4. MaintainJ UML Diagram Editor

MaintainJ UML Diagram Editor renders sequence and class diagrams from the call trace files. To view the UML diagrams, add the trace files to a MaintainJ Trace Files Project in Eclipse and open. MaintainJ Trace Files Project can be created by by following File->New->Project->MaintainJ->MaintainJ Trace Files Project.

All menu options in MaintainJ UML Diagram Editor are provided in context menus, which can be seen by right clicking anywhere in the diagram or the Eclipse Outline View. Depending on the selected figure, relevant options are displayed in the context menu. You can 'Undo' and 'Redo' most of the operations in the editor.

4.1 Sequence Diagram Features

  • Color Coded Calls: Calls are color coded. Public calls are shown in green, private calls are shown in red and protected calls are shown in yellow.
  • Collapse/Expand Calls: icon beside a call name indicates a collapsed call. icon beside a call name indicates an expanded call. All calls are collapsed initially to present an easy to read diagram. You can expand and collapse the calls as you explore the diagram. Click on to expand a call and on to collapse a call.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Sequence diagram can be navigated using keyboard keys. Up and Down arrow keys move focus to previous and next method calls. Left arrow collapses an expanded call and right arrow expands a collapsed call. Delete button deletes a call.
  • Collapse All Calls: Collapses all calls in the diagram.
  • Expand All Calls: Expands all calls in the diagram. For trace files with thousands of calls, expanding all calls will make editing the diagram slow. You should either explore the diagram by expanding calls of interest or browse the diagram using the Eclipse 'Outline view'.
  • Search Diagram: This feature allows to quickly search the sequence diagram for a class or method or database table. Partial names can be entered. Wild card(*) is automatically added at the beginning and end of the search string. Use the wild card in the middle of a string - to search BeanProxyFilter, use the search string bean*filter. When 'SQL' is the search criteria, the entire runtime SQL statement is searched. So, this can be used to search for database tables, fields or runtime parameters to the SQL statements.
    This feature can also be used to search values of parameters, return values and attributes of object instances. This is a powerful feature that can be used to trace how an input value to a use case passes along the call trace or how a return value makes it way back to the user interface (UI). When search returns methods, they are displayed in hierarchical tree structure. The parent-child relation in search results tree indicates a parent-descendant (not parent-child) relationship in sequence diagram.
  • Call Response Time: Sequence diagram shows the response time for each call in milliseconds. You can see the response time beside the method call in parentheses. If you want to use the sequence diagram for finding the calls that are taking the maximum response time, use the 'Switch to Response Time View' feature described below.
  • Switch to Response Time View: When this option is clicked, the sequence diagram and the 'Outline view' are refreshed to present them in a way to help you to quickly find the maximum time taking methods. In the sequence diagram, the response time is shown at the beginning of method name label. Usually the first level calls displayed when the diagram is opened take the maximum amount of time. User can drill down into the calls of interest to identify the calls that can be improved for a better response time. The 'Outline view' by default sorts the calls by response time in descending order. There may be some methods that are repeatedly called in a use case. Optimizing such methods could improve response time of the use case. In the 'Outline view', use the menu option 'Sort Calls by Aggregate Response Time' to sort the calls by the aggregate response time. The Outline view also shows the total number of times a method is called in the use case.
  • Switch to Normal View: Use this option to switch back to the regular view from the Response Time view.
  • Filter calls in diagram by response time: This feature allows you to filter out all the calls whose response time is less than the specified time.
  • Filter calls in this method by response time: This feature is enabled when a call is selected. This allows you to filter out the calls in selected call whose response time is less than the specified time.
