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Privacy and Risks

 

Risks in using Umple and UmpleOnline

License: All use of Umple and UmpleOnline is subject to the Umple MIT license. Please read it carefully, since it disclaims liability. This is not because we don't want to be 'good engineers' and take responsibility for work, rather it is because we are following the open source model, which allows a wide variety of people to modify Umple.

Risk due to support by hosting organizations: UmpleOnline is hosted at the University with funds from research grants. Should these research grants cease, support for Umple may cease unless others take over responsibility for hosting. Similarly, the code is hosted on Google Code. If Google decides to cease hosting projects for free, Umple would need to be hosted somewhere else.

Risk of deprecation, missing features and defects: It is possible that code which works today may cease working in the future. Development is performed by students and in the context of research. You will therefore find incomplete features and bugs. We encourage you to report new ones (and fix them) and to realize that you may need to work around the existing ones. That said, we do use test-driven development to maintain what we believe is a high level of quality.

Limitations of UmpleOnline: The purpose of UmpleOnline is purely to allow people to explore Umple and model-oriented programming, particularly in an educational context. UmpleOnline is not intended to be a commercial or open source development tool; this is one of the reasons why it is only capable of storing a single Umple file per user session. If you want to do serious development in Umple, with multiple files, you should download it.

Not certified for safety critical or mission critical use: At the current time Umple-generated code should not be used for mission-critical or safety critical uses, including software for any device that may pose a safety risk if it performs incorrectly, or software that would cause economic damage if it failed. We intend that, in time, Umple and tools like it will in fact help improve safety and reliability. But at the current time we have not subjected Umple to the rigorous validation it needs for such uses, and there are many known issues that would preclude such current use.

Need to apply best practices: Should you choose to use Umple for production use, it is critical that you follow rigorous software engineering practices including (but not limited to): Requirements analysis, careful design and thorough testing. See here for a list of Umple best practies.

 

Privacy: Saving of data in UmpleOnline

Models entered in UmpleOnline are automatically stored on servers at the University of Ottawa. Each time you type and pause for three seconds, each time you make an edit to a diagram, and each time you generate code, your data is saved. The data includes one or more .ump files, plus the data you have generated from those files (Java code etc.).

Data saved automatically in this way remains stored at the University of Ottawa for up to two days. This is so you can continue an editing session, even if you walk away from your computer for an extended period. We have an automated process that will normally delete such data after two days. However we reserve the right to record general statistics about the size of models and other uses of Umple tools before we delete such data.

If you choose 'Create a Bookmarkable URL' then your model is stored, indefinitely, subject to deletion rules described below. Such a file can be edited and deleted by anyone to whom you give the URL, or by anyone who guesses the URL.

If we detect abuse of UmpleOnline, we reserve the right to attempt to track the user using such tools as the originating IP address, and to block access from such an address or address range.

We do intend to install tools to survey users about their experiences with Umple. We will likely use external tools such as SurveyMoney for such surveys; people who complete such surveys would then be subject to the privacy rules of such external tools. Users would be requested to give informed consent prior to taking such a survey, and such informed consent would first be approved by the University of Ottawa's Research Ethics Board.

 

Sharing of personal data in UmpleOnline

The only data saved by UmpleOnline is the model you create, either graphically or textually or both. There is currently no login mechanism so there is no userid, name or other personal data associated with your model. We may impose a login requirement in the future, but in that case we would only store the minimum of data (loginID, your name, an encrypted salted password, and an email address for account confirmation, to contact you and to allow for password reset).

You may, however, embed (at your choice) confidential information in the code or models you write in UmpleOnline. It is important for you to realize that this information is accessible to others.

Since no userid is currently associated with UmpleOnline models, we have no way of determining who has saved which models at the current time. We cannot guarantee to be able to recover any file you may have 'lost'. Nor can we determine whether anyone else has looked at or modified your files.

 

Data deletion

You may delete your own model in UmpleOnline: Simply select all the text and delete it. To delete all records of generated code, it is suggested that you replace your model by a single line of code (such as class X {} and then generate code from it (generate code in all formats you have previously generated).

Staff at the University of Ottawa reserve the right to delete models for any of the following reasons:

  • There is objectionable content, including but not limited to, code for anything illegal. We may occasionally scan for such content using manual and automatic means.
  • Using the site to to store something other than Umple code (e.g. using it to store other forms of data in the form of code comments)
  • Our servers become full or over-taxed. In this case we will make an effort to delete large models that are also old, before removing recently updated and smaller models. Ultimately, we cannot guarantee permanent storage of any model; we just intend to maintain models for as long as we can.
  • Failure of the system in any way
 

Access and use by others

If somebody is able to guess the URL of your model, or you give it to them, then they can modify and delete your model. Important models should therefore be saved using other means. Instructions for how to do that are here.

 

Anonymity

There is currently no login mechanism to UmpleOnline so there is no way to trace users, as stated earlier. This may change in the future