Visual Studio 2015 generate UML from code

asked7 years ago
last updated7 years ago
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I have a almost finished project and now I need to write a documentation. I found some information in the www which tells to "simply" generate UML from the existing code.

At the top Menu is a section with and there I can create UML diagrams, but I can't import the classes which the project have. In all the other forum entries they was talking about a where you can simply drag and drop the needed classes and the dependencies are automatically created, but in my case this view is missing.

If you have some good advise how to document the software differently, you're welcome.

12 Answers

Up Vote9Down Vote

In solution explorer right click and:

add > item.. > General > class diagram

Then you can fairly easy make a domain model by dragging entity classes in and right click on a few properties and choose: "Show as association"

Up Vote9Down Vote
Grade: A

Creating UML Class Diagrams from Code in Visual Studio 2015

  1. Install the Enterprise Architect Add-In:

    • Download the Enterprise Architect Add-In for Visual Studio from Sparx Systems.
    • Run the installer and follow the instructions.
  2. Open the Project in Visual Studio:

    • Open the solution or project you want to generate UML for in Visual Studio 2015.
  3. Install the Add-In:

    • Click on "Extensions" -> "Manage Extensions..."
    • Search for "Enterprise Architect" and install the add-in.
  4. Generate the Class Diagram:

    • Right-click on the project or solution in Solution Explorer.
    • Select "Enterprise Architect" -> "Generate Class Diagram"
    • Choose the desired settings (e.g., diagram type, scope, and layout) and click "OK."
  5. Open the UML Diagram:

    • The generated UML diagram will be opened in a separate tab in Visual Studio.

Alternative Documentation Methods:

If you are unable to use the Enterprise Architect Add-In, consider the following alternative documentation methods:

  • XML Documentation Comments:
    • Add XML documentation comments to your code files using the /// syntax. Visual Studio can generate HTML or XML documentation from these comments.
  • Doxygen:
    • Install Doxygen, a tool that can generate documentation from source code. Configure Doxygen to parse your code and generate UML diagrams or other documentation formats.
  • Manual Creation:
    • Use a software tool like Microsoft Visio or to manually create UML diagrams. This method requires a deeper understanding of UML and the project structure.
Up Vote9Down Vote
Grade: A

Documenting your software with UML in Visual Studio 2015

Hi there, and thanks for reaching out! I understand you're trying to document your almost-finished project with UML diagrams in Visual Studio 2015, but you're facing a problem importing your classes.

The process you're referring to where you can drag and drop classes and have dependencies automatically created is actually a feature of Visual Studio Ultimate and Professional editions. You don't have that option with the Community edition.

However, there are other ways to document your software using UML in VS 2015, even without the Ultimate edition:

1. Manual UML Diagram Creation:

  • Open Visual Studio 2015 and select "Visual Basic" or "C#" from the start menu.
  • Create a new "Class Diagram" project.
  • Use the UML tools to manually draw your classes, relationships, and associations. This might require some learning but offers greater control and customization.

2. Alternative Documentation Tools:

  • Visual Paradigm: This tool provides free and paid versions that allow you to generate UML diagrams from your code and import existing ones. It also offers various features like class diagrams, sequence diagrams, and more.
  • StarUML: Another free tool that allows you to draw UML diagrams and generate documentation. You can import existing code and create diagrams from scratch.
  • MadCap Flare: This tool is a more robust option for larger projects and offers additional features like automatic documentation generation and integration with other tools.

Additional Tips:

  • Documenting Code Before UML: Consider writing some documentation for your classes before creating the UML diagrams. This will make it easier to accurately depict your design in the diagrams.
  • Using Comments: Write comments within your code that explain the purpose of each class, function, and variable. These comments can be used to generate documentation alongside your UML diagrams.
  • Keeping Documentation Up-to-Date: Remember to update your documentation regularly as your code changes.

Remember: Although UML diagrams can be helpful, they are not the only way to document software. Choose a documentation method that suits your project size and complexity.

I hope this advice helps you document your software more effectively! If you have further questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!

Up Vote8Down Vote
Grade: B

Visual Studio 2015 supports generating UML diagrams from code, but the process may vary depending on the version of Visual Studio you're using. Here are some general steps you can try:

  1. Open your project in Visual Studio 2015.
  2. Go to the "Diagram" menu (which should be located at the top) and select "Add Diagram".
  3. In the "Add New Item" dialog box, select "Class Diagrams" under "Visual C#" or "Visual Basic".
  4. Select the classes you want to include in your UML diagram from the solution explorer (you can expand each project node to find the classes).
  5. Click "OK" and your classes will be added to the diagram.
  6. You may need to adjust the zoom level, layout or add more information to your diagram.
  7. To save your diagram, right-click on it in solution explorer and select "Save Diagram as..." (or press Ctrl+S).