  • Delete All Calls Except This: This feature is enabled when a call is selected. Use this feature when you want to focus on a single method by deleting the rest of the calls in diagram. All calls except the selected call and its enclosed calls are deleted.
  • Show breadcrumb trail to this call: Select any call to view just the trail to that call from root and to delete rest of the calls. This feature can be used to view the call trail after selecting a call from 'Outline View' or from 'Search Results view'. This feature should be used along with 'Show deleted calls in this method' feature explained below.
  • Show maximum response time breadcrumb trail: Select any call to view just the maximum response time breadcrumb trail to that call from root. At each level of the call tree, all calls except the one with maximum response time is deleted. This feature can be used to get a high level overview of the entire use case. This feature should be used along with 'Show deleted calls in this method' feature explained below.
  • Show deleted calls in this method: This feature restores the deleted calls at a level in breadcrumb trail. Displaying the breadcrumb trail to a call will delete the calls in the call hierarchy leading to the selected call. When a call has nested deleted calls, the icon is displayed on that call. This icon is just a hint. To restore the deleted calls, select the call, right click and choose 'Show deleted calls in this method'. This feature can be used along with the call trails to understand complex call flows without exploring the entire diagram.
  • Delete All Classes Except: Use this feature to quickly delete all classes from the diagram except the ones that are important to you. You can specify multiple class names separated by comma and using * as a wild card. For example, to delete all classes except the 'Controller' and 'DAO' classes, enter the filter string as '*controller,*dao*'. The class names are case insensitive and you don't need to specify the package names. The above filter string will show how the Controller classes in the use case are calling the DAO classes.
  • Delete getter/setter Calls: Often the simple get() and set() methods clutter the diagram. You can delete all of them in one go using this action.
  • Delete Constructor Calls: You can delete all the constructor calls using this option.
  • Show Activations: Clicking this option draws an activation box for the duration a method is active.
  • Show Thread Information: MaintainJ generates one trace file for each active thread while tracing is turned on. These trace files can be merged using Merge Trace Files wizard (at File->New->Other->MaintainJ->Merge Trace Files) to view them in a single sequence diagram. Clicking 'Show Thread Information' displays each thread in a different color. The thread name is also displayed before the method name. You can also merge trace files generated in different JVMs for a single use case and see different threads in different colors.
  • No Loop or Recursive Calls: If the same method is repeatedly called in a loop, only the first call is shown to avoid cluttered diagrams. Similarly, the recursive calls are also shown only once. But, the number of times the same method is called is displayed beside the method name. A loop icon is also displayed before the call label to highlight the fact that it is a loop or recursive call.
  • No Immediate Return Calls: Immediate return calls are deleted to avoid diagram clutter.
  • Web Sequence Diagrams: Use this option to export the current diagram as a web sequence diagram rendered by websequencediagrams.com. The call trace information is exported as a HTML file and a web service call to websequencediagrams.com displays the sequence diagram in a browser.
  • Security Note: This feature is disabled by default because of security concerns. By default, the call trace information in the sequence diagram is passed over the internet to the websequencediagrams.com web site to generate the diagram displayed in the browser. You will have to purchase the license from them to install the diagram rendering web service in your company. You can enable this feature by changing the 'EnableWebSequenceDiagrams' property to 'true' in plugins/com.maintainj.umlDiagram_x.x.x/DiagramConfiguration.properties file. After you have the diagram rendering web service installed in your intranet, you can change the url by changing the 'WSDLastLine' property in the same file.

