Developer creates MacOS X diagram tool

An Auckland-based developer has designed a tool for software developers to create modelling diagrams using the MacOS X operating system.

An Auckland-based developer has designed a tool for software developers to create modelling diagrams using the MacOS X operating system.

SequenceSketcher is the brainchild of Andrew Lindesay, who works mainly with Java but does Mac work under the label Lindesay Electric.

“It allows users to draw attractive UML [unified modelling language] sequence diagrams to aid in the process of software design and analysis,” Lindesay says. Sequence diagrams are often used in the early stages of development as an aid to understanding how the final product will flow, but are not a replacement for source code.

His inspiration for creating SequenceServer came from another tool — which he wouldn’t name — that he was using to produce sequence diagrams. “I was working on a large project and needed nicer looking diagrams and to make it more like a normal drawing tool.”

He released SequenceSketcher late last year and has made 13 sales so far, mainly to the US and also to Japan, Brazil and Europe. It costs $US49.

“Typical customers would be software engineers and application architects using the MacOS X,” he says. “It’s rather a small market, but I would expect it to grow.”

He hasn’t done formal marketing, publicising the product mainly through world of mouth and via websites that track MacOS platform software. The MacOS X operating system is Unix-based and gets that characteristic from Next, an acquisition made by Apple in 1996, Lindesay says. “A core part of MacOS X is the Cocoa application development system, also a former Next product.”

He describes SequenceSketcher as “a niche market within a niche market — it’s the kind of tool which someone who is working on a project who thinks ‘it’s time to make some sequence diagrams.”

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