What is Process of Creating Class Definition from Domain Class Diagrams (DSD’s) ?


Domain class diagrams (DSDs) are graphical representations of the entities, attributes, and relationships that exist within a specific domain. These diagrams are used in software development to model the domain-specific classes that will be used to build software systems. In this article, we will explore the process of creating class definitions from domain class diagrams.

Understanding Domain Class Diagrams

Before we can begin creating class definitions from domain class diagrams, we need to understand what domain class diagrams are and how they work. Domain class diagrams are a type of UML diagram that is used to represent the classes, attributes, and relationships that exist within a specific domain. These diagrams are typically created during the analysis phase of software development, and they provide a high-level overview of the domain-specific entities and their relationships.

Domain class diagrams are made up of three primary elements: classes, attributes, and relationships. Classes represent the entities within the domain, while attributes represent the properties of those entities. Relationships are used to connect the classes together, indicating how the entities are related to one another.

Creating Class Definitions from Domain Class Diagrams

Once we have a clear understanding of domain class diagrams, we can begin the process of creating class definitions. This process involves taking the information presented in the domain class diagram and translating it into a set of class definitions that can be used to build software systems.

Step 1: Identify Classes and Attributes

The first step in creating class definitions from a domain class diagram is to identify the classes and attributes that are present. This involves examining the diagram and identifying the entities that are represented by each class. For example, if we have a domain class diagram that represents a library system, we might have classes for books, patrons, and librarians.

Once we have identified the classes, we need to examine the attributes that are associated with each class. Attributes represent the properties of the entities, and they are used 

to define the characteristics of each class. For example, if we have a class for books, we might have attributes for the book title, author, publisher, and ISBN.

Step 2: Define Class Properties

Once we have identified the classes and their associated attributes, we can begin defining the properties of each class. Class properties are used to define the characteristics of each class, and they provide a blueprint for how the class will be used in the software system.

The properties of a class are typically defined using access modifiers, which determine the level of access that is available to other classes in the system. There are three primary access modifiers in object-oriented programming: public, private, and protected. Public properties are accessible to all classes in the system, while private properties are only accessible within the class itself. Protected properties are accessible within the class and its subclasses.

Step 3: Define Relationships

Once we have defined the properties of each class, we need to define the relationships between the classes. Relationships are used to connect the classes together, indicating how the entities are related to one another.

There are several types of relationships that can be defined between classes, including:

  • Association: An association is a relationship between two classes that indicates that the entities are related in some way. For example, a book might be associated with a patron who has checked it out of the library.
  • Aggregation: Aggregation is a relationship in which one class contains a collection of instances of another class. For example, a library might contain a collection of books.
  • Composition: Composition is a relationship in which one class is composed of instances of another class. For example, a book might be composed of chapters.
  • Inheritance: Inheritance is a relationship in which one class is a subclass of another class. This allows the subclass to inherit the properties and methods of the superclass.

Step 4: Define Methods

Once we have defined the relationships between the classes, we can begin defining the methods that will be used to interact with the classes. Methods are used to perform actions on the entities within the system, and they are defined within the class itself.

There are two primary types of methods in object-oriented programming: instance methods and class methods. Instance methods are used to perform actions on individual instances of a class, while class methods are used to perform actions on the class as a whole.

Step 5: Refine and Test

Once we have defined the classes, attributes, relationships, and methods, we need to refine and test our class definitions. This involves reviewing the class definitions to ensure that they accurately reflect the entities and relationships within the domain, and testing the class definitions to ensure that they work as expected.

During the refinement process, we may need to make adjustments to the class definitions based on feedback from stakeholders or changes to the requirements of the system. Testing involves using the class definitions to build a working prototype of the software system, and verifying that it works as expected.

Step 6: Create Class Definitions

Finally, with all of the necessary information gathered from the DSD, it is possible to create class definitions that accurately represent the objects and relationships within the domain. Class definitions typically include the class name, a list of attributes and methods, and any relationships and cardinality associated with the class.

For example, a class definition for the "Account" class might look something like this:

class Account {
  accountNumber: int
  balance: float
  interestRate: float

  deposit(amount: float): void
  withdraw(amount: float): void
  calculateInterest(): float
}

class Customer {
  name: string
  address: string
  accounts: List<Account>
}

This class definition includes the attributes and methods associated with the "Account" class, as well as the relationship and cardinality associated with the "Customer" class.

Conclusion

Creating class definitions from domain class diagrams is an important process in software development. By carefully examining the domain class diagram and identifying the classes, attributes, relationships, and methods, we can create a set of class definitions that accurately reflect the entities within the domain. With careful refinement and testing, these class definitions can be used to build high-quality software systems that meet the needs of stakeholders.

       

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