4.2 Class Diagram Features

The class diagram is a class dependency diagram that shows the dependencies between the classes involved based on the call sequence.

  • Show Class Hierarchy: To view the hierarchy of a class, select a class, right click and choose 'Show Class Hierarchy'. For this feature to work, the hierarchy classes should be available in workspace when the diagram was opened.
  • Classes can be resized and rearranged: Classes can be resized if a long class name is not fully displayed in the box. Classes can be rearranged to make the diagram more readable. Class relations can be bent by selecting a relation and dragging the centre point.
  • Shows class fields and methods in tool tip: When you hover the mouse over a class, the class fields and methods are shown in the tool tip. For this feature to work, the class file should be present in the workspace either as a source file or .class file.

4.3 Common Features in both Class and Sequence Diagrams

The following features are available to both class and sequence diagrams.

  • Both diagrams are in sync: The class diagram always shows the classes currently shown in the sequence diagram. If a class is deleted from sequence diagram, the same class is deleted from class diagram and vice versa.
  • Runtime Classes: All classes shown in the diagram are concrete runtime classes. No abstract base classes or interfaces are shown.
  • Save and Save As: Trace files are initially saved as *.ser files. These files hold the original call trace of the use case. The changes done to the diagram generated from a *.ser file cannot be saved back to the *.ser file. The changes have to be saved to a *.mnj file, which can also be opened in MaintainJ editor. Choose 'File-->Save As' to save the diagram to a file with extension *.mnj. You can change the diagram generated from *.mnj file and save the changes back to the same file.
  • Delete: Calls and classes can be deleted with Delete key or 'Delete' option in the context menu. When a collapsed call is deleted, all hidden enclosed calls are deleted too. When an expanded call is deleted, only that call is deleted. When a class is deleted, all calls to that class and calls going out from that class are deleted. You might want to delete classes that do not make any further calls (like Value Objects with only get/set methods). You might also delete classes that you want to ignore for now, though they make further calls. You can 'Undo' all the delete operations.
  • Outline View: Eclipse 'Outline View' lists all undeleted classes and calls whether they are shown or hidden in the diagram. You can right click a class/call and choose 'Select In Diagram' to select the corresponding figure. If the corresponding figure is not currently displayed, the sequence diagram will expanded minimally to open the breadcrumb trail of the selected call or class. Outline View serves two important purposes.
    i) For a large diagram, it gives an overview of all packages, classes and calls in the diagram without expanding all the calls in the diagram.
    ii) It helps to filter out unwanted packages/classes/calls without having to expand the calls to show those classes/calls. You can select all unwanted packages/classes/calls and delete them in one go.
  • Exclude Class: This feature allows you to delete a class without deleting the calls this class is making on other classes (Deleting a class deletes all calls from and to that class). Assume you have 3 classes - MyServlet, SessionFacade and MyDAO. Typically, in a J2EE application all calls to the DAO's are routed through a facade class (MyServlet calls SessionFacade, which in turn calls MyDAO). If you exclude the SessionFacade class from the diagram, this is what happens:
    a) SessionFacade class is deleted from the diagram
    b) The calls from SessionFacade to MyDAO are rearranged to show as if MyServlet is calling MyDAO directly.

    This behavior is same as what happens when a class is excluded from the instrumentation scope in aop.xml. This feature is useful when you want to capture all calls in the trace file, but would like to exclude some class(es) or package(s) from the diagram. From the 'Outline View', you can select class(es) or package(s) and exclude all of them in one go.
  • Predefined Filters: Demo
    Using the predefined filters, you can filter out the unwanted details from the diagrams. The filters are defined in simple properties file format. These files can be shared among the developers. You can apply the filters defined in multiple filters files at the same time. For example, there can be a global filters file where you might delete all 'Logger' and such classes and another filters file that deletes all 'DAO' classes.

    You can either hand code the filters files or let the tool create them for you. A sample filters file (sampleFilters.filter) is created when you create the 'MaintainJ Trace Files Project'. You can either edit this file or create new filter files using this file as a sample.

    Or you can create the filters files from the Outline view. In the Outline view context menu, you will find two options: 'Create Delete Classes/Packages Filter' and 'Create Exclude Classes/Packages Filter'. Select the packages and/or classes that you want to delete or exclude and use one of the above menu options to create the filters file.

    The 'Delete' filter deletes all the calls to and from a class. When you add a package to the 'delete filter', all classes under that package will be deleted.

    The 'Exclude' filter deletes all the calls to the excluded class, but retains the calls that the excluded class is making. This behavior is same as the 'Exclude Class' feature described above.

    To apply the filters to the diagram, use the context menu 'Apply Predefined Filters'. This will prompt you to select one or more predefined filters files, which will be applied to the diagram. The 'delete' filters can be undone whereas the the 'exclude' filters cannot be undone. To undo the exclude filters, do not save the diagram after the exclude filters are applied.

