Class Diagram Example: Association Class and Self Association


This is a class diagram example that shows the use of association class in a class model. In between the Company and Person class, a Job class can be created as an association class.

Use this Class diagram template to get started building your own. Customize the Class diagram to reflect your object model. Click Use this Template to start.

What is Class Diagram?

Class diagrams provide a structural view of systems which capture the static structure of Object-Oriented systems, or how they are structured rather than how they behave. A class diagram supports architectural design and typically represent the basics of a Object Oriented system. It identifies what classes there are, how they interrelate and how they interact.

A class diagram carries different information depending on the phase of the development process and the level of detail being considered. For example, initially, class diagram reflect the problem domain, which is familiar to end-users. As development progresses, a class diagram moves towards the implementation domain, which is familiar to software developers.

Guidelines for creating Class Diagram?

  1. Identify classes
    • a. From domain analysis such as textual analysis
    • b. From CRC cards
    • c. From use case description
    • d. From sequence diagram or use case scenarios
  2. Give analysis a name and a brief description which could be done through terms and glossary
  3. Structure classes in the right places of the diagram and related them with simple relationships
  4. As the development move forward, detail the class with attributes and operations, this often done in conjunction with use case and sequence diagrams
  5. Refine the class diagram with inheritance for future reuse
  6. Elaborate the details which is helpful for implementation such as accessibility, rules, constraints and etc.
  7. Put related classes into packages to form your software architecture

Purpose of Class Diagram

Class diagrams is widely used model for visualizing, specifying, and documenting structural features at different levels of details in software development process and they can help to achieve many benefits for your team, for example:

  • Capture and define the structure of classes together with other related classifiers.
  • Establish relationships between classes and classifiers.
  • Elaborate the class structure of a model by using attributes, operations, interface and etc.
  • Illustrate the common classifier roles and responsibilities that define the behavior of the system.
  • Organize the implementation classes in a package.
  • Refine an inheritance hierarchy among classes and classifiers for better reuse.
  • Refine class diagram from use case diagram or sequence diagram and establish the traceability among them.

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