This process should generate an UML class diagram based on your existing code. If you are unsure about the steps or have any trouble with this approach, you may want to consult Microsoft's documentation on generating UML diagrams using Visual Studio 2015.

Up Vote8Down Vote
Grade: B

Sure, here's some advice on how to document your software differently:

1. Use Code Comments:

  • Add comments directly into your code where you would like the UML to be drawn.
  • These comments will be visible in the UML, providing context and making it easier for others to understand the software.

2. Create a Visual Diagram:

  • Use a third-party UML tool or extension in Visual Studio that allows you to create UML diagrams directly from the code.
  • There are many popular options available, such as Enterprise Architect, ClassDesigner, and the Visual Paradigm Tool for Visual Studio.

3. Use a Diagram Template:

  • Many UML tools have built-in templates that you can use to create basic UML diagrams.
  • These templates can be customized to reflect your software's architecture.

4. Use a Code Snippet Library:

  • Create a code snippet library that includes commonly used classes and their relationships.
  • This can be used to create the UML diagram automatically.

5. Generate UML from an External Model:

  • Create an external UML model in a different UML tool (e.g., Enterprise Architect) and then import it into Visual Studio.
  • This can be useful if you have existing UML diagrams that you need to integrate into a larger system.

6. Use a Documentation Tool:

  • Use a documentation tool in Visual Studio, such as the HTML Help or Doxygen, to create documentation comments and generate diagrams from them.

7. Use a Code Analysis Tool:

  • Many code analysis tools, such as the Visual Studio Roslyn extension, can generate UML diagrams from your code.

8. Create a Demo or Simulation:

  • Create a demo or simulation of your software that demonstrates how the classes are used and related to each other.
  • This can be helpful for illustrating the software's architecture and functionality.

9. Use a Screen Scraping Tool:

  • Use a screen scraping tool to capture the UML diagram of your software.
  • This can be useful for preserving the UML diagram in a format that can be used offline.
Up Vote8Down Vote
Grade: B

I understand that you'd like to generate UML diagrams from your existing Visual Studio 2015 project, but unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion regarding the specific tool you mentioned for creating UML diagrams within Visual Studio. The built-in UML modeling tool in Visual Studio doesn't support importing existing classes or automatically generating dependencies, and it appears that the interface you've seen in other forum entries may not exist in your installation.

However, there are some alternative solutions for generating UML diagrams from code:

  1. Reverse Engineering Tools: You can use ReSharper or Visual Paradigm, third-party tools that support reverse engineering of existing code into UML diagrams. These tools usually have a free trial and provide an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for creating the diagrams. They may offer additional features like code navigation, refactoring suggestions, etc.

  2. Manual Creation: Create the UML diagrams manually by writing down the classes, their relationships, dependencies, attributes, etc., from your existing source code using a pen-and-paper or an online UML drawing tool like Lucidchart, Creately or Microsoft's Visual Studio Online Designer. While it may require more time and effort initially, you will have complete control over the diagrams.

  3. PlantUML: Use the PlantUML language to create your diagrams from source code comments. This can be an effective way for documenting the interactions between components if they're already defined in your comments or through some automated tool. This solution does not require any specific Visual Studio plugin, as the diagrams will be generated via the PlantText syntax. You may find a few online tools to help you with creating and exporting the PlantUML diagrams, such as

In summary, while there might not be an easy solution within Visual Studio 2015 to generate UML from code directly, you still have several alternatives like Reverse Engineering Tools, Manual Creation or PlantUML. Good luck with your documentation process!

Up Vote8Down Vote
Grade: B

I understand that you're trying to generate a UML diagram from your existing code in Visual Studio 2015, but you're having trouble finding the Class View to drag and drop your classes. Although Visual Studio 2015 does not have a built-in feature to reverse-engineer a UML diagram from your code, you can still use some workarounds to achieve this.

First, I'll guide you through the process of enabling the Class View, and then I'll provide you with an alternative tool for generating UML diagrams from your C# code.

  1. Enabling the Class View

To enable the Class View in Visual Studio 2015, follow these steps:

  • In the top menu, click on View
  • Navigate to Other Windows
  • Click on Class View

This will open the Class View, where you can see all of the classes in your solution. However, as you mentioned, you cannot drag and drop these classes into a UML diagram.