    Note: Because of a bug in the current implementation, the filter files must be present in the root folder of the Trace Files Project.
  • Tooltips: Tooltips for a class show the complete class name. Tooltips for a method call show the values of parameters and return value if call context data was captured. Method call tooltips always show the response time of the call and where this method is declared. If a method is defined in the superclass and is called on the subclass instance, the tooltip shows the superclass name.
  • Print: 'Print' option prints the active diagram.
  • Export As  JPG/BMP Image: This option is used to export the diagram as a jpg or bmp image. Large images take lot of system resources and cannot be exported. Use the filtering features to delete unimportant classes and calls. Try to reduce the diagram to about 400 calls before exporting as a diagram. BMP images take greater resources than a jpg image.
  • Double click to open source file: Double clicking a call opens the source file where this call is defined. All Java projects in workspace are searched for the source file and the file is opened with the corresponding line is selected. Double clicking a Class figure opens the class file.

4.4 To Perform Impact Analysis


After changing the application to fix a defect or to add a new feature, you may want to find all the existing use cases impacted by the change. It is necessary to find the impacted use cases, so that proper regression testing can be conducted before the new code is put into production. Static time source code searching does not enable us to determine the use cases that depend on a class or database table.

The 'MaintainJ Search' feature allows you find out all the use cases that depend on a Java class or method or on a database table or field.

Click the menu option 'Search' (Control+H) in Eclipse. In the search dialog box opened, you will notice a 'MaintainJ Search' tab, where you can search for a trace file or class or a method across multiple trace file projects. This gets even better by allowing you to search for a particular method parameter value. Let us explain these powerful capabilities using two concrete examples.

1. Java class or method search: Consider the simple code snippet below, a very common pattern used in Java applications.

interface DataSource{
    String loadData();

class FileDataSource implements DataSource{
    String loadData(){
        //Read from file and return the data

class NetworkDataSource implements DataSource{
    String loadData(){
        //Read from network and return the data

class DataLoader{
    private DataSource dataSource;

    DataLoader(DataSource ds){

    String loadData(){
        return dataSource.loadData();

By analyzing the source code above, it is impossible to tell whether DataLoader uses FileDataSource or NetworkDataSource at runtime when a use case is executed. Using the static time source code analysis tools, it is impossible to precisely tell if a use case depends on FileDataSource or NetworkDataSource.

Because MaintainJ captures the classes, method calls and their parameters as the use cases are executed, it can precisely identify whether a use case calls FileDataSource or NetworkDataSource.

Once the trace files are captured for all use cases in the application, you simply need to search for FileDataSource to find out all the use cases that depend on it. Armed with this information, you can conduct focused and comprehensive regression testing and put the code back into production with more confidence.

2. SQL Search: Most Java applications use databases. Consider that we need to identify all the test cases impacted by a change to a table structure. This is not an easy task in an enterprise setting where many applications depend on the same database. There are many database frameworks for Java and each of them embeds the SQL differently in XML or source code or both. For code analysis tools, it is difficult to map a Java class to a SQL statement and impossible to map a use case to a set of tables used.

Because MaintainJ captures all the runtime SQL statements sent to database when a use case is executed, it can precisely identify the use cases that depend on a database table(s) or field(s).

To find all the use cases that use a table, use the following search criteria in the 'MaintainJ Search' tab:
Class name: '*Statement' (searches both Statement and PreparedStatement)
Method name: 'execute*'
Method parameter name: 'sqlStatement'
Method parameter value: <<Table name or field name as referred to in the SQL>>

The search results show all the use cases that depend on the table/field and show the SQL statements using those tables/fields.

A Powerful Feature

This is a very powerful feature that no available static time dependency analysis tools can offer. However, take note of the assumption and current limitations of the feature:

The assumption is that you have already captured the trace files for all use cases of the application. If this is a considerable effort during a release cycle, it can be started on more important modules of the application and expanded to other modules later.

The limitations are:
a) Assume that class ConcreteUser extends AbstractUser. If you change AbstractUser, there is a chance that use cases depending on ConcreteUser will be impacted though you did not change ConcreteUser. In the current release users will have to use their discretion when analyzing the impact of changes to classes in a class hierarchy.
b) Only the impact of changes to Java classes, JSP's and database resources can be identified currently. Impact of changes to HTML, CSS or Javascript cannot be predicted.

