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Toolkit for Conceptual Modeling (TCM)
User's Guide and Reference
updated to version 2.20

 Roel J. Wieringa
Frank DehneHenk R. van de Zandschulp
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science Department of Computer Science
Vrije Universiteit University of Twente
De Boelelaan 1081a, 1081 HV Amsterdam P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands The Netherlands
(till December 2000)

January 20, 2003


The Toolkit for Conceptual Modeling (TCM) is a collection of software tools to present conceptual models of software systems in the form of diagrams, trees and tables. A conceptual model of a system is a structure used to represent the behavior or decomposition of the system. TCM is meant to be used for requirements engineering, i.e. the activity of specifying and maintaining requirements for desired systems, in which a number of techniques and heuristics for problem analysis, function refinement, behavior specification, and decomposition specification are used.

TCM contains editors for two major sets of software specification techniques: Structured Analysis (SA) and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The first set includes amongst others editors for ER-diagrams, data and event flow diagrams and state-transition diagrams. The set of UML editors includes amongst others a class-diagram editor, a use-case diagram editor and an activity diagram editor. Furthermore, TCM contains three generic editors for generic diagrams, generic tables and generic trees and also a number of special purpose editors such as two editors for JSD and a process graph editor.

The current version of TCM supports constraint checking for single documents (e.g. name duplication and cycles in is-a relationships). TCM distinguishes built-in constraints (of which a violation cannot even be attempted) from immediate constraints (of which an attempted violation is immediately prevented) and soft constraints (against which the editor provides a warning when it checks the drawing). TCM is planned to support constraint checking across documents.

All editors have a similar user interface, and most of the time you don't need this manual. There is a simple on-line help facility. This user's guide annex reference manual is available in PostScript, PDF and in HTML format.

This document is intended to be a guide for both beginners and advanced users of TCM. Appendix A contains a mini-tutorial of the notation techniques supported by this version of TCM.

TCM runs on Unix and Linux systems with X Windows and even on Windows, running the CYGWIN/XFree86 environment. The ftp-site is The TCM home page is TCM is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

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Henk van de Zandschulp