The AreaView Tool

AreaView is an advanced visualization tool for software architecture information. At is simplest, AreaView provides the functionality of a UML diagram
viewer. In this respect, AreaView is similar to Rational Rose or Together, with the viewing, but without the editing capabilities. However, AreaView goes beyond such tools by providing several innovative features to visualize extra information beyond the UML diagrams themselves. Such information is currently of two types: metrics and areas of interest. Metrics are specified per diagram element (e.g. class), are of different types (e.g. boolean, integer, or float), and can be visualized with a variety of graphical techniques, such as 2D or 3D colored glyphs similar to histograms. Visualizing metrics on UML diagrams is useful to get many insights on how the system properties encoded by the metrics map to the system architecture. Areas of interest are specified per group of elements and are drawn in various ways (e.g. contours or filled soft shapes) around their contained elements. By supporting areas of interest, AreaView provides users with exactly the same type of functionality as sketchy annotations done with pen on paper diagrams.


Features of AreaView in a nutshell:


 Visualizes UML diagrams in DTD-compliant XMI format, such as produced by Rational Rose

 Several diagram types are supported: class, message, collaboration, deployment, …

 Provides interactive navigation functions such as zoom, pan, multiple windows, document tree view, and correlated selections

 Scales to documents containing hundreds of elements and tenths of diagrams

 Visualizes any number of metrics defined on any subset of the present diagram elements

 Highly customizable metric visualizations: pie, 2D bar, 3D bar, icons, checkboxes, …

 Adding metrics to an existing diagram document is very easy: Just provide a separate XML file containing the metrics’ names and values

 Visualizes areas of interest using a novel algorithm that mimics hand-drawn sketch annotations

 Adding areas of interest to an existing document is just as easy as adding metrics

 Installing AreaView is as simple as clicking the installer executable (under Windows)


Download the latest available version of AreaView for Windows here:

Snapshots of AreaView are presented below:


Overview of the AreaView tool interface

Class diagram with several 2D metric icons

Class diagram with several 3D metric icons

Complex diagram with several areas of interest

Publications describing the design and use of AreaView:


 Visualization of Areas of Interest in Software Architecture Diagrams (H. Byelas, A. Telea, Proc. ACM SoftVis’06)

 Visualization of Areas of Interest in Component-Based Software Architectures (H. Byelas, E. Bondarev, A. Telea, Proc. EUROMICRO’06)

 Visual Exploration of Combined Metric and Architectural Information (C. Lange, M. Termeer, A. Telea, M. Chaudron, Proc. Vissoft’05)


AreaView was developed as part of the Space4U and Trust4All ITEA projects.