4.5 Export the Diagrams to UML2 (and import into UML compliant tools like RSA)


You can export the MaintainJ sequence and class diagrams into UML2 model files and then import those model files into other UML2 compliant tools like Rational Software Architect(RSA) 8. Using these model files, RSA can display the sequence and class diagrams.

If the generated trace files are large, you can apply filters on the diagrams or delete the unwanted packages/classes/methods from the 'Outline view' and save the diagram as .mnj file. Open the .mnj file using the 'MaintainJ Editor to Save As UML2 Model' editor (select the .mnj file and right click to see this editor in the context menu). When you click 'Save As' (File->Save As), you will be prompted to enter the model file name. The UML2 model file will be saved in the same folder as the .mnj file.

You can choose if you want to export all class attributes, methods and/or class hierarchy of the classes called in the sequence diagram. The source code of the called classes must be in the workspace to export attributes/methods/hierarchy to the UML2 model. By default only the methods called in a class are exported.

The classes and calls currently visible in the diagram will only be exported to the model file. In other words, if a call is collapsed, just that call will be exported into the model file and none of the nested calls will be exported.

If you are going to import the model files into RSA, name the model files as .emx files. You have two options to view the class and sequence diagrams in RSA.

1. Install the 'MaintainJ UML2 Diagram Creator For RSA' plug-in (download link provided below). Copy the .emx file to any project and from any view like the Navigator view where you can see the file name with the .emx extension, right click the mouse. In the context menu, you will find 'Create MaintainJ UML2 Diagrams' option. When you click this option, the sequence and class diagrams will be opened in RSA.

2. You do not really need the above MaintainJ plug-in to generate the UML diagrams from the UML2 model file in RSA. Copy the .emx files into any project in RSA, open the 'Modeling perspective' and then open the .emx file using the 'Rational Model Editor'.

To open the model file as a sequence diagram, expand the model (in Model perspective, Project Explorer view) and follow 'Collaboration -> Interaction -> Right click the mouse ->Add Diagram->Sequence Diagram'.
To create the class diagram, expand the model, select all domain classes (or the classes you want to include in the class diagram), right click the mouse and follow 'Add to New Diagram File ->Class Diagram'.

Note when viewing the diagrams in RSA: Sequence diagrams with more than 50 calls take some time to open in RSA. Because it really depends on your computer's processing power, start with less number of calls and increase the diagram size depending on how it scales. You may use the 'predefined filters' to reduce the MaintainJ diagram size by removing redundant calls.

Installation Links and Notes: The feature to export the diagrams as UML2 model files is implemented in a separate Eclipse plug-in called 'MaintainJ UML2 Model Creator', which is not packaged in the core 'MaintainJ Feature'. So, you need to install this plug-in separately. Below are relevant url's to install this plugin.

Eclipse Update url: http://maintainj.com/updates/4.0.0/uml2

Zip file: MaintainJ_UML2_Converter_4.0.0.zip The zip file contents should be placed in the 'eclipse/plugins' folder.

To install the 'MaintainJ UML2 Diagram Creator For RSA' plug-in (to follow the first approach above to view the diagrams in RSA), download MaintainJ_UML2_Diagram_Creator_4.0.0.zip file and unzip to 'eclipse/plugins' folder. Please note that this plug-in works only in RSA.

This feature is tested in Eclipse 3.5 and above, RSA 8 and RAD 7.5 and above. When installing in RSA or RAD, you can use either the 'update url' or the zip file. But when installing in Eclipse, use the update url because Eclipse would automatically fetch and install the other plug-ins that this plug-in depends on. If you cannot use the update url, make sure that you have both 'UML2 Extender SDK' and 'EMF Model Transaction SDK' plug-ins installed before installing this plug-in. In RSA and RAD these 2 plug-ins are pre-installed.

License Note: This feature is not included in the current licensing. Please contact us to use this feature on your application. However, you can try this feature using the sample trace file copied to the 'MaintainJ Trace Files Project'.