The Systems Modeling Language (SysML) is general purpose visual modeling language for Systems Engineering applications.
- SysML supports the specification, analysis, design, verification and validation of a broad range of systems and systems-of-systems. These systems may include hardware, software, information, processes, personnel, and facilities.
- SysML is a dialect of UML 2, and is defined as a UML 2 Profile (Profile = UML customization that uses Stereotypes, Tagged Values, and Constraints.)
- SysML is an enabling technology for Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)
SysML Origins: The SysML was originally developed by the SysML Partner's open source specification project, which was initiated in 2003 in response to OMG’s “UML for Systems Engineering” Request for Proposals (RFP). The SysML contains nine diagram types, seven of which it shares in common with its UML 2 parent language, along with one tabular notation (Allocation tables.) The seven diagrams that SysML shares in common with UML 2 are: Use Case, Block (nee Class in UML), Internal Block (nee Composite Structure in UML), Activity, Sequence, and State Machine. The two new diagrams that SysML contributes are: Requirement (derived from Class diagrams) and Parametric (derived from Composite Structure diagram).
Why Use SysML?: If you are a Systems Engineering and want to improve the precision and efficiency of your communications with fellow Systems Engineers and other system and business stakeholders, then SysML is an excellent choice for a lingua franca. (If on the other hand, you are a Software Developer or a Business Analyst who wants to improve communications with your peers and other system stakeholders, then UML or BPMN may be better choices.) Here's a list of reasons why Systems Engineers may want to use SysML and a Model-Based Systems Engineering approach for their work:
- Facilitate communication among various stakeholders across the System Development Life Cycle
- Capture and manage corporate Intellectual Property related to system architectures, designs, and processes
- Compare and contrast “As Is” and “To Be” solutions
- Provide scalable structure for problem solving
- Furnish rich abstractions to manage size and complexity
- Explore multiple solutions or ideas concurrently with minimal risk
- Detect errors and omissions early in System Development Life Cycle
Specification Availability: The SysML specification is publicly available for download, and includes an open source license for distribution and use. The most recent revision is OMG SysML v. 1.3. (See SysML Specifications page.)
Further Info: For more information about the SysML language details, training, tutorials, and resources check out the SysML Forum web. For more information about the MBSE process details, training, tutorials, and resources check out the MBSE.Works web.