UML is good to model many things but clearly misses the point when it comes to design complex user interfaces and interactions. Attempts to use UML for this usually end up with complex profiles that are almost impossible to apply.

Therefore, I was happy to see that the OMG launched a RFP for an Interaction Flow Modeling Language with the idea of coming up with a domain-specific modeling language for expressing the content, user interaction and control behaviour of the front-end of applications.

More than one year after that (not bad for an standardization process), the new IFML standard has been finally adopted. The consortium pushing the standard was lead by WebRatio (see also our interview with the WebRatio CEO) so it’s no surprise the notation resembles that of the WebML (web modeling language), e.g. see this simple example showing a web page displaying a list of artists and giving full details of the one selected by the user.

As Ed Seidewitz said, With IFML and the UML executable standards (fUML and the Alf), it is now possible to create a complete, executable app in (OMG) standard modeling languages.

You can see a tutorial on this new Interaction Flow Modeling Language standard.

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