  1. Alternative Tool: PlantUML

PlantUML is an open-source tool that allows you to create UML diagrams from the command line or by integrating it into your IDE. You can use it to generate class diagrams from your C# code by creating a simple text file with PlantUML syntax.

Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Download and install PlantUML from their official website

  • Create a text file and name it class_diagram.puml

  • In this file, write PlantUML syntax for creating class diagrams based on your C# code. For example:

    class MyClass {
      - int myPrivateField
      + void myPublicMethod()

    You can use tools like SharpPlant to generate PlantUML syntax from your C# code automatically.

  • Save the file and open a terminal/command prompt

  • Navigate to the folder containing class_diagram.puml

  • Run the following command: plantuml class_diagram.puml

  • A new image file class_diagram.png will be generated, containing your class diagram

Please note that you will need to write or generate PlantUML syntax for all of the classes, interfaces, and relationships in your codebase.

However, PlantUML offers better customization options, and you can integrate it with Visual Studio using plugins like PlantUML integration for Visual Studio or PlantText, making it a powerful alternative.

If you need help with any specific step or have further questions, please let me know!

Up Vote7Down Vote
Grade: B

It seems like you're asking for guidance to generate UML diagrams from Visual Studio 2015 for a C# project. The feature is actually available in the Enterprise edition of VS. In Community edition, the feature is only accessible through external tools, but there are many such as NDepend and Syncfusion that you can use to generate class diagrams based on your code.

Here's how to create UML diagrams using these:

  1. Firstly install a tool like NDepend or PlantUML in your Visual Studio.

  2. Open Visual Studio, select File -> New -> Project (on the left). Select Class Library (.NET Framework), name it and click OK.

  3. Add references to any other classes that you wish to include into the diagram by right-clicking References -> Add Reference... then browse for your class files.

  4. Build the project to ensure all dependencies are resolved, even if they're not in your codebase (just to make sure).

  5. Run the UML creation tool now that everything is set up and you should be good to go!

If NDepend or PlantUML doesn’t fit your needs or there isn’t a suitable tool, you may have to look into third-party tools for generating UML diagrams. One popular one is Visual Paradigm.

Also, remember to consider documentation in code as well as visual forms of documentation such as diagrams. Tools like Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect can help with creating and managing UML diagram designs.

If the feature doesn't exist, it may be a case of upgrading your version of Visual Studio or finding an alternative tool that will do what you need. It sounds like the perfect time to consider the long-term planning benefits of having something more than just code in source control.

Up Vote7Down Vote
Grade: B

It sounds like you're looking for a way to generate UML diagrams from your C# project. One option you could consider is using an UML generator tool. These tools allow you to drag and drop classes and dependencies, which will automatically create the necessary UML diagrams. You can find some UML generator tool options that you might be interested in exploring further.

Up Vote6Down Vote
Grade: B
  • Open your Visual Studio project.
  • Right-click on the project in the Solution Explorer.
  • Select "Add" -> "New Item...".
  • In the "Add New Item" dialog, select "Class Diagram" under the "Visual C#" category.
  • Give the class diagram a name and click "Add".
  • This will open the Class Diagram editor, where you can add classes, interfaces, and relationships between them.
  • To add a class, drag and drop a "Class" shape from the toolbox onto the diagram.
  • To add a relationship, drag and drop a "Relationship" shape from the toolbox onto the diagram and connect it to the classes involved in the relationship.
  • You can then use the "Properties" window to customize the appearance and behavior of the diagram.
Up Vote4Down Vote
Grade: C

In solution explorer right click and:

add > item.. > General > class diagram

Then you can fairly easy make a domain model by dragging entity classes in and right click on a few properties and choose: "Show as association"

Up Vote4Down Vote
Grade: C

I can provide some suggestions for documenting software projects in visual studio 2015, but first let's understand the role of documentation in software development. Documentation is an essential aspect of the software development process and is used to describe the purpose, features, and behavior of a program or application. It provides guidance to users, developers, and other stakeholders about how to use and maintain the software.

in visual studio 2015, you can generate UML diagrams by creating classes in your code's class library.

to import classes for documentation, try using the .cs files which contain the source code of your application. You can then use the UIML tool in the right-hand side menu to create and link the necessary classes and dependencies. The UIML tool also allows you to define properties of a class, including attributes (variables) and methods (functions).

Here's an example:


i hope this helps, if you have further questions feel free to ask