specification, the vast majority of its clean up work is relevant to tool vendors rather than UML modelers. Unfortunately, UML 2.5 Beta fails to address the major shortcomings of the UML 2 series that make it problematic to apply as an architectural modeling language for Agile Architecture & Design purposes. Consequently, it shouldn’t be surprising that the reception to UML 2.5 Beta has been generally negative, ranging from blasé to scathing. (See Scott Ambler’s UML 2.5: Do You Even Care? article.)

What the UML user community really needs, of course, is a bona fide major revision (UML 3.0) that addresses Agile Architecture & Design needs, rather than yet another “dot release” patch for a bloated and flawed UML 2.x. Unfortunately, UML 2.5 remains in Beta, and the OMG has not yet announced a public roadmap for either finalizing UML 2.5 or working on a badly needed UML 3.0 